My wife and my two youngest kids (8 and 11) found this hotel to be a fantastic place to relax and enjoy the wonderful gulf beach.
We spent 4 days here. The hotel is nicely kept, clean, and very comfortable. The rooms are like small apartments with a mini kitchen so we where able to buy essentials for breakfast, lunch and night snacks. You have all thats needed to cook full meals (even though we didn't), and if you want to grill meats, there are two grills in the courtyard where you can barbecue like you would at home.
We got a beach front room with a spectacular view of the gulf. We sat in the balcony every morning and enjoyed our breakfast from the comfort of our room. In fact, I'm writing this review from there right now! We also watched the sunset our first night from our balcony, and it was spectacular!
This property is for those of you who want to relax away from the crowds. The hotel is located in the middle part of the island, about 3 miles south from the Ft Myers beach pier, where most of of the bars, restaurants and beach shopping lies. The property is right on the beach, so you're able to step out of your room and walk to the beach in less than a minute or two. From our room balcony we were able to watch our kids play in the sand. There are a couple of small pools (an adult and a family pool), but they can get crowded. There is also shuffle board for the kids.
If you're looking for room service, big pools, and pampering, this is not the right hotel.
However, this hotel also has a sister property - The Pink Shell - which is in the north end of the island, and as guests here we were able to go to that property which is more like your traditional hotel with a restaurant, pool service for meals, a spa, etc., all of which is also available to us a guests of the Sandpiper.
If you don't have a car, you can take the trolley into the heart of the action in the north end, but during the off-season it only runs until 9pm. However, a cab ride will cost you only about $8-$10 if you get stuck in town after the trolley service ends.
If you like to walk, I highly recommend what we did. After spending the day at the beach, we showered and walked as a family along the beach all the way to the North Pier. We left at around 6:30pm and enjoyed the sunset as a family while taking pictures, looking for shells, and just enjoying the view. It took us about 90 minutes to walk the 3 miles, enjoyed a lovely dinner in town, and took a cab back to our hotel afterwards.
If you like water activities and you can afford it, take the dolphin tour in jet skis. You can pretty much do this from anywhere on the beach. Our hotel had a company that did it, although we did it with the company at the sister property - the Pink Shell. The tour will set you back about $140 per jet ski (we had to take two), but it's definitely worth it. There were dolphins everywhere!!
We also rented a jet ski for an hour on another day, and saw dolphins right in front of our hotel.
We loved this place, and will likely come back to this hotel!!!!!