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“Disappointing”

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Sundial Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 19 Hotels in Sanibel Island
Certificate of Excellence
Winnipeg
Level Contributor
31 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
Reviewed January 6, 2014 via mobile

We had chosen this resort as a place to celebrate christmas with our adult children. It was quite a disappointment
The resort advertised that it had been newly renovated,but that did not include the condo that we stayed in! It was very dated, the dishwasher didn't work, bathroom had black??? where the tub was calked to mention a few things. The daily cleaning was minimal at best and the balcony was not swept the whole time we were there.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank 973cathyh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (330)
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English first
Andover, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2014

In honor of my mother's 90th birthday, our family made reservations through a travel agent for 2 units. Each unit was supposed to have a bedroom with a king bed, a bedroom with 1 or 2 double beds, and a den with a queen size pull out sofa. Each unit was supposed to be able to sleep 6. The units were to be in the same building so our family, 11 people ranging in age from 4 months to 90, would be close together. We made the reservations for 12/26/13-1/2/14 at the end of July, 2013. One week before departure our travel agent was notified that the reservation could not be honored. One of the units had been withdrawn by the owner, allegedly because of a disoute with management, and no other similar unit was available. We were given 3 studio units instead, which were on the opposite end of the property from the remaining larger unit. On arrival, we found that the remaining larger unit did not have the features promised - instead, it had one bedroom with a king bed, one bedroom with twin beds, no den or pull out sofa- so it could not sleep the number of people anticipated, necessitated putting the infant's crib in a closet, and was extremely uncomfortable for the couple sleeping in the twin beds- what kind of vacation is that?!? In addition, on arrival, the hot water didn't work, the stove didn't work, the bedroom fan did not work, there was no phone to connect to the resort, It took the better part of a day to get things fixed, never got a land line. On 12/28, a unit matching the description of what we reserved became available, so family members moved out of the 3 studios into that unit. So 2 days of our precious vacation time was spent getting settled, which was a real pain. Most of the people who we dealt with in trying to fix things were very nice, apologetic, particularly the manager Ben, who agreed to waive the daily resort fees because of the mix-up. However, at check out time, the bill included the resort fees. When this was questioned, the person who handled the check-out was totally grouchy, unhelpful, making an already trying experience worse.

The fitness center is a joke. Room is dark, smells bad, has limited old equipment, no weights or mats. The tennis courts are good quality clay. There is water in coolers adjacent to courts, but no cups for the water (despite requests made each day of the vacation to have cups available). Resort says it has rackets and balls, but rackets have no grips and balls are dead. If you want to play, bring your own equipment and balls. Court scheduling is haphazard. There is no chart so frequently courts are booked for 2 parties at once. One court had no net but was booked to play on.

Several good features:

-breakfast buffet is great, with wide variety, wonderful fresh fruit, great omelette makers, and best bacon

-resort is clean and nicely landscaped

-pool is large, warm, nicely situated; poolside restaurant and bar have good food but service really slow

-free bicycles and helmets (don't know if there are bikes with attachments for toddlers or bikes for children), kayaks with life vests readily available and in good condition

-people who work there, ie- waiters and waitresses, pool attendants, landscapers, housekeepers- all friendly

-food in restaurant very good and well-priced, but service slow; our family thought the chocolate cake was the best we ever had

-gulf beach beautiful

-resort well-situated to reach other island attractions

In summary, Sanible is a great vacation destination. This resort has potential, but would not go back anytime soon.

Room Tip: 1- If you want quiet, stay away from rooms around pool and main building 2. Make sure that the ro...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank doreetb719
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Benjamin S, Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
Dear doreetb719,

Thank you for your sharing your recent experience at the Sundial Beach Resort.

While you and your party did experience an unprecedented experience and one beyond the Resort's control, we are relieved that you were able to take advantage of the opportunities that staying at the Resort offers. We value and appreciate your feedback and will inspect the items mentioned in your review needing attention.

The Resort's Management takes the commitment to customer satisfaction and the overall experience very seriously and we hope you will give us the opportunity to prove that for you in a follow up visit.

Join us again in the near future during Sundial “Winterfest” as we offer great live entertainment at the main pool deck and Sea Breeze Restaurant. There will also be dining and activity specials for kids of all ages available.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Resort. Please contact us at any time at 239-472-4151.

Thank you

Your Sundial Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leawood, Kansas
Level Contributor
115 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2013

We stayed over Thanksgiving 2013 and had a great time. We were in a beachfront 2 bedroom unit in building K. The location was great and it was a very short walk right onto the beach. I found that our building was much closer to the water than any other resort up and down the beach. The pools were great and heated. The staff was very helpful, cheerful, and accommodating to our needs. The restaurants on site left something to be desired but the bar by the pool and inside the main building had great service and a good selection with lots of TV to catch a game. We had a great time in all and would definitely recommend it to anyone, especially families.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank HawkMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Benjamin S, Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 4, 2014
Dear HawkMD,

Thank you for sharing your experience from your last visit at the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa.We are pleased to hear that you and your family enjoyed their stay during the recent holiday.

Our goal is to make your stay as memorable as possible and it sounds as though our staff was able to accomplish that for you.Located right on the beach our location is second to none and with five heated pools and a hot tube there's fun to be had even on the coolest of Florida days.

Join us again in the near future during Sundial “Winterfest” as we offer great live entertainment at the main pool deck and Sea Breeze Restaurant. There will also be dining and activity specials for kids of all ages available.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Resort. Please contact us at any time at 239-472-4151.

Thank you

Your Sundial Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Coast FL
Level Contributor
126 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2013

We spent four nights in December 2013 in a two bedroom, two bath, den, kitchen and LR/DR rental right on the beach at the Sundial Resort and Spa on Sanibel Island. The location was very handy to get to many places, and we took advantage of a stay three get one free offering. There were two couples, and it cost about $600 a couple with all costs, fees, taxes added on. Many amenities available such as spa, bikes, pools, kayaks, and more. The suite was very roomy, with large open areas opening onto a very large screened lanai, and since we had a second story unit in the East Section, we also had a large screened lanai on the ground level. Privacy was good, at least in our end, oceanfront unit, and quiet if you choose the Eastern End of the resort. Staying in the main building or close by could be less quiet during the season, with the main pool and recreation area being located there also. If there is music, it might be too loud. The unit had obviously been recently renovated, and was attractively done, although there were some finishing touches that had been overlooked. Some missing floor tile, and one of the three TVs was not functioning. We reported the needs so it would be ready for the next guests, but it did not detract from our experience. Walking out the lanai directly to the beach across a small board walk was very nice, the full moon on the ocean at night was even better! A very romantic setting, and well worth the price. We would return at another time, and make it a point to be there in the pre-Christmas rush again as well.

Room Tip: Stay away from rooms near the middle of the resort. Try the ends, and end units on the ends.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MatureTravelers778
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Benjamin S, Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 4, 2014
Dear MatureTravelers778,

Thank you for sharing your experience from your last visit at the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa.

We are happy to hear that the accommodations on property fit your needs. As we have a variety of unit sizes there is sure to be a unit for every individual, family or groups needs.

Join us again in the near future during Sundial “Winterfest” as we offer great live entertainment at the main pool deck and Sea Breeze Restaurant. There will also be dining, and activity specials for the whole family available.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Resort. Please contact us at any time at 239-472-4151.

Thank you

Your Sundial Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dayton, Ohio
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2013

After being closed for about 5 years, the restaurant is a highlight on the island. The outdoor seating overlooks the pool and gulf. This is the best restaurant view of the gulf on the island. The food is reasonable and good. Service was friendly and relaxed. The renovations are beautiful.

Room Tip: We haven't stayed there, bur will visit the restaurant each time we are on the island.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Laura M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Benjamin S, Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 4, 2014
Dear Laura M,

Thank you for sharing your dining experience from your recent visit at the Sundial Beach Resort.

Our culinary team has taken advantage of the new dining options and the fantastic views to incorporate many of the great flavors that originate here on the Gulf Coast. With a wide variety of dishes available from breakfast to dinner, there's something on our menus for everyone.

Join us again in the near future during Sundial “Winterfest” as we offer great live entertainment at the main pool deck and Sea Breeze Restaurant.

Thank you

Your Sundial Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, Michigan
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 8, 2013

We stayed here for a week in November that was a bonus week that came with a cruise we purchased through RCI. I was a bit leery after reading some of the reviews about the condo units. I even asked Paige at the front desk if I could look at the room first before I gave her my credit card. I did end up giving her my card number beforehand after she assured me that if i didn't like the unit she would find one that was to my liking. My family and I went to check it out and it was very nice and immaculate! It was a first floor unit with a screened in patio that did not have an ocean view but we didn't care. It was only a two minute walk to the beach. The place was built in the 70's but it has been refurbished in parts. Lovely lobby and great pool with a nice bar and restaurants with great wait staff and bartenders. We really felt at home there. We used the bikes that they have for free for guests and rode around the area. The island is very bike friendly. It was very enjoyable! There are great restaurants in the area. I would recommend The Starfish at the Holiday Inn nearby and Cips which is on Periwinkle. Beautiful garden setting there. Great service and food! We even ventured to Captiva Island for dinner one night. I highly recommend The Green Flash restaurant which is right on the Gulf. Awesome dinner! I had the lobster tail and that thing almost filled my whole plate! It is an upscale place and they treated us like we were family. I keep thinking about that place and Captiva. That is a gorgeous place! Worth the drive out just for the scenery. Unbelievable homes along the Gulf. We did do a dolphin sunset cruise but didn't see any dolphins. That was okay because it was nice anyway and we met some folks who were from Michigan where we are from and ended up meeting up with them for dinner. Overall, The Sundial is a great place! We would love to go back again soon. I may even purchase one of the units. That's how much I enjoyed it there.

Room Tip: It may be better to be on the top floor so there isn't any noise from the people above you.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lov2travel50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Benjamin S, Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 4, 2014
Dear Lov2travel50,

Thank you for sharing your experience from your last visit at the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa.

We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your time in our newly remodeled Resort. Between the newly renovated lobby, the location right on the beach and the updated accommodations there has never been a better time to visit the Sundial.

Join us again in the near future during Sundial “Winterfest” as we offer great live entertainment at the main pool deck and Sea Breeze Restaurant. There will also be dining and activities specials available.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Resort. Please contact us at any time at 239-472-4151.

Thank you

Your Sundial Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WI
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2013

We just got back from a wonderful 4 night stay at the Sundial for a little Thanksgiving vacation. We could not have asked for a better place to stay and relax! Our condo was in building J, with a great view and all the amenities a family of 5 could ask for! With the full kitchen, we had the options of eating out at a restaurant, or just staying in and cooking something up ourselves. We were also close to the main pool, where all the action took place (including a visit from the pilgrims on Thanksgiving! ;-) )
We did try a few excursions, but all three boys preferred to hang out at the resort. By paying a $30 a day resort fee, we had towels, beach chairs, bikes and kayaks (which we couldn't use because our little one), sand toys, balls, etc. all at our disposal. The pool area was clean and very family friendly, including a fun little shell water-slide. We could even bring inflatables in the pool, which added extra fun. My boys also enjoyed partaking in the kids activities and crafts, which included making shell bracelets, sand bottles, and racing hermit crabs! The men running these activities were so friendly, my little guy loved goofing around with them.
To top off all the great amenities this resort had to offer, all the staff were super friendly and helpful. From the people at the front desk to those who cleaned around the resort, we were always greeted with a smile!
After our stay, my husband and I (along with the kids) agreed we must return to the Sundial! We also think it would be a wonderful place to have our extended family meet and stay for a family getaway!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank The_Common_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Benjamin S, Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 4, 2014
Dear The Common Traveler,

Thank you for sharing your experience from your last visit at the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa.

We are ecstatic that you and the family had such a memorable time! We truly appreciate the time you have taken to share your experience. It sound's as though you and your family took advantage of all this great property has to offer.

Join us again in the near future during Sundial “Winterfest” as we offer great live entertainment at the main pool deck and Sea Breeze Restaurant. There will also be dining, and activities specials available.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Resort. Please contact us at any time at 239-472-4151.

Thank you

Your Sundial Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sundial Beach Resort & Spa

Property: 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:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Sanibel Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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 And Golf Resort
Sundial Beach & Golf Hotel Sanibel Island
Sundial Beach Hotel
Sundial Beach Resort
Sundial Beach Sanibel Island
Sundial Sanibel Island

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