I've been staying at Lahaina since 1998, and have been there in every season of the year. I love this area of Florida, and especially FMB. I've walked the entire 7 mile stretch of Fort Myers Beach several times. I'm convinced from what I've seen of other resorts & their beachfronts that Lahaina is the perfect location on Fort Myers Beach. I can't recommend Lahaina enough! Great sand, lots of nature (dolphins! birds! seashells!), friendly staff, well-maintained, comfortable units: a very peaceful and relaxing place. Read on for more specifics:
I love the section of beach where Lahaina is located: middle of the island, away from the noise of the pier (aka Times Square) at the north end of the island and not overshadowed by the multi-story condos at the south end. If you're looking for a nightclub atmosphere, you won't find it here. Rather, it is serene, quiet, with the only "nightlife" the stars, the waves, and -- maybe -- a turtle. (Because it is right on the beach, outside lighting must be dimmed during turtle season and you're expected to close your blinds at night to shield inside light.) You are right on the sand, with lots of palm trees -- a picturesque island paradise. Two small swimming pools are on the property, and there is a fitness room as well.
The beach is white sand and it is quite wide at Lahaina. If you like to walk the beach, this is a great place for that, or for riding bikes. If you are interested in shells, you will find lots right outside your unit's door. If you're on the beach early enough, you'll find a variety of shells that have not been broken in the surf. Lots of starfish, sand dollars and Florida Fighting Conches to awe you -- but leave them on the beach if they're alive! And don't throw the Conchs back into the surf -- they live in the sand and come up at low tide to breathe! Another reviewer commented that the beach was dirty. I've never experienced that. The only time that I've seen any kind of trash on the beach was in the weeks following Hurricane Charlie. You will find seaweed, shells, driftwood, sometimes fish after a storm, but that's nature, not trash.
Some may call the decor -- it's typical "Old Florida" style -- a little dated, but the units are well-maintained and I've seen new furnishings in the units 3 times in the 15 years I've been staying there. So, "dated" can only refer to the style, not the quality of the furnishings. All but 3 units (which are clearly designated) are on the beach. Almost all of the units have at least 3 stairs to access, some more. The only exception (I think) are the two pool side units 12 & 13. The steep stairs to units 21 & 22 are not brightly lit and might be an issue for some who have difficulties with stairs or seeing at night.
Some of the other reviews indicate that there is road noise. There is in units 26-29. BUT, there is only one main road through the island and most hotels are right on the road, so this is not something that you won't encounter in some rooms/condos at most other resorts on the island. The other beachside units do sit a little further back so you have more of a sound barrier. I've never found it to be much of a problem as life mid-island seems to quiet down by 10pm. For two weeks a few years ago, I had to conduct phone interviews while on vacation and the only place I had decent cell coverage was sitting beside the road -- so, how noisy can it be at night, if I could conduct business calls during the day while practically standing in the road? (Note: this was completely because of the shoddy cell phone carrier that I had at the time. Haven't had problems cell signal with any of the major carriers for last 4 - 5 years).
Internet service can be spotty and always seems to be more of a problem on Sundays, but maybe that is because nobody is in the office of address the issue (the only day the office is closed; they do respond to the emergency number off-hours). Another reviewer who has been there more recently than I noted they have upgraded the WiFi so maybe it is no longer a problem. Seems like every place on the beach has wifi, so (without getting too geeky) there are lots of access points broadcasting, so there is bound to be some issues from time to time. Still, I've never found it to be that much of a problem and that includes the weeks I've spent there when officially "working".
Kitchens are well-equipped but small. Still, it is possible to cook a full meal there, should you choose. Publix is within walking distance, and there is a great gourmet grocery (The Sandy Butler) just as you approach the island bridge. If something is missing from the kitchen, just ask at the office & they will get it. There are several grills throughout the property too if you want to grill. They are well-lit, so you can grill after dark. Maintenance crew is great, as is the office staff. There is very little turnover -- I think the man who manages it has been there for over 30 years. Staff loves to greet vacationers at Monday breakfast and Wednesday Hot Dog Lunch. I've never had to sit through a sales pitch. Most of the people staying there own their weeks or have exchanged them through RCI. I think that is one reason why the units remain in such good condition from year to year.
Rooms are not cleaned daily. Towel exchange is on Monday mornings until around noon. On-site laundry, but you need your own detergent. Towels in room are always in great condition and they give you plenty to last to Towel Exchange, if not the entire week. AC & water pressure has always been great in every unit I've stayed.
There are lots of things to do in the Lee & Collier county area -- Ding Darling Nature Preserve, 6-Mile Slough, Corkscrew Sanctuary for nature lovers, shopping outlets, boat & fishing excursions, movie theatres for rainy days, minature golf and other attractions for kids, parasailing, water excursions, sunset cruises, etc., and lots of restaurants throughout the island, with a major concentration of bars & live music in the Times Square area. It's a perfect place for a Sit in a chair in the sun type vacation, but lots of options should you want to do more.
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- Also Known As:
- Lahaina Hotel Fort Myers Beach
- Lahaina Inn Resort Fort Myers Beach, Florida