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“Is it just me....?”
Review of West Wind Inn

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West Wind Inn
Ranked #6 of 19 Hotels in Sanibel Island
Certificate of Excellence
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Is it just me....?”
Reviewed June 15, 2012 via mobile

I read all the glowing four and five star reviews in TA and thought, "Wow, this place sounds great.". So I agree to plunk down close to $200 per night (this is off season pricing) for a "Gulf view" room and look forward to my long awaited Snook fishing trip on Sanibel Island. However, when I arrive, I am given the key to a dark, musty smelling room filled with what looks to be 1970s vintage furniture, complete with a tired king sized bed and even more exhausted pillows. Yes, the kitchenette and the quite cramped bath had recently been refinished, but this surely didn't make up for these accommodations and certainly not at these prices. So four days pass. What fun, what luxury. I couldn't wait to get home.

Really, I just don't get it. Could it be me, I wondered? Do I lack some fundamental tolerance or acceptance for being served second rate goods for first rate fees. Yes, the beach is great; and yes, the staff is nice, but this does not a great motel make. So where do all the great reviews come from??? I just returned from a month in Australia and New Zealand and all but one of our lodgings were far nicer and most of them cost less than this "Inn." I suspect this place is a sensational cash cow for its owners--who do the minimum to keep the customers content, ergo the new baths and kitchens, but no more than absolutely necessary, thus the thin, limp bath towels, the veteran bed, and the end of the campaign pillows. I'm just sorry it was my wallet that was milked.

Or maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe compared to the rest of Sanibel's inkeepers, this place is really a peach. I hope that's not the case. I close with the observation that picking hotels, even with a service like Trip Advisor, is a bit like Internet dating: One has to have a heathy sense of skepticism, and be prepared to dine with more than a few dogs. Oh, and never make the same mistake twice.

Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
Helpful?
13 Thank axisstar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, General Manager at West Wind Inn, responded to this review, June 23, 2012
We're sorry to learn that your accommodations at West Wind Inn didn't live up to your expectations. We appreciate your feedback, however, and especially your nice comments about our friendly staff, who we encourage to make every guest feel welcome and well-served. Should your travels bring you back to Sanibel Island, please give us another opportunity to satisfy you. -
Renee Affourtit,General Manger
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1,661 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (292)
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English first
Florida
Level Contributor
39 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2012

This is the first time my wife and i have been away by our selfs in 25 years always had our kids with our , The inn is excellent , clean, quite , and the staff go out of there way to help you , small full bar near the pool nice beach 200' from our door , we will return

Room Tip: 148-152 are right on the beach , we had room 137 very quite first floor
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Guy125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guelph, Canada
Level Contributor
127 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2012

The motel units at West Wind Inn have very comfortable beds, refrigerators, a flat screen TV and a microwave. The air conditioner was very quiet and efficient. The large well-maintained pool in the tastefully landscaped inner court is overlooked by a pleasant pool bar serving drinks and snacks throughout the day.

The beach slopes gently and is ideal for walking and "shelling"; an important local pastime given the thousands of colourful shells available. Small sting rays swim in the shallows at the edge of the water and one must "shuffle" when entering to avoid stepping on a ray and getting stung. When the water was murky, this inhibited us and reduced our ocean swimming.

The on-site Normandie Seaside Pub is beautifully decorated, serves excellent breakfasts every day and offers dinner on Friday and Saturday. Their staff are very friendly and their dinners are superb for the price. We would have eaten there every night had they been open.

West Wind Inn is an excellent choice for a relaxing three or four day stay. An added bonus is that in addition to the daily newspaper, they supply microwave popping corn every day; a very welcome first for us in any motel. Delicious.

We were impressed to receive a letter from the manager thanking us for completing their customer survey. This reflected the friendliness of all the staff, which contributed greatly to our enjoyment of the resort.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the ground floor of the inner court. These have direct access to the pool and beac...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Redfox-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, General Manager at West Wind Inn, responded to this review, June 23, 2012
Thank you for sharing your experience at West Wind Inn with others. Your review was very comprehensive and should be a great help to others who may consider a stay here. We strive to provide the excellent guest facilities and amenities, and we appreciate your feedback. We look forward to your return visit in the future. Sanibel has much to offer and we like to think we bring it all together here at TRUE SANIBEL. Come back soon. -
Rene Affourtit, General Manager
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Fort Myers, Florida
Level Contributor
66 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2012

My husband and I have been staying at the West Wind Inn with our family for over twenty years. West Wind is the last in a long string of hotels and condos, beyond the Inn is nothing but private homes which are usually unoccupied when we visit during the summer months so we generally have the beach to ourselves. Over the many years we have visited I believe they have done an excellent job of maintaining the Inn. Our rooms have always been very clean and we find the staff friendly and accommodating. There are two seasonal rates and if you go during the prime season, Feb - April 15, you can expect to pay more. We generally visit during the summer and have found the rates to be fair and consistent with other hotels on the island. And, they also offer incentives for return stays. All the locals recommend this location for both shelling and dining. Try the Lighthouse omelet for breakfast and the grouper sandwich from the pool bar for lunch, both great values!

Room Tip: On our last visit we stayed in Room 206 had a great ocean view from our balcony (at no additional ch...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank CathWrenMoore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, General Manager at West Wind Inn, responded to this review, June 23, 2012
We are so fortunate to have repeat visitors like you. Your loyalty is appreciated, as is your description of pleasant stays at West Wind Inn. We know your feedback will be helpful to others who are considering a stay here for the first time. We look forward to your return. -
Rene Affourtit, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westland, Michigan
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed May 31, 2012 via mobile

Spent memorial weekend at the West Wind. I very much enjoyed the pool and the closeness to the beach. I should have booked a room with a larger bed because I was not comfortable in the full size bed. I did not enjoy the lunch at the pub. The Driftwood has remodeled bathrooms and they are very nice. Great value.

  • Stayed May 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Susieq4158
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, General Manager at West Wind Inn, responded to this review, June 23, 2012
Thank you for letting us and others know about your stay at West Wind Inn. We strive to be excellent at providing a TRUE Sanibel experience. As human beings, we are imperfect. But we are pleased that the overall evaluation of your stay was very positive. When you return, please let us know what we can do to come even closer to you expectation. That is our goal. -
Rene Affourtit, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2012 via mobile

Great place to getaway from the normal overcrowded highrise typical beach destinations. Very good service, clean rooms, and excellent price makes this property shine. Right on the beach great location. Not a snobby high end property, just a slice of heaven. If your looking for posh this is not the place, although updated rooms are fairly small. Superb old Florida retreat nice and quiet. In the end I highly recommend for a romatic getaway. Great for the soul. I will visit again for sure.

Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Biztravler1127
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Janet F, Manager at West Wind Inn, responded to this review, November 2, 2012
Couldn't agree more with you. But it is gratifyingl to see you say it.. Thanks for your review. Come back when you can.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2012

This will be our fourth trip to the West Wind Inn at Sanibel Island, Florida within the last ten years. This facility can be described as a great value as the Condominium rentals or Time Shares are not only expensive but also require a minimum weekly stay. The West Wind is much more flexible and will permit a shorter stay at a reasonable price. The facility is not five-star but has all the ammenities one would require for swimming in the pool or Gulf of Mexico, walking the beaches, collecting shells or cycling on the many miles of paved bike trails. Bikes can be rented at the Hotel for a reasonable price of $16 per day.We made the short trip to Captiva and experience an unbelievable guided tour of Buck Island and the mangroves tunnels.
The rooms are typical hotel style rooms with a screened porch separated by a sliding door. Having two methods of entering the room allows for easy access from the Beach and a place to keep sandy items, collected shells and wet bathing suits, which helps keep the room clean.The hotel maintains a separate area with running water for cleaning shells or the catch-of-the day so the bathrooms do not have to be used for this purpose.The beds have unbelievably comfortable matresses which makes for a pleasant sleeping experience. The Normadie Restaurant on the premises and operated by the hotel is open for Breakfast,Lunch and Dinner and is reasonably priced.The staff at the restaurant provide great service and we noticed the same waiters and waitress from our original trip 10 years ago. Coffee is available in the main lobby 24 hours a day although coffee and coffee pots are available in every room as well.We discovered over the years that many restaurants on Sanibel are over-priced and lacking in quality, so beware of the come on. The Normandie has been consistant on both quality and affordability if you want to keep it simple and avoid the disappointment of trying a new restaurant. Local newspapers were delivered to our room on a daily basis which was a nice touch that is often overlooked at your typical beach resort.
One negative is limited cell phone service as our T-mobile provider had intermittant service. Verizon was fine.This obviously is not the fault of the West Wind Inn. As an alternative, the facility has free WIFI service so bring a laptop if you are so inclined. The kitchenette had a refrigerator and microwave but lacked eating utensil and plates. Disposable items would have been adequate. Despite these minor issues we will gladly return to the West Wind Inn for our future travels to Sanibel!

Room Tip: Ask for Poolside on the first floor
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jweaver0124
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, General Manager at West Wind Inn, responded to this review, June 23, 2012
Thank you for your evaluation and observations. Sanibel is a difficult place to be perfect given that even Arthur Frommer called it his favorite place in the world. That is a high standard to meet. But we strive everyday to provide a TRUE SANIBEL experience, and you comments suggest we mostly succeeded for you. We have no control over cellphone reception. The natural orientation of Sanibelians tends to limit the construction of cell towers. As you pointed out, however, our free wifi opens communications channels for those who bring laptops or 3g Phones. We look forward to seeing you again on our Sanibel beach as a guest at West Wind Inn -
Rene Affourtit, General Manager
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 West Wind Inn

Property: West Wind Inn
Address: 3345 West Gulf Drive, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-5501
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sanibel Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Sanibel Island
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Sanibel Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — West Wind Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 103
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
West Wind Inn is a peaceful beach-front resort on 500 feet of shelling beach. Choice of rooms includes standard guest rooms with garden or Gulf views; and guest rooms with kitchenettes, with garden or Gulf views. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at restaurant, Normandie ; or go casual with food and drinks at our Upper Deck Poolside Bar. Swim, shell and stroll our endless beach. Do laps in our large heated pool; relax at our poolside bar and umbrella-shaded tables and chairs. Play tennis and shuffleboard or venture off-site. Sanibel Island is home to world-famous Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, outdoor recreation, theatrical venues, shopping, dining and historical attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
West Wind Hotel Sanibel Island
West Wind Sanibel Island

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