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“The Relaxation that I Needed”

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South Seas Island Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Captiva Island
Certificate of Excellence
Clermont, FL
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“The Relaxation that I Needed”
Reviewed June 15, 2013

We had booked a one-bedroom unit in the Tennis Villas. The Tennis Villas do not have any close beach access, but it was only .25 mile across parking lots, so very easy to do. They are located in the front of the sprawling resort area. There is a trolley that will take you down to the end of the island where their restaurants are. We had a lovely pool between the 2 Tennis Villas and most of the time we were the only people there! It was between 4-7 ft., so nice to be able to swim & relax.

The unit we stayed in, 3136, was very nicely furnished. The large recliner, however, was broken, which we reported at the front desk as soon as we got in. We didn't need it fixed, just wanted to get it reported.

The area was very quiet and the grounds were beautifully kept. We used the gym while we were there and while it was small, there was enough equipment for everyone.

The cleaning staff were very nice. We came in one day when a woman was cleaning and I wanted to stop her from washing our dishes that were left in the sink. I don't expect that!!

However, the last morning, check-out time was 11 AM and the cleaning staff started to try to get us out starting around 9:00. By 10:00 they were hovering outside our door, while we were starting to load the car. I had really wanted to stay until 10:30, but decided to just haul it all down and be done with it. (However, the cleaning staff were using the one elevator by our unit, so we had to wait for them and then had to cram into the elevator that was 3/4 full of laundry bags, etc.)

If that's the worst that happened on this trip, it was a very good trip! We did not try any of the restaurants and there is a Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille moving in right by the Tennis Villas, which may raise the noise level some.

Room Tip: If you don't mind walking to the beach, the Tennis Villas a cheaper than the bayside or shore si...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank swandiverpatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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St. Petersburg, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2013

I stayed at South Seas Resort for two nights for a wedding. The disappointment started at the gate to get in. The drive up to the resort was beautiful as we could see the Gulf of Mexico for a good portion of the way. The we arrived at the gate to get into the resort and had to wait for 25 minutes just to get on the property. Finally getting onto the property, I stopped at the clubhouse to check in, another wait, though not as long. Once I got the counter, they informed me of all the extra fees that were not mentioned during booking. Once at the room, the internet doesn't work. I tried to call the front desk to find out what the issue was, uh oh, the phone doesn't work either. I wouldn't usually care, but this was upsetting only because they charge $30 per day per person to use the internet.

Everything at this resort was very overpriced. The property is beautiful. There is no denying this, but the service was horrible and the hidden fees were outrageous. There are many beautiful resorts on the water in Florida, I'll try to find one with service too next year.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Garby84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SouthSeasCaptiva, Guest Relations Manager at South Seas Island Resort, responded to this review, June 18, 2013
Dear Garby84,
Thank you for staying with us and sharing your experience. Your feedback allows us to better understand our opportunities for improvement. It is not our intention to hide the resort fee. The explanation of the resort fee is apart of our reservation script when making a reservation by phone. It is disclosed in the terms and conditions during the reservation process through our website and 3rd party travel websites, and in the confirmation letter/email. Nonetheless we missed with your reservation, and therefore I apologize that it came as a surprise.

For the sake of future guests, the resort fee is $17 per person (age 13 and older) plus tax and covers the trolley service that runs from 7am - 11pm daily; property-wide wifi; chairs, towels and umbrellas at our staffed beaches - South Beach and Sunset Beach; towels and chairs at the Resort Pool Complex featuring the H2Whoa! waterslides; daily electronic newspaper; and new in 2013, the resort fee covers tennis court fees at Pavel Blackwood Tennis Academy.

If I can be of assistance regarding your recent visit or when you begin searching for your next Florida beach vacation, please email me at asmith2@luxuryresorts.com. We'd love to welcome you back to South Seas Island Resort so you can enjoy the typical guest experience of relaxation and rejuvenation.

With warm regards,
Anthonia Smith
Dir. of Guest Relations, South Seas Island Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2013

We stayed here with our 8 & 11 year old children after visiting Disney. We had very high expectations which were not met by the first accommodation we were shown, which were absolutely awful. After staying in a Disney Hotel where everything was immaculate & spotless, we were shown to our room (by the marina) and I could have cried. Apparently some of the property is privately owned & rented out via South Seas which we were not told about it when booking. We went straight back to reception, who then showed us 2 other apartments, one of which was far superior and which we readily moved into. However it was not what we were expecting, and I think you should check before you book....having said that the resort is fabulous. Our kids had an amazing time collecting shells, watching the wildlife etc . Its so beautiful it could have been made by Disney. The beach & pool are great. The staff at the beach were really helpful & the food brought to the beach by Joey in his boat is great. We tried a few activities, kayaking & sailing which were well run and great fun. Our kids enjoyed this holiday (esp the golf buggy) as much as Disney and I preferred it. It is expensive but it's well worth it. If I went back I'd look at booking a golf course hotel room, they looked much nicer.

Room Tip: Make sure you are booking a South Seas room/apartment, not a privately owned as standards vary enorm...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Frances020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2013

I am very happy to write this review because I am really hoping that I can help others that stay at the resort. I, too, was confused when I read the reviews on here - - after we had booked! I'd like to shed some light...

South Seas Island Resort is wonderful - - the resort itself is very manicured and lush. We felt very removed from the world and on a bit of a dream vacation. The grounds are very well maintained, the pools gorgeous ( to see a dolphin jump in the water when you are swimming in the pool - - awesome! ), the staff very friendly and accommodating. As everyone has said, the wildlife is so wonderful to see - - the manatees, dolphins, island birds, etc. We really did have the feeling that we were at the right place at the right time, absolutely.

Now, that said, I had read as many reviews as my eyes could take and I prepared myself for the very worst. I have to disagree with so much of what I have read here, but I can also shed some light on some of the negative things that I did see.

If you go in to this trip thinking you've booked a trip to Atlantis, you have not. If you go in to this trip understanding that you have booked with a resort that has some very, very beautiful aspects, while also needed some TLC in some other areas, you will not feel let down. No, it's not perfect there, but the good outweighs any issues we encountered.

Pros:

Beautiful pools:
( comfy lounge chairs, gorgeous pools with cabanas, bar side )

Gorgeous sunsets with live music and beach side drinks:
( one of our very favorite nites.... even with a two and half yr. old in tow! )

Convenient restaurants:
( yes, overpriced.....but, you can balance this by eating some meals in your room. )

Lush, gorgeous, manicured landscape:
( I'm still looking at my pictures, wanting to return ).

Very friendly, accommodating staff:
( they have that "island chill" way about them - - and, they want you to enjoy your stay - - full of smiles ).

Fun for little ones:
( Scully's - - our two yr. old enjoyed their complimentary play room ).

( We also really enjoyed the outdoor S'mores and movie for little ones - - very
nice, sweet touch).

Private beach:

( How nice to "just show up" at the beach and have all you need..... we had
two lounge chairs and asked for three umbrellas - - little one in sand playing
and they happily accommodated! Very nice beach with gorgeous views.
You can get food and drinks beach side and they offer free sand toys! )


Cons:

Can get quite pricey:

( They do charge $18.00/day/person as a "resort amenities" fee. This added up and was a bit of a shocker to see when you check out. Don't agree with it, at all. But, knew about it when booked. The rooms can be quite expensive, no matter how you look at it. And, you don't always seem to be getting what you paid for. Buyer beware - - make sure to ask for the nicest room where you are staying - - request the very best. It worked for us.


North end/ South end of island:

(This aspect of the trip annoyed me the most - - not a whole lot going on in the south end. We stayed in the Bayside Villas and saw just how quiet it was. We did not venture on to the trolley, had a rental car, but did see the poor folks sitting in the humidity/heat/rain waiting for the damn trolley. It did get tiring wondering where we'd like to be and having to drive there. If we stayed there again, we'd somehow try to manage the north end prices to just have the convenience of it all.)


The resort shuts down EARLY:

( I'd like to ask, "Why??" Why do they close the pool at 6:00 p.m. when we are still swimming in it?? Why do some of the restaurants close, as well? We are all there on vacation and don't want to turn in early. This made absolutely no sense to me at all. The fact that we had a little one to shuffle off to bed made this easier to swallow, but there were many nights that I wanted to ignore bed time and just PLAY. So, I'd say this is a huge misstep on their part..... which I am still dumfounded with.)


Now, having taken in all I have said, please know that I was still very pleased with our stay! We made our peace with the early hours and we slept, we played in the hot sun all day, we enjoyed the people and the wildlife and we DID NOT WANT TO GO HOME!!


Also, we stayed in the Bayside Villas:

I called "Room Control" and requested the very best villa they had - - told them I had a two yr. old and needed it very clean, fully stocked and all that we needed in the condo for the best stay possible. I was told we'd have an A plus condo. I was pleasantly surprised - - it was spacious ( two bathrooms! ) with a lovely screened lanai that had views of the sail boats! The kitchen was spacious and clean, appliances were acceptable. The furniture was old, I will admit. The bed was comfortable and HUGE. The bedding was clean and fresh and the condo was clean, over all. The living room furniture did not impress me, I will admit. It was dated and the couch was not clean. I fixed that by getting a clean blanket out of the closet and covering it. Also, the bdrm carpet was not super clean looking - - vacuumed, but not clean. Everything else was fine....but, needed re-vamping, as many have said.

I did call housekeeping and asked them to come and mop the floors ( lanai was making little one's feet dirty ) and they promptly came and cleaned. They always re-stocked all toiletries and towels - - housekeeping was consistent and thorough. This was my biggest concern, in staying there, and I was completely satisfied. In fact, each day they cleaned, someone called to follow up on the service to make sure we were happy. We were.

That said, we did not pay the huge amt. of money that some have said they paid - - we got a good deal through Expedia. So, I was prepared for the worst and I was not unhappy. Had I paid $800.00/ nite, yes, I would be unhappy. So, I guess it's all in perspective and how you decide to deal with it.

Tips:

Rent an umbrella and chairs and go to Fort Myers Beach!! Took about 40 min. to drive there and it was so much fun for us! Packed a picnic lunch and let little one play in the gorgeous white sands for hours, shelling, etc. Well worth the beach rentals! We rented at a little rental place we googled outside of resort ( name is escaping me, sorry! )

Eat outside of resort and enjoy the rest of the island. We ate at The Blue Giraffe quite a few times ( at Perriwinkle Place ).... very affordable, big portions, good food, nice patio! Good with kids.

Do buy your groceries at Publix ( right before your cross bridge to island ). Very clean, well organized, nice grocery store. You will save yourself a lot of $$.

Do rent a car from the airport!! You'll be glad you did - - there is so much to see on and off the island and you don't want to be only at the resort. It kept its charm because we came and went as we pleased. And, avoided the trolley!

Hope I helped some traveler that is on the fence about staying here! We LOVED it!! I think taking a good attitude with you is just as important as how much "stuff" we lug on our trip. I do believe it can change the whole stay, no matter where you are. Can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: Call "Room Control" to request specifically what you are hoping for for your stay. I woul...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank acb-travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenwood, Missouri
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed June 8, 2013

We brought our 18yr old daughter & 8yr old son here as a last good family vacation before the 18yr old left for college. We visited her the last week of May and were not dissapointed. My 8yr old said if he had to pick between South Seas & Disney World (which he has been to) he said he would pick South Seas. Wow. That says a lot. The weather was good, the beach was amazing & the wonder of shelling with an 8yr old was priceless. The teenager was perfectly content with tanning and getting up when ever & having no place to be. The Point restaurant had excellent Mahi Mahi(or Dolphin as folks who have lived in Miami call it) sandwiches which was what I had been looking for. Even though my husband had brought his laptop he was so relaxed he left work alone for the most part. This was an amazing trip.

A couple of pieces of advice to save money: Everybody get anxious to get there. The kids drove me nuts the whole last 45 minutes of our drive down there. Make sure you fill up with gas before you get to close to the toll bridge on to Sanibel. If you are staying at South Seas and have a room with a kitchen stop at a Publix off island to get groceries. there is also one before the toll bridge. Shopping at the grocery on the island is very expensive. It is about a half our from the toll bridge to the resort in good traffic conditions. Trust me we had no desire to drive all the way back to the Publix & pay $6 to get back on the island & we had light traffic. can not imagine what high traffic driving is like.

Room Tip: Beach side was amazing. Found a good Groupon Deal
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gail W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, FL
Level 6 Contributor
59 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2013 via mobile

The surroundings are the best thing about south seas island resort! Beautiful place! So incredibly relaxing to unplug. It felt like we weren't in the states! Poolside beverage and menu service was awesome and made our vacation so easy since its hard to eat with squirmy little ones. The harbor side marina rooms were the way to go. Very nice rooms, very clean! We never had to drive anywhere except Starbucks. We brought our red wagon and loaded the kids and stuff up for the pool and beach; which was so nice but be aware bring cash for the boat hot dog guy or bring your own food to the beach...the stand they have out there only serves drinks and pre-made sandwiches. The food at the resort is expensive but worth it for the convenience, even the sandwiches in the little gift shop were delicious-try the sundried tomato pannini! The zero entry pool was great since we have a toddler and. We enjoyed the hot tub. Also The breakfast buffet was delicious and well worth it! The staff is very friendly and provide great service! We were excited about a one night special poolside dinner they advertised during the day (it's usually only lunch) but it got cancelled and we were bummed but we made the best of it. All in all it was a wonderful experience and we would go back again.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jdecember
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2013

South Seas is a great resort with beauty everywhere you look. This Resort is on the north tip of Captiva...about a 30- 50 minute drive from Sanibel causeway which is the only way on to the island via car. Traffic on this two way road to captiva can get jammed during busy season but the ride is very very scenic. Sanibel Island is very LUSH and scenic.

South Seas resort is a large resort with all types of accommodations available and plenty to do. The resort is surrounded by water, the gulf of mexico on one side and the bay on the other which offers great boating and fishing, beautiful sunsets, plenty of bird watching and dolphins and manatees can be seen in the waters too.
The resort is about 2 miles long and very narrow... so there are free trolleys and bikes for rental to help you get from the South end (reception/check-in) to the North End where the golf course, main pool, the two restaurants, ice cream shop, sunset beach bar, and marina and ships store, are located. Tennis hard courts are located throughout the property with the main tennis facility at the South End(entrance). The south end will soon have a new restaurant and also has a small strip mall with shops, deli, and Starbucks. The middle of the island only offers beach homes, and other accommodations.
We stayed at the Bay Villas (South End) which offers 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms with pull out sofas and full kitchens. Every group of accommodations have their own pool and a tennis court is not too far away. There is a resort fee of $18.00 day...which is for the free trolley, the free beach chairs and umbrellas, use of tennis courts and pools.
The staff was very friendly and accommodating..we were very pleased with everyone's service at South Seas. The golf course in right next to the water and has a beach as well... not sure of the rates. We were there on memorial day weekend and they had a 97% occupancy rate......the only place that seemed to be a bit crowded was at the main pool but was still manageable...The Main pool has three pools with one for kids that has a slide. There is music pool side and great bartenders that make a great mango margarita. This property does not accept cash or credit cards, you need to make all of your purchases via your room key.

Things to do on resort: Golf, tennis clinics, fishing and sunset boats trips, and rental available, kids camp, pool, waverunner, Parasailing, Paddleboards, kayaking, yoga, bike rentals, sailing lessons, time share and property ownership available, weddings, & watching sunsets.
Although I loved our stay there I expected it to be a little more upscale and fancy. This resort is NOT new and is by far not ultra plush. The hurricane in 2004 damaged parts of the resort and I believe Lands End appears to be the re-built part on the resort.. The next time we go to south seas we plan on staying at Lands End.(north End) which is close to the main pool.
What appealed to us was the large units and the property having tennis courts and a GULF beach front property that has direct beach access with naturally beauty and wild life all around!

Room Tip: There are so many different types so it depends on what your needs are.. This place is great for la...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kraftite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about South Seas Island Resort

Property: South Seas Island Resort
Address: 5400 Plantation Road, PO Box 194, Captiva Island, FL 33924-6000
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Captiva Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Captiva Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — South Seas Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 471
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
South Seas Island Resort is located on 330-acres on tropical Captiva Island, on the west coast of Florida, just off the beaches of Fort Myers, Fl. South Seas is an iconic resort village combining a natural wonderland with modern resort amenities and accommodations. The resort offers many styles and sizes of accommodations including guestrooms, one to three bedroom villas (condominiums), cottages and spacious private homes. Activities at the resort include tennis, golf, water sports programs including kayak tours, boating and parasailing. Kids will have a great time at the Sanibel Sea School while learning about the surrounding environment. Enjoy three lagoon style pools, complete with private cabanas located at the Pointe and H2Whoa! With two fun water slides. The resort also features some of the best shelling in the world on the miles of sugar sand beach. For relaxation, the Kay Casperson Boutique and Spa is located in the South Village, providing special pampering with a complete spa treatment menu.Dining at South Seas Island Resort is as varied as the activities, with The Harbourside Bar and Grill and The Pointe located at North Pointe. Visit Scoops & Slices, located next to The Pointe, for ice cream or coal fired pizza. In the South Village, other options include Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille, Starbucks and the Captiva Provision Company, a gourmet deli. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
South Seas Island Hotel Captiva Island
South Seas Island Captiva
South Seas Island Resort Captiva Island, Florida

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