I booked this condo as a result of the generally positive reviews on Tripadvisor. I took the advice of several travelers and booked through VRBO dot com. Not only was I able to book for a partial week instead of the normal Fri-Fri requirement, I definetely saved a lot of cash!
I, my wife, my newborn and my mother stayed in unit E25, which is a 2 bedroom condo. Unit E is right on the water so the views were great! The owner was very accomodating when I called her and she directed me to Royal Shells, which charges a $35 booking fee (no biggie). Check-in is very easy when you get on the island. The Royal Shell office is on the way to Pointe Santo so there was no time lost in checking in -- it was very quick and they were helpful in providing brochures and suggestions for activities.
The unit itself is a little odd; the bathroom and guest bedroom appear to be fully updated but everywhere else appears dated, especially the patio furniture. The carpet is very old and needs replacing but the condo was certainly spacious and adequate. The complex itself is dated with that brown 80's decor but it is well maintained and landscaped.
I did not like that there is nowhere on the premises to get food. If you don't feel like cooking, you have to head to town which is a bit of a turn-off when you are on vacation. The pool is also failry small -- maybe only 50% bigger than your average pool at home.
Ok -- Sanibel/Captiva is NOT a place for a beach vacation in September/October. Apparently, the place suffers from Red Tide, which produces a reddish seaweed, kills fish and leaves them on the beach and renders the Gulf unswimmable. We were lucky that some nice folks on the beach told us about it before we went in to take a quick dip! The beach smells like fish because, of course, there are so many dead ones. Therefore, this is strictly a pool vacation and that is not great.
There is a pond in the middle of the property that boasts fish, birds, turtles and alligators! My wife was scared almost to death as she was taking a stroll with our baby in the stroller and almost stumbled upon an alligator on the grass leading to the beach (luckily, she was warned by a guest taking pictures). After that little adventure, we went back to the condo and sat on the porch overlooking the beach. What did we say but a 2nd alligator walking from the pond to the Gulf! An unsuspecting jogger almost ran right into the animal but for the screams of the guests. This is all cool to me but be forewarned if you are, like my wife, scared of animals that can eat you.
As for eateries, we ate at the Island Cow for lunch one day and that was very good. We also ate at the Bubble Room in Captiva and that was very bad. The food was bad and they have the nerve to charge $1.75 per soda with no free refills!! That's ridiculous. I can buy a 2 liter soda for less than that. The food is not good; stay away.
The island is very beautiful. We went to the Shell museum and the Wildlife Refuge, both of which were interesting. we also took the dolphin excursion on the Captiva Cruises ship. The dolphin boat from Everglades City was much better -- we only ran into about 4 dolphins this trip and they did not stay with the boat for long.
The beaches at Captiva looked tremendously clear and blue but, again, you can't swim in it so what's the point?
Overall, Pointe Santo is ok for a family; I think it's hit/miss with the rooms as you can't really tell how dated the place may be from the pictures. The pool is too small and you can't swim in the Gulf during certain months so please check the Red Tide forecast before you book the trip. There are also really no amenities so make sure you stock your kitchen with everything you need; there is a nicely stocked supermarket around the corner. I may go back to Sanibel/Captiva but Pointe Santo did not make me a lifetime devotee.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Pointe Santo de Sanibel is an upscale condominium resort located directly on the Gulf of Mexico. Our family resort features a gulfside pool and whirlpool, a clubhouse, 2 tennis courts, shuffleboard, beach volleyball and a supervised children's program. The grounds feature extensive tropical landscaping along a romantic lagoon crisscrossed by quaint bridges and walkways, Tiki huts and BBQ grills. All individually owned units feature a screenedmlanai with a Gulf view, full kitchens, individually controlled AC, cable & Wi-Fi. Pointe Santo is close to the bike path, "Ding" Darling wildlife refuge, theater, restaurants, and golf courses. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pointe Santo De Sanibel Hotel Sanibel Island
- Pointe Santo De Sanibel Island
- Point Santo Sanibel Island