Planning a Florida vacation can be a pretty overwhelming task. Gulf or Atlantic coast? Flying or driving? Condo or camper? For many, Sanibel and Captiva Islands are the only choice. But even then, you have a big job ahead of you; how to choose a Sanibel Island resort? Don’t let this process take all the fun out of planning your vacation!

Ask friends for a recommendation. Sometimes this approach works out, but it can also backfire if your preferences do not match theirs! Websites like TripAdvisor can be an excellent resource, since you have access to a large number of reviews from real travelers like you who have stayed at the place you are considering. Of course, a good practice when dealing with anyone’s opinion is to carry a few grains of salt, and this is definitely true on travel websites. Still, consistent positive comments and rankings are a pretty good sign. How many reviews are posted? Rankings based on a handful of reviews might not be as valid as those based on hundreds of reviews. Also, see if the resort’s management responds to the comments on these sites – that will give you a good indication of how responsive they will be once you get there!

Have a plan. Decide what is most important for you to see and do. Answering these questions can help you decide among the resorts you are considering:

  • How much can we spend?
  • Will we need to rent a car?
  • Natural setting – or lots of crowds and nightlife?
  • How close is the beach – do we have to cross a street?
  • Chain hotel or privately owned?
  • Can we cook meals in the room?
  • How important is a distinctive and private atmosphere?
  • Does the property have good reviews on travel sites?

Call the property. Booking through a third-party website can feel convenient, but you can often get a better deal when you book directly.  Booking directly also helps ensure you receive the accommodation option that best fits your needs and meets your expectations; many times, third-party booking sites will bait and switch their guests. Also, when you call the resort, you will get a better idea of how knowledgeable, friendly and helpful the staff will be … unless you end up calling a remote corporate call center or get tangled in an electronic operator. That can tell you a lot, too!

The Island Inn resort has been the top choice among discerning Florida vacationers since 1895. In that time, we’ve learned how to deliver great service and value, always renewing our accommodations and offerings to suit the many generations of guests we have served.

There are many choices for resort and vacation spots in southwest Florida and we thank you for considering the Island Inn.