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“Great Trade”

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Windward Passage Resort
Mesa, Arizona
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Great Trade”
Reviewed May 30, 2012

Location , Location, Location !!! This place has it all. Everything is close by and the resort people are friendly and very helpful. The free bikes at the resort were fun. You are right on the beach. The one bedrooms would be a tight sweeze for 4 people but there were only 2 of us so we were very confortable. We had a unit facing the gulf # 106 and were very happy. We would definately go back again. We were very happy with our trade to Windward.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank MoooMooo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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65 reviews from our community

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English first
Owosso, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2012

Windward Passage is awesome. You are on the beach literally. Step out of the pool area and onto the beach. We have stayed here the last two years. Our first year was a timeshare trade. We loved it so much we sold our other timeshare and bought a week at Windward Passage. The management is outstanding. The maintenance fees are reasonable. They are always making improvements. The employees are very friendly and helpful. Units are clean and well kept. If you are looking for a quiet vacation away from the crowd but within walking distance of town, this is your little piece of paradise.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank MsMo614
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomington, Indiana, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2011

To be fair, I don't have anything resembling the traveling experience of the couple posting in October '11, but we do travel about a fair bit, and we really didn't feel their trip was typical. We were also in the "motel" units, and had a maintenance issue where our door wouldn't quite close (loose on the hinges). Maintenance (Carl) walked back to my unit with me and fixed it immediately, very friendly and pleasant. There *are* sheets for the sofabed, and pillows, but they are folded into the sofa. The design has a pocket for these things in the backrest of the couch. The sofabed is actually surprisingly comfortable, possibly as a result of being so new. Our party was myself, my roommate, and her boyfriend, and I ended up on the couch but didn't lose sleep or have any stiff mornings as a result.

We weren't so interested in the resort activities with the owners, but most people we saw were friendly, frequently offering "hellos" and "how are yous" even as we were just passing. The owner crowd appears older, so "kids" tended to be teenagers, though there was one couple with a young family. Generally, the kids were quiet and pleasant, even when splashing around in the pool. We appreciated that, but a family hoping for playmates for their children might be disappointed.

The kitchens were tremendously well-equipped. We had everything we could have wanted, down to an Juicer for local oranges. Our ice machine worked very well--we never needed to visit the machine in the lobby. We did have to turn it on when we entered the unit, perhaps that's what happened to those other folks? Every appliance is full-sized, we joked if we'd wanted to we could roast a turkey right there on site!

Location. Goodness, location, location, location. Windward is on the quieter north side of Fort Myers Beach, which means a little tricky side-street rerouting to get off the island, but also very little traffic nearby. It's an easy walk to the Bowditch Point park all the way at the north tip of the island, or to the little downtown touristy area of Times Square if you go south. The resort has bikes available to borrow during office hours, and the whole island has bike lanes, so that's a great way to see some local color as well.

Windward was clean, neat, and every employee was friendly and smiling (even housekeeping on Towel Exchange day, though they said little other than to confirm how many sets of towels I needed, and to wish me a good day). The beach is beautiful, and we got some terrific shells there (better than from our day on Sanibel, though we were shelling that beach later and it may have just been picked over). There are plenty of beach-lounger chairs, but they're heavy and the beach is a long one. We mostly just laid down towels. The pool is beautifully warm, and we didn't have the same problems with people saving seats at all. When we were in the pool area, there would be a few chairs with items that may have been "saving" them, but usually they belonged to the people sitting there with them. We never had problems finding a chair to use when we wanted to make use of the pool or the pool deck for lounging. The pool and hot tub close at "dusk" according to the sign, but from what we can tell it seems like people still use them, just quietly (and without the hot tub compressor turned on, obviously) to avoid disturbing the guests with the oceanfront/poolview balconies.

All in all, we loved our time here and hope to return in the future.

Room Tip: You cannot choose or change your room, you'll be in the room you booked, usually in the "mo...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank Kixie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
73 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2011

We chose this exchange for our Park Hotel unit in Park City, UT and read all the raving reviews, thinking it would be perfect for us to stay on the beach while we visited relatives in Naples. We have been trading since 1983 all over the world and have experienced great, good, and bad trades. While the resort is well-maintained in some parts (the owners units), the units close to the road that they give the traders are not as well maintained. We were next to the road on the first floor and the shower in the unit upstairs leaked down into our bedroom twice before we figured out where the water was coming from, down through the wall. To their credit, when I called the front desk, Klaus came right over and sorted out the problem and fixed it the next day. The kitchen flourescent light did not work, and never did all week, even though a maintenance man came when we called and tried to fix it. He did fix the missing switch on the bedroom lamp however, and he was very pleasant and friendly to talk to. The housekeeping person never spoke to us, just took our towels, counted and replaced them in the basket and handed them back. The furnishings were fine, the kitchen well outfitted, the bed comfortable. The ice-maker in the frig hardly ever dropped an ice cube, but there was an ice machine in the outdoor lobby area. No extra pillows (though the unit is rated for 4 people, it only really suits 2, but we would have like to use the pull-out couch in the living room for TV watching, no sheets for it though, and we would have liked more than just 2 pillows on the bed, since it has no headboard for reading). The TV's were out dated but functioned fine, only 1 remote for 2 tv's, and the dvd remote had no batteries. Appliances were new though, and the rooms clean in general, except our feet got black if we walked around on the tile barefoot. The location is ideal and the beach is great.

Our main complaint is that the resort does not seem to care at all about someone who has traded in - the unit we bank from Park City is more upscale and still traders to it are given some consideration if they ask for another unit. The 'elite' owners get the oceanfront here, traders get the motel units out front by the road on the alley.

The 'rules' of the resort specify lots of "don't's" that aren't enforced - like saving lounges at the pool with towels all morning without anyone using them. We went to the pool at 9AM only to find 2 people in chairs and the other 15-20 lounges 'saved' by beach towels thrown across them and no one around for hours. Speaking of beach towels, there are none supplied. And nothing is mentioned on their website to bring your own. We used to bring our own on every trip, but with airline regulations on weight and number of bags so tight these days, we stopped carrying them because all the resorts we go to nowadays supply them as a convenience to protect the room towels. When we asked about them, we were told to use the room towels, yet you can only trade in dirty linens and towels once during the week, on Tuesday from 10-3. I guess they want you to buy their 'resort logo' beach towels if you haven't brought your own. We borrowed from our relatives for the rest of the week. We don't expect daily housekeeping in a timeshare (though we have stayed where this was provided free), howwever we did expect that one mid-week cleaning and linen change would be provided, as it is on all our other trades. Here we had to bring our room towels to housekeeping and pick up our own. If we wanted the bed changed that day, we had to do it ourselves. (I have a bad back and I don't make beds when I'm on vacation!) We were not shown to our unit upon arrival, we were not told which direction to go (just that 'it's in building 2', but no indication which huilding is 1 or 2) and couldn't believe we were headed back to the driveway and the road before we found it, after asking someone in the parking lot where to go. The office was closing when we arrived just after 4PM on check-in day, but I immediately called the front desk and asked if another unit was available because of road noise and light sleeping habits, offering to pay for an upgrade, but I was told they were totally full. Yet the unit upstairs had to be vacated in order to fix the leak, so where did they put those people? There were clearly unused units in the beachfront building the entire week.

Another broken rule, children in the hot tub. And diapers were allowed in the pool 'with rubber panties' only, but we all know that doesn't keep the e-coli in the diaper once it's wet! (no kid's pool though there was a cute playground adjacent to the pool). The social activities were on a sign-up basis and might have been fun to join, but the 'owner' crowd is very much a closed group. No one spoke to us unless we offered a greeting first, and then it was just a polite 'hello' back. We are out-going, gregarious, retired teachers who have no trouble joining new groups and meeting new people, but this timeshare seemed very cold to the non-owners that we were. I know how close a returning group of owners can get over the years, but the resort has to know that they depend on traders to get by these days financially, and owners who want to use an exchange need to get their trade used - thus the resort needs to be more friendly and reach out to the traders.

We quickly decided that we would have to treat this resort week like it was a public beachfront motel/condo, not a timeshare, because of this 'owner mentality' prevailing. Very much a tight clique of people, so we just did our own thing by ourselves. There were plenty of condo units all up and down Ft Myers Beach, open to public rental, and lots of great deals on much more upscale resorts, but we have always enjoyed the comradery of timeshare exchange. There was none of that at this resort, unless you were an owner here.

As a result, we spent most of our time away from the resort on our own, visiting our relatives and sightseeing around the area, but our time in the resort was limited to time spent in our unit. One example, I went to the ice machine in the outdoor lobby area one morning (since the frig wasn't making ice) and some kind of group activity was going on right there, lots of people gathered at tables, some sort of game with someone pulling slips of paper out of a jar for giveaways or raffle of some sort. As I walked through this group to the ice machine, not a single person made eye contact or said hello, even though I tried to make social contact with several of them as I got the ice from the machine right in front of them. I found the same true at the pool and the beach. Maybe these owners for this week have become so close over the years, that they really don't want 'outsiders' in their midst, but I guess they don't trade their units often and don't go anywhere else in the world. They just keep coming back here, so they must like it above all other resorts or they are stuck in a rut. I would have liked to invite my relatives to the resort to enjoy the beach with us and socialize in our unit, but decided that was not advisable since the atmosphere was so unfriendly to outsiders (also only 1 parking space per unit). Since they live in this Gulf Coast resort area all year, and have worked for many of the resorts here over many years, this would have been a step down for their comfort level and expectations.

The town of Ft Myers Beach is cute, quaint, everything one would need for a fun beach vacation, so no complaints about the location and ambience of the area.

In closing, I guess I should say that my husband and I are travel professionals and we organize and lead scuba diving trips all over the world. We are now retired from teaching after almost 4 decades while we did travel/tourism part time, and we now spend our time traveling around the world throughout the year, but we have been in the travel business since 1987. So maybe we might be more aware of vacationers' emotional and social needs beyond the bare essentials of a clean, adequately outfitted apartment unit, since it is our job to make sure our clients have a great time on their vacation with us after they gave us their confidence by signing on to our trips.

If you accept a timeshare trade here, bring your own beachtowels and be prepared to fend for yourselves to get a pool lounge. Don't expect a trade up, even when you offer to pay extra for it. At least no one pressured us to buy one of their timeshares, which we have experienced other places, but no one offered any hospitality either, and this is the hospitality industry we're discussing.

Room Tip: There is no choice - you get what they give you.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
12 Thank RichandStell H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2011

The folks that run it are really caring and family-friendly. I have vacationed there many times while my children were growing up and a couple times since then. It is well kept up and has continued to improve over the years. It is away from the hustle and bustle of Ft. Myers beach, but you can get there easily.

Room Tip: every room location has advantages- so ask for what you want.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank funinthesun41947
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wesley Chapel, Florida
Level Contributor
139 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2011

We have been owners at the windward passage for 5 years. This place is by far the best place we have stayed in southwest Florida. The resort staff are second to none. Over the years our family has made good friends with a number of families that return the same time each year.

The grounds are kept neat, clean and tidy. The rooms have everything you need. It's not a fancy resort, and it does not have the bug resort like feel to it, but that is exactly what we love about the place.

Easy access to restaurants, a nice pool and right on the beach. I hope this place remains the same, as we plan on coming here for many more years.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LuvinGCM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2011

We are owners at Windward Passage and go every year. This resort is second to none on Fort Myers Beach, very well managed and clean. The pool area is the highlight of the resort, a must stay for sure.

  • Stayed May 2011
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank Jjp1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Windward Passage Resort

Property: Windward Passage Resort
Address: 418 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931-2098
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Fort Myers Beach
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 27 Specialty Lodging in Fort Myers Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Windward Passage Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 52
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Also Known As:
Windward Passage Hotel Fort Myers Beach

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