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“Yes, excellent beach but these reviews should be about the below-its-price-hotel”
Review of Island Inn

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Island Inn
Ranked #4 of 19 Hotels in Sanibel Island
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Yes, excellent beach but these reviews should be about the below-its-price-hotel”
Reviewed 13 August 2014

Maybe my expectations were too high after reading all these excellent reviews here or I just travel too much and have been to too many nicer places or I excepted more for the given high room rates!? I think it is a combination of all.

The Island Inn is in my humble opinion a nice little standard motel style place at the beach offering usual standard rooms that you find these days also at the cheap (entry) price levels. Given the expensive rates of the Island Inn I was astonished. Where was that special service or boutique style hotel I expected!?

The beach itself is nice, but it is the same beach that you find along the whole shore of Sanibel Island. Any other place will offer you the same. The same sand, the same shells and turtles are hatching at many spots.Truth is that you find them either to the right or left from the hotel beach front. Guess why! And I found it very disturbing how the other guests acted during the night. Loud talking at the balconies, using strong flashlights at the beach, touching the turtles that came ashore. But that is another issue.

In objective terms the location of the hotel is very remote. It is quite a drive to all the shops and restaurants. We wanted to use our bikes but that was not really an option.

Yes, the pool has a nice setting. In the middle of the complex. Other than that it is a quite small pool given the high standards that the hotel wants to fulfil. Chairs, no sun beds, for maximum ten people.

The fact that sun beds and umbrellas have to be dragged on and off the beach by everyone selves is understandable because of the potential turtles hatching. But again. A hotel for that price should have somebody around to deal with it. And not the guests.

Speaking about staff: We found them rather unwilling to help you except to guide you to the hotels (overpriced) restaurant. The included breakfast was - unfortunately-even below the standard of cheap motels: no waffles, no pan cakes, no toasts, no ham, no cereals ... the breakfast buffet consisted of one type of tea, coffee, fruit salad and danish. Well, I forgot to mention the hard boiled eggs. That amused me as it didn't fit in at all. Again, for that price one has the right to expect a full breakfast buffet. With helpful staff serving you. But not here. I even felt obliged to leave a tip for the poor waitress. I had the feeling she had more pity with me as she had for sure a better breakfast at home.

Facts are facts. The Island Inn does not offer you value for money, not even what one should be able to expect for the price. And again: the nice beach does not justify great ratings for the hotel.

Room Tip: take a ground floor room to be able to walk right off to the beach
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Steven S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, 29 August 2014
Thank you for staying at the Island Inn, but based on your review, we wish you had chosen a different accommodation option in order to better meet your expectations.

We urge all prospective guests to use tools such as the Island Inn's website, Tripadvisor and, best of all, calling the Inn directly via telephone in order to learn about the Inn's offerings before booking a reservation, thus avoiding false expectations.

Again, thank you for your stay and comments.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Liberty Township, Indiana
Level Contributor
108 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2014

Originally our Sanibel plans had us staying at another location for this Florida trip. I needed to cancel our May reservations elsewhere because my dad passed away. While I was looking to re-book, I found information on Island Inn and I am SOOO glad that we decided to try it. I would definitely stay here again. The rooms have that perfect Florida/Island feel, and were spotless. The room we had also was equipped with small kitchenette, sink, frig, microwave. We opted to head to the Bailley's general store we found to get some groceries so we could stay on property and enjoy the great deck overlooking the Gulf. Most of the other rooms had a screened in porch, and ours didn't. I would definitely suggest trying to get one of those to keep the "no-see'ms" off of you. The registration desk provides all kinds of great information when you check in - tours, property info, and a sheet on these "no-see'em" bugs. They have spray available at the front desk you can purchase. I'd suggest bringing some "Off" or other type spray. I really didn't feel like I was bitten, but when we got home, I was covered in little blisters. I thought I had shingles! I took a breath and looked up what the bites looked like, and that is what I had. Itchy!!! The free breakfast had enough food to get you started in the morning, while looking at the beautiful view. We actually found better shells on this part of the beach, than we did this time on one of our shelling cruises. The turtles were also nesting during the time we were there, so it was interested to read about that in the materials given to us by the front desk. Looking forward to staying here again.

Room Tip: Try and find a room with a view facing the beach, and with a screened in porch so you can sit outsid...
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Green Features: The Island Inn provided detailed information on what needed to be done to protect the turtles, such as keeping any extra lights off, moving furniture off the beach, etc.
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mary Ann N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, 29 August 2014
Thank you for staying at the Island Inn and we are so glad you enjoyed your overall experience. We hope your travels home to Indiana were safe and you are able to visit the Island Inn again soon! :-)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Prophetstown
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2014

My sisters and I spent 3 nights at this Inn. It was perfect. The room was spacious with a screened balcony and a view of the ocean. We had a small, well-equipped kitchenette. The ocean/beach was a short walk away. Which also meant that shelling was nearby. (And we found lots!) Other amenities included a pool, shuffleboard, horseshoes, and a continental breakfast. The Inn provides other amenities as well, but those were the ones we took advantage of. The service was friendly and helpful. I would highly recommend this Inn on the beautiful Sanibel Island.

Room Tip: We had a room with an oceanview.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Pam M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, 29 August 2014
Thank you for staying at the Island Inn and for leaving a review of your experience. We are so glad you enjoyed your time on Sanibel Island with your sisters and hope you all can return to the Island Inn again soon! :-)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dayton
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2014 via mobile

A variety of accommodations to pick from, always in the process of updating. Grounds kept in pristine condition. Right on the ocean. Fabulous restaurant on the grounds. Very private but quick bike ride to shopping, attractions, and other restaurants. After staying here several times have no desire to go anywhere else.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Cheryl Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, 29 August 2014
Thank you for being such a loyal guest of the Island Inn and for taking the time to share your experiences. We are honored to have you as a return guest and will look forward to your next visit soon! :-)
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Soest, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2014

We stayed early august 3 nights in the Island Inn on Sanibel, this is a lovely place, very relaxed, great rooms and beautiful surroundings. Part of the hotel is the Traditions restaurant where we had a very good dinner the first night. We regret that we did not book longer and it is therefore we come back.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lex1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, 29 August 2014
Thank you for your comments concerning your recent stay at the Island Inn. We are so glad you enjoyed your time with us and we will look forward to your return! :-)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coatesville, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2014

We came from some less expensive accommodations to the Island Inn on Sanibel. Although we were told the Inn was 100% booked, we never felt overwhelmed by people; on the contrary, we saw other guests but never felt crowded. Beautiful beach-front setting. Water was a bit cloudier than I expected, but then again, I'd only ever seen the Emerald Coast along Florida's panhandle and only had that "Gulf experience" to compare to this. The only other caution I would place is their claim to be the "World's greatest shelling destination". I had an expectation of finding whole, large shells while walking on the beach. Searched both high and low tides during our two day stay there, but never really found any big or super unique shells......lots of 'regular - looking' shells. Like I said, just a word of caution to keep your expectations of shelling realistic. An unexpected but very pleasant surprise was the bottle of champagne we found in our room --- I'd mentioned we'd be arriving on my husband's birthday when I booked the room; never expected the front-desk receptionist to wish him a happy birthday. Then when we went to our room we found a hand-written postcard thanking us for staying at the Island Inn on his birthday and a chilled bottle of champagne in the fridge! What a wonderful surprise.

Room Tip: Matthews Lodge faces the Gulf; second floor's the way to go....Room 221 is an end room with the...
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Green Features: The usual request to reuse towels when comfortable doing so
  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SherryRyan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, 29 August 2014
Thank you for staying at the Island Inn and for taking the time to share your feedback. We are so glad the Inn's low density location, accommodations, amenities and guest services were the perfect backdrop to your husbands birthday celebration. We hope you are able to return soon! :-)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2014

I just returned from an overnight stay at the island Inn: the only mistake that my friend and I made was only staying one night. We'll rectify that error next year--because we're going back. That's definite. This place is a find: we thought it sounded good online, but had never stayed here before and didn't really know what we'd actually find. We walked into genuine old Florida charm....Funnily enough, before we drove up, we were discussing how we disliked the new McMansions on Captiva and how much we preferred the old Florida Key West/Caribbean style cottages and bungalows. Therefore, when we opened the door to room 213, we almost fell over: our room was exactly that preference. Simple, pristine (I complimented one of the housekeeping staff on the preparation of the room), everything we needed. Plus a screened porch with table and chairs, with a view of the grounds (beautiful barrier island beach landscaping, heavy on native plants), the pool, and the Gulf. That's where we ate our dinner, prepared ourselves in the well equipped, well designed, and spotless kitchen--watching the sunset and the half moon at twilight. The staff was amazing: friendly and professional, explaining everything in clear detail, as well as offering suggestions (like going to Bailey's for our dinner supplies and getting a free reusable shopping bag by showing the Island Inn card--we also used that at Pinocchio's Italian Ice Cream: nice to get a few little perks!). The woman in charge of the breakfast was utterly sweet: she kept the breakfast area not only neat, but attractive in the layout, and everything was replenished instantly. What a lovely, bright personality to interact with, first thing in the morning. The included free breakfast itself is very simple, but quite good--about the only complaint I could possibly make about this Inn is that the only flavors of yogurt were plain and strawberry-banana yogurt....not exactly a condemnation, just a matter of personal preference. The puff pastry with the nuts and the honey filling, like a baklava variation, isn't to be missed. Let's see--what else? I love the line up of various chairs that can be taken to the beach: that may embody the whole sense of the casual old Florida style of the place--choose a chair, take it to the beach, use it, and bring it back to where you found it. The beach is Sanibel--plenty of shelling, shallow waters: wonderful. Back in the room....The bathroom is spacious; plentiful and very nice toiletries. The bed was comfortable--and the white coverlet and sheets were sparkling, crisp white....very tropical, against the soothing green of the wall color. Lots of other guests were at the Inn, as we discovered at breakfast; however, the place was quiet and restful. we noted how diverse the guests were--although heavy on families with very young children. That is NOT a negative: it gives a great idea of how relaxing and easy going this place is; it's obviously really family friendly. We were not happy to leave, but we'll be back. The Island Inn is the real deal, if you're looking for the genuine taste of natural, old Florida.

Room Tip: I loved having the full kitchen in order to prepare my own food--but, even if you chose the room wit...
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Green Features: There's the not uncommon re-use towels practice, but what I noticed, as a Florida environmentalist, was that the grounds were dominated by native plants.
  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Joyce B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, 29 August 2014
Thank you for staying at the Island Inn and for writing such a thorough account of your experience. We are so glad that you fully enjoyed your time with us and we will look forward to your return soon! :-)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Island Inn

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