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“A "Must Stay" while visiting Sanibel Island”
Review of Sanibel Inn

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Sanibel Inn
Ranked #8 of 19 Hotels in Sanibel Island
Certificate of Excellence
Mequon, Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A "Must Stay" while visiting Sanibel Island”
Reviewed June 16, 2014

In looking for a short, 4-day getaway trip, we wanted to try somewhere in Florida we had never been. With several friends who vacation in the Fort Myers area and another who lives on Sanibel, we saw the photos of the Sanibel Inn and looked into it. The "L" shaped pool (I'm a former competative swimmer) caught my eye and the free bicycles for all guests to use was another attractive item. With over 20 miles of bike paths on the island...

We arrived to find immaculately groomed grounds and the owner at the front desk. We were a few hours early, but were told our room was ready and were given some simple directions around the complex.

Our room was what we expected from the pictures on the website. Our "Gulf View Guestroom" was spotlessly clean and did in fact have a view of not only the Gulf, but also the pool. While not a huge room, we didn't come to Sanibel Island to sit in a hotel room!

We unpacked, changed into "beach clothes" and headed out to see the grounds.

As we were told, the poolside restaurant/bar was open and we had a deliscious sandwich and a drink. A walk to the beautiful beach and we both said this is a place we will definately come back to!

The staff was extremely freindly and helpful, our room clean and quite, and if someone is looking for more amenities, I simply don't know what they could be. We will be back!

Room Tip: We are not "room sitters" but if a view of the Gulf is important, choose a second floor ro...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Don K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Roanoke, Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2014

We had a wonderful time during the four days we spent at the Sanibel Inn. Reception was friendly and informative and room was ready when we arrived. Our room Gulf View Suite was clean and comfortable with a nice view from the screened-in porch. One nice perk at the Sanibel Inn is all the inclusive beach and sports amenities. These include umbrellas, towels and chairs on the beach, bicycles, kayaks and tennis...all no extra charge. Bryan at the Tiki bar was a wonderful bartender and provided excellent service with a smile. We had breakfast at the restaurant (Blue Star?) the morning we left and wished we had explored that more during our stay.

The only negative I will mention relates to service and supply of beach equipment. It was common to wait for the beach attendant to show up or wait for towels. Also, when ordering food at the Tiki bar the bartender would have to leave the bar, for what seemed like a long time, to retrieve food from the kitchen.

Room Tip: Get you beach needs taken care of early. Give their restaurant a try.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rudylyon57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2014

I booked this place based on the trip advisor reviews.. We paid a lot almost $300 per night for a gulf front guest room. With 2 queen beds, the room was very small; we were always bumping into each other. Not much place to move around. It had only one bathroom with no exhaust fan. Not a good experience. The view from the room was great since it was facing the beach. We couldn't sit in the balcony and enjoy the view, since the A/C unit was making too much noise and emitting hot air. We couldn't hear the wave sound. We felt that we paid too much for the room. The kitchen area was so small; no silverware..If you are going with kids, I would say plan like you are going camping:-) You do get free internet though connection was not strong all the time. The room was clean though and the bathrooms stacked with towels and some basic supplies.
Now the good part. The staffs are very nice and helpful. Check in and check out was easy. As part of the stay, you can rent bike and go around. You can take a 30 minute kayak activity in the water. The beach is very clean; if you check in with the person in the pool bar , he will give you towels and the beach chair and install umbrella for you. The beach is amazing for shelling. We collected so many variety of shells, it was great. The pool was good too, though it didn't look dramatic as the picture. But we spent a lot of time in the pool. They even provide, noodles and tubes for the kids. Also you can rent tennis balls and racquet. Be aware that everything is open from 8-5 PM. After you check out, you can still hang out in the beach area and they have a shower/changing room near the registration room, which was cool.
Almost forgot, we DID see dolphins swim in the beach, it was super cool to watch.
Final word, Great place for amenities, but I think we overpaid for the room.

Room Tip: Paid a lot for the ocean front room. Was not able to enjoy the balcony since the AC unit was very no...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LalithaJay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2014

My wife and I planned a spontaneous honeymoon week. We booked a stay in St. Pete Beach for half the week and decided we'd see where we ended up. With her being from Southwest Florida and my love for that area, we decided to venture down to Sanibel and stay at the Sanibel Inn. We booked strictly off of other reviews, its location and price. We thoroughly enjoyed every part of our stay. The check-in process was as easy as it gets. The friendly staff member gave us a map of where our room was and the layout of the property. The resort fee (a nominal $12/day) includes kayaks and bicycles, provided by the resort, as well as beach chairs and umbrellas at the pool and on the beach, access to the resort's tennis courts and a daily New York Times delivered behind each room's door every morning. (I'm a big newspaper fan, so that was pretty awesome.) I got the impression they were trying to make our stay as great as possible, which meant not trying to nickle and dime us at every turn like some resorts might do for additional services. There was even a Keurig in our room with two K-Cups! We're big coffee fans, so this was a small, but awesome surprise. Our room was on the second floor of the Jasmine building and we had a great view of the Gulf of Mexico with a very short walk to get to the shore. The resort grounds were immaculate and the room was very clean. WiFi is free to guests of the resort. Cable includes a ton of channels (much more than the standard package). We only stayed for two nights, but wish it had been for longer. We'll definitely be coming back this winter and/or next year for our one year anniversary celebration. It's so close to a ton of amazing restaurants on the island (The Island Cow, Bennett's French Roast) and Captiva (The Bubble Room). Lastly, the gentleman who brought the beach chairs and umbrellas out to the beach was so professional despite so many different guests hounding him for chairs and umbrellas. There were a few guests who weren't being patient, despite him being the only staff member bringing the items to the beach. The professionalism from each employee was on display the duration of our stay. Give this place a try, you won't regret it.

Room Tip: Don't skimp: Get the gulf view room (second floor, if they have). Amazing view to wake up to and...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Paul D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clearwater, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2014

We found this place a few years back and managed to stumble into one of their "gulf front suites" and actually ended up having a really nice stay our 1st time. So we came back a couple times thinking we could capture the same magic we experienced on that initial visit.

The most recent trip was a 3 night stay over this past memorial day weekend. Unfortunetly EVERYONE else had the same idea... I know, a holiday weekend stay is rooky move however, we just thought we would take a chance to avoid burning vacation days. Wrong call!

Here is our "experience" with the resort itended soley as attempt to inform other readers:

Price - I actually called to confirm my reservation prior to arrival and they could not find my reservation. No biggy, plenty of availabilty so book another one. Then I managed to dig up an email with my original confirmation number. Wow a major price difference! No big surprise, normal hotel pricing tactic. The thing is, they have almost doubled the prices from our very 1st stay we enjoyed so much. Still a bargin? Not so much...

Chairs - So there is only a fixed number of chairs and umbrellas available on the beach. Again, pretty standard resort situation. Although, these guys automatically charge you a "activity" fee for theirs and unless you chalk up, get down on the beach before 9:00 am and fight it out with ALL the others, you are SOL for that day! BTW - After scraping one morning for a set then victoriously placing my towels on them, I returned just a short time later to find a glueless couple sitting in the chairs soaking wet on top of my clean towels. I guess it's a good thing I had'nt brought my cooler down there yet..!

Accomadations - The best rooms in the house are the gulf front suites. They are on the corners of each of the three gulf front buildings. On our second attempt, we quickly found out that the middle building sits just behind the left one so that corner sort of overlaps. Sitting on the balcony we soon realized we could see directly into the bedroom unit of the building in front and vise versa. To avoid that again this last time, I called ahead and explained my experience and requested a different building. I was told that it would depend on availability and they place patrons as 1st come, 1st serve. Really?

Pool Bar (don't consider this a grille) - Not sure where to start here... There really was no "service" other than standing there waiting for a drink. Yes you can order food there... IF you can get the bartender to look at you. Broken glass all over the ground. At least the guy warned us, would'nt clean it up, but he did warn us... There are a few tables, they were ALWAYS full however, they are there.

The beach - This the main reason you come. They have a excllent stretch with sugar white powdery sand. The water is pretty clear this far down the coast so you can see lots of sea life in the water. No jelly fish that we saw during any visits either. Those can be a show stopper!

Now, a lot of this stuff is pretty common bush league hotel practice. I would just keep that in mind when pricing this place. All in all it's not a bad pick for Sanibel, I just think we all can do waaaay better for the price point they are pushing now...

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Big_Jablonski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2014

We took a beach view room on the second floor and the view of the ocean was stunning.
The room was clean, supplied with shampoo, body wash and lotion, and well furnished with a table and chairs, a little refrigerator, microwave, and good lighting.
The only complaint we had is that there were no available rooms with a king size bed, which we would prefer to two full beds.
The beach is steps away, and is clean, and calm.

Room Tip: The higher floor has the best view.However, the rooms without a view are nice, and save some money.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ellieNewJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
des plaines, IL
Level 6 Contributor
39 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2014

We've stayed here before and we like this place very much. We were told that it's under new ownership and several things have been updated since our last stay. They now offer free internet, a place in the main office to print boarding passes, and a Keurig coffee machine in our room. The staff in the office was FAB - very nice and accommodating. Our room was clean and comfortable.

We had a small refrigerator and microwave, but no plates or silverware. A set of 4 plates, bowls and silverware would be nice. Granted, this was just a room, not even a kitchenette, but we bought cereal for breakfast and had no way to eat it. I stopped by the office and they did supply us with 2 paper bowls and plastic spoons, so they did make an effort to accommodate us and it was appreciated.

The only complaint I have is that we ordered 2 pina colada's at the poolside bar and it cost us almost $ 17.00 for 2 very small, watered down drinks. Not worth the money at all and very disappointing.

Overall, we will continue to stay at Sanibel Inn. The beach location is wonderful and the grounds are beautiful.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BusybeeKim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sanibel Inn

Property: Sanibel Inn
Address: 937 E. Gulf Dr., Sanibel Island, FL 33957-6994
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sanibel Island
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Sanibel Island
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Sanibel Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Sanibel Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 93
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Immerse yourself in nature at Sanibel Inn. The Inn offers a wide variety of accommodations and amenities surrounded by beautiful gardens and tropical palms. Come to Sanibel Inn to discover why Sanibel Island was just ranked #1 Favorite Worldwide Destination by Arthur Frommer and #5 Top US Beach by Trip Advisor. Just like the tropical flowers in the gardens, Sanibel Inn reflects the colors of the island. From the brightly painted exteriors to the warm soothing interiors of the guestrooms and suites, Sanibel Inn provides a relaxing and comfortable beach hideaway in one of the newly renovated guestrooms and one bedroom suites. Sanibel Inn also offers two-bedroom condominiums that are perfect for families or larger group of friends who wish to stay together. The Sea Star Café is located at the Inn and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with traditional café fare with an island twist. Sanibel Island is all about nature. Discover nature up close by bike via the 22 miles of paved bike and walking trails. Visit J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge to see a variety of migratory birds and explore an undeveloped mangrove ecosystem. Take a walk on the beaches and find rare shells such as the Junonia or 200 other species of shells. Take to the waters of the Gulf by kayak for a different point of view. Feel like a friendly tennis match, Sanibel Inn has a newly refurbished court on the grounds of the Inn or visit The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club. Sanibel Inn guests are also invited to golf at The Dunes where the greens wind through 75 acres of natural lake view fairways and Audubon Cooperative Society wetlands. After a morning of exploration, unwind by the pool and bathe in the warm Florida sun. Just steps away, the Beach Bar offers cool libations and poolside snacks. Sanibel Inn offers a gateway to the various activities on Sanibel and the perfect spot for a relaxing day in the sun. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanibel Hotel Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island Hotel
Sanibel Island Resort
Sanibel Inn Beach Resort
Sanibel Bed Breakfast

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