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Island Inn
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Reviews (1,409)
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Reviewed January 7, 2014

We stayed in the Matthews Lodge in a kitchen suite. The kitchen had a full sized fridge and stove and was fully stocked. Beds were very comfortable and the room was very clean. We were on the 1st floor and parked right by the room. Our patio area was screened in and faced the ocean. Ana was our housekeeper and she was amazing! We always had plenty of towels. We were also able to borrow sand toys which was a nice perk. The ladies in the office were very friendly and helpful. The pool was nicely heated- probably around 85 degrees and pool toys were available for the kids to play with. They also have tennis courts, shuffleboard and bikes and kayaks available for rental. We didn't rent anything but the price seemed reasonable. The beach was well maintained and we had a lot of fun picking up shells. There is a shell washing station next to the laundry room. The laundry room had 3 washers and 3 dryers available. This is the only area of the resort that I saw needs to be updated.
We will definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank rebeccarose76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this reviewResponded February 3, 2014

Thank you for choosing the Island Inn for your Sanibel Island vacation and I am so glad our facilities, accommodations, amenities and guest services met your needs and expectations. I hope your travels home to Illinois were safe and you are able to visit the Island Inn and Sanibel Island again soon! :-)

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Reviewed January 7, 2014

We stayed at the Island Inn the week after Christmas and loved it! The staff were extremely friendly and helpful and the location was perfect. My 8 yr. old son kept busy with their heated outdoor pool, shuffleboard, tennis, building sand castles or riding bikes. The bike path system is awesome! The motorists are very accommodating and allow the bikes first priority when at an intersection. The Island Inn had a nice breakfast and the onsite bike/kayak rental was handy. We stayed at the Kimball building at the Inn and was surprised how new everything was. I loved having the kitchenette in our spacious room. My husband would like to come back not once, but twice a year to the Island Inn. Great resort!!!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Lisa M
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 7, 2014

Thank you for staying at the Island Inn and for taking the time to relay your family’s experience. I am so glad you enjoyed all that the Inn has to offer and our low density, old Florida charm, combined with our modern accommodations and amenities were a good fit to your family’s needs and expectations. We will be looking forward to your first of many return visits soon! :-)

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Reviewed January 5, 2014

We stayed in the cottage closest to the beach. Location, none better and that gets us to the 4 stars here. Nothing beats being able to walk right out there to the ocean.

The staff… nice.

The cottage… well it was way outdated. I love a good charming place but it wasn't that either. I don't find rust on the fridge and ancient appliances "charming". The pillow gave my husband a neck ache which hindered him for the rest of the vacation… he never has this problem so that was unexpected. The beds… weren't too bad but every time you moved the headboard hits the wall so each time our son or we moved, it would bang the wall and wake us up LOL These are the things that make memories I guess but when you're dealing with it, it's not amusing really, no matter how lighthearted you are!

The TV and cable was fine, the wifi worked which was nice. Couldn't miss our Thanksgiving football!

The cottage is also very small… 2 beds, which we knew going in but the door to the outside enters through the BATHROOM.. the one and only bathroom, which was awkward so we always used the sliding door on the other side of the cottage and hoped nobody from housekeeping would ever walk in on one of us while in the bathroom!....

To give you perspective, we are a 4 person family… 2 teens and 2 adults. The other half of our cottage was vacant and boy it would have been nice if someone had told us that and offered us a deal to rent that side so we could have a little more room (and another bathroom!) but didn't happen. Missed opportunity there.

Breakfast was free and not bad.. nothing elaborate though but I wasn't going to cook in the kitchen provided in our cottage :(

We stayed Thanksgiving eve and Thanksgiving day… departed the day after the holiday.
We give 4 stars here because the beach warrants it, as do the other amenities… tennis, shuffleboard, small pool, the coolest and most prevalent seashells… and the staff. Just wish for the grand price we paid that the cottage would have been more updated.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Samantha P
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 6, 2014

Thank you for staying at the Island Inn over the Thanksgiving holiday and for taking the time to share your experience. I’m glad you enjoyed the Inn’s location, amenities and guest services, but I’m sorry your accommodation was not updated to your level of satisfaction. I’ve noted your observations/suggestions and will address them in order to better the experience of future guests.

For future/prospective guests, we do offer four 2 bedroom cottages and one 3 bedroom house for families. Also, we encourage you to inquire about last-minute additional accommodations if needed for your party while on site.

Again, thank you for staying with the Island Inn and we hope you can return to Sanibel Island again soon.

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Reviewed January 4, 2014

We spent our 3 year anniversary here. It was beautiful. The staff was friendly and helpful. We entered our room which was very nice, they left us wine to kick off the celebration. We got the couple getaway package which gave us credit for dinner or breakfast on site which was delightful. The food was excellent and there are other benefits as well. Very quit , friendly neighborhood. We loved that we got to go bike riding and spending the day shopping and going to the beach.
I would definitely go back.

Room Tip: I choose a room with a beach view. I just wanted to see the sun rise I the morning. This was the most amazing thing to look forward to each morning.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Charmainebeck
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 6, 2014

Thank you for your review and we hope you can return to Sanibel Island again soon! :-)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014

The end of December 2013, Christmas through the New Year 2014, turned out not to be the most relaxing/enjoyable time to stay at The Island Inn; too much pressure on the facilities, and the staff were too pressed with work at their desks to be available for top service.

To be fair, however, we had just crossed Florida from The Pillars Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, (see that review?) where the service was so exceptional that the indifferentness at Island Inn really stood out badly. And, the exceedingly high charges felt gouging for what amounted to a rather 'bed and breakfast' style.

On arrival, there is no valet service, and certainly a lack of bellmen to help with luggage. After the desk hands over keys, you are on your own to schlep into the room. This probably wouldn't have been so disappointing if I hadn't been afflicted with digestive problems, which threw the burden of luggage onto the other person?
However, at the high prices, better (or some?) service is expected.
The general attitude toward service throughout this visit was dismissive, though due to lack of one room through our four night stay, we had to change rooms three times. Granted, by the time we knew we would be in Florida over the holidays, Island Inn booking was limited.

Room 1 ~~ Kimball Lodge, room 253:
Beautifully redone throughout; very comfortable beds; quiet; private sea front position.
The bathroom has double sinks with granite counters, and private toilet/shower area, also.
Truly delightful.
If only we could have stayed there throughout ~~!!

Room 2 ~~ Starky Lodge, upstairs center:
Again, stunning decor, all new; magnificent beds; large kitchen with full-sized appliances and ice maker in the refrigerator.
The screened porch has a head-on view of the sea, and quite large space.

Room 3~~ Phister Cottage:
This venue had been presented as the finest in the resort, but fell far short~~!!
Two bedrooms, one with twin child-sized beds, which neither of us could fit, as they are
too short and narrow.
The only double bed was like sleeping on a brick; felt cheap and hard, and creaked badly.
Saving grace is the front porch . . . though noise from the adjacent buildings (next door as well as at Island Inn) detracted from quiet enjoyment.
Some sort of critters were digging under the cottage all night, which was alarming, as we couldn't be sure they wouldn't get into the cottage?

A mixed experience for sure . . . not a place we'll choose in the future; certainly not at the hugely inflated 'high season' prices paid this time ~~!!

Room Tip: This resort doesn't allow guests to request specific rooms, though the best rooms are at the front of Kimball Lodge. Further back in the complex there is considerable noise from people eating and drinking on screened porches and children shrieking around the forecourt. Avoid the cottages.
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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15  Thank ch00seyon3
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 4, 2014

Thank you for your review and stay at the Island Inn. The staff at the Island Inn remembers you and I’m sorry you did not enjoy your overall stay. Please allow me to respond to your review in an effort to help prospective guests find the accommodation option and location that best fits their needs.

After reading your review and analyzing the majority of the issues raised I see a reoccurring theme of false expectations and inaccurate comparisons.

The Island Inn is a historic beachfront Inn, offering a low density experience with unparalleled beach proximity and world-class shelling along with modernized accommodations and amenities. We are advertised worldwide and consistently reviewed (see other reviews below) as a 3 star facility located in one of the most pristine ecological areas in the United States, offering excellent customer service to our valued guests.

Comparing the Island Inn to the Pillars Hotel is like comparing apples to oranges. For example, The Pillars is a member of the Luxury Small Hotels of the World, is designed to cater to a different type of vacationer and reflects this in its pricing (their Villa, which compares to our Cottage, starts at $750 a night during high season, where ours start at $480). They are located on one of the busiest highways in Florida, in the heart Fort Lauderdale, amongst the skyscrapers and chain hotels. They do not have a beach.

In conclusion, Sanibel Island and the Island Inn do not specifically cater to nor typically offer the level of services that seemed to be a priority. We are, however, highly sought after for other characteristics, none of which you mentioned in your review. With this being said, it is clear that Sanibel Island and the Island Inn were a poor choice for your accommodation needs and expectations. In such cases, we would rather see guests not stay at the Inn, as opposed to have a vacation experience that does not match their needs and expectations.

Again, thank you for your comments and patronage. I hope your travels home to Washington were safe and you are able to find a more enjoyable vacation experience in the near future.

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