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“Lost its luster”

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South Seas Island Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Captiva Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 January 2014

Had been coming here regularly during the 80's and 90's. This time thought we'd go all out and rent one of their (top of the line) private homes. Needless to say the resort is not up to its glory days of the past. The entrance is in need of updating, and while clean, "long in the tooth" would not be far off. Landscaping at the entrance looks bad and while enroute to the house we rented passed an awful sewer break and you can imagine the odor. While it is safe to say these things happen, in the past that break would have been worked on 24/7 which was not the case here. This is reflective of the house we rented (not cheap). Upon entering a $5M home we encountered a terrible smell which turned out to be a dead (6 inch) rat in the garage. There were other traps even upstairs indicating this has been an issue before. A furnace that took two days to fix and an invasion of ants that took 3 days to fix indicate that while staff is friendly and say all the right things maintenance and upkeep are clearly lacking (the list is longer but you get the idea). The views, beach and Gulf are as wonderful as ever, BUT at the price charged this house (their prime properties) was more than lacking in maintenance. We walked the entire resort and found some areas in better maintenance than others, so my advice is IF you use this place be careful what you pick and where on the resort it is located. Read the fine print as daily services are not like in the past. You will find very friendly staff, but do not expect rapid responses to maintenance issues. Also note they now require an arm band to get into the resort pool and ride the bus, which is a bad solution to the problem of non guests using facilities.
Having rented private homes in the past it would be wise to shop around as the views and beach which exist at South Seas Island Resort exist elsewhere.......I'm afraid this place has lost its luster ..

Room Tip: Lands end seems to be in the best shape. IF renting a private home be very careful. Did not use s...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank fdl1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 January 2014

We have been to the South Seas four times now. We went once without our kids as a romantic getaway and realized that this is a great place to bring the family. Next three times we brought our family. This resort is nothing short of perfect. The beach is right there and is probably the nicest beach you will find in all of Florida (and we've been to a lot of beaches in Florida). The property is beautiful, the staff is all helpful. Our kids still talk about the manatees, the trolly, the pools and the water slide. We really enjoy the sunset beach. We've stayed at the marina side hotel as well as in some of the time share rentals on the beach side. We didn't go this year and missed it. I think we'll be going again next year. The only complaint I would have is that the restaurant choices are pretty much non-existant. But if you know that going in and pack in supplies from town, you should be set. Don't hestitate to stay here. It's the best resort in Florida we've ever been to.

Room Tip: So many room choices. If you stay by the harbor, you will be on the "good side" of the pr...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank WHinMG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SouthSeasCaptiva, Guest Relations Manager at South Seas Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 11 February 2014

Thank you for sharing your past experiences at South Seas Island Resort. We look forward to welcoming you back to Captiva when you are ready. If I can be of assistance, please let me know.

With warm regards,
Anthonia Smith
Dir of Guest Relations, South Seas Island Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2014

The most positive aspect of this property was the beautiful location on the Gulf. We stayed in a beach villa with a beautiful view.
The unit was clean and the bed was comfortable. The access to the beach was wonderful.
However, if you are expecting the service and luxury usually equated with a resort, you will be disappointed. There was no real welcome at our check-in; it was already dark and we were left to find our unit on our own. There was not the usual escort to your accommodation, nor help with luggage. There were resort restaurants on the northern side of the resort, but they were very ordinary and very expensive. We were very much on our own to find our way around the resort and the island.
Another thing that really was a bit irksome was that they attach "armbands" to identify guests. I am not sure of the purpose....it cheapened the experience for us. Shouldn't the room key be adequate to identify adult guests who use facilities or need beach towels? Perhaps guests would prefer to shop or sightsee without being identified as guests of anywhere in particular.
It was an ok place to stay, but I would not expect a true luxurious resort experience.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Jane S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SouthSeasCaptiva, Guest Relations Manager at South Seas Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 11 February 2014

Thank you for staying with us and sharing your experience. I apologize that we did not exceed your expectations. It is true that we are not a luxury resort, but we do pride ourselves on delivering prompt and friendly service.

For future guests, we do have bellservice that can assist you finding your unit and/or provide luggage assistance. Jane, I apologize that we did not make this clear at check-in.

The issuing of wristbands was the result out of guest comments that not everybody preferred carrying keycards with them as resort ID, as they also have charging capabilities. The wristbands allows the staff to easily identify resort guests at locations like the Resort Pool Complex and trolley stops. Your comments help us streamline this program to make it the best it can be.

Again I thank you for taking the time to share your experience. If I can be of further assistance, please let me know.

With Warm Regards,
Anthonia Smith
Dir of Guest Relations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2014

First, when we drove up to South Seas which we have stayed with for several years, there was a big sewer stench and pipes laying all over the side of the road. Stink was bubbling up out of a pipe for 2 weeks! For 2 wks every time we would drive out of the resort, this stench was present. I feel sorry for the people who rented the condos along the Gulf who smelled this every day. Some woman at the front desk told me on the phone that the resort was having problems with the water pipes! Well, that stench certainly did NOT SMELL LIKE A WATER PIPE PROBLEM! If that stench was a water pipe problem, I hope none of the guests actually DRANK that water!

Then when we initially checked in, the Concierge told us the room we requested 12 months ago was occupied by someone else for another 5 days so they put us in a smaller room for the first 5 days, then we packed up and moved to the original room we requested for the last 5 days of our vacation. This was a big problem, a great inconvenience for us, and was not what we paid our money for. We were very unhappy the hotel did not call us in enough time in order for us to cancel. They should have called us and told us they had a really revolting stinky 'water' pipe problem too, but they failed to call us and tell us anything. They were just going to surprise us with all this bad news once it was too late for us to cancel our reservations. I call this dishonest. They knew that they kicked us out of our room we had requested 12 months prior, because they knowingly rented the room we requested to someone else, and yet they failed to call us and inform us of that. The hotel should have told the people that occupied the room we reserved 1 yr in advance that that particular room would not be available on January 14-24. The hotel should not have made us move to a lesser room when we reserved a certain room a YEAR ago! If this is their policy and is the way they operate/manage customers/guests, well this is a very surreptitous way to manage people and manage a business. We were so mad about this mismanagement. We understand South Seas is under new ownership and new management but we don't know this for certain, but we will never stay at South Seas again, never ever.

The Housekeepers would often forget to give us the type of towels we wanted, just a few extra wash cloths, and we left them a message and a TIP, one day we didn't even receive even ONE WASH CLOTH and we had to call housekeeping and request someone bring us wash cloths after we left a big tip for this request.

Yes, you see dolphins swimming in the Pine Island Sound out front of the rooms and the resort is very nicely landscaped, but we will not be staying there again. We also had sticky puddles of something on the granite bathroom countertops and the bathroom floor was dirty and sticky. Then one day I had to call the front desk and inform them the elevator by our room in Harborside strongly smelled like puke! Evidently someone puked in the elevator and we wanted the resort to clean that up right away so someone didn't come down with Novo Virus or some other illness! There are lots of families with small children at this resort. For the kind of money South Seas charges, these kinds of inept occurrences should NOT be happening.

We've found a large 2 bdrm beachfront condo close by, same price as one large room at South Seas, and can still see all of Captiva/Sanibel, eat at all of the better restaurants (Green Flash comes to mind, R.C. Otters, Sanibel Grill too), and not have to pay the exorbitant resort fees, and tolerate the mismanagement (the way we see it and personally experienced it this January), at South Seas. To see dolphins You can hang around on Pine Island Sound from many other locations and watch dolphins swim by. This one pleasant activity is not worth us paying the resort fees every day and trying to tolerate the way this resort operates. We never use any of their tennis courts, etc., anyway.

You can watch dolphins from McCarthy's Marina and you can ride on the Lady Captiva up and down the Sound and watch dolphins chase the boat. We've had enough of this kind of resort 'management'. We'll be staying elsewhere. Any real estate agent on the island can find you a nice 2 bdrm condo on Captiva/Sanibel. This is what we've done for next January.

Daniel Smock, South Seas Marketing director, was very helpful to us, in locating certain artwork/a certain artist, we were looking for on Captiva. He was the one bright spot for us during our 2 wks on Captiva. Also, the people who work in the Logo Store and Ship's Store were really fabulous to deal with.

Room Tip: Even if you request a certain room, the hotel's policy is to NOT HOLD IT FOR YOU, if they can re...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank CeeCee W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SouthSeasCaptiva, Guest Relations Manager at South Seas Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 January 2014

Thank you for your visits to South Seas. I apologize that we did not exceed your expectations during your recent stay. I will be reaching out to you to discuss the possibility of your return.

For future guests, the phase of the project that required pumping the malodorous water is over and is no longer an issue.

Again I offer my sincere apology that we did not exceed your expectations and I look forward to speaking with you.

With warm regards,
Anthonia Smith
Dir of Guest Relations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2014

We had a week with friends at the Plantation Beach Club on Captiva Island in mid January.

The location is great, right on the beach which is fringed with palm trees and is often quite deserted. For us, an added bonus of the location was the variety of birds and wildlife around the area. There are few places in the world where you can share the beach with pelicans, black skimmers, terns and a host of other birds as well as watch dolphins right outside your apartment.

The apartments are comfortable and painted in sea/ beach colours. Each has a beach facing verandah where you can sit for breakfast or watch the sun going down. On the plus side, the apartment has a good kitchen area and separate bedrooms / bathrooms, although the second twin room and bathroom are really too small for two adults. The lounge area is comfortable and has all you need. However, some of the facilities are a little ageing; for example to cooker is probably 15 years old and its oven is difficult to use.

You can hire beach chairs for the week from a local company over the phone - we did so and the man arrived within 20 minutes with our chairs. There is a swimming pool which is OK for children but a bit small for adults. We really enjoyed walking on the beach in the mornings and evenings.

Whilst the Club is part of South Seas Resort, we saw very little of the admin and service staff; you have to ask for help and we did not find them very helpful when we did. For example, they were unable to help us to work the cooker oven and grill and suggested we phoned back in the morning!

One negative is that there is clearly a problem with the local drainage; there was a terrible sulphurous smell outside and down the road; the water was not fit to drink and the shower water smelt strange too. We hope this is fixed soon!

The only other advice we can give is to buy up plenty of food and groceries in Fort Myers as the local shops, although helpful, are expensive.

Overall, it's a great location and we loved Captiva Island.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Oldie48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2014 via mobile

This was a great trip! Loved the resort and the kids LOVED Scully's. They felt so welcomed every day! Our room was just fine...if we had a microwave, it would have been perfect!!! We were at the opposite end of the resort near Scully's and the pools. An overall great time and so happy we experienced it!

Stayed: January 2014
Thank MaraGollin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SouthSeasCaptiva, Guest Relations Manager at South Seas Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 27 January 2014

We're delighted to read of the great time you had at South Seas Island Resort. Thank you for staying with us and we look forward to your return.

With warm regards,
Anthonia Smith
Dir of Guest Relations, South Seas Island Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2014

We loved this resort! We visited this place mid January and it was very quiet and serene. We chose the Harborside Waterview rooms (junior suite) and it was beautiful. Our balcony overlooked a waterway and every day, we would see about 4 dolphins playing outside our window. The large room was nicely decorated and had a serene feel to it (not filled up with tacky pictures on the wall etc. but rather bare and easy on the eye). Good sized bathroom with double sinks. We did not eat at any of the restaurants on site but rather ventured out to the surrounding area. We did enjoy the pool(s) near the hotel as well as the beach. There is a small golf course there (9 hole?) that looked inviting as well as tennis courts; however, we decided to rest on this trip! Everyone was quite friendly and we would love to return to this place again. The only negative thing that we found was that the elevator was not working when we arrived and we had to drag our luggage to top floor. We notified one of the workers who shrugged us off. Plus there was some kind of a company party the night we arrived and they were quite noisy that first night. Other than that, we loved the accommodations!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Meemaw316
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SouthSeasCaptiva, Guest Relations Manager at South Seas Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 27 January 2014

Thank you for staying with at South Seas Island Resort and sharing your review. We look forward to your return.

With warm regards,
Anthonia Smith
Dir of Guest Relations, South Seas Island Resort

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 South Seas Island Resort

Address: 5400 Plantation Road, PO Box 194, Captiva Island, FL 33924-6000
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Captiva Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Captiva Island
Price Range: £203 - £460 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — South Seas Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 471
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
South Seas Island Resort is located on 330-acres on tropical Captiva Island, on the west coast of Florida, just off the beaches of Fort Myers, Fl. South Seas is an iconic resort village combining a natural wonderland with modern resort amenities and accommodations. The resort offers many styles and sizes of accommodations including guestrooms, one to three bedroom villas (condominiums), cottages and spacious private homes. Activities at the resort include tennis, golf, water sports programs including kayak tours, boating and parasailing. Kids will have a great time at the Sanibel Sea School while learning about the surrounding environment. Enjoy three lagoon style pools, complete with private cabanas located at the Pointe and H2Whoa! With two fun water slides. The resort also features some of the best shelling in the world on the miles of sugar sand beach. For relaxation, the Kay Casperson Boutique and Spa is located in the South Village, providing special pampering with a complete spa treatment menu.Dining at South Seas Island Resort is as varied as the activities, with The Harbourside Bar and Grill and The Pointe located at North Pointe. Visit Scoops & Slices, located next to The Pointe, for ice cream or coal fired pizza. In the South Village, other options include Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille, Starbucks and the Captiva Provision Company, a gourmet deli. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
South Seas Island Hotel Captiva Island
South Seas Island Captiva
South Seas Island Resort Captiva Island, Florida

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