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“Could have been better”

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Sundial Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #6 of 20 Hotels in Sanibel Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 31, 2012

We choose the Sundial for it's open to the public tiki bar on the beach. We were looking for a nice sunset cocktail with some beachy sunset ambiance. The Sundial advertised a sports bar & a tiki bar open to the public in one of the little island newspapers. We passed on the sport's bar. It had the advertised billiard tables & customers at their tables but looked like it was closed. We walked on to the outside tiki bar next to a very busy pool area. We had a $10 fruity cocktail in a small plastic cup served by a harried bartender that said "she didn't usually work this area". We were handed a dinner menu copied on crumbled printer paper. After finding out the item we were going to order wasn't available we drank our cocktails & left. I had just expected more from a resort on an island like Sanibel.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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5  Thank AntKaybe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luis A, General Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2012

Dear Tartle,

Thank you very much for commenting on your stay with us. We truly appreciate your valuable words. We do strive to find the best units for our guest’s. Since all our units are privately owned their furniture and décor varies from unit to unit, we always try to find the best accommodations for our guests.

Thank you again and we do hope to have you back in the near future.
Please do not hesitate to contact us any time for assistance at 239-472-4151.

Warm Regards,

Your Sundial Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,308 - 2,314 of 2,389 reviews

Reviewed July 26, 2012

This is the second time we stayed at the Sundial. The location and the view from our room was second to none. But the service and the cleanliness was worse than most. Great potential but changes need to be made.

  • Stayed: July 2012
    • Value
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4  Thank idocOH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marina B, Front Office Supervisor at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 1, 2012

Dear idocOH,

Thank you for your valuable Feedback. Please accept our sincere apology for disappointing you the last time you visit. Depending on the Unit Type, our units offer different views from Garden to Gulf Views.
We can assure you all issues that you experienced, an appropriate action will be taken to resolve them. The Sundial just changed ownership, and we are planning to bring back the Sundial as it used to be and more. We hope we will get the opportunity to win back your confidence in the near further.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.
Please do not hesitate to contact us any time for assistance at 239-472-4151.

Thank you
Your Sundial Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2012

Our reservation was made by a travel agent. We were coming from another hotel in Naples, so we called ahead for early check in. We were told they would try but no guarantees. We were told if we arrived early we could "pre check in" and our room would be ready asap.

We arrived at 11:15 AM. Quite early. We were told that check out is only at 11, but that they would get to our room as soon as possible. They took our cell phone. We went out touring. No call ever. When we got back to the hotel, it was raining. It was 3:30. We were told the room was not ready yet (4 1/2 hours later) but they didn't guarantee rooms until 4:00. They were unable to reach the housekeeping for an update. I asked, why if check out was at 11, and we had arrived at 11:15, our room couldn't be made up first. Some rooms had to be done before other. We were given the same answer, no guarantees until 4:00. Not even the words I'm sorry.

We hung around another 15 minutes. The ceiling was leaking in the lobby, the bathrooms smelled and we decided to leave. As of now, they have kept our first night's deposit. We will see if the credit card company helps with this one.

Room Tip: Choose a room in another hotel
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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8  Thank Howard W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LuxuryResorts, General Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2012

Please be assured this guest will be contacted directly by me for resolution to this issue and sincere apologies are truly extended.

Anthonia Smith
General Manager
Sanibel Sunset Beach Inn

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Reviewed July 24, 2012

Very nice location right on the beach. (No steps) Our two bedroom condo was very luxurious and clean. The restaurant was reasonable and good! Our $20 resort fee included bikes and kayaks.

We were in building F, and the closest pool was pretty crowded and small with lots of kids. (the only negative)

We would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank Jane K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marina B, Front Office Supervisor at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 1, 2012

Dear Jane K,

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts about the Sundial. We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us and were able to take advantage of our restaurant and amenities. Unfortunately on busy days, the condominium pools can get a little bit crowded, since this is the only pool access for guests booking outside of our program.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future. Thank you again for your valuable feedback. Please do not hesitate to contact us any time for assistance at 239-472-4151.

Your Sundial Team

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Reviewed July 22, 2012

Overall, place was okay. It is an older resort. Beach is great and so are the staff. The bathroom is really small and our shower wouldn't drain. The location is good and you can bike to any place on the island. We didn't eat at the resort b/c there are so many good places around. Pool was nice, but the main pool heater wasn't working. There was a wedding almost everyday. The bartenders at the pool bar were great and told us all of the hotspots for nightlife.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank CarentheCougar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2012

Booked a 3 night stay for what was supposed to be a RELAXING beach vacation. It started at check-in where there was no record of my reservation. Even after pulling up the confirmation email on my phone displaying my confirmation number, the manager still could not find my reservation. After all the searching, i was given an equivalent 2br/2bth suite. The strong mildew odor that was similar to what a dirty wet dog would smell like, was the first thing we noticed upon entering. I attributed this to being a beach condo and figured once we turned up the air conditioning or opened the sliders it would go away. We left right after for dinner and returned and the smell was just as strong. The "we care" extension on our hotel phone rang forever and i gave up for the night. Trying to get settled in, we discovered a fresh blood stain on the white duvet indicating the bed linens were not washed or changed between quests. The ice maker in the refrigerator was broken, as was the kitchen faucet. A large section of the tiled lanai had loose, broken tiles. The shower doors did not slide and the entire frame was coming off the wall. While the staff offered to send over a repairman for the shower, the smell was unbearable and i opted to just change rooms . The new room was definitely cleaner but after a few hours it was apparent it wasn't maintained properly either. The in-room washing machine did not work. The toilet tank had a huge crack in it. The shower did not drain while you were showering in it. The coffee machine did not work. The elevator in our building was also broken and we had to take the steps to the 4th floor until that was repaired. The complimentary wi-fi would disconnect every few minutes throughout our entire stay. While i knew i was not going to a 5 star resort, i at least expected for over $300 a night, a clean room with functioning amenities. We chose Sundial in Sanibel to just relax on the beach and have the conveniences of a condo. Unfortunately, all the problems and disruptions had the opposite effect on our trip. The hotel just changed owners AGAIN, and hopefully they will create new standards for this disorganized, unmaintained outdated condo complex on a beautiful beach.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
4  Thank D H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2012

I saw the negative review of this unit from last year but the newer pictures looked decent and the rental company reported a remodel in the summer of 2011. It definitely has some new furniture and bedspreads. However, this was not a complete remodel. Some of the chairs were still older, as was the bedroom carpeting. Kitchen and bathrooms were also outdated but still functional. This place does need a bit more attention- master bedroom lock doesn't work, a few cracks in the walls, etc. Nothing major though and it seemed clean. It is an older building and therefore we expected the lower ceilings and other subtle signs of age (such as irregular AC control). We have young kids and needed a place that was as close to the beach as possible. I don't think there's a closer building on the island! The stretch of beach is very nice and not crowded. The view from the 4th floor lanai was absolutely outstanding and there was a table and chairs out there for meals. This was why we chose this unit. Thankfully there is an elevator. The nearby pool was nice and warm. The kids never saw the main pool with slide (it's surrounded by greenery) so we didn't have to deal with extra fees. Check in was a breeze, about 5 minutes away by car. We rented towels from the rental agency ($2 per person per week) and there were beach chairs in the unit. There were a few games and puzzles but we bought our own sand toys for about $10 locally. No flat screen TVs and the wi fi was spotty at best. There were DVD players. Overall, this trip was memorable because of the beach, pool, and scenery. This was just a place for us to stay. I still think it's pricey for what you get, but that seems typical on Sanibel. We would stay elsewhere next time. There do not appear to be significant services even for those who rent directly from Sundial, and I'm guessing we could find a better place for the price. Many guests were unhappy about being assigned outdated rooms when they booked through Sundial. At least we knew what we were getting into. If you're looking for the best view on the island, however, you may want this unit.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank MNBBadger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sundial Beach Resort & Spa

Address: 1451 Middle Gulf Drive, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-6521
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sanibel 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 Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Sanibel Island
Price Range: $177 - $509 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sundial Beach Resort & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 205
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Voted "BEST FULL SERVICE RESORT ON THE ISLANDS" and "BEST STAYCATION IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA" for four years in a row, Sundial Beach Resort & Spa is the centerpiece of Sanibel Island, a unique barrier island on Florida's southern Gulf Coast. The island is a natural playground where visitors enjoy miles of pristine beaches, nature preserves, water sports and award winning bike paths. Awarded TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence, Sundial Beach Resort & Spa offers a wide array of activities and amenities for all ages including swimming in 5 heated pools, HydroGrid tennis courts, 12 new pickleball courts,cabanas, kayaks, paddle boards, bike tours, golf, organized activities, a marketplace, spa and sea school. One,two and three bedroom residences feature options for views with the conveniences of home in a tranquil, tropical setting. These Residences offer a full kitchen with housewares, living/dining area, full baths and ample space that is ideal for couples or larger families. Best of all, Sanibel's world-renowned, shell-dotted beaches are just steps away from your door. Voted Best Waterfront Dining in Southwest Florida, the resort's restaurants offer indoor and outdoor dining options and delicious menu selections. Look forward to an authentic experience as your dinner is artfully prepared right before your eyes at Shima Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar, the area's only Japanese steakhouse. Shima's Grab N Go provides take out sushi for those on the go. Sea Breeze Cafe offers casual dining and local, fresh ingredients with a true Sanibel Island tropical flair overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Sundial's tiki-style poolside eatery, Turtle's Pool & Beach Bar, serves up delicious signature drinks at the bar and family-friendly patio. Slice of Paradice provides the perfect poolside venue for tasty treats such as pizza, ice-cream, hotdogs and salads- perfect for beach-goers and sunset strollers. A daily resort fee includes the use of beach umbrellas and chairs, beach towels, kayaks, paddleboards, bicycles, beach volleyball, fitness center, wifi, organized activities and tennis & pickleball court access. In addition to being voted Best Full Service Resort and Best Staycation, the resort has been regionally recognized for Best Event Facilities, Best Chef, Best Server, Best Happy Hour, Best New Restaurant, Best Sushi, Best Tiki Bar, Best Waterfront Dining and Best Tennis on the Islands. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sundial Beach & Golf Hotel Sanibel Island
Sundial Beach And Golf Resort
Sundial Beach Hotel
Sundial Beach Resort
Sundial Beach Sanibel Island
Sundial Sanibel Island

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