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“Little slice of Paradise..”

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Waterside Inn on the Beach
Ranked #7 of 20 Hotels in Sanibel Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 April 2014

We actually stayed here April 07, but made reservations to go back this June. This place left such a beautiful, peaceful feeling with us, we decided to return. We are not able to take many vacations, so they are rare and precious to us. After looking at many possibilities, we chose to return to Waterside. We stayed in a cozy little well equipped cottage..(Kiwi) where you walk out your door and your toes are in the sand.. then, walk under the canopy of palm trees to the beach, just steps away... take your coffee on the beach, watch the amazing wildlife along the shore.. applaud the sunset with others up and down the beach in the evening... and what can I say about the seashells?? WOW.. I felt like a kid finding such treasures... so many beautiful, colorful shells.. We only stayed four days.. this time we have 6. Hoping to discover more about the area, see and do more. Green Flash on Captiva was our favorite dining experience! Waterside also has a lodge, with nice rooms and great views, directly on the beach, beautiful condos, and two pools. The overall, serene, cozy feeling of this place made us feel far away from all our troubles.. and well recharged when we left. Can't wait to return!

Room Tip: Stop at Jerry's groceries for supplies and snacks!
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Pam8387
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 21 April 2014

Thank you for the review of your recent stay here at the Waterside Inn on the Beach. We are so glad you enjoyed your vacation and all we have to offer. Our main goal is to bring you back again and again, and it looks like we succeeded. We look forward to seeing you again next year and hopefully many years to come. Once again, thanks for the kind words and returning to our tropical laid-back piece of paradise for your special vacation.

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327 - 333 of 604 reviews

Reviewed 6 April 2014

We are not an easy to please couple; we own a beachfront property, which is it's own slice of heaven. We piggybacked on friends' vacation and stayed a happy week here the last week of March. We stayed in Grapefruit 108, one of the one bedroom cottages, while our friends stayed on the second floor of Pineapple. It's an adorable 1960s style cottage, spacious for the two of us, with a generous living/kitchen area and an ample bedroom. It was comfortable for the four of us to dine and socialize after dinner. The kitchen was well appointed, with a full size fridge and a ceramic stovetop and oven. The bedroom contains a long dresser and a double closet. Combined with a second hall closet, the unit offers plenty of storage for clothes and beach gear. The bathroom is tiny. Just the basics here. The unit has a small screened porch, which we used for storing sandy shoes and a burgeoning shell collection. Trash is removed and towels exchanged daily by the housekeeping service. The housekeepers only clean the cottages weekly, but they were happy to supply a broom and household cleaners for us to tidy up on our own. The only negative about this unit is the noisy air conditioner from the cottage next door, which is much smaller and not so well ventilated (we never needed our a/c, which is central in the Grapefruit units).

Our unit was very clean. No musty or moldy smell, which we know from experience is difficult to achieve in a beachfront property. Small pets are allowed, but there was no detectable pet odor or dander (we are both allergic). The staff were friendly. They are strict about their check in time, though; one of us arrived quite ill, but we were still unable to enter our unit until 3:00.

Parking adjoins the unit. The pool is a few steps away, enclosed by plantings that cut down on noise. The pool was quite warm - 80 or 85 degrees I would guess. The beach is a short walk. A limited supply of lawn chairs is available, and some people chose to bring or rent their own from Finnimore's. Beach umbrellas and bikes can be rented from the front office. Bailey's grocery store is a short bike ride away, although W Gulf is a busy road. Waterside is in a quiet area of the island, and we found a car necessary for getting around to restaurants, shopping, etc.

This is the perfect beach for shell collectors. There are piles of shells here, at least this time of year. You can plunk yourself down and dig through ten inches of them. We went on a chartered boat ride to a "shelling" island, but found nothing there we didn't find right in front of our hotel. Conchs, whelks, augers, oysters, clams, lady slippers, angel wings, olives, scallops, all right there. Even if you THINK you are not interested in shells, you will be after you stay here. Wow. In addition, we saw manatee, dolphin, pelicans, osprey and bald eagles while sitting in our lounge chairs. Every day. Bring binoculars.

This is definitely a family kind of place. People come here year after year. Grandparents pushing babies in strollers, etc. The kids were uniformly well-behaved, and the grounds were quiet after dark. We are a lesbian couple, and felt welcomed here. We already have our reservation for next year.

Room Tip: Two units on the top floor, beach end of Pineapple have great ocean view and breezes. 101 and 102 a...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Ro P
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 17 April 2014

What a fantastic review. Sounds like you really experienced the "flavor" of our laid back resort. It's definitely got tons of charm and plenty of great Guests that visit year after year to experience “Island Style" at its best. We're hoping to add you both to that long growing list. We appreciate all your kind words and look forward to seeing you again soon!

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Reviewed 22 March 2014

We were her back in 2004 the last time and decided to visit again. This place is located directly on the beach which is really nice. Our room was really nice with a small balcony where we could sit in the evenings, the staff was really nice and helpful. Overall we really like this place, the only thing was that it became very dark in the evenings which we believe is because of the protection lighting for the nesting turtles on the beach.

We can definitely see us returning to this place in the future again.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank EoCM
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 24 March 2014

Now what took you so long to return? Ten years is WAY too long to be away. Hopefully your next vist here will be sooner!

To answer your question about the darkness...yes, Sanibel is has adopted a "Dark Skies" ordinance. The purpose of the law is to protect the natural beauty of Sanibel's night skies as well as the habitat for nocturnal and crepuscular species, particularly sea turtles during nesting season. It's purpose is to minimize light pollution by eliminating lights that cause a cumulative sky glow, reflect light directly up into the sky or cast light over the open waters of the Gulf and Bay thereby making the stars and moon less visible.

Sea turtles that lay their eggs on Sanibel's beaches rely on the moon for guidance to and from the water. Excess light may discourage nesting turtles or result in the disorientation of hatchlings.

This is just one more thing that makes Sanibel Island such a great place to visit. Where else can you vacation and have sea turtles lumber up the beach to lay their eggs. Quite amazing!
Hopefully you can experience this on your next visit here to The Waterside Inn on the Beach.

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Reviewed 17 March 2014

Old Florida charm....... modern, updated convenience. Quiet, secluded and yet on the beach and a great place for families. Overall, it is a perfect combination, in a perfect location, making for a perfect vacation.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank pamelaandrosie
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 24 March 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write your comments about The Waterside Inn. So happy you had a great experience here at our little island paradise. Visit again when you need that one of a kind stress free vacation spot.

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Reviewed 15 March 2014

Stayed at Breakers Condos A4 for just one night before flying home. Condo was clean, roomy, tiling in kitchen and living room, the king size bed very comfortable and the unit full of interesting décor. Equipped with everything one would need for a longer stay. Only problem, the bathroom off master bedroom has seen better days - there was rust in the tub and dingy lighting. Luckily there was a bright shower stall off the second bedroom. Check in was easy and friendly. Beachfront? Well it's Sanibel -beach extraordinaire, magnificent sunset. Lounge chairs were clean and plentiful. Inn has an old florida feel, peaceful grounds and located a short drive from Periwinkle shops and restaurants. Nice.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank narrah
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 17 March 2014

Thank you for your feedback on Trip Advisor. Although you enjoyed your stay and our property, I regret that the Breakers West unit you stayed in had some issues. As you know, these are privately owned units that we manage. The owners try to keep them nicely furnished and up to date but sometimes they cannot do all the updating in one season. This Owner is very good at keeping his unit in great condition and I will forward your comments to him. We hope your travels home were safe and you are able to return to the Waterside Inn soon.

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Reviewed 8 March 2014

If you want to stay at a soulless resort with all the amenities, this place is not for you. If you want a wonderful few days at a relaxed, friendly 1950s style hotel right on the beach, this is your place. We stayed in Pineapple (the small "hotel" part of the complex, as opposed to the cottages, which were all booked by the time we made reservations), and it was great. Nice balcony, efficient, new kitchen, gas grill (so you can take advantage of the wonderful seafood available in Florida, but avoid the islands MANY comically bad restaurants), and a sixty-second walk to the beach. The beach by the hotel is spectacular and is the best shelling beach and birding beach we found. The staff is very nice and really helpful, and let us take showers and keep a beach umbrella many hours after checkout time on our last day. During our stay, every time we left the Waterside Inn, and drove by Sanibel's all-to-common resort-style places, we thanked our lucky stars we stayed where we did. A couple of suggestions. For groceries go to Bailey's not Jerries. Avoid Periwinkle (one of the main drags) like the plague. It has the traffic jam from hell 12 hours a day. Go to Bowman's Beach. Spectacularly beautiful!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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5  Thank 81RLF
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 17 March 2014

OMG! Many thanks for that fantastic review! We try so hard to make everyone's stay here a great one and it sounds like we succeeded with you. You really hit the nail on the head as to what we are all about...I love your description of our competitors: "soulless". Our staff has such big hearts and they love our property as much as our Guests. We really try to make everyone’s stay here like what WE would expect on OUR vacations. Thanks for the tips too...yeah, traffic is quite heavy during season and you really have to plan what times you are out and about on Periwinkle Way, that's why biking is so popular here. You can bike just about anywhere to do just about anything on our small island. We truly appreciate all your kind words and are looking forward to your return visit soon.

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Reviewed 7 March 2014

We stayed in Pineapple 123 for 4 nights. The view from the balcony is lovely, it is only steps to the beach, and you can listen to the ocean while you sleep-- exactly what we were looking for! The staff was very friendly, and you can rent bikes at the front desk (highly recommended, it's the best way to get around the island). We had a relaxing, wonderful time and will definitely be back!

Room Tip: great views from all 2nd floor rooms in the Pineapple Lodge.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank nerobb12
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 17 March 2014

Thank you for taking the time to share your great experience here at the Waterside Inn on the Beach. We're so pleased that we could help you have that perfect vacation with the perfect view. We look forward to many more visits from you. Thank you once again for choosing us for your vacation destination.

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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: £105 - £140 (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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