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“Wait until 2007”

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South Seas Island Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Captiva Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 22, 2006

I have been going to South Seas since 1981. The drive into the resort is devastating if you have been there before. The few people I spoke to that were new to the resort still thought it was beautiful. The mangroves are completely gone, you can now see all the private homes and the various maintance buildings. The tennis center is open and the pro is a great instructor. The fitness center/ spa and shopping area are not yet open and only one restaurant, Dockside (used to be Cap'n Als) is open. Although we had some good food at the restaurant the prices were very high for a resort that is only functioning at 50%. At Sunset Beach, a beer (can) at the beach was over $7 and the hamburgers there $10. There are a lot of workers coming and going off the island and the road is busier than I remember.

The marina area is completely under constuction, our condo at Plantation Beach Club was completely renovated and looked great. The view from the screened porch to the Gulf is as beautiful as it has always been. It is very relaxing, now that I have children you need to work a little harder to find things for them to do, the nature center is gone, game room/ Captiva kids, etc not opened yet. There is no main pool to meet other families and no Uncle Bobs to go get ice cream at night (Pool is to open in the winter of 2007 I believe).

The trolleys do take you all the way into the Village so we spent most of our money at restaurants outside the resort. The rest of the island was bustling, for Captiva (restaurants close at 9:30pm during the week). Key Lime and RC Otters both have guitar players for lunch and dinner and the wine selection at the Island Store is quite good for being far from the mainland. The lack of trees has made the view at the Mucky Duck that much better.

The resort will recover and may be nicer than ever. It is still paradise to us but be prepared to eat off the resort and work a little harder at finding activities to do (Jensen's marina and the various rentals in the village can be used). I would go, but research closely where you are staying the Gulf Cottages, Beach Homes, and Plantation Beach Club looked good but I would stay away from the Cottages, Marina area, etc. If you have children and you don't want to have to constantly entertain them I would wait until 2007 or stay in the village.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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25  Thank indy46077_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,249 - 3,255 of 3,519 reviews

Reviewed May 11, 2006

My wife and I just returned from five days at South Seas Island Resort (May 4th - 8th). Overall, the trip was great!

We have been to Sanibel twice before, but never stayed on Captiva. Given all the reports after Charley, we were both anxious and apprehensive to go back. We decided to take advantage of the "sneek peek" rates that South Seas was offering ($149/night). We stayed in the Marina Villas (Bldg. 7) and were pleasantly surprised with the accomadations. The unit faced west, overlooking the marina, and looking out to the gulf. Except for one evening, the sunsets were spectacular. During our visit, three manatees and a few dolphins regularly visited the marina.

The beach was fabulous and the gulf water crystal clear. Although we did not play golf, the redesigned course was open and appeared to be in immaculate condition.

Most evenings we took the trolley into the village for dinner. Things were pretty normal in the village and all the shop owners were appreciative of our business. We had good meals at the Mucky Duck, Key Lime Bistro, R.C. Otters and Sunshine Cafe.

On the downside, the resort is still rebuilding - I would guess they are 60 - 70% rebuilt. And, there is no question the islands are not as green and lush as before. The damage to the mangroves was particularly devastating. However, things are getting better and should continue to improve with time.

If you have been to Sanibel or Captiva before and enjoyed it, we would definitely recommend you go back. It will look different, but it is still a great place to unwind and relax. The staff at South Seas was wonderful and everyone on the island tried even harder than before to make our stay enjoyable. We hope to go back in March for Spring Break!

  • Stayed: May 2006
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29  Thank mwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
UK
145
Reviewed April 8, 2006

We were on a two week visit to Florida in April. Our first week was pre-booked (Oct 05) at South Seas Island Resort. We had been told 2 weeks in advance of our arrival that the resort still hadn't opened their new golf course, but that everything else was now open. On our arrival (11.30pm) we were told that "some" of the facilities were still not opened. Dawn provided not only the most wonderful sunrise and viws of an outstanding beach but major disappointment to find ourselves amongst a building site (and a very large one at that).

Only one of the 8 restaurants had been opened - and no spa, no shops, other than the small, poorly stocked deli, no room service and minimal other facilities. One can well understand the difficulities faced by the resort in recovering from Charlie, even though that was in 2004, and the fact the whole resort was sold 4 weeks ago, and the new owners have put a halt, albeit temporary, on any of the re-development.

South Seas Island Resort, will, no doubt, once again in the future, be beautiful, but I would caution about expecting any facilities to be available this season and get in writing or e mail, before you go, exactly what facilities are and are not available. And finally, whatever you do, ensure you use the resorts travel directions, and don't try and be smart as we were and use google directions. There is a permanent fatal flaw with googles software and Captivas Zipcode, and you'll be taken on the most terrible route which will try and take you to the tip of Gasparilla, only 15 miles away as they crow files, except there is no boat/bridge to get you there! If you follow google directions directions you'll end up with another 150 miles to retrace your steps.

  • Stayed: April 2006
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45  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2006

My husband & I have been going down to South Seas the last 16 years (+16 more with my family). We are anxiously awaiting its re-opening from Charley. It is relaxing & peaceful. The resort has its own trolley service that goes through the resort every 15 minutes. It is gated so you don't have everyone driving through the resort. You can rent bikes & go riding. Nearby restaurant, Mucky Duck, has the best BQ
shrimp plus many other great things. The resort has a kids club that my 7 & 10 year old love - not just staying inside watching a video. They have kids crab races by the many pool. The gulf of mexico's water is so blue & peaceful. The shelling is great. We go on l fishing charters with Captain Tim Hickey. We have had a fabulious time catching many different fish including shark & tarpon. Yes, the resort is not cheap, but so worth the experience. We visited Ding Darling National Wildlife to see nature in their home setting. Enjoy!

  • Stayed: April 2004
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10  Thank mmcw9989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Austin, Minnesota
14
Reviewed January 8, 2006

I am 18 years old and I have visited south seas 12 times. South Seas is an amazing resort for people of all ages. It truly has something to offer for everyone. I will agree with people that it is expensive, but some people need to realize that there are doctors, lawyers, and corporate executives in the world that can and will dish out money for a luxury vacation. And give me a break.... people are trying to compare this piece of paradise to the Keys? This isn't supposed to be a night club scene... it is a tropical resort! I love south seas and I will continue to visit each year with my family because of the tropical setting, 5 star accomodations, and family friendly environment. This resort is very laid back and comfortable and I would reccomend it to anyone that wants a luxury vacation. Research the resort and if you feel that you can afford it, I guarantee that you will have a great time!! I reccomend staying in a Condo and trying a different pool each day! My personal favorite is the pool at land's end!

Stayed: November 2003
4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
ROANOKE, VA
110
Reviewed April 26, 2005

We have visited SOUTH SEAS many times over the past 15 years. The natural beauty draws us back, year after year.

Every evening at sunset, We take a walk on the beach.It is usually a place for quiet solitude. You may see a few people doing the "Sanibel stoop", as Captiva and Sanibel have the most beautiful shells in the world. There is an area called "Red Fish Pass, that is beautiful beyond compare,especially at sunset, also We'll walk along the golf course, which is "picture perfect", with gorgeous gulf views at most of the 9 holes. If you are a golfer, you are in for a treat...................and if you are not......try the sunset walk !

We always stay in the HARBOURSIDE HOTEL and request a junior suite with a gulf view (No building is taller than the trees). Our favorite suite overlooks the fishing pier, which is busy with water sport rentals during the day, but in the evening turns into a peaceful tropical paradise..with pink clouds and turquoise water.

Having visited most of the Islands, including Bermuda and Hawaii, We would rank the accommodations as average, most of the restaurants are average, except for Kings Crown and also the steak restaurant, which are both exceptional. The service is also average throughout the resort. Many years ago they employed only college students from around the country. The resort was called SOUTH SEAS PLANTATION at that time and the service was truly exceptional.

As you can surmise....we like everything about SOUTH SEAS RESORT, but would especially recommend it..............if you would like to visit a "naturally" beautiful paradise !!

  • Stayed: May 2003
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10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2005

My husband and I visit Captiva at least once a year, and we typically stay at South Seas. The first time we stayed at South Seas, we booked directly through their reservation service, and paid way too much for a tiny room near the tennis courts. We got wiser and started booking through Royal Shell Vacations. The rates are much better than booking through South Seas. For example, you can rent a 1 bedroom/1 bath condo directly on the beach for approximately $185/night (maybe less in the summer) through Royal Shell. If you were to book the same type of unit through South Seas, you would pay at least $289/night.

If you go, book through Royal Shell Vacations. We have rented private homes and condominiums through Royal Shell and have never been disappointed with the accommodations.

When it's just me and my husband, we prefer to stay at South Seas in a 1 bedroom/1 bath condo. These units are close to the entrance of the resort, which makes the Captiva village area within walking distance.

Our favorite places to eat in Captiva are Key Lime Bistro for outdoor dining, Lazy Flamingo for relaxed atmosphere, Bubble Room for the awesome cake, and Mucky Duck for fabulous sunsets. Don't waste your money on the restaurants at South Seas. There are much better places to eat in Captiva and Sanibel.

One last word of advice. Do not go during Spring Break if you hate traffic and crowds. We usually go in late summer (when rates are 40% less) or at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Temperatures are still pleasant and there are less people on the islands.

  • Stayed: May 2004
    • Value
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26  Thank pantherfan1
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

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: $238 - $979 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — South Seas Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 458
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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