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“Perfect vacation spot”
Review of Tarpon Tale Inn

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Tarpon Tale Inn
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 16, 2008

We had a nice stay at the Tarpon Tale July 6-13. We booked the Tropical Bird . The cottage was very clean and cute- king bedroom with french doors to our private patio with tropical flowers and foliage and crushed shell paths around the property. There was a full kitchen with sofa bed in the connected living area, large step in shower in the bathroom. (Towels were yukky though-old and stained and some upkeep issues in the cottage-broken handles on microwave, burned out bulbs in lamps, holes in couch, but nothing too terrible.) We had a small plumbing issue that was taken care of immediately when we called and the owner was friendly. The property had almost everything you would need to enjoy a lazy beach vacation-laundry room with extra linens and towels, and sundries-in case you forgot something. There was a common area (office) with a computer ,snack mix , a closet of DVDs and videos for guest use, and a bottle of wine in case the need hit ya. Outside there was a covered spa-too hot out!!, beach chairs, and umbrellas for beach use and a bike rack with several old bikes- no kid bikes however-you must rent those or bring your own. When we arrived, there was a welcome letter pinned on the bulletin board in the "office" and the owners were available by phone as we had some questions, but as previous reviews had stated, no one is really around which is a little different. You have to look around yourself. We kind of liked the peace and quiet, but I could see where some guests may feel put off by the lack of hospitality. We hit the beach almost immediately, which is a short walk if you just take yourselves, but a long walk to carry all the "stuff" like chairs, etc.Luckily the Inn is located in a quiet part of town and the Buttonwood beach access is only three blocks away.( It really is not worth it to pay to park at the other beach access areas)-we found shelling to be great there. Some words of advice_ Take bottled water!!!! And food!!! There is really no good place to go to the store to get things- the little store across the street is pretty tiny and expensive- we stopped in Ft. Myers before we came and picked up some snacks, produce, and milk. the water tasted terrible to us in Sanibel so it was nice to have our own. The property has a gas grill , so we also brought some steaks and dogs and had a nice dinner on the cheap one night- expect to pay about 30- 70 bucks for each basic meal out for family of three. All the food we had out was delicious- Lighthouse cafe and Sanibel Bean for breakfast, Island pizza Co. was awesome, Lazy Flamingo and Cantina Captiva for lunch, and amazing dinners at Jacaranda and Timbers. Best chowder and dessert at Blue Giraffe. Shell museum was cool and wonderful dolphin cruise at Captiva Tarpon Bay tours. This vacation was nice and the Tarpon Tale is a good value if you like being independent and don't mind a little wear and tear.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank holymoni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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219 - 225 of 269 reviews

Reviewed July 16, 2008

We loved the TTI. We were looking for a quiet, relaxing way to celebrate our first anniversary and we found it! When we arrived we found our key in an envelope in the office and went straight to our room. No hassles with checking in! We stayed in the Birdhouse cottage, it was so cute and just perfect for two people. We were worried that the room would be too small but it was just perfect! The grounds were so nice and it was very quiet. You dont even realize you have neighbors!

We enjoyed the Lighthouse Restaurant (across the street) for breakfast and the shops next door were great too. We also enjoyed the beach in the morning (just a short walk or drive around the corner) and would walk over to the bayside (which also was a short walk) late afternoon for shelling.

We couldnt be more pleased with our stay in Sanibel and would definitely recommend the TTI to our friends.

G&F of OKC

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank ZottOkc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dawn R, Owner at Tarpon Tale Inn, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2017

Thank you so much!
Dawn

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2008

From Heather and Jessica
We are both native Floridians and yet felt like we were in paradise in some far away island. Our stay at the Tarpon Tale Inn was something we never experienced...relaxing, peaceful, like staying with family rather than a hotel. The Inn location was great we loved the secluded part of Periwinkle Way far enough from most of the traffic but close enough to venture to all the shops and restaurants. We loved parking the car and getting around by bike. We recommend the Tarpon Tale Inn to the traveler who wants a quite, secluded and peaceful time in paradise.

Stayed: May 2008
Thank smargaret
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2008

This was our second time at the Tarpon Tale Inn and was a lovely as our first visit in 2007.

We stayed in the same efficiency room which was spotless again and had everything we needed provided by Dawn the owner.
Beach towels, chairs and sunshades are available to borrow free of charge. There are also bikes you can use - however, you do have to get used to back peddling to stop!
Each room has its own screened patio and furniture which was lovely to sit out on in the evenings.

There is a short but very pleasant walk to the beach, which was never crowded during our stay and the deli next door is brilliant.

We thoroughly enjoyed the bike ride to the the many restuarants we visited during our stay - one of our favourites being McT's!

We were quite happy to keep the room tidy and appreciated the relaxed atmosphere of the Inn. Dawn was always on hand in the mornings to answer questions about the Island and kept a very good lending library, which I made good use of!

Sanibel and Tarpon Tale Inn provided an ideal place to recharge
our batteries and we hope to return again.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank MJV10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2008

The Tarpon Tale Inn was PARADISE! We spent one week there in March and LOVED our stay. The rooms were clean, clean, clean and sooo comfortable. I have never stayed anywhere so spotless! The bed mattresses were knew and extremely comfortable. Dawn, our host was the sweetest person in the world and so helpful with all island hints. The private beach is about 1 block away down a cute dirt road. We took the free bikes which made it a quick two minute ride.

Some hints for your trip: Lighthouse Cafe for breakfast (right across the road:>)

Grandma Dots for lunch...loved the fried oysters

And the Sanibel Streak house for dinner.

We loved our stay at the Tarpon Tale and look forward to returning in June.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank SnowboundMI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2008

I was reading the prior review and wondered if the poster stayed at the same place while I was there, as I too just returned.

I didn't have a problem with the inn or the setting. It's on the quieter end of Sanibel Island, near the lighthouse. Yes, it is on Periwinkle Way (the island's main drag---the ONLY one, btw) but there is hardly the chaotic traffic scene of down island, which I personally witnessed. I don't know if I'd want to be staying in that congested area, and unless you pay for a costly beachfront resort or a condo rental, there aren't alot of other options. The ice cream shop, deli and cafe across the street are all great options for food.

The room were small, but I wasn't in it much. My bed was comfortable, there was a fridge, tv and a shower, so no complaints. I don't make a mess---so cleaned up after myself every day just fine. It was nice not to have to deal with staff---I'd stayed elsewhere recently and had a very unfortunate incident with a maid, so this was a welcome relief. I felt like I was staying at a wonderful old beach house in, say, Nantucket, Montauk or Balboa Island. If you expect 5 star ambience, seclusion or pretentiousness (like ladies having to wear closed toe shoes to dinner---in warm high season!!!), there are plenty of other, pricier choices. If you need family facilities, then you should be looking into a condo rental. The inn is great for short stays of up to a few weeks, but is hardly the place to build a snowbird's nest for the season...nor should it be. It's not a traditional hosted inn---I had been corresponding with the owners beforehand and knew what to expect, that was fine for me. I found the owners there in the mornings when I was checking email and they gave me plenty of info and tips for my exploration of the islands.

I biked everywhere and sat in the back on the hammock and read there some afternoons to unwind. On the whole, as a single woman traveling alone, I found the inn perfect for my needs. And it was easy to get to---because you turn left off the causeway, not right into a sea of traffic. Lighthouse Beach is nearby, and yes, you have to pay to park there as most beach resorts require in popular areas all over the USA!

I read the reviews here and elsewhere and studied the map and guidebooks about Sanibel feel I made a good choice. I hope I can get back someday (but for us on the west coast, it can be a haul to get to Florida!). Sanibel's very special, but it may not be for everyone. If you want it to be like Hilton Head...please, by all means, go there instead :-)

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled solo
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Thank Kittygal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2007

From the map of Old Sanibel to which the Tarpon Tale Inn refers potential guests, it appears that the Inn, if not on the Gulf, has visual access to it . WRONG. It also appears that Old Sanibel is a small village like setting with shops and stores located in a circumscribed area. WRONG. The Tarpon Tale Inn is on the main highway. The grounds are very poorly maintained, and to us, the setting was clautrophobic.

If you don't mind walking to the beach, it's about 4 blocks from the inn and very nice. Like almost all the beaches on Sanibel - there is no parking available for non-residents. This means if you want to bring beach chairs, stuff for kids, a food hamper, know you have to carry it all.

Re service: There wasn't any. No one greeted us when we arrived. Our key was in an envelope on a corkboard as you entered the reception area along with a letter instructing us where to find clean towels, cleaning supplies, etc. There is no maid service at all. 2 days into our stay, we met the owner while she was doing laundry on site, otherwise, she was invisible (altho she did say she was always reachable by phone and we have no reason to think she wasn't).

The room itself was comfortable but quite run down - i think the website said they were recently renovated - this seems hard to believe. Towels are scratchy and dingy from wear and tear. Bikes are provided, and while I found them usable, my husband who is much more safety conscious didn't.

There was a computer in the reception area so checking email was easy without needing to bring your own.

Restaurant tip: The crunchy grouper at Timbers is the best fried fish I ever had. Food on the island is generally mediocre and surprisingly pricy. We enjoyed the breakfast we had at the Over Easy Cafe and the coffee at the Sanibel Bean.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank fenmen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tarpon Tale Inn

Address: 367 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-7431
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sanibel Island
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 44 Specialty Lodging in Sanibel Island
Price Range: $208 - $393 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Tarpon Tale Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Tarpon Tale Inn is a charming, family run property on the east end of Sanibel, a short walk from the island's famous shelling beaches, the lighthouse and the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. Each of our cottage style accommodations has its own distinct character, and range from cozy efficiencies to spacious one bedroom suites. We hope you'll choose the Tarpon Tale Inn as your home on Sanibel. You'll find the Florida you're looking for! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tarpon Tale Hotel Sanibel Island

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