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“A Total Nightmare! Consumers Beware!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Island Inn

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Island Inn
Ranked #4 of 19 Hotels in Sanibel Island
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Harrisburg, South Dakota
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“A Total Nightmare! Consumers Beware!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2014

You'll note from the reviews for this hotel that the manager has an excuse for EVERYTHING that is wrong, even stating that they have nothing to do w/ the restaurant. That being said, I can tell you that we travel extensively & have stayed in fabulous places- this is by far, the worst hotel we've ever stayed in! We booked our room thru a travel site. When we arrived they informed us that we had reserved 2 rooms instead of one and that we'd be responsible for it. They also told us that normally, they would call the party if they noticed 2 rooms booked- they did not call us. The bldg. our room was in was having maintenance work done at the main doorway & they told us we'd have to go around the bldg. to get in. We had to carry all of our luggage THRU THE SAND to get to our room from the outside. Not cool. When my husband put the key into the door the entire lock mechanism broke off and fell on the floor. We had to wait in our room until they could find a locksmith to come from town & fix it. The room smelled horrible, and the floors were very dirty. That night while in bed the TV suddenly stopped working. The next day we had to wait in our room until a repairman could come to fix it. The 2nd nig/ht, while in bed the TV suddenly stopped working again- so, no TV the 2nd night either! We decided to call the desk to report it- SURPRISE! No one stays there overnight. We followed the prompts on the recording we reached instructing us to call the restaurant if any problems- we did- they too, were closed. We dialed the next phone # given us & ended up reaching a hotel employee at his home, on his personal cell phone-- no help that night. Ironically, the manager demanded to know how we got the employee's personal phone number, not believing that is was given to us on their own after hours phone recording! In the evening we wanted to go for a walk on the beach, but the hotel grounds are in total darkness- no illumination whatsoever- very scary and unsafe. They hang an American flag there, but not even it was illuminated, nor lowered for the night. The manager told us it was because of the nesting turtles, but when I pointed out that it wasn't turtle nesting season, then he blamed it on nesting birds! The restaurant was sickeningly dirty, with the filthiest carpet we've ever seen in an eating establishment- very poor breakfast selection. The hotel promotes this restaurant & provides a coupon for dinner. However, the fine print states that they charge a mandatory 18% tip, so any "savings" are meaningless. As they had told us that we'd be responsible for the 2nd room (that they maintained we booked) because they are "100% full & could never book that room this late" we decided to see if that was true. We never noticed a "no vacancy" sign illuminated, so on the first day, we called the hotel from our cell & asked if they had any rooms available for that evening we were told "oh, yes! they have 'several' beautiful rooms available". We called again the 2nd night and we were told the same. So.... when the manager again told us that they were 100% full we pointed out his LIE, then he stated "well, it's 90% filled". (that's not quite the same as 100%, is it?) Ultimately, we did not have to pay for the 2nd room, but are angry over their lies. Interestingly, we were never offered a key to "our 2nd room" the entire time we were there. Lastly, I informed the manager of the safety hazard in our room- the cord from the hairdryer mounted on the wall was so stretched out and long that it lays in the bottom of the sink- this manager was un phased. We'd recommend a stay in a tent on the beach before we'd recommend this place!

P.S. We are easy-to-please folks - this is the FIRST negative review we've ever left for a hotel.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
20 Thank Annette B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
Thank you for staying at the Island Inn and we are sorry your stay was not as expected. The staff and management at the Inn remember your experience in detail. We strongly urge prospective guests to book directly with the hotel. A mistake made by a 3rd party online travel agency may prove to be more than a guest can overcome, causing a disappointing vacation experience as a whole and leaving the hotel staff handcuffed as to the level of assistance it can provide.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,308 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (394)
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English first
New Jersey
Level Contributor
54 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2014

The Island Inn was a wonderful find on the beautiful island of Sanibel. We were greeted in our room with an unexpected bottle of champagne to help celebrate our anniversary. Our suite was more than we expected: a full modern kitchen, screened in deck overlooking the beach, and large modern bathroom. The atmosphere and personality of the resort is laid-back and romantic. The staff was always helpful and friendly. We especially appreciated the large deck overlooking the beach available to all patrons, bike rentals on site, and the continental breakfast available every morning. The hotel restaurant, Traditions, was probably the best meal we had during our stay, and the staff was attentive and helpful. Enjoyed the entertainment Friday & Saturday night; dancing in the dining room added to the romantic atmosphere. We strongly recommend the Island Inn and plan to return again!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GlobeTrotter428
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review of your experience at the Island Inn. I’m glad the Inn’s relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff and unparalleled beach proximity were a good fit to your needs and expectations. We hope your travels home to NJ were safe and will look forward to your next visit soon! :-)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
51 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2014

We spent a week at this Hotel and although the temperature was cooler than we wished for, the staff and accommodations were warm and inviting.
We asked for a little extra car and we got it.
The front staff, the onsite restaurant, even the maintenance and cleaning staff were all friendly and helpful.
We got to know the Island, visited a few friends and generally had a great time.

Room Tip: We had a ground level room which allowed us easy access to the beach. We also faced the sunset. Our...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Stannie60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
Thank you for choosing the Island Inn for your Sanibel Island vacation and for taking the time to leave a review of your experience. I am so glad our staff’s southern hospitality only enhanced an otherwise great experience. Thank you again for your patronage and we will look forward to your return soon! :-)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mahwah, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2014

I caution anyone who reads the other reviews of this place to beware. It may be a historic spot on Sanibel, but it seems like it hasn't been updated since the early 80's. The rooms were tired and depressing and the bar and restaurant that looked appealing on the website, could have been an old VFW lodge with a piano. The pool was a hole in the ground, the grounds were dirt. Everything about this place was depressing, so we left right away, ie as soon as we saw our room and brought the keys back to the front desk (trouble with getting our money back but that's another story) and went down the road to another place recommended by Island Inn staff after I complained, and for pretty much the same money but what a difference!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Harvey E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and the staff at the Inn remembers the details surrounding your stay. This review, although inaccurate, is a textbook example of why we strongly urge prospective guests to visit only the Island Inn’s website for accurate and thorough information and to call the Inn directly to ask questions about our facilities, accommodations, amenities and guest services, ensuring your needs and expectations will be met before booking your reservation. If this reviewer had read the reviews and management responses below before booking, as opposed to lashing out after false expectations were not met, they may have known not to expect, “someone to bring drinks all day while I sit at the pool.” The Island Inn is a historic, peaceful, low density property with old Florida charm, modern accommodations, updated amenities, world-class shelling and an award-winning restaurant that is open nightly for dinner. As for our recommendation and assistance in finding an accommodation more suited to your needs and expectations, we are glad you enjoyed your stay and hope you will be able to return there soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marshalltown, Iowa
Level Contributor
66 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 25, 2014

We were fortunate enough to get the last room available and it was in the Starkey Lodge. What a beautiful room. Loved the screened in porch, spacious bathroom and all of the amenities one could want. We loved the views, the beach (with wonderful shelling), the landscaping with the well maintained sand area, beautiful trees and shelters, the breakfast and most of all the very helpful and kind staff. It was all perfect.

Room Tip: updated Starkey Lodge is a wonderful choice
See more room tips
Green Features: I appreciate that they are successfully trying to be environmentally friendly
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jean B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
Thank you for staying in our Gulfview Studio in Starky Lodge and for leaving a review of your experience. We hope you can find the time to return to the Inn soon! :-)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Princeton, New Jersey
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2014

New management has really done amazing things here in the past 3 years. Starkey Lodge, that used to have the worst rooms, now has their best. The new screened porches and walk out doors on the first floors are just what the doctor ordered. Kimball lodge rooms completely redone - now also have walkouts from the screened porches on the first floor.

I stayed in the Beach House - 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, great new kitchen - all new decor, laundry! Awesome job by the Inn. I felt like a king.

This place is not for everyone - if you are looking for the four star experience - head to Naples.... but if you are looking for that old Island Inn experience - it's back here under this team and incredibly helpful and friendly staff. The shareholders of this property can be proud once again. This is the kind of place you go back to every year - and the staff will go out of their way to show you that they are glad you came.

Beautiful property, lots of improvements and ongoing improvements, perfect location on the island. Happy and friendly low key guests make this place an annual favorite for people from all over the world. I might add, the shelling was fantastic last week when i was there. We also went out with Captain Mike and lucked into a nice Snook!

Room Tip: Call them and book direct - or book direct off their website. They are straight up and will give yo...
See more room tips
Green Features: Sanibel Island is the home of Ding Darling NWR, etc. Sanibel is Sanibel because of the way they have protected the environment. The Inn is a very low density old Florida experience and they value all the things that help keep Sanibel beautiful. Many environmentalist can be found at the inn.
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank serviceassociates2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
Thank you for staying at the Island Inn and for taking the time to leave such a wonderfully detailed review. Your Room Tip below is spot on and should be noted by all prospective guests, too. We hope to see you on sunny Sanibel Island again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2014

Our experience started when we contacted the front desk, it was like speaking with long lost friends that was there to help in anyway they could. I made reservations for New Years Eve, the next day I received a call from one of the staff members that suggested we stay another day and enjoy the beach and relax. We are so glad we did, the staff, the accommodations, the beach, and everything about our stay was what a couple looks for. If your looking for excellent accommodations, view, service and memorable experience, this is it.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jeff g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
I am so glad our outstanding and knowledgeable staff were able to ensure your expectations and needs would be met and helped make your Sanibel Island experience that much more pleasurable. I hope your travels home to Ohio were safe and you are able to visit the Island Inn again soon! :-)
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 Island Inn

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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:
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Also Known As:
Island Hotel Sanibel Island
Island Sanibel
Island Resort Sanibel
Is Sanibel

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