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“A tired hotel with interesting amenities” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sundial Beach Resort & Spa

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Sundial Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 19 Hotels in Sanibel Island
new york
Level Contributor
209 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“A tired hotel with interesting amenities”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 7, 2014

I had read Trip Advisor's reviews of Sundial which referenced a work down appearance and discussed my concerns with my travel agent. She then talked to this resort who assured her that apartments had been remodeled due to feedback like this.
So we signed on. We paid a lot of money per day for an apartment with soiled and worn furniture. The apartment was clean but smelled of clorox which was not very appealing.
Our travel agent believed while we were not directly on the beach that we would have a water view. We looked out a a solid wall of a building in front of us.
Out dinner the first evening was mediocre and the service was non-existant. By the time we were served at 9 Pm, we were the last people in the restaurant. I had a pasta with mixed sea food, which in reality had only pieces of one kind of fish. When I questioned what I had received, the server went away and somewhat later return with two very small shrimp to add to my dish.
We celebrated our anniversary while there and our son tried to have a bottle of wine delivered to us as a surprise. He got the run around for a while, and finally gave up.
We did not use the beach or pool facilities. We had not come for these amenities so i cannot really comment on them. The resort is directly on the water.
if you have a big family and are coming for sun and fun, this may be fine, but if you are accustomed to some quality of service and a nicer apartment, I would look elsewhere. We will certainly not be back.
The people at reception were courteous and informative, but could do nothing about our accommodations.

Room Tip: If you are paying for a beach vacation, be sure your apartment is actually on the beach with a beach...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank janeaustinNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julio M, Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 9, 2014
Dear Jane:
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review on your recent stay.

We will address these points. I assure you the feedback of our hotel will be reviewed and most certainly forwarded to the appropriate departments. We take the confidence our guests place in us very seriously and work diligently to rectify any unsatisfactory experiences. We take all reviews positive and negative very seriously, and your feedback will help us improve for our next guest or your next visit.
Thank you again.

Julio A. Morales
Director of Services
239-395-7231
julio.morales@sundilaresort.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,862 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Pittsburgh
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2014

We had a 1 bedroom condo with and ocean view for 10 days. Thay advertise high speed WiFi which was not the case. If you wanted to use your I pad at 2 AM you may have a chance. When I mentioned this to the front desk they recommended that I try to use my Ipad when people are out. That is when I want to be out also not sitting in my room. The main restaurant in the complex is only open Thur thru Sat. and that is during the peak season. the people at the front desk treat all customers as though they have stayed there every year. They give no information on amenities, which are paid for through a $20 per day per person or $100 per person per week Resort Fee. They wanted to place a $500 hold on my credit card for incidentals. I objected and said I would pay cash for any incidentals and agreed to a $50 hold. The woman then ripped up cards with our names on them and said we wouldn't need them. It turned out we needed them to access the amenities. One person at the front desk asked if I would like to speak to a manager, I said yes and they transferred me to his voice mail and he never returned my call. The island was beautiful but I would never return to the Sundail.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hank3667
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julio M, Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 9, 2014
Dear Hank 3667:
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review on your recent stay.
Yes, the associations are working on getting new internet provider on the condos. I am sure that while you were here you noticed that the internet service in the Main building was more than adequate.
I am surprised that you mentioned that you did not received a call back after reaching out to someone.
If possible I would like to talk to you to get some more details and to be sure that we better our experience for the future.
Please feel free to call me at 239-395-7231 or email me your contact information at Julio.morales@sundilaresort.com.
Thank you again for your feedback!
Julio A. Morales
Director of Services
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkshires, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2014

We spent a week at Sundial, our third time in four years (twice rented through the resort, once rented privately). The main difference for us with the current ownership is that we had free use of the resort bicycles - in the past we've rented bikes for about $40/week each (x4). It was great to have this included, and the bikes were in much better shape than the last time we were there. We had no problem getting what we needed when we wanted (adult bikes, kids bikes, and tandems).

The staff at the pool was much better than in the past - they were pleasant and helpful. Several years ago we found that they pretended you were not there waiting to get a towel. We also felt much less hassled by staff walking around the pool checking for wrist bands.

My kids would have liked to participate in some of the arts and crafts, but the prices were ridiculous - we were not going to pay $6-8 each for a little project that we would then just throw out. I know, I'm cheap, but when I'm paying a lot for the resort it seems like little bottle of sand art could be included in the price.

A couple of points that keep me from giving a 5 star review. The sofabed mattress was horrible! I know it's a sofabed, but it was lumpy and bumpy enough that my kids really complained. It was a bit better when we took the mattress off the sofa and just put it on the floor.

One thin cotton blanket was provided for the sofabed. We arrived late and needed to get the kids straight into bed - they slept in their clothes and sweaters (what they were wearing when we left Massachusetts in a blizzard). The next day I asked for extra blankets, which helped, but three thin cotton blankets were still not enough. A decent blanket or comforter would help with comfort immensely.

Housekeeping. I never know how I'm expected to deal with housekeeping during a week-long stay. I would like to leave a tip at the end, but I realize that it might not be the same person cleaning all week. The first day everything was cleaned perfectly, the second day not as well (all the hand towels were taken away, but no new ones were left, the decaf coffee was not replaced, little things like that). Just out of curiosity, I left a tip on the third morning, and the service was perfect again that day. It then deteriorated for the last few days (one day the pile of wet towels we left on the bathroom floor was still there after the room had been serviced, and on our final day we got clean towels - but only 2 of them for 4 people). I feel like tipping is supposed to be a reward for good service, not a payment in advance for any service. Honestly, we were happier when we rented a unit privately that did not include housekeeping - this way we were not expecting a service that we might or might not get.

Our apartment was quite nice. The kitchen was just barely well enough supplied for basic cooking (we cooked most of our own meals). Two TVs (but the remotes didn't work on the DVD player, which we could barely make work using the buttons on the machine - we could get it to play, but not to access any menus).

Overall, we had a very enjoyable trip. My kids love the main pool and the slide, which is the only reason we rented from the resort rather than privately. We got a great deal when we booked (I would never, ever, pay the $300+/night rates that show up on reservations page), and we will return in the future if we can find a good deal again.

Room Tip: We had a "coastal view" room, with a bit of a view of the Gulf. While it was very pleasan...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rachelsjunkmail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julio M, Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 9, 2014
Dear Rachel:
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on your recent stay with us.
I am glad to see that you and your family had a great time and you could appreciate the difference between renting thru the resort versus a private rental company.

We are hoping that when you come back we will even have Paddle Boards in addition to our bikes, kayak's, beach loungers and umbrellas included in our great amenity package.
I would like to know what unit you stayed at so we can communicate with its owner regarding their sofa bed.
Feel free to call me or email me.
Thank you again for your feed back and we look forward to seeing you again.

Julio A. Morales
239-395-7231
julio.morales@sundialresort.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lynn, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2014

My wife and I had a great time staying at Sundial but do to no fault by Sundial there were some glitches. I truly appreciate on employee, Shirley, who listened to the problem and went above and beyond to turn a problem into a solve matter and to ensure our stay was great. Thanks. Even after we left and had a problem, She was there to solve the issue. It is obvious to me that the new management is putting their money where their mouth is and building a great resort.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nathaniel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julio M, Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 9, 2014
Thank you so much for your comments. I am so glad to hear this about Shirley. She is a great employee. Please keep us in mind when you are back in the area.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethesda, Maryland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2014

Just returned from a six day stay. When making the reservations, I had requested a unit close to the main pool and access to the beach where the lounge chairs and umbrellas are set up because I have difficulty walking. Instead, we were placed in a unit much farther away. We could have changed a couple of days later when many had checked out but that would have taken several hours out of our short stay packing and then unpacking..and there was a toddler involved. There was no attempt upon arrival to accommodate my initial request.The unit was bright and decorated like a beach cottage. However, it was not that clean with hair and sand on the sofas, food on the floor under the dining table and dirty dishes in the cabinet. The bathrooms also had crud in the corners and along the baseboard. When doing the daily cleaning...it was basic not even changing the dish towel each day. The kitchen was minimally equipped and requesting a colander took several days....I was told equipping the unit is up to the owner but management doesn't check to see if there are the basics. Also, there were holes in the screens on the porch so sitting outside in the evening was precarious... like to be bitten by insects!!

As for the staff, on several days there were few to be seen. Requesting a beach umbrella one day took quite a while and when going to the desk to request one saw the attendant bouncing a ball against the wall while the person in charge said they had too many guests to take care of...there were five people sitting by the pool and no line for requests. There is no phone in the lobby and when requesting a phone to make a short 800 call and a pencil was told to go back to my room. She could not accommodate me.

As for the facilities...there is virtually no spa and very spotty WiFi. I was unable to use my laptop.
The pool area is lovely, however, if you enjoy swimming with toddlers or infants in swim diapers with parents squeezing the water from the diapers into the pool and checking for feces..go for it. Furthermore, there was no one checking the chlorine levels and no life guard.

The scene is lovely, but the place is huge, and there is little oversight from management. If you don't care about service or cleanliness...go for it.

Room Tip: Coastal views have a balcony where you can see the Gulf...no need for a more expensive room. The sou...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ashsi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julio M, Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 4, 2014
Thank you for your feedback and I am glad that we were able to exchange emails. This will helps us better our experience for the future.
Thank you again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2014 via mobile

My family and I had a wonderful
stay at the sundial resort. We had a beautiful one bedroom suite. Played tennis on the clay courts daily.
The location was beautiful and the use of the bicycles and kayaks were a bonus.
The people at the front desk were very helpful with a room change.we only at the pool restaurant and the food was very good. The bartenders could be a bit more friendly as well as some of the bike/kayak/umbrella staff. Otherwise it was a beautiful trip and would definitely visit again.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bhirten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lakeland, Florida
Level Contributor
91 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2014

Easy to find. Easy check-in. Seriously, the front desk person couldn't have been more helpful. Signage outside for the front desk sucks - go up the ramp and you're there but all the signs point you to a bar in the back at the pool.

The rooms are very nice, but show some maintenance issues. Little bits of grunge in the corners of the bathrooms and screened porch. The porch needs to be power washed more often. The sheets had some stains, but on the edges, not in the middle, so no big deal.

Really like the tile work in the bathrooms and floors. However there is a downside - the floors above you are also tile. If you get kids running around or people who are loud talkers or heavy walkers, well, it makes for a very noisy night for you. Carpeting would help absorb that some, or some good soundproofing.

WiFi is free and doesn't require a password. However, it's spotty at best. I couldn't stream Netflix or Amazon either night I was there. During the day it was a little better, but at night, forget about it.

Easy access to the beach. Good pool. Adequate parking. Housekeeping was lackluster and probably understaffed. Full kitchen with dishwasher!!

Bike rentals and kayak rentals are included with your room charge, which is really nice. It's easier to get around on a bike than in a car for the most part. It was foggy so we couldn't do the kayaks, but still a neat amenity. The fitness room is good but not spectacular. Of course, I never saw another person in it.

Overall, a typical beach resort, but for Sanibel prices I expect better WiFi and soundproofing. However, the staff does a good job and the amenities being all inclusive counts for an extra star.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Daniel34373
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

Property: Sundial Beach Resort & Spa
Address: 1451 Middle Gulf Drive, Sanibel Island, FL 33957
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: 190
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sanibel Island's most luxurious resort has completed a multi-million dollar renovation. 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 this unique barrier island off the southwest coast of Florida. Sanibel is two-thirds nature preserve providing visitors with an experience of Florida the way it used to be. Sanibel Island is a natural playground where you can feel the white sand between your toes, take a refreshing swim in the blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico or one of Sundial's pools and bike the miles of paved paths around the island. The Resort offers a wide array of activities and amenities for all ages including swimming in 5 heated pools, HydroGrid tennis 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, pristine shell-dotted beaches are just steps away. Voted Best Waterfront Dining in Southwest Florida, the resort's award winning 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. Sea Breeze Cafe offers casual dining and local, fresh ingredients with a true Sanibel Island tropical flair over looking 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 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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