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“Beautiful grounds but website doesn't give you what is in print for reservation”

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Waterside Inn on the Beach
Ranked #6 of 19 Hotels in Sanibel Island
Certificate of Excellence
Warrington, Pennsylvania, United States
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Beautiful grounds but website doesn't give you what is in print for reservation”
Reviewed November 12, 2011

I actually was impressed by the setting and landscape of Waterside when we first arrived for my son's wedding scheduled for Nov. 5th( on the beach with tent setup for reception. )We had 16 parties staying at the Waterside for wedding. So Waterside did make a profit. Service for clean towels etc., seemed to be acceptable. Thenl things snowballed with responses on original questions contrary to what we were originally told when we booked. The owner actually told me that when I made the reservation I should have asked if the condo was renovated. "Hello", I already had printed confirmation of what the condo provided.
My relatives had updated condos which were very nice. My husband and I plus two other adults in our condo had a disaster. The biggest complaint I had was the "king sized bed" in master bedroom which turned out to be 2 twin beds pushed together. Our feet hung out over the edge and I'm 5' 3". The mattresses were in very bad shape. Also, noticable immediately were the missing slats on blinds both in the master bedroom and guest room...... no privacy. Next, the toilet in the guest bathroom overflowed and before that it would not flush numerous times. The last night we ran dishwasher and water poured onto the floor since the dishwasher was so old. It actually showed rust on the outside. My husband tried to use the hairdryer the last day since I had aready packed ours and guess what ,it didn't work. Forget the iron...... a shirt was scorched with rust. The owner below our condo also smoked on their lanai and since we had the AC turned off because it got cool, we became subjected to that. The last straw was when my husband could not watch a nationally televised pro football game because the condo owners had a small TV package deal and the owner of Waterside told him to drive to a place on Captiva to view the game.
By the way, we go to Sanibel every yr. and while the Waterside was a pretty setting, I don't think we would stay here again unless we asked questions and actually got the truth. The management could be brash and then after some problems with our condo the owner tried to be nice to us. At that pt. the damage was done.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jane E
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 (142)
Date | Rating
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English first
Aiken, South Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2011

Beautiful sunrises AND sunsets from the beach only steps away from the cottages. Great location & staff recommended great dinner spots.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank skoakwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2011

I was invited by a friend to spend a few days at her favorite retreat, the Waterside Inn on the beach. The Waterside is nestled in a long row of inns and condo-style units which line the southern shore of the island. Despite the snugness of the properties, there is a feeling of "seclusion" for guests of the Waterside. It consists of a handful of multiple-unit buildings, each painted a soft tropical color and named accordingly: Apricot, Pineapple, Blueberry, etc. The buildings have varying numbers of units. Let me just run down some features based on our double-occupancy efficiency: two levels (we stayed upper); gulf view; remote control AC; fully-furnished kitchenette (full size stove and fridge; microwave; generous sink; dishes, pots and pans, full size coffeemaker); table and chairs; two comfortable queen beds; flat-screen TV (which we didn't turn on all 4 days); 6-drawer dresser/mirror; double vanity bathroom; nice tub/shower combo; roomy mirrored closet; sliding glass door opening onto balcony with chairs and snack table. The room was plenty big for us; we spent nearly the entire day on the beach, which is just steps away. You can let the Waterside know how much or little housekeeping you would like; we got a light touch: beds made and trash emptied, and towels changed out.

The Waterside provides plenty of good sturdy lounge chairs which guests can drag onto the beach whenever they like; just keep in mind you need to drag them BACK when you are done, or the Waterside gets fined. Also watch out for turtle nests on the beach, which are cordoned off by yellow tape. Don't disturb them, please! The waterside also has a really nice pool, not all that big but very clean and with lots of poolside tables and chairs for relaxing in the afternoon, shaded by beautiful palms and flowering trees. Perfect for a cool-down dip after hours on the beach. Speaking of the trees, the Waterside's landscaping is lovely. Lots of attention paid to neatness and trimming. As for the beach itself, it lines the Gulf of Mexico and is quite different from my native NE Florida Beaches, which at low tide are a huge expanse. The difference between the low and high-tide lines on Sanibel is (I would guess) about 50 feet at most. And where most beaches are "shells scattered on the sand", Sanibel's beaches are "Sand scattered among the shells". I have never seen so many, and if you dedicate some time and sharp eyes to a search, you'll find some beauties.
Bring your cameras, folks: every evening you are treated to a spectacular sunset. The sky seems particularly "big" on Sanibel, and the interplay of clouds and sun creates National-Geographic-style sunsets. We spent some time after dark (and it gets DARK) on the beach watching a striking (no pun intended) lightning display way off in the distance.

Plan on a few excursions while you're there. In the hotter weather, I recommend what we did: freshen up around lunchtime, when it's hottest, and take a short drive over to Periwinkle Way, which is as close as Sanibel gets to a "Main Street". There are NO traffic lights on this 3-mile x 5-mile island, and no street lights either. No typical big chain-restaurants or retailers, except for a Dairy Queen. We dined out twice, once at "Island Cow", with its eclectic, anything-but-health-food menu (the "Frickles" are to DIE for)...and "Cheeburger-Cheeburger", a fun spot with a fifties feel and a terrific burger menu. They also have a legendary milkshake or malt, with nearly 40 "embellishments" from which to choose. I was planning on a peanut butter/cheesecake/caramel one, but was too full from my burger and fries to get one. Maybe next time, because there will be a next time! Other neat things to note: the island's lighthouse, the John "Ding" Darling wildlife preserve, and some interesting indigenous vegetation, including trees with branches that grow down and around anything they get close to. My friend also recommends the "Thriller" boat ride, a 1.5 hour high-speed (60+mph at some points) boat ride around the island, featuring dolphins that frolick in the boat's wake. I could go on and on...what a great experience!

Room Tip: No special tips...the staff is very friendly and accommodating!
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank JourneyWords
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanibelblondie, Owner at Waterside Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, August 17, 2012
Wow, what a wonderful review. We're so glad you experienced the "island life" the way it should be. We pride ourselves on clean rooms and exceptional customer service. Our property rivals any other one on the island as far as lush tropical landscaping and an expansive beach. We look forward to serving you again in the near future!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
39 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2011

We live in this area of SW Florida and love to travel to the islands to get away for the weekend. We tried to get a room in August and found we could only book one night. So, we took our chances for Saturday night. Well Waterside came through when all other resorts were full. I booked the Apricot Cottage Sat morning. The desk told me others were looking too and it was the last room, or cottage. She also gave me a better rate for Floridia residents. We loved it, and it was the last room on the island, I had called 9 other places before randomly calling Waterside. But these cottages are so cool and the history is too, in the 60's homesteaders began building on Sanibel and this was one of the first places little cottages were built for winter residences. Now they are romantic, colorful and cozy rooms. I only saw Apricot but it has a living area, full fridge, sofa and a bedroom with king bed and spa type tube.

They allow you to spend checkout day on the beach and use the Plum cottage to change for free once you check out. You know, check out at 11AM and then get all sandy at the beach and have to track it into the car...that really helps and it's that style of service we found at the Waterside. The room is not Hilton perfect and polished, it's more like - it has character. Like you could live there a month. So, even though it was the last room of resorts, it was a great find.

Room Tip: Tell them your from Florida, make sure you check there are linens for pullout
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank dbeaty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
34 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2011

Enjoyable, quiet, and located in a great area of the island. Call first to be sure there are no large parties there and that both pools are in full working order. Minimal maid service, but clean, and efficient. You can have extra service at a cost. Friendly at the desk, but no after hours service. We have stayed many times and will be back. Very "old Florida." Book early because it fills up.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank StevenAK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2011

Clecked in for what we thought would be a nice three day stay. Our pets were booked for three days but we were booked for two days. We were not informed of this. Doesn't make sense. Would not let us stay because they had another booking for the entire week, therefore we had to be out a day early. Found crusted on food on the table and chairs in the kitchen. Dirty pillow cases and blankets. No hot water until early afternoon on the second day. Front desk people and care takers of the property were very nice other than the fact that they made the booking mistake and tried to blame it on us. When asked why our pets would be booked for the approperiate time but not us I was told it was a computer error. Computers don't make errors. Garbage in and garbage out. Would I go back?? No...I have stayed at much nicer places for less cost.

Room Tip: Look elsewhere. Money talks on Sanibel Island.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank elfm41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Missouri
Level Contributor
293 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2011

This is absolutely beautiful property! We had members of our family in each of the different type of units (condos, lodge, villas). Each of them were huge and nicely decorated. And there are plenty of gas grills around the property for use.

Breakers West (the condo units) was very nice. We had a pre-wedding dinner and actully had 25 people in there during the meal. It was crowded at that point but possible. Try that in you normal 2 bedroom condo. Even better - the people in the units next to us didn't hear a thing.

The hotel rooms were very spacious, as well. And, the villas were set up very nice. My daughter and her new husband stayed in the honeymoon villa. It was very nicely set up with a jacuzzi tub for two.

We had a few misunderstandings with the property manager over arrangements and requirements. She swears she told us stuff but both my daughter and I talked to her at different times and never received the information. It all got taken care of but she was a little on the brash side. Out tent company also had problems with her - one minute being told she didn't need anything else from them. A few days later she was wondering why they hadn't taken care of this or that. Neither time did it really make a big deal out of anything though. And, anyone who has planned a wedding knows that there is always something and this was minor considering we were planning this wedding from Orlando and Missouri.

The maintenance guy who helped with the set up made up for everything.

Something else to keep in mind for wedding planning purposes - parking is very limited if you have a lot of people not staying at the resort but they are flexible with the 'no parking' spots during the event.

I would not hesitate to recommend this property to anyone.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank vtxriders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Waterside Inn on the Beach

Property: Waterside Inn on the Beach
Address: 3033 W Gulf Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-5609
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sanibel Island
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites 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:2 star — Waterside Inn on the Beach 2*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Are you searching for that true Olde Florida charm and style? Look no further than Waterside Inn! You?re just steps away from the beautiful beaches of Sanibel. Amenities include a heated pool, beach loungers, on-site bike rentals, and BBQ grills. Come to relax and unwind in one of our small inns or cottages. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Waterside Inn On The Beach Hotel Sanibel Island
Waterside Hotel Sanibel Island
Waterside Resort Sanibel Island

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