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“Plain and Simple: One of the best places for families”
Review of Island Inn

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Island Inn
Ranked #3 of 20 Hotels in Sanibel Island
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 16 April 2012

This was our first trip to Sanibel, and we had struggled with the question of where to stay for months. We wanted a centrally located place, close to the beach, with as many amenities as possible (yes, we wanted it all). However, we also wanted a quiet family friendly place as well since we had 2 young girls. You can see why it took us months to find a place.

After sifting through tripadvisor's reviews, we settled on Island Inn, and boy, am I glad we did. We stayed at the Matthews Cottage and it was wonderful. Imagine a beautiful quaint home right on the beach. We had daily maid service, and had easy access to the pool and beach.

Because of a reservation screw up on my end, we had to move to the Kimball Lodge the last night. (side note: management worked wonders and was able to find a place at the Lodge even though it was totally my fault). I was prepared for the worst. However, what I was NOT prepared for was the absolutely wonderful view of the Gulf and the nice quality of the room. By no means was the room as large or as convenient as the cottage, but it served our needs.

A quick comment about the breakfast. Perhaps others have higher expectations than I do, but the breakfast was filling, tasty and best of all, it was included as part of your room cost. I don't know what more I could have wanted.

Before we left, we met a fellow vacationer who warned us about the popularity of the Island Inn. He recommended booking as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I did not heed his warning, and failed to book a room for next year when I checked out. In any case, my family and I hope to go back to the Inn as soon as we can.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank cap2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 18 April 2012

Thank you for your review and stay at the Island Inn. The staff at the Inn remembers your family and the pleasure was truly ours. We sincerely appreciate your comments concerning our accommodations, staff and Complimentary breakfast. We hope that you are able to start looking at your calendar soon and call us to begin planning your next Sanibel vacation! :-)

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1,030 - 1,036 of 1,382 reviews

Reviewed 12 April 2012

The staff is great, rooms are updated and spotless. We are stayed in the kimball lodge. It has a queen bed with a kitchen suite. The room also has two flat screen tv's, tiled floor, and a very comfortable bed. Having a daily maid service is a huge plus. What i really love about this place is that it is laid back and quiet. My wife and i felt like we were the only people here. We had dinner at the onsite restaurant and it was pretty good. The live music is actually nice and they have a dance floor too. The grounds are open and in good shape and you can tell they are trying to update the place. One recommendation would be to update the main entrance of the kimball lodge, it is not very inviting and looked very dated. Also updating the grills is a must. I get a kick out of some of the other reviews who base their stay on the Continental breakfast. The breakfast is fine and if you don't like it go out to breakfast. We have stayed at two other places in sanibel and we mark this #1. Overall this place is a great value and has many perks. We will be back! Also if you want a really good dinner go to the Mad Hatter(simply amazing).

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank wsmahone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2012

Thank you so much for your review and stay at the Island Inn. Your review is truly accurate and the Inn will continue to invest in its infrastructure, facilities, accommodations and guest services, following the direction provided by guests such as yourself. We hope you can find the time to visit Sanibel again very soon! :-)

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Reviewed 7 April 2012

We stayed here last Thanksgiving and just loved it!! Stayed at the Kimball Lodge in a Deluxe Kitchen Suite which was wonderfully appointed. It was a full kitchen plus the room had a large bathroom with two sinks/vanities for added comfort. We had two large queen beds and a huge terrace overlooking the Gulf. Sunsets were amazing. Th ecomplex boasts one of teh bext restaurants on the island, Traditions On The Beach. This place was SPECTACULAR. A throwback to a supper club with fantastic food.

The grounds are well-maintained, the pool was heated although we never got in. They had very comfortable chaise lounges that you just drag out to the beach. Plus, unlike other "cottage"' like accomodations in Sanibel, you get daily maid service and daily fresh towels here. For the price, you can't find a better value in Sanibel.

The front office staff and reservations agents also are very helpful and caring.

We loved it so much we booked Memorial Day and are going back for Thanksgiving as well.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank cubella59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2012

Thank you for your review and stay at the Island Inn. We are so happy you enjoyed the staff, accommodations, amenities and restaurant at the Inn.

You are correct in stating that no other accommodation of our size offers Complimentary daily maid service. This is also true of our Complimentary breakfast and beach chairs.

From your description of the bathroom configuration, it sounds like you stayed in one of our Gulfview Kitchen units in our Matthews Lodge. Be sure to give us a call and we’ll make sure your upcoming reservations for Memorial Day and Thanksgiving are in the correct accommodations.

Thank you again for your review and we are honored to have you back… repeat patronage is the best compliment a hospitality outlet can possibly receive. We will be anticipating your arrival in May! :-)

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Reviewed 7 April 2012

The Island Inn's restaurant (Traditions) was convenient and a good option for dinner. The hotel's breakfast buffet, on the other hand, needs work. There are 3 maybe 4 cold cereals; the generic raisin bran was limp as soon as it met milk. There are english muffins and bread to toast, though only one toaster was working. Cold danish, fruit salad, yogurt, juice, and coffee are available. All is disposable with styrofoam plates, cups, and plastic ware. Nothing is available before 8 am (including coffee) which we observed created a real herd mentality. At $300/night plus tax we were surprised.

Our bathroom was modern with a nice large shower, big vanity with lots of drawers, and plenty of lighting. The bedroom was spacious enough, well-lit and had lots of drawers, too. We weren't thrilled with the bed but it wasn't horrible either. The refrigerator was a good size and the closet was huge. The sliding closet doors were a nuisance; seemed we were always fussing with them. It would have been nice if there were a shelf above the closet rod. We might have been able to keep one set of doors out the way.

Housekeeping did an excellent job of keeping our room clean. We also appreciated the table outside our door, we dropped our shells there after walks on the beach. There is also an outdoor sink by the laundry where you can rinse all your shells. We loved that.

We rented bikes from the hotel and we had a ball....enjoyed them much more than the ones we later rented on Captiva. The Island Inn's pool was nice but small. With a courteous goup it would probably be okay. Unfortunately, we and everyone else had to put up with a loud group of five who monopolized the area.

The beach is absolutely wonderful for walking and shelling and beautiful at sunset. We very much enjoyed that. It wasn't great for sunbathing while we were there though. It smelled. There were many open clam-like creatures decaying on the beach. That's why we headed to the pool. Maybe they'll get someone to rake after high tide.

The office staff were very pleasant and welcoming. Overall, we might stay there again but we're open to other options.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Soonipi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2012

Thank you for your stay and review of the Island Inn on Sanibel Island, FL. You will be happy to know we have implemented upgrades to our Complimentary breakfast. We now serve daily fresh baked pasties, daily fresh cut fruit, a yogurt selection, hardboiled eggs, fresh squeezed juices, coffee and tea. The plasticware and Styrofoam has been replaced with silverware, ceramic plates and ceramic coffee cups. Best of all, we still offer this as Complimentary to our guests… something no other Inn of our size does on Sanibel/Captiva!!!

We’re also glad you were overall happy with your accommodations, surrounding facilities and guest services. Concerning the suggested beach racking, city ordinance prohibits any alterations to the beach topography… we just have to let nature take its course.

Thank you again for your stay and review. Feedback from guests such as yourself guides the Inn’s continual reinvest into its infrastructure, facilities, accommodations and guest services. We hope to see you on Sanibel again soon! :-)

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Reviewed 6 April 2012

The Island Inn has a great location for those who want to be close to the beach and want a laid back old time beach experience. The grounds and buildings are dated - yes its has been here since the turn of the century - but appear kept up and have had some renovations and the staff was friendly. It has a great restuarant -Traditions- but is only open for dinner. A "continental" breakfast was included -but really on the low end as did not even offer box cereal and milk or toast. The only downside to this location is there is nothing else nearby within walking distance and surrounded by condos. The beach is great and water was perfect, but bring your water shoes or crocs to walk on the shell strewn beach as they are everywhere and crunch under your feet.

Room Tip: Ask for oceanview in the Kimball Lodge as other buidlings are too far back to really see the beach.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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Thank michael51_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2012

Thank you for your review and stay at the Island Inn. Concerning your room tip, some accommodations do have closer beach proximity then others. Be sure to call the Inn directly to book your accommodations so our reservation staff can help you find the accommodation that best fits your needs and meets your expectations.

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Reviewed 1 April 2012

Our family recently spent spring break at the Island Inn. Although the historic inn is dated in some sense I noticed the effort of management to make improvements as I saw maintenance taking place on a daily basis. The setting was great, my family enjoyed the early morning walks to collect shells prior to breakfast.

Our room showed signs of improvements that have been made such as the flooring and some of the decor. This said, I was disappointed in the conditions of the bathroom and kitchen. Our bathroom door was rotting, the tub was in poor condition with dated fixtures as well as rusty drains. The kitchen could use some attention by simply replacing the counter tops and and having some of the appliances replaced (in our room the microwave did not work correctly). I realize the effort management is making to bring the units up to date. However, I have a real estate development background and know that in the particular building we stayed in work on all units could be completed in less than one month and it would create an amazing feel to this historic inn.

The grounds were kept in good condition with one exception, I found that the benches near the entrance of the restaurant was a make shift smoking area. Although there was an ashtray near the steps, in more than one occasion I saw more than ten butts on the ground near the benches. It was frankly disappointing that an area that is full of early morning traffic for guest to have their breakfast was littered and little attention was paid to assure that the area was clean. It was made worse by having my youngest daughter point out the cigarettes on the ground.

The staff was all very helpful and friendly and we would definitely return to this great location. I hope that on our return some of the upgrades have been completed.

Stayed: March 2012
Thank canesfan84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 3 April 2012

Thank you for your review and stay at the Island Inn.

Your comments concerning renovations mirror management’s efforts. We constantly have improvement projects going and your suggestion of a building shutdown will take place in September.

Concerning the cigarette butts, this is an easy fix and we appreciate you bringing this to our attention.

Again, thank you for your review and stay. We will look forward to your return and promise to continually reinvest in our infrastructure, facilities, accommodations and guest services, in an effort to become the most desired accommodation option on Sanibel and Captiva. :-)

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Reviewed 29 March 2012

This is a tired, older resort. The professional pictures are so misleading. Our cottage was postage size with an old kitchen and bathroom. On the positive side, it was very clean. The cottage was four feet from adjacent building and we had to keep the curtains closed so no one could look in. Our beds were so uncomfortable my husband spent the vacation sleeping on the couch!

The entire property is just steps from the beach and there are older beach chaises that you can carry down to the beach. You have to rent a beach umbrella. There are only a few trees around, the rest of the property is a shell-parking lot.

The staff was helpful and polite. "Breakfast" was included which consisted of Sysco pastries, fruit salad and hard boiled eggs.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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Thank travelinfamily6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 30 March 2012

Thank you for staying at the Island Inn and I'm glad our staff and beach met your expectations. Please allow me to address some of the other points you’ve stated in your review.

The Island Inn was the first hotel on Sanibel (1895), but over the last 2 years we have been performing extensive refurbishments and upgrades to the Inn’s infrastructure, facilities, accommodations and guest services. We have made great strides and will continue this effort to ensure the Inn provides modern accommodations and amenities in a historic, old Florida, beachfront setting.

The pictures on our website are not misleading or polished and the Inn goes through great lengths to ensure all information on our website is a true representation of the facilities and accommodations. Concerning the size of the cottage, there is a floor plan with square footage of every accommodation on our website. There are no accommodations located four feet from one another and this can be seen on our Grounds Map on our website.

Concerning the bedding, we have received many compliments on our mattresses. However, guests have different preferences and are encouraged to notify staff if their bedding is not to their liking. We are always happy to replace a guest’s mattress with a firmer or softer one.

The entire property is not a shell parking lot. We have 10 Gulf front acres with areas of open space and lush landscaping. This can be seen on the Grounds Map on our website.

Complimentary breakfast includes daily fresh baked pastries, daily fresh cut fruit, yogurt selections, hard-boiled eggs, fresh squeezed juices, coffee and tea. We are happy to provide this Complimentary amenity to our guests if they choose to partake.

Thank you again for you stay at the Island Inn.

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Additional Information about Island Inn

Address: 3111 W Gulf Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-5697
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sanibel Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Sanibel Island
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Sanibel Island
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Sanibel Island
Price Range: £140 - £390 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Island Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Voted "Best Inn on the Island," the Island Inn, with its combination of old Florida cottages and modern lodges, sits on 10 beautiful Gulf front acres, offering 550 feet of beach with some of the best shelling in the area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Island Hotel Sanibel Island
Island Sanibel
Island Resort Sanibel
Is Sanibel
Island Inn Sanibel Island, Florida

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