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“Friendliest Staff” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Island Inn

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Island Inn
Ranked #4 of 19 Hotels in Sanibel Island
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
104 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Friendliest Staff”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2012

Our room had a gulf view with a refrigerator and microwave. The room was very nicely decorated for an older resort. We took advantage of the shuffleboard, the bike rentals and the pool. Very nicely landscaped property. Their best asset is their staff. Everyone was very friendly and accomodating. You don't find that everywhere. I agree with the other reviewers that the breakfast could be better but I also understand that they need to set up daily in their fine dining restaurant and not like standard hotels that have a designated breakfast area. I would recommend that at least they add some instant oatmeal as they have the hot water already available.

Room Tip: Call direct for reservations and they will tell you the best rooms available.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Kris1951
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, 22 March 2012
Thank you for your stay at the Island Inn and taking the time to share your experience.

It’s so nice to hear appreciation for our staff. Along with our low density (10 acres and 550 ft beach, but only 49 accommodations) and superior beach proximity, we feel our staff’s vested interest is what sets us apart from other resorts.

Thank you also for your suggestion concerning breakfast. The Inn will continue to provide a Free breakfast option to its guest without increasing accommodation costs or adding any other fees, such as resort or parking fees.

Your Room Tip is spot on! Call the Inn directly and allow our staff to give you the personalized service you deserve. This will help ensure your expectations are met and the Island Inn is the right fit for your vacation needs.

Thank you again for your patronage and we hope you are able to return to Sanibel Island very soon! :-)
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1,276 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (385)
Date | Rating
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English first
ames iowa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 March 2012

I have enjoyed multiple vacations at the Island Inn and look forward to many more. I love the historic feel, the huge/quiet grounds and the friendly staff. Each time we return, we see continued updates in the room and property. The new landscaping is beautiful. There are always plenty of beach chairs and room to take a nap under the shade of a palm or get some sun on the huge beach. I thought breakfast was unexciting but adequate. The real excitement for dining comes in the evening. The food, music and setting all combine to make a perfect place to enjoy an island eating experience. It was so obvious this was a current "in" destination. Take time to explore the rich history of the inn through its photos and scrap books in the lobby. My reservations are made for next winter and I can't wait to pick up that first shell on the beach and nap under my favorite tree.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank iowanonthego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, 19 March 2012
Thank you for your review and your repeat patronage at the Island Inn. You’re review contains some great suggestions that will help first time guests truly experience all that Sanibel and the Inn has to offer. We hope your trip home was safe and we will look forward to seeing you again next winter! :-)
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FL, MN
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2012

This year my son and I stayed five nights in the Matthews Lodge. We were on the first floor in a room with two queens and a kitchen. This is were my daughter and I stayed last year(but on the second floor). I liked the first floor better...easier access and still a GREAT view. I love the location and ambiance at this hotel. It is so peaceful and quiet and a very spacious property...10 acres and only 49 rooms/units. The new landscaping is very nice and colorful!Staff is helpful and kind. Now my suggestion to the manager who I think reads here: Bring back the breakfast you had in March of 2011!! It was so good! This year...not as good. We ate most mornings at 8:00 AM when it opened and I felt like we were eating the leftovers from the day before(though I later realized it was only true with regard to the fruit, the baked goods didn't improve later in the morning). The "fresh" cut fruit often seemed old. The worst were the pastries. Whoever is doing the baking/frying is overbaking EVERYTHING. Croissants should not be dark brown and hard. I couldn't even bite through it. The minidonuts were hard and crunchy one morning. Later I saw the chef(man) come out and dump the whole tray in the trash and put out new fresh ones, telling the man who had just taken one of the hard ones to throw it away....that they were no good. Why would you even put them out if you knew they were bad? It also would be nice to change it up every couple days for those that are staying for longer periods...the same thing every day got a little old....cereal, muffins, bagels etc. too, would be nice. A breakfast is obviously better than no breakfast, but if you're going to do it, do it right! The woman working the breakfast was VERY kind and cheerful...she deserves the raise this year! I highly recommend the Island Inn and Matthews Lodge for your stay...

Room Tip: Haven't stayed in any other rooms, but Matthews Lodge is great!
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MinnesotatravelerFL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, 12 March 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at the Island Inn. We sincerely appreciate your kind words concerning the staff, accommodations and facility upgrades.

Before addressing your breakfast concerns, please let me explain a bit of the Inn’s recent history. In 2009/10 the Inn was on the brink of financial collapse and contemplating either an orderly shutdown or bankruptcy. New management was hired in June 2010 as a change agent and tasked to turn the Inn around. Since then we have made great strides, investing over $750,000 in badly needed facilities upgrades and revamping the Inn’s guest services. With plans to reinvest another $500,000+ in facilities this summer/fall, we hope to address more of the issues guests relate to us.

One of the main reasons for the Inn’s financial woes was the previously served full hot breakfast you spoke of. This full hot breakfast, which was included in room rates from Christmas to Easter, cost the Inn over $500,000 during those 4 months. This represented over 1/3 of the Inn’s total revenue during this time period… it doesn’t take an accountant to figure out that this makes no fiscal sense.

Since then we have strived to provide a FREE Continental breakfast to our guests without affecting the room rates in which we charge. The method, products and associated costs have been adjusted several times in an effort to improve its overall service. Last week we implemented another round of breakfast upgrades and the Inn will continually monitor the breakfast, striving to provide this FREE value to out guests moving forward.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and we sincerely appreciate your repeat patronage. Feedback such as yours guides management and ownership’s efforts.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amherst, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2012

We paid our second visit over Thanksgiving. Overall, we were highly pleased. Our accommodations, the staff, the beach - what was not to like?
The breakfast. In 2010 it was pathetic; the "improved" version of 2011 rated a pathetic plus. We stop in Sanibel on our drive south, and have fair to mediocre motel-provided breakfasts en route. I think it is not unreasonable to expect more at a resort. Well, don't expect more at the Island Inn. The coffee is poor, the accompaniments of equal merit. We made the mistake of having the Inn's breakfast the first morning and then headed elsewhere thereafter. Sanibel has bakeries. Why can't some fresh bread, rolls, muffins, etc be provided, instead of the pre-packaged pap? The Inn has a fancy restaurant, but I get the impression they make no effort to offer a decent breakfast. If they don't want to bother, I suggest they drop it.

Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank HiHoAg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, 12 March 2012
Thank you for your review and stay in November 2011. We are very glad you enjoyed the accommodations, location and staff.

As for breakfast, this has been completely overhauled since your stay. A selection of daily fresh baked pastries, daily fresh cut fruits, assorted Yoplait yogurts, fresh squeezed juices, coffee and tea has replaced the previously mentioned items. This Free Continental breakfast provides added value and the Inn will continually strive to serve a high quality selection without passing down costs to our guests.

Thank you again for you stay and we hope you are able to visit Sanibel Island again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Falun, Sweden
Level Contributor
36 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2012

Stayed one night, supposed to be just a convenient stop during a Florida vacation round-trip. But what a surprise! The area is very calm and carribean-ish. The staff very nice and accommodating, something rare when employees know you will stay only overnight. As many have described, the beach is beautiful and offers great opportunities for shelling. Improvement areas? Well, wanting to relax at the hotel the whole day, the bar and restaurant was closed. However, possibly because the off-season time. Finally the best experience: The dinner. Great food (we had a pasta with lobster and more) and a feeling that this is the "local" restaurant to visit; In the evening, som folks from the neighborhood spontaneously shared some Christmas carols with all of us...

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank P_Funck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, 6 March 2012
Thank you for leaving such a nice review of your stay at the Island Inn. We often hear that Sanibel reminds folks of the Caribbean and take this as a welcome compliment!

As for the restaurant being open during the day, we hope to reach this goal in the near future. Being a smaller, boutique style Inn with only 49 total accommodations, its hard to support a daytime food and beverage operation with the limited number of guests on property.

I’m glad to hear you had a nice Christmas experience at the restaurant. The holidays are a very special time on Sanibel Island… something everyone should experience at least once!

Thank you again for taking the time to share your feedback and we hope you can find the time to make it back for a longer stay. :-)
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Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2012

Loved the location, great staff, comfortable rooms & the best beach on Sanibel. The restaurant on site was truly one of the best places to eat. Had a relaxing stay & will go back ASAP. Would recommend this Old Florida inn to anyone.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank djdlynne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, 5 March 2012
Thank you for your review and stay at the Island Inn. The staff at the Inn and our restaurant, Traditions on the Beach, remembers you… the pleasure was truly ours! We sincerely appreciate your repeat patronage and will be anticipating your next arrival. :-)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2012

This was a wonderful place to stay, right on the beach with beutiful views of the sunrise and sunset! We stayed in a cottage that was very clean and spacious with screened in porch and kitchen equipped with everything you need. We had a really wonderful time and we highly reccomend it!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank catalina23s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, 5 March 2012
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review of your stay at the Island Inn. Our cottages have been updated significantly and certainly provide a relaxing, beachfront stay with all the comforts of home. We hope you are able to make it back to Sanibel Island soon for another visit!
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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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