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“Wonderful Sanibel Accommodations!!”
Review of Island Inn

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Island Inn
Ranked #4 of 20 Hotels in Sanibel Island
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Well Well Well - what a wonderful and suprisingly still existant old Fla. charm Inn right on the beach. 7 of us came down all the way from Michigan (1 from Seattle) to experience sanibel and we were delighted. Check in was smooth (ladies at the front desk always helpful and pleasant), grounds nicely kept, buildings on the outside look recently painted and looked like old Florida (one of the days there were 3 gentlemen cleaning, raking and removing the seaweed and beach gunk the entire day - it looked so much nicer after they were done - it was a lot of work - didnt notice any other motels, resorts or places along the beach doing this kind of clean-up), Traditions Restaurant was a nice place to eat (after breakfast the open back up at 5 for dinner no lunches - you can order take out for dinner as well, although the atmosphere is nice in the restaurant), pool incredibly warm and seemed very clean (noticed pool cleaning going on a few of the mornings during our stay) and housekeeping an absolute pleasure to see every day (I hope they get told that by visitors-smiles on faces and a pleasure to talk to). I am eating gluten free and the breakfast had options like hard boiled eggs, fresh fruit and yogart to get me started for the day since I was unable to eat the pastry foods (looked good though). Our room in the Kimball Lodge was nice with a queen bed, full kitchen and a sleeper sofa (my 8 year old son complained of the feeling of springs as he slept during the 7 days we were there, but in order to have a room with a full kitchen he had to sleep on the pull out). Our room had an easy to work quiet air conditioner/heating unit and 2 fan lights in the room. Others in our group were in the rooms with 2 double beds that had a small fridge, micro and coffee maker (no oven/stove). There is an elevator in this bldg. also. There is a nice, big ice machine in the building that seemed pretty new and cranked out the ice to fill your ice bucket. There is shuffle board, and horseshoes that can be played free of charge. Bikes, kayaks and paddleboards incur a charge and can be rented as little as 2 hours and as long as the whole day (we rented for 4 hours and rode them up through the Ding Darling Refuge - $1 to get in and bumpy roads, but a nice ride and had lunch at Doc Fords on the way back). They have a laundry facility and if you need soap or fabric softener it is available for purchase at the front desk for $2. Out on the beach we witnessed the sunrise, moon set and the sunset- shelling was incredible. At night the grounds were nice and quiet. Can't think of anything negative to say about this place really. If you like a small quiet nicely kept inns this is the place for you. Very relaxing atmosphere and close to enough to Baileys grocery and CVS if you need an item or two. We visited the farmers market on Saturday and bought fresh fruit and some fresh seafood which can be cooked on grills that are on the property (buy foil at grocery). If you are a shopper - shopping is always fun on Sanibel. We ate at the Island Cow for lunch and Over Easy for breakfast - both had good food. Thank you for keeping the Island Inn looking nice.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank LKAAuburnHills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this reviewResponded January 8, 2013

Thank you for staying at the Island Inn and for taking the time to write such a wonderfully detailed review of the Inn, its accommodations, amenities, features and location. The staff at the Inn remembers your group and the pleasure was truly ours. We hope all of your travels home were safe and you are able to visit us again very soon! :-)

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867 - 873 of 1,348 reviews

Reviewed December 29, 2012

Given the great reviews on Tripadvisor, my wife and I were very excited to stay here but during our stay found there to be several pros & cons with this hotel. First, we were a bit dissapointed in the room. I had booked on Orbitz due to a promo code they were offering but (following the advice of hotel management on Tripadvisor) called the Island Inn just to make sure I understood all of the room options available. I stayed in the Matthews Lodge, and while it has a screened in porch with a view of the water, it was smaller than I expected as it is simply a king size bed and a couple of crammed in chairs. It was a tight squeeze. In hindsight, I could have stayed in one of the larger rooms with a kitchen, sofabed, and two queen beds for cheaper which would probably have been more comfortable. I don't think the view from the larger rooms would have been as nice, but since we spent all day outside and the hotel is on the beach anyway a view from the room really was not that important. I wish this had been explained better to me when I called the hotel to discuss the room options.

The other big problem with the hotel is that they leave around 8pm and maintenance leaves even earlier, so if something goes wrong you are screwed. This led to an unfortunate experience in our room which did put a damper on our vacation. Our first night in Sanibel, a cold spell hit and the outside temperature went into the 30s. We obviously had to turn our heat on as the room was also drafty but it was not working! We had a representative from the hotel come and look but she could not fix it, and maintenance was unavailable so she called the night security guard to come take a look. As we were late for dinner reservations, we asked for the heat to be fixed while we were out, and when we came back we had a note saying the heat was fixed. We turned it on and it was barely working, with short spats of heat coming out but we figured it would be good enough and the temperature was forecasted to rise the next few nights anyway. Well, the next night it was in the 40s and we went to turn on our semi-working heather but this time it did not work at all, in fact only cold air would come out. It was freezing! We called the night security guard again (the hotel gives no other options to get assistance past 8pm) and he played with the heat for awhile but could not get it to work. He did offer to move us to another room but said it was somewhat far away and it was very late and my wife was not feeling well so we opted for more blankets instead. The next day I went into the office and told the front desk how uncomfortable we were and they told us that a repairman was coming and we wouldn't freeze again. Bottom line is I think the hotel should have checked to make sure the heat was working ahead of a well forecasted cold spell and it was irresponsible not to.

On the more positive side, the hotel is steps from the beach and there is beautiful shelling right there, although this is true of any other waterside hotel in Sanibel (most of them are on the water). The Island Inn also has a recreational area where you can play volleyball, shuffleboard, or tennis. The employees are also very friendly, as we had long interactions with a couple of them while watching them trying to fix our heat. The room was also very clean.

Regarding the breakfast, we were actually pretty pleased with what was offered. It is a continental breakfast, so they had yogurt, donuts, pastries, fruit, coffee and orange juice. It is not a full breakfast so if you want that, drive up the street to the Over Easy Cafe. It was enough food to get us started in the morning and I thought it was nice.

In conclusion, this hotel was adequate and has its pros/cons. However, given how uncomfortable my wife and I were for the majority of our stay we were happy to leave. With the numerous hotel options on Sanibel Island, when we return we will not be staying here again.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Samuel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2012

Thank you for staying at the Island Inn and for taking the time to share your experience.

I’m sorry you were disappointed in your room choice. In our experience, most couples prefer a room with a king bed as opposed to a room with 2 separate beds. We do have a room option called our Gulfview Kitchen Suite, which is a bit larger of a room with one bed, separate sitting area with sofa, full kitchen and screened balcony. This option was likely not available through Orbitz. Nevertheless, I’ll be sure to relay your experience to our front desk staff to better describe the overall size of each room type.

I’m also sorry there were issues with your air conditioning unit during your stay. We do test these units prior to check in and, although rare, they do sometimes fail. We try to offer alternate accommodations, such as with your case, when we are not able to fix the issue immediately. Regardless, I will be sure to bring this issue to the attention of the maintenance staff in an effort to better predict these rare maintenance issues.

Otherwise, I’m glad you enjoyed your time on Sanibel Island and hope you have a wonderful New Year.

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Reviewed December 27, 2012

I am 'thrifty' (cheap) by nature, and have stayed at approximately 6 hotels in my adult life that I've payed for, so I was reluctant to reserve a beach-front room here for two nights, but decided that it might be worth it for my wife and I as a way to spend part of our vacation right near the beach instead of with the in-laws for the entire trip...I couldn't have been more right!!

The room was huge...and very clean! All the staff was very friendly and respectful. The room was better furnished that our apartment of 6 years, had a full size fridge/freezer, full stove/oven, microwave, two queen beds, a pull-out sofa, and all they utensils and dishware you would ever need (we could've stayed a year with everything they provided!) The bathroom was big, and beautiful, with his and hers sinks. The pool was just the right size/depth, and very clean. They also provided beach chairs that you could carry to the beach and use, and not the silly little folding chairs, but full size, very sturdy comfortable ones.

On top of that, for the paltry $132 we payed per night, we could see the beach from our window (one-way mirrored so I could run around in my skivvies without embarassing my wife too much), which was in the building the furthest from the ocean at the Inn (Starky Lodge).

For the rest of the trip I could not stop thinking and talking about how nice our stay was and how absolutely worthwhile it was to pay for a few nights near the beach. We're now thinking about spending an entire week down there sometime and inviting our friends and family to stay with us instead of staying with them!

Thank you Island Inn, you run an exemplary business and I'm happy to have given you my business.
We'll be back!!!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank vincent n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2012

Thank you for staying at the Island Inn and leaving a review of your experience.

It sounds like you stayed in one of our Gulfview Studios in our Starky Lodge. These units were recently renovated and are our largest hotel accommodations that we offer. Fully stocked as you described, they certainly work well for extended stays and/or larger families.

I’m glad your stay at the Island Inn was the highlight of your trip and you thought so highly of our establishment as to recommend it to others. We sincerely appreciate your referrals, as this is the highest compliment a hospitality venue can receive.

Again, thank you for your stay and comments. I hope you have a terrific New Year and you are able to make it back to the Island Inn and Sanibel Island soon! :-)

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Reviewed December 27, 2012

My husband and I took our two young grandchildren to the Island Inn from 12/15 to 12/19/12 and had a most lovely vacation. The grounds are lovely, the renovation to the rooms great, the staff so very helpful and friendly, and ocean view spectacular! We've been to the Island Inn several times over the past two decades and have always appreciated its "Old Florida" charm--a nice change from the typical cookie-cutter hotels. We highly recommend the Island Inn.

Room Tip: The second floor of the Starkey Lodge offered a great ocean view for a very reasonable rate for Sani...
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank MarianneFt_White_FL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2012

Thank you for being such a loyal guest of the Island Inn and for taking the time to share your thoughts. We’re so glad our low density, historic, beachfront resort combined with our modern accommodations and amenities is such a good fit for you and your family’s needs. We are proud to have you as a loyal patron and will be anticipating your next arrival! :-)

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Reviewed December 25, 2012

We stayed at Island Inn from 19 to 21 December 2013 and loved it!
We booked through hotels.com (Expedia in USA) and the room that was originally allocated to us was unaccetably small and located at the rear side with view to the gas tanks. After we complained, the staff explained us that this was not their fault but due to the reservation policy of Expedia. They were very friendly and offered us an excellent room with kitchen and bayview for a very small extra amount. So what we learned from this experience: never book through Expedia but, if possible, directly on the homepage of the hotel.
Our stay at Sanibel Island was a very nice experience, also thanks to the friendly staff of Island Inn.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank Landsmeer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this reviewResponded December 26, 2012

Thank you for staying at the Island Inn and for sharing your experience. Your suggestion of booking directly with the Inn is spot on! We strongly urge all guests to book directly through our website or, better yet, by calling us directly. This helps ensure their expectations are met and the accommodation they choose best fits their needs.

The pricing for our accommodations on 3rd party booking sites (Expedia, Booking.com, Priceline, Travelocity, Orbitz, etc.) are EXACTLY the same as our prices. If the price you are seeing on these 3rd party sites is less, it is because the site is showing you the price for the least expensive accommodation or is not adding in extra person charges, etc. There is absolutely no price difference whatsoever.

Also, this site (Tripadvisor) is owned by Expedia, which also owns Hotels.com and Hotwire. These sites and their representatives simply do not have the knowledge of our property to enhance your experience. Allow our friendly reservation staff the opportunity to provide you with the personalized service you deserve by calling the Inn directly.

Again, thank you for your stay and feedback. I hope your travels home to Switzerland were safe and you are able to visit the Island Inn again soon! :-)

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Reviewed December 20, 2012 via mobile

This is very old Florida. It's dated in the outside but they've upgraded the rooms. We had a gulf view with balcony, tile flora, full kitchen and queen bed, I loved this place. Very laid back, right on the beach, lots of activities, and easily accessible to all the restaurants, bars, etc. breakfast was much to be desired but that's ok, didn't come here for that. Staff was very friendly. Would come here again most definitely!

  • Stayed: December 2012
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2  Thank TC c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this reviewResponded December 24, 2012

Thank you for staying at the Island Inn and for taking the time to share your experience. I’m glad you enjoyed our historic, beachfront setting combined with our modern accommodations and amenities. I hope you have a pleasant holiday season and you are able to visit the Island Inn again soon! :-)

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Reviewed December 20, 2012

Inn is directly on the gulf. We could see and hear the water from our clean and nicely appointed room, with small kitchen and balcony. Would definitely stay here again. Small cottage units are also available for families. Great restaurant (Traditions) on premises.

Room Tip: The inn is located right on the gulf. We could see and hear the water from our room which was clean...
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jane K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this reviewResponded December 24, 2012

Thank you for your stay and review of the Island Inn. I’m glad our accommodations and location met your expectations and you were able to enjoy our restaurant, bar and lounge, Traditions on the Beach, which was recently voted “Best Casual Fine Dining” in all of Lee County! I hope you have a nice holiday season in Boston and you are able to visit Sanibel Island again soon! :-)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Island Inn

Address: 3111 W Gulf Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-5697
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sanibel Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Sanibel Island
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Sanibel Island
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Sanibel Island
Price Range: $164 - $275 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Island Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Voted "Best Inn on the Island," the Island Inn, with its combination of old Florida cottages and modern lodges, sits on 10 beautiful Gulf front acres, offering 550 feet of beach with some of the best shelling in the area. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Orbitz, TripOnline SA, Cancelon, Hotwire and getaroom.com so you can book your Island Inn reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Island Hotel Sanibel Island
Island Sanibel
Island Resort Sanibel
Is Sanibel

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