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“Before you book a reservation here....Don't!”

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Castaways Cottages of Sanibel
Ranked #10 of 19 Hotels in Sanibel Island
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Rhode Island
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Before you book a reservation here....Don't!”
Reviewed April 2, 2009

Black mold and roaches were the highlight of this stay. Tiny bathroom, no place to hang towels, moldy areas around tub and bath tub faucet, Pool was nice and walk across to the beach was no problem, but the room, unit 26, was an overall nightmare. Next time we go to Sanibel, we will either stay on the "mainland" or do more research. Do not even CONSIDER this place if you are looking for a nice place and good value. This is the exact opposite! The word "DUMP" comes to mind.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RhodeIslandAL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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501 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (116)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Northern RI
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 2, 2009

We LOVE Sanibel and have vacationed on the island numerous times. Our favorite place to stay is at The Shalimar -- great cottages -- steps from the beach --- quiet and friendly. Unfortunately, The Shalimar was booked up, so we tried the Castaways. Never again! The whole place is run down and shabby. We satyed in a 2 bedroom cottage, but the living room didn't have enough chairs for 4 people, unless someone wanted to use a kitchen chair. Our bathroom was tiny, had mold growing, naked lightbulbs over the sink, no towel bars (what are you supposed to do with wet towels?) and was grungy, overall. The cockroach (really a Palmetto bug) that crawled on me while sleeping really did me in. This place has a nerve charging such high prices for such a dump. I wouldn't recommend this place to my worst enemy, never mind a friend! Save your money, don't stay here! Next time, we'll book our vacation when the Shalimar can accomodate us!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BookwomanNorthernRI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tennessee
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2009

My family stayed at Castaways in cabin #7. It was nicer than I expected after reading earlier reviews. It had a grill, table, screaned patio w/table and chairs, two bedroom, sleeper sofa. The location would have been awsome except for the construction going on nearby on the beach. No noise just the equipment and pipes took a little bit away from the ambiance. The cottage is near a fairly busy road that does create some noise in the morning hours when people begin stirring around. Their is a Marina and general store acrosss the street which was convinent. The pool is heated and really all you need. Castaways is associated with Tween-Waters which is about 2 miles away. There you can have access to a nice fitness center, pool with bar and a little more happening atmosphere. Just present you room key to the front desk at Tween-Waters and they will give you a parking pass and key to enter the fitness area with restrooms. The beach in front of Tween-Waters is really nice with no contruction.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sanibelorbust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
63 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2009

We should've gone with our 'gut' feeling when we pulled up to register. Outside was an angry couple. She was furious. Almost at the top of her lungs saying, "This is NOT what the brochure advertised!" Right then & there my partner & I should have been prepared. We weren't. We saw this website (http://www.castawayssanibel.com) & checked it out extensively along with about 10 other places on Sanibel/Captiva Island. It said the cottages were located on the beach. Go ahead, put your cursor over the selected cottage & it shows it right on the beach as well as states that fact. Right down to the description of the location to the inside & the amenities it has to offer was so not true. Red ants & cockroaches came free but never stated it in their advertising.

The cottage, #8, was NOT on the beach. In fact, it was quite a hike to the beach among over grown shrubbery & burs on the walkway that stuck to the rubber soles of your flip flops. You could not see the sunsets from your cottage either.

The screened in porch had a tear all along the bottom. The porch chairs were hanging off the porch & through the bottom of the screens to the outside. The picnic table was rotted through with a huge hole on top. You couldn't possibly sit & eat there as there wasn't any room to put a plate (the hole was that big).

The door going from the so-called screened in porch ( I use that term literally) was rotted & rusted with a gap that you could see to the outside. No worries. They provided 2 tiny space heaters to warm yourself up for the 33 degrees winter nights (2 of which we were there for). We plugged them in & one of the wall sockets went through the sheet rock. The 4 blankets they provided felt like someone weighing 400 pounds was across your chest. When you went to bed, (advertised a queen but there was a double & twin bed in there-maybe they meant when you pushed them together they made a queen size bed) you had better be in that position for the rest of the night because there was no way you were going to toss & turn.

The toilet wouldn't flush. Kept backing up on us too. A little embarrassing to say the least as this was my partners' & my first vacation together. We had just started dating in Oct. I guess you could say we reallllllllllllllly got to know one's habits really quickly!!!

The refrigerator was something from the 50s or 60s. The freezer door was stuck as there was ice all around this tiny little box. In order to open the refrigerator, you had to brace yourself against the wall & pull on the door or the refrigerator would topple over onto you.

The red ants & cockroaches were right at home in the kitchen. They didn't bother us. They pretty much kept to themselves & didn't each much. The food we bought we had to store in the refrigerator. Needless to say, we didn't eat that much either as it was too much of a battle to open the refrigerator door! (You took your life into your hands.)

Laundry facilities were outside in the elements with only a lean-to shed overhang. They were rusted & not surprised...........out of the 2 washers, only 1 worked. Out of the 2 dryers, 1 worked. Oh wait, the other one you had to knee it quite hard right in the middle of the door to make the electrical connection. There were directions right on the door of the dryer.

Remember the couple I mentioned in the beginning? Well, they were in the cottage next to us & left in no time. Another couple came & left as well.

We will never EVER return there again. It was a true nightmare. My partner & I joke about the vacation from hell but for all that money we spent, it really wasn't that funny.

I just wished someone had written about this place before we booked it. I hope this will help anyone looking to experience a vacation of nightmares. This would be the place.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Roz H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delaware
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2009

After a long (hard) year business wise, we were looking for a nice relaxing, out of the way vacation. After choosing Sanibel, we selected Castaways based on its website and the reviews here. To summarize, we were very disappointed and will not be going back

Let me say right away that we were not expecting a 5 star resort. We knew the resort is "Old Florida Style" and figured it wouldnt be a big deal since we dont spend too much time in our rooms on vacations (especially beach vacations). WE really just wanted to relax, sit on the beach, and decompress after a long year.

Also, i will say that the staff was friendly and moderately helpful, so maybe those other reviewers just caught them on a bad day.

Ok, so what went wrong? First, old and small doesn't even begin to describe the cottages. The front door shut, but the gap between it and the door jam was so wide it was laughable. Some windows opened, others didnt. The bathrooms are extremely small...think cruise ships. The beds are like sleeping on petrified foam.

Second, the location is horrendous. The resort is split across San-Cap Rd on a blind corner. So, every time want to go to the pool, to walk the dog, or to the office for any reason, you have to take a leap of faith across that road. The resort is also RIGHT next to public beach access. So, all morning, form the break of dawn, you will car doors slamming, kids shouting, and that unbelievable annoying "Beep beep" of car alarms being set. Not to mention that the beach is always crowded.

Third, the biting gnats (or no-see-ums). We live in Florida, so we know all about these little guys. But the number of bugs and ferocity with which they attacked was unbearable. We couldnt sit on the beach for more than 30 minutes at a time before retreating to our cottage.

FInally, the price. For the price we paid, we were deciding between the RItz in Palm Beach and here. We should've gone with the RItz.. Its obscene that they think they can charge this price for this type of porperty.

  • Liked — leaving/checking out
  • Disliked — the madhatter restaurant was right next door
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank DieBroccoli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2009

We had spend a weekend in Nokomis Beach cottages and decided that we would like to try further down the coast,so we booked a week's stay between Christmas and New Year in Casaways beach cottage's. We rented cottage no 19 facing the heated pool. The cottage was just big enough for two people, it had a very large comfortable bed, small bathroom with a great shower,(plenty of hot water). Full size cooker, fridge, microwave, plenty of pots,pans dishes, well just about everything you would need. Further down Captiva road you will find a Deli, and another small store. There are plenty of restaurants, we had dinner at the Sunset Grill which is next to Castaways on Pine Avenue, the meal was delicious. Some work was being done on the beach that stirred up the fish which attracted dolphins and Sharks to the area.You can rent a bicycle for $10 for four hours and ride along safe cycle paths We enjoyed our stay at the cottage, it was peaceful and quiet,exactly what we wanted.Some people like to return to the same place year after year, not us we like to visit different places, so we won't go back to Castaways for that reason only.

  • Liked — it was not overcrowded
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank TheSallyone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Talkeetna, Alaska
Level Contributor
142 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2008

I'd read a good review of the Castaways Cottages on Sanibel Island in a Florida travel book. We didn't know where it was but I remembered the name. Am I glad I did! We arrived at 7 p.m. and fortunately they had a cottage available. Not on the beach (they do have some on the ocean side that we'll be sure to book next time!) but with a nice little screened porch, full kitchen and one bedroom. Very compact but everything we needed, very cozy and clean. Staff in front office were very accomodating. You can walk right across the street to the beach, and save $100 a night by not booking the ocean side cottages. What a deal!

  • Liked — Location, screened porch
  • Disliked — a bit compact
  • Stayed December 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Ontheroadsince64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Castaways Cottages of Sanibel

Property: Castaways Cottages of Sanibel
Address: 6460 Sanibel Captiva Rd, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-2016
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sanibel Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Sanibel Island
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Sanibel Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Castaways Cottages of Sanibel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Waterview cottages, efficiencies, or motel units are surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and beautiful Sunset Bay. Discover miles of sandy beaches, shelling, fishing, swimming, or just relaxing Island style. The Castaways is a touch of paradise you're sure to remember. World-class shelling and bird-watching. Great fishing from our private docks or in the Gulf of Mexico.Marina with canoe,kayak and bicycle rentals, charter captains, bait and other sundry items.Three restaurants and general store within walking distance. Heated swimming pool. Pet-friendly units available for guests who want their 4-footed friends to enjoy a true family vacation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Castaways Beach And Bay Cottages Hotel Sanibel Island
Castaways Beach And Bay Hotel
Castaways Beach And Bay Resort

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