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“The Perfect Spot for Some R & R”

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Shell Island Fish Camp
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Saint Marks
Elba, Alabama
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“The Perfect Spot for Some R & R”
Reviewed 23 November 2012

Our children sing and play gospel bluegrass music, so they were invited to a church near St. Marks. We decided to come a few days early and leave a few days late in order to enjoy an early Thanksgiving getaway. This being our first experience at Shell Island revealed that it was the perfect place for our large family.
Of the four nights we stayed, two were spent in one cabin and (due to a prior reservation by other guests) two were spent in a second cabin. The staff let me know about the arrangement before our drive down there, and although I would have preferred the same cabin during our entire stay, moving did not make our stay any less pleasant.
We do not own a boat, but my boys wanted to fish while there. While the docks were busy, they were not permitted to fish from a camp dock. To avoid any disappointment, the staff told them of a park near enough for them to walk to and fish. That was good advice, and one of my boys caught and brought back a good-sized trout. The next morning when things had slowed down, the boys fished from the dock … with one of them even catching a 4-pound weight! :-)
As for the cabin itself, there were eight of us, so it proved to be just the right size. The cabin consists of two bedrooms (each containing two double beds, a dresser, end table and a closet area), but only one bedroom has a television and alarm clock. In the kitchen, there is a coffee maker, microwave, table with chairs, sink, gas stove/oven and a full-size refrigerator/freezer. There is a small shelf for food storage, but no cabinets. The bathroom has the standard sink, toilet and shower and although there is no “living area”, the front porch is screened in and well-stocked with chairs, rockers and even a porch swing … which incidentally, was the perfect place for playing some gentle bluegrass music the night before our booking.
Bear in mind, the cabins are rustic with signs of age throughout, so if you desire something newer or more modern, you might want to consider a park model at the camp or the nearby Best Western hotel. Nevertheless, both of the cabins we stayed in were clean, well kept, smelled nice and were very comfortable and affordable. Housekeeping came by every morning and, although we declined their services, they still left more than enough coffee packets, soaps and fresh towels to see us through the day.
The friendliness of the park is not limited to the staff. It has is a quaint, small-town, neighborhood feel where the children play together at the swings/tetherball area, ride bikes, or pull wagons with little ones. There were a few of the older fishermen who could have watched their language a bit closer around the kids, but all in all, everyone we came in contact with were helpful and very nice folks.
Since the website is in the process of updating, I took a few photos around the camp so that others could get an idea of what to expect. True, it is a fishing camp, but for folks like me who do their fishing at Winn-Dixie, it is still a great place to get some rest and relaxation. We look forward to returning soon.

Room Tip: Rating Notes: I gave the "kids activities" a five because there was plenty of room to ride...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank AbleToAssist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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34 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Weeki Wachee, Florida
Level Contributor
144 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2012

While visiting the St. Mark's NWR and Wakulla Springs State Park, we found this little gem of old Florida. We stayed a couple nights in a "Park Model" which was clean and comfortable. The staff were very pleasant. The Shell Island Fish Camp is rather an electic combination of old motel rooms and more modern park models. Not sure about the motel rooms, but definitely very satisfied with the park model. While we were concerned a group of fishermen next door who were "partying" might be a bit noisy, we heard nothing in our room, very quiet.

Room Tip: Go with the park model
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank flbirdman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norcross, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 November 2012

Have fished Shell island 4 times a year from 2003 until 2010. Fished 2 times since then, Home away from home(Norcross, Ga.). Have been told I have approx, 1 yr. to live with colon/liver cancer. Will go and spend a week with Jimmy and the gang while I am still able sometime in Feb/Mar 2013. Might not be able to fish but will enjoy hanging out and enjoy their company
and friendship. Have fished with all the guides through the years. Great bunch of guys. Knowledgeable and friendly. Have fished from Cedar Keys to Mexico Beach since 1978 and
enjoy Shell Island the best. Good fishing and relaxing after day of fishing.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dmcfishing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bethlehem, Georgia, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 April 2012

went down with 15 other fellows for fishing trip had 3 cabins and two rooms had a blast rooms were clean plenty towels avavaible caught plenty of fish would reccomend fish camp to anyone who loves the florida gulf coast. been coming to this area since 1972 seen changes but mostly for the good!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Michael D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2012

Took me back in time and reminded me of some of the places I stayed with my parents as a young kid. Time has not changed the Fish Camp. Great area that has not been over run with asphalt, chain hotels, and Wal-Marts. If you like Old School this is the place to stay. Owners are friendly and make your stay very enjoyable. Will be back as much as time will allow.
Remember....."skeeters" are native to the area so go with a good supply of deet.

Room Tip: Rates very reasonable. If you do not require stove and separate sleeping rooms suggest the park mode...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank ricky b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Monroe, Georgia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 September 2010

I have been coming to Shell Island since I was 9 years old 1976. My family enjoys coming to Shell Island to fish. Everyone at Shell Island treats you like family, that makes it enjoyable to stay there with my family. I took my 8 year old son in Oct. of 2009 for his first trip to Shell Island to fish and he enjoyed so much we are headed back there on the 15th of Oct 2010 and the 29th of Oct, for two more fishing trips. My bubbies and I are taking our sons on the 15th and the entire family will go on the 29th. I cann't think of another place that I enjoy more than Shell Island. Allen I hope you and Ruthie enjoy your retirement,as well as Ken, Jimmy and Sherie look forward to seeing yall in a couple of weeks.

Matt Greer Monroe Ga.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Mattcode77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2010

We visited over memorial weekend, with kayaks and bikes in tow. We selected this place for location, what we thought was value, and the quaint little fish camp itself.

Well we could've overlooked the mold on the shower curtains, and the roaches and skeeters in the room upon entering, "during daylite". The room was NOT clean, and clean is pretty cheap, and of great value, in my book.

The topper for me was something as simple as coffee. Gotta have it in the morning. No pot in the room, which is fine. But, there was a pot in the office, where they take donations for the coffee. My first cup was bottom of the pot, but I still donated a buck. When asked if I could make a fresh pot, the reply was: Are you gonna drink it all? I said probably not... And the reply back was, No, it's 9:30 in the morning, and we aren't gonna waste it....! UnbelievABLE customer service reply! I had no reply, cuz I was speechless.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank kmtorrence
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shell Island Fish Camp

Property: Shell Island Fish Camp
Address: Saint Marks, FL
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Panhandle > Saint Marks
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Saint Marks
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
Shell Island Fish Camp Hotel Saint Marks

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