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“Nice, Roomy Room but Not the Best Beach”

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Waterside Inn on the Beach
Ranked #6 of 19 Hotels in Sanibel Island
Certificate of Excellence
Mid Florida, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Nice, Roomy Room but Not the Best Beach”
Reviewed 27 July 2014

We stayed in the Breakers West building, room B3. The unit itself was very large and roomy, very comfortable for our group of four adults and two babies. The kitchen was very large and allowed us to prepare meals comfortably. A roll of paper towels, dish soap, and all of the utensils, dishes, and pans we needed to cook were provided. The unit had a blue theme overall, which my mother thought was beautiful, and definitely had that old Florida style which is so nice. The Master had a large closet (that actually fit the portable crib for the baby), a King size bed and still room to spare for luggage and moving around. The second room had two twin beds. There was a large living space and a nice, large, screened-in lanai overlooking the pool where we could eat meals. The office staff was very welcoming and friendly, even helping us once just before office closing when we locked ourselves out of our unit. They provided suggestions of places to go and eat, specific to our needs.
There was an elevator or stair option to get to this second floor unit, our designated parking spot was at the end of the building, and there was a back alley-way type sandy path to take straight to the beach. We couldn't have been happier with our actual room, but it is definitely not a large resort, so make sure you are aware of that (no daily cleaning).
My son and father loved playing shuffleboard on property for free. We also spent a lot of time in the pool, which , when we were there, was not crowded at all. There are actually two on property. The reason I give this property 4 stars instead of 5 is that the beach was not my favorite. I'm not sure if it's a seasonal thing, or a location thing, but there were little noseeums that did bite all of us, which was irritating. There were also little "creatures" on the beach...not sure what they are called, they were small, shelled creatures. If you scooped up a handful of shells for shelling, you'd get several live ones in your handful. Also, my husband noticed that as we swam, there were lots of dead ones floating around us in the water. Again, I'm not sure if it's just a seasonal thing or what, but that's the reason I didn't love the beach. We didn't go to any other beaches on the island, so I'm not sure if it's like that everywhere at this time of year, but that was my experience there. My kids still loved playing in the sand and looking through the shells, but I wouldn't return to this particular beach at this time of year again.
I do want to mention there were several sea turtle nests up and down the beach, protected by stakes, that we looked at from afar, and that was cool to see.
The unit provided a great home base to go out from to see other sights on the island, so its central location was also very nice. The closest grocery/supply store, Bailey's, was just up the road, and my husband made several trips there getting us food and beach supplies.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelingMama19
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 review, 4 August 2014
Thank you kindly for taking the time to review our property. Being on an island is enchanting in so many ways...tropical vegetation, wildlife, the ocean, an abundance of sea shells and wonderful natives. Sometimes we have to put up with a few annoying Natives such as the NoSeeUms. They just LOVE to nibble on some people. While most over the counter spray can take care of them, there are still a few that are very persistent. Unfortunately, that is not under my control and we do our best to warn our guests of their presence. The great thing is that a little ocean breeze will blow them away but on those quiet balmy nights there is just no keeping them at bay other than long pants and sleeves. The live creatures you encountered in the sand could have been either Sand Fleas which are excellent bait or a shell called the coquina. Both are harmless and have many positive effects on our nature and environment. Hope you come again soon.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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English first
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2014

Stayed Nov 2012 in Pineapple Bldg 2nd floor. Enjoyed morning coffee on balcony watching sunrise, spectacular evening sunsets on beach. Very clean, spacious, nicely decorated and landscaped. Pool cozy and heated. Free beach chairs, tiki hut, wine & cheese party, beach grass and dunes gave old Florida feel. Rented bikes for week at hotel and rode all over island including Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, lighthouse, CROW, Taste of the Islands event. Ate at the Island Cow (favorite), Doc Ford's and the Bubble Room. Kayaked in the mangroves (yikes!) Location the best on Sanibel, staff were wonderful. Next time want to try the Blueberry Cottage.

Room Tip: Beach views from 2nd floor Pineapple bldg.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
2 Thank Daryl2670
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 review, 22 July 2014
Wow, sounds like you had the time of your life! That's what vacations are made of - good times, great location, and super customer service. So glad you got to experience Sanibel Island and Waterside Inn. We appreciate you choosing us to help with your vacation. Hope to see you again soon!
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Brooklyn, New York
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2014

Overall, we had a pleasant experience at Waterside Inn. The front desk staff was friendly, helpful, professional and welcoming. The setting and location were ideal, right on the beach. That said, we felt the rooms and accommodations left much to be desired. I’m down for “old-time Florida” but the rooms weren’t nice enough to justify the price. We were in the Pineapple Building. I don’t mind outdated, so the issue seemed more with the feel of the room. I hesitate to use the word “smell” but the rooms did not have the best bouquet. While I appreciated the small private patio with partial views of the gulf, the AC units from every room created a cacophony that detracted from a relaxing experience. Bonuses included on-site bike rental, ability to use a BBQ, Shuffle Board and 2 small, albeit crowded pools. Bottom line is while the location is excellent, the cost/value ratio was average. I could not imagine paying high-season prices for these accommodations. Perhaps others are just comparing experiences and rates to other places on Sanibel and Florida which is fair. However, broadening a horizon to consider you can get a better room in a destination such as the Caribbean or Cayman Islands for a better price, makes this hard to recommend. On a positive note and echoing the sentiment of others, the Waterside Inn was low-key, comfortable, well situated and we had a pleasant experience that I would not change.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BeachvsMountains
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 review, 22 July 2014
Thank you for sharing your experience here at the Waterside Inn. While the property is a throwback to simpler times, we do try to keep everything clean, comfortable and updated. We are not a chain, not fancy or upscale, just a great family owned fairy tale get away on one of the most beautiful beaches in the good ole USA. Who needs to travel outside our country when you have places this good in Florida? We have a wonderful community of people that come back year after year and would love to have you be a part of that.
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Indianapolis, Indiana
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 July 2014

These are cutest cottages ever!! I was very appreciative that they allowed my husband and I and my three teen daughters to stay in one cottage and not force us into two rooms/cottages...they only requested we bring an air mattress, which worked out perfectly...the location and distance to beach was perfect, not too far away. Wasn't able to see ocean from patio, but that didn't matter as we were usually on the beach during daylight hours anyway... swimming pool was very cleaning and refreshing! It was really awesome how friendly the other guests were and from listening to their stories they were return guests!! Some showed us how to find sand dollars and star fish and educated us about keeping them in water so they would die! We will definitely choose Waterside Inn again on our next trip to the island!!! I hesitate on giving such great review for fear others will find our little gem of a treasure and book it up away from us....

Room Tip: There isn't a bad room at all.... our bed was extremely comfortable as well!! We stayed raspberr...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank shelly h
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 review, 8 July 2014
We appreciate your feedback on Trip Advisor and best of all, your great review of Waterside Inn on the Beach. Our cottages are really a throwback to simpler times and the location of Waterside Inn is excellent as well as we are tucked away a little from the busier parts of the island. There is something about staying here that makes you feel like you can relax, have fun, and be yourself. Now that the busy season is over, we are sprucing up the grounds for your arrival next year! Hope to see you soon.
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Lake Mary, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
219 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2014

Sadly due to an issue at home we had to leave this morning - one day early. Front desk - Jean - was super understanding, and actually sold our room for our last day in 10 minutes. We loved Waterside. This is our second time in Sanibel but first time here and would not hesitate one moment to book here again. We stayed in Pineapple Lodge; the room was a good size and the full kitchen contained everything including utensils and cookware = we needed including paper towels and dish soap. Room was very clean. Loved the front and back porch. The bathroom was also a good size with a double sink - the shower was really nice after basking at the pool and beach, riding bikes - all day. The beds were wonderful; very comfortable. The maintenance man - John (Go Steelers) was so accommodating for getting our patio screen on track. We even used the laundry facilities - so convenient. There were enough beach lounge chairs for everyone, and you can drag them out to the beach if you need them. The pool area was fairly shady so you did not burn in the heat of the day. The hotel is close enough to Bailey's Supermarket by bike, but the bike trail is just across the street. All was actually perfect. We actually talked to several people at the pool staying in the cottages and Pineapple that loved this place. We heard not one adverse comment. Thanks Waterside for giving us 6 perfect days to unwind. People always asking about no-see-ems - not one bite on us!

Room Tip: Ask for a gulf view, second floor.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank VickyandDanny
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 review, 8 July 2014
Thank you for choosing Waterside Inn for your recent stay on Sanibel. We hear quite often that Waterside Inn ends up being our guest's favorite destination when visiting our island. Our main goal is to bring you back again and again. I hope your rush home was a safe one and that everything turned out OK. Thank you again for taking the time to review our hotel and sharing it with others. I look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back again soon.
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seattle, washington
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2014

This was our 2nd visit to Sanibel and won't be our last. We loved Waterside Inn because it was just so comfortable for our family. It isn't fancy or luxurious, but when you have kids going in and out with sandy feet, who wants fancy? We would have loved a cottage, but they were all full. The lodge room was nostalgic and a throwback to our own childhoods.
Everything that we needed or wanted was provided. We cooked dinner one night and weren't lacking in anything needed to cook a nice meal. There were a couple of BBQ's for common use and even a palapa covered picnic table for anyone that wanted to eat outside. The Inn is right on the fantastic beach and they provide beach towels and lounge chairs. We were all so happy that we added another night to our stay. We will be back! P.S. The employees/owners are all so friendly and helpful! Thank you!

Room Tip: I don't think there is a bad room here!
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank erikaanne
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 review, 1 July 2014
What a great review! Thank you for all your kind words and the "thumbs up". We're so glad you had such a wonderful time here and look forward to year #3. Hurry back :)
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Waynesboro, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2014 via mobile

We stayed in the Blueberry Cottage with our 3 kids and two dogs. It is a very nice quiet place to stay. I love that it is not full of people partying and the owners keep it that way. We were given an abundant amount of towels every day, I never had to ask for more pillows or blankets as there was more than enough. My son was able to use their fishing equipment without charge, which is wonderful. I can't recommend it enough, we will most certainly be returning :-)

Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Rebecca B
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 review, 1 July 2014
Thanks for the kind review. Sounds like you had a super vacation with your family. We're so glad we were able to serve you and look forward to your return soon. Until then,remember Waterside Inn as your "happy place".
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Additional Information about Waterside Inn on the Beach

Property: 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:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Sanibel Island
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Sanibel Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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