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“Classic Florida Getaway”
Review of Tarpon Tale Inn

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Tarpon Tale Inn
Certificate of Excellence
Virginia Beach
Level Contributor
111 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Classic Florida Getaway”
Reviewed November 2, 2013

Tarpon Tale Inn is a good choice for a Florida getaway vacation. For us, Sanibel is a place to escape the busyness of touristy locations and to soak up the beauty of peace and quiet in an unspoiled natural setting.

Don't be put off by the outside appearance of this inn. It's a simple wooden building that looks slightly shabby on the outside, but the rooms are modern, updated, clean and comfortable. I was reminded of the classic Florida inns that I stayed in decades ago -- family-friendly -- but with modern bathroom, microwave and coffee pot.

Reasons to stay here: friendly owners, convenient location, ice cream and breakfast pastry shop across the street, free bikes to use on the excellent bike bath along the whole island, value.

Amy was especially accommodating to us when we arrived. The board in the office clearly says that the owners are available by phone at all times. We incorrectly assumed that the envelope on the board was for us and went to the designated room. In fact we were assigned to a different room. Amy came and at first tried to do a room assignment switch so we could stay where we were, but reservations made that unworkable. We gladly moved into the correct room next door (which we liked better). Amy apologized for the mix-up even though it was our fault.

The sitting area outside our door was nothing special, but it was a pleasant place to sit, eat breakfast, have a late afternoon glass of wine and read a book. The area is screened off from the adjacent rooms.

The room is well equipped for simple food prep/microwave heating/refrigeration, but I wouldn't try to cook a whole meal because the bathroom sink is the only available cleanup area. The bathroom was very clean, including the shower curtain, with the usual small soaps and shampoo. There was a hair dryer stored in the bathroom cabinet.

I would suggest that the outside, including the lattice screens and sign, be given a fresh coat of paint to attract walk-in guests. On the other hand, Tarpon Tale could remain a hidden getaway for those who have read the reviews.

Room Tip: The Bird House's layout gives the feeling of having more space and has good privacy screening.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dmnickel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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247 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Troy, Ohio, United States
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2013

We stayed at the Tarpon tale October 22-26 for our 10th anniversary , great rooms, and value. Small, very private . Equipped kitchens, for basic cooking. love the outside area, hammock footsteps from our door,gas grill available for use. bikes and beach accessories (including beach towels ) available to borrow . bikes, were great for getting around the island . With beach parking 2.00 /hr , having bikes available was great to make trips to the beach . This is a great place if you want to have a value oriented stay without frills, No maid service, mints on pillow etc . innkeepers are friendly, receptive to guests needs.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Karen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2013

My wife and I stayed at the Tarpon Tale Inn in October 2012 during our honeymoon and it was an excellent choice. We were looking for a place that would allow us to relax for about five days and the Tarpon Tale Inn was it. Our room had everything we needed and was an excellent choice for the money. The innkeepers were there when you needed them but other than that they stayed out of sight. There was an excellent little diner across the road as well. It was conveniently located and only a short drive to all of the restaurants on Sanibel Island.

FYI, the "Island Cow" restaurant was our top choice for restaurant's on Sanibel Island. We liked is so much I think we ate there 2-3 times.

The Tarpon Tale Inn was an excellent choice for the money!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank steeli2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
44 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2013

came to visit last year for a little romantic weekend getaway. We checked in late so they left our key for the "light house" room on the cork board outside of the office. Rooms are so clean, beds are comfy and our room had all necessary items in the kitchen. If I would have known that I would have brought groceries :) about a 5 minute walk to the nearest beach & right across the street there is a great little place we had breakfast at. The island is so quiet and peaceful and the tarpon tale inn exceeded our expectations, so relaxing and quaint. Will definitely visit again.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Caitlyn_Alexandra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
43 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2013

Stayed 1 week mid-June 2013; 3 nights in Lighthouse II and 3 nights in Seashell I. Both rooms were in excellent shape, very clean, nicely decorated, comfortable beds and sofas, necessary dishes and utensils (can openers, wine openers, knives, forks, wine glasses, coffee cups, plates, paper towels, etc). Both rooms had coffee maker & microwave. Seashell I is a much larger room with table & 2 chairs and full size kitchen (stove, full fridge, toaster). Lighthouse II had a decent mini-fridge that easily held bottle of wine, beer, cartons of milk, OJ, etc. Plenty of room for 2 people. Each unit has it's own designated parking space. Hand soap, bar soap, shampoo & conditioner are provided. Coffee, sugar, & creamers are provided (additional coffee available from the laundry room). Bathroom in the smaller unit provided excellent under counter storage and counter top storage for toiletries. Bathroom in the larger unit was much smaller and had a pedestal sink. There is limited storage in a cabinet above the toilet. Check out photos for more details.

Owners are on site every day and couldn't be nicer or more accommodating. Although no daily maid service, plenty of clean linens are always available in the laundry room, which is in the rear of the office with it's own separate entry for guests. Owners provide plenty of bikes (which are in great shape) and all that you need for the beach (large beach towels, comfy beach chairs, umbrellas, noodles, and a wagon to cart it all). They are a 5 minute walk to gulf or to bay. Beach chairs have straps attached so you could easily carry it like a backpack and bike to the beach. All their beach equipment was in excellent condition. They provide a computer in the office lounge and a phone to use. We were able to get WifFi in Lighthouse II because it's next door to the office. Dawn & Joe (owners) go out of their way to ensure their guests needs are met. In the laundry room they provide all kinds of stuff you may want or have forgotten. In the office lounge, they always have wine available, and also will have lemonade, ice tea, and some goodie (cakes) to nibble on.

Tarpon Tale Inn is a short bike ride from the main area of Sanibel with restaurants, shopping, & groceries. Across the street is an excellent breakfast spot, an Italian-style ice cream place (made fresh daily), and an outstanding bakery/cafe. Next door is another excellent deli also serving breakfast items. All are reasonably priced. Believe me, the ice cream is addictive and the bakery goodies are sinfully delicious!

We prefer the quieter side of Sanibel Island and enjoy staying at a place with less people. Tarpon Tale Inn gives you the feeling of "living" on the island and not just visiting in some hotel. We would definitely recommend this Inn and look forward to our next visit.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank alwaysjerseygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coral Springs, Florida
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 25, 2013

Once again our goal was met. We wanted complete relaxation as well as beach access and no crowds. We got it! Further the inn keepers, Joe and Dawn are wonderfully helpful and just as friendly as could be. One week here is not enough, we are shooting to double our stay here next year. Surrounded by great food and pleasantly located in quiet Old Town Sanibel, I highly recommend this place to any who wants to get away! You can choose to be as relaxed or active as you want, a very convenient location and the grounds are simply wonderful! Thanks, J&D!!
Hans and Amanda

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank chiefnomo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2013

My husband and I stayed in Sea Shell II in early May and had a wonderful visit. The room was very clean and the inn had all the amenities for preparing a meal as well as a cozy table in our room. Dawn was very gracious and helpful about questions we had about Sanibel (beautiful island). She also suggested watching the sun rise which we did and it was spectacular. We particularly enjoyed her flavoured water and snacks in the office open to all guests. In addition, we took advantage of the bikes offered to cycle around the island (very easy cycling, all flat). Sanibel is a wonderful island to visit and we would love to go back and will definitely choose the Tarpon Tale Inn.
Andersen, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank C A
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

Property: 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 42 Specialty Lodging in Sanibel Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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