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Waterside Inn on the Beach
Ranked #7 of 20 Hotels in Sanibel Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 April 2013

My husband and I stayed in the Pineapple Lodge (Room 128) at the Waterside Inn last week. We had a great time! The hotel was the perfect beach accommodations: just a few steps from the beach, bike rentals on-sight, and a great overall location on the island. The room itself was very nice: clean and updated bathroom, nice kitchenette, good wifi connection, great view of the ocean from our windows, comfortable bed and nice linens. We would definitely stay there again. Reasonable price (considering it was spring break week and very busy). Found lots of shells and starfish on the nearby beach. Even saw dolphins swimming right off shore. Every staff person we met was friendly and helpful. Thank you Waterside Inn!

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Nan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sanibelblondie, Owner at Waterside Inn on the Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 3 April 2013

Thank you for leaving a review of your stay at the Waterside Inn on the beach. We are so happy you had a wonderful time here on the beach and enjoyed all we had to offer. We look forward to your return and sincerely appreciate your patronage.

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383 - 389 of 606 reviews

Reviewed 31 March 2013

Stayed her for 1 week end March in Grapefruit Cottage after staying at least once previously in Pineapple Lodge. Given the cost $387 (£260) a night you would expect (at least I would) something special. The only thing special is the location, right on the beach and a wide stretch at that as many places have narrow beaches due to beach erosion.

The cottages are large and spacious with a good sized bedroom and nice shower/ bath but the bathroom looks very tired despite attempts to spruce it up using sheets of plastic tiling. The tap on our sink definitely needed replacing (really difficult to turn on and off) and I am sorry to say the cleaning of the bathroom leaved a lot to be desired with loads of long dark hairs all over the place - (couldn't have been mine, last time I had hair that long was in 1976 and that dark in 1999) - seriously though not good enough. As for the plastic holder dispensing paper tissues, words fail me - gross sums it up.

Nice touches are that towels are changed daily in fact my wife said she had never seen so many clean towels and coffee sachets are also provided daily. The TV was a large flatscreen so good there and free wifi with good connection was a boon.

The windows on our cottage were really dirty and were never cleaned in the week we were there and looked as if they hadn't been touched for months.

The laundry is very useful but no signs saying how long the washes took and when we asked at reception they had idea no either (why not!!!!) - also there are no laundry baskets in either the laundry room or in individual cottages which struck us as unusual to say the least.

The most annoying thing of all though was the lack of beach chairs - I would guess about 30 provided and given there are 48 accomodations with say an average of 3 per accomodation there are about one fifth of the number needed which is why they all disappeared by 9.00 each morning with beach towels often adorning otherwise empty chairs on the beach until late morning or indeed early afternoon. I'm paying $387 a night and I can't get a beach chair!!

The cottages are semi-detached and the walls really are thin - some siimple sound insulation really is needed - we heard some interesting conversations from next door!! - a good job the bedrooms are not adjacent to the partry wall.

Yes despite all the above we enjoyed our week here a lot but it could have and should have been a lot better experience for what we were paying and all the issues could be remedied by management.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank bobkent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sanibelblondie, Owner at Waterside Inn on the Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 3 April 2013

Thank you for your review and suggestions on how to improve our property. We take all feedback very seriously and apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. Let me see if I can address your concerns. The cleaning company that cleans our rooms have been advised of the dirty bathroom you encountered. I must say that I wish you would have brought that to our staff’s attention when you arrived so that we could have notified housekeeping immediately and resolved that issue. At any rate, you also mentioned “plastic tiling” in the bathroom. This is a practice that some of the finest hotels use to update their bathrooms in lieu of ripping everything out. The installation was preformed by a nationally know company that deals in acrylic bathtub, shower enclosures. The bathtub refinishing products are not “plastic tiling”, but instead custom molded acrylic that fits over existing fixtures for quick and clean bathroom renovations that last a lifetime. You also mentioned the problem with the beach loungers, which is a common one with many resorts. Most accommodations will charge their guests for the use of such loungers and that guarantees them a chair. The good thing is that we do not charge for beach loungers but the bad part is that in very rare instances, (Spring Break & Easter), we may run short. It is a shame that some guests monopolize a beach chair all day when they are not even around to use it, but unfortunately it’s something that we cannot “police”. In short, I’m glad for the most part that you enjoyed your time here at Waterside Inn, and hope your travels home were safe.

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Reviewed 29 March 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Waterside Inn on the Beach.
Two adults, two teens...had a wonderful time.
Room was clean, beds were firm and comfortable. Daily cleaning of our room was wonderful.
Front office staff (Justin) was very responsive. Bike rentals were a plus.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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7  Thank Jeff A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sanibelblondie, Owner at Waterside Inn on the Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 1 April 2013

We appreciate your kind review of Waterside Inn on the Beach. Looking forward to your next visit!

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Reviewed 17 March 2013

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights last month, and had a wonderful time. It was our first trip together without our kids in about 8 years!! We rented a room in the Pineapple Lodge, which was great for our short trip. We loved that there was absolutely no hassle in getting our room key and checking in - took literally 2 minutes. The room itself was spotlessly clean, including the bathroom, which is where you can usually tell. We slept in a couple times, and maid service always left us clean towels outside and then came back later to clean. The beds were relatively comfortable, but the bedspreads were extremely dated, along with the curtains - though I think that's part of the charm for some folks (and not a big deal). The balcony was wonderful to have, and the grounds were just a wonderful oasis. The room only had a window air conditioner, which was somewhat problematic - it ran constantly (because it's Florida), and didn't seem up to the task of dehumidifying the air, so the room felt a little damp all the time and the unit was super noisy. We didn't spend a huge amount of time inside, so this wasn't a major issue, but was a little unpleasant. If the owners were able to invest in central air, it would make things perfect.

The location is almost right on the beach, which is awesome. And the beach itself wasn't crowded and had plenty of shells. We even found a large sand dollar! We came to Sanibel specifically because we're shelling enthusiasts, so this was a perfect location for us. It's only a few minutes to drive (or bike) anywhere you'd like to go on Sanibel as well (though this may be true for anywhere since it's a small island).

On Friday evening, the management set up a wine and cheese sunset party - so lovely to drink wine at the beach on our first night. As a caveat, however, the majority of people we met were seniors (and this was true all over Sanibel). We didn't mind, but if you're a couple under 40 hoping to hang out with some people your own age, forget it. The older folks seemed to really enjoy meeting up and talking, though, so if you're in that age bracket, this is a great destination!

Overall, we had an absolutely great trip and would stay here again. It was clean, laid-back, safe, and comfortable enough for us. It was also one of the less expensive places (though still almost 300 a night!) during the high season on Sanibel. We hope to return with our kids next year.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank goodyweaver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sanibelblondie, Owner at Waterside Inn on the Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2013

We appreciate you taking the time to give us a favorable review of Waterside Inn on the Beach. We are in the process of replacing our air conditioners with ones that have higher efficiency and dehumidifying capabilities. Hopefully this will make your stay a bit more comfortable. So glad you made it to our Sunset Party that we put on for our guests during the high season. It's a great time to meet the other guests staying here. Many a long time friendship has started with a chance meeting at one of our parties. Looking forward to having you back soon with your family!

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Reviewed 15 March 2013

We're long-time visitors to Sanibel and just spent five days here when, on somewhat short notice, we were unable to book at either of our two usual cottage colonies. While the perfect place to stay is always elusive, based on our expectations, we believe there are better places to stay on Sanibel. But one must plan well in advance, especially during peak weeks.

After our first night in Grapefruit 108, we noted the following: 1) dangerously loose toilet seat 2) loose bathroom sink faucet 3) burned out bulb in light strip above mirror. Grit/mold beneath light socket. How, one wonders, does staff/management not notice and immediately deal with such matters? I did report our concerns as we departed on our first day's activities. When we returned, the toilet seat had been tightened, though way off-center, and the faucet had been better secured. The light bulb was not replaced during our 5-day visit.

This was the first property we've stayed at where parking was something of an issue. If one couldn't get a spot in the general parking area, that left only the quite narrow space between cottages. We had a rental compact car that just fit although with shrubbery scraping the bodywork.

The cottage was among the largest one-bedrooms we've had and we enjoyed the terrazzo floor. The furnishings were a bit "tired," the throw pillows past expiration date, and the headboard loose. The Wifi worked well. There is no insulation between the shared walls and, whether our neighbors were inconsiderate or just unaware, loud voices and sliding kitchen drawers came through with almost perfect clarity. Fortunately, the bedroom was a bit removed but if things had not quieted down by 11:30 or so, this would have been quite unpleasant. Given the situation, the management would be well-advised to urge all arriving guests to show consideration in both voice and TV volumes as part of an in-room orientation.

This property doesn't have a computer dedicated to guest use for printing out boarding passes or other needs. When making the reservation, I asked about boarding passes and was told there would be no problem. Thus, it was a surprise when I asked to get online and print the pass. The response was it would be fine but the staff would do it. However, getting a boarding pass means signing onto one's email with a password, not something one leaves to others. The initial reaction was that "the owner didn't want guests using the computer." Astonishing. Good sense prevailed. Otherwise, our few interactions with staff were friendly as one would expect.

The property is located on W. Gulf Rd., a very lovely spot, quiet and convenient. Overall, the need for better quality control/maintenance and other issues means we'd recommend a few other properties rather than this one.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank goer33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sanibelblondie, Owner at Waterside Inn on the Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2013

Thank you so much for your review of Waterside Inn on the Beach. I wanted to address the issues mentioned in your review. As you said, we have free Wi-Fi here for all our guests. We expect all our guests to do their personal activities on their own personal computers. One service we do provide is to print off your boarding passes. We ask that our guests bring in their confirmation number so that we can pull up their reservation on the airlines secure website. This procedure calls for no personal passwords to be given to us. In your instance, it was brought to my attention that you wanted to check your email for your confirmation. As you can imagine, it is NOT our policy to have any guest use our business reservation computer for checking emails or any other personal activity. Since we were trying to be accommodating, we said we could go into your email to get your confirmation but we would have to be on the computer – not you. If you did not want us to do this, your only other option was to go to the local library to use their public computers and printers. Although we try very hard to be accommodating to all our guests, there comes a time when we just can’t just turn our business computers over to anyone that wants to use them. We apologize about the light bulb but it was reported that the “light above the sink” was not working. When we went to the unit, we noticed that the light above the sink (in the kitchen) was unplugged. We plugged it in and it worked. Had you let us know that day that this was the wrong light, we would have been there immediately to correct the problem but as you can see, this was an honest misunderstanding. We apologize for any trouble this caused you during your 5 day stay.
When you visited us here on Sanibel, you came in our highest season. Traffic on the island, restaurants and our hotel was at maximum capacity. On your particular unit, you have a private parking spot next to the front door. It can fit a normal size car but if you have a full size pickup truck I can see that it would be tight. Luckily that was not your case. All in all, I wish your experience here had been a better one. We try our hardest to make sure everyone has a fun and enjoyable time while staying with us. With your comments I hope we can improve enough to have you return to Waterside Inn sometime in the future.

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Reviewed 15 March 2013

As many reviewers have stated, Waterside Inn is a throwback to Old Florida. That being said, if you are expecting a cookie cutter, "modern" hotel experience this might not be the place for you. The place was really charming; the driveway and parking areas are all sand so it feels like you're driving right up to the beach, landscaping was nice and the staff and guests alike were really friendly. We chose to stay here because we wanted a place with easy beach access that was pet friendly for our small dog and Waterside delivered. The front desk was very accomdating when we checked in early and offered beach towels and a key to the small changing cottage while our room was being cleaned. Luckily, as soon as we started to walk out the door our room was ready. We stayed in the Pineapple cottage, which was nicely appointed. The kitchen has eveything you need to cook, utensils, as well as dish towels and dish soap. We had no issues with towels or cleaning as some other reviewers indicated. The heated pool was nice, especially since it was chilly the day we arrived. The location is great, the beach is wide with plenty of space and beach chairs are provided; just remember to return them at the end of the day. Sanibel is very dog friendly; there are several restaurants that allow you to bring your dog on the patio and we loved that.

The only complaints I have are minor; living area furniture isn't very comfortable (but you don't go to Sanibel to sit inside), and we could hear the guests next door (especially through the bathroom wall). Neither of these are deal breakers and I'd stay at Waterside again. Overall a really nice experience. My advice; rent a bike if you didn't bring one, relax and enjoy the island.

Room Tip: Not much of a difference between Gulf Front and Gulf View cottages; the view doesn't appear to b...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Chris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sanibelblondie, Owner at Waterside Inn on the Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2013

Hi Chris and thanks for your great comments about Waterside Inn on the Beach. One thing I wanted to correct you on is that you mentioned "Pineapple Cottage"....and unfortunately, we do not have a Pineapple Cottage. I am assuming that you stayed in one of our cottages since they are pet friendly. We have a Pineapple Lodge, but those units are not pet friendly (I don't want to confuse all our pet lovers!). Anyway, we're so glad that Waterside was a good fit for you and your cuddly pet! Please come again soon and hopefully we can do something about the living room furniture. It's sometimes challenging to get furniture and cushions that are tough enough to withstand wet bathing suits, sand, and spilt wine!! We’re still on the hunt for something new.

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Reviewed 7 March 2013

I need to start by saying, I came to go shelling on Sanibel. If you want luxury accommodations, this is the wrong island. If you want the best shelling beaches, this is the place. This location is great. We have stayed at the other end of the island and Waterside is more low-key, quieter area that we enjoyed. We stayed in the Pineapple Lodge the first night and it is much like a motel room. Comfortable, large room with small kitchenette, but nothing special. Those bedspread have to go! Acrylic or something that is just not comfortable or attractive... large bathroom. We asked to be moved to the condos for our next two nights for more space since my husband was working most of the days while I shelled. The staff was very accommodating and let him look at two different rooms to decide. (free wi-fi was a definite plus) I have to say that the staff was wonderful and kind throughout the entire booking process and our stay. You really can't go wrong when that is the case. We asked for early check-in, moved rooms and asked for last check-out. While they could not accommodate our late check-out, they did everything else for us and were friendly. We loved the screened in porch of our condo... I think we were in 116. Our only complaint is the bathrooms... in the master, if you sat on toilet your leg smashed into the roll of toilet paper. In the other bath, the shower door hits the toilet and so you squeeze in and out. Just not a well thought out floor plan for either bath. The bathroom in Pineapple lodge was actually better. The beach area around the Waterside is lovely... hours of walking in either direction at any time of day allows for lots of shelling treasures! Many restaurants nearby and this location is closer to Captiva. Go and enjoy the best shelling beaches!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank mshtx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sanibelblondie, Owner at Waterside Inn on the Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2013

We appreciate the comments you stated concerning Waterside Inn on the Beach. We are so happy you found our beachside resort on Sanibel Island and enjoyed your time vacationing here with us. The best thing that set us apart from the other resorts is our excellent customer service, lush tropical surroundings, and our expansive beach area. The quaint colorful cottages and Pineapple Lodge rooms are a great choice for the guest(s) looking forward to kicking back and just rejuvenating from their busy life. I wanted to address your comment about the bedspreads. We have ordered new bedspreads that should be in each of the rooms with 2 weeks. You mentioned the small bathrooms also. The ones you mentioned were in the Breakers West Condo, not Waterside Inn. These 2 bedrooms, 2 bath condo units are located behind our property. They are each individually owned and we manage the reservations and property for them. The Breakers West Condo is a great option for the larger families that require 2 bedrooms and 2 baths. Once again, thank you for your input….we listen and appreciate all your suggestions. Please come again soon to see our improvements.

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Additional Information about Waterside Inn on the Beach

Address: 3033 W Gulf Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-5609
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sanibel Island
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Sanibel Island
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Sanibel Island
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Sanibel Island
Price Range: £106 - £141 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Waterside Inn on the Beach 2*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Are you searching for that true Olde Florida charm and style? Look no further than Waterside Inn! You?re just steps away from the beautiful beaches of Sanibel. Amenities include a heated pool, beach loungers, on-site bike rentals, and BBQ grills. Come to relax and unwind in one of our small inns or cottages. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Waterside Inn On The Beach Hotel Sanibel Island
Waterside Hotel Sanibel Island
Waterside Resort Sanibel Island
Waterside Inn On The Beach Sanibel Island, Florida

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