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Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa Fort Myers, FL [Master Thread]

Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa Fort Myers, FL [Master Thread]

Old Sep 16, 10, 4:16 pm
  #1  
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Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa Fort Myers, FL [Master Thread]

The Sanibel Harbour Marriot Resort & Spa is right at the Sanibel Island toll plaza. You either turn into the hotel or you pay the toll. The property is just west of the Tanger Factory Outlets. If you are looking west from the hotel, you are looking out over Sanibel and Captiva Islands. I was there for Labor Day 2010, Friday through Monday.

Most of what I learned was from a few employees and the tour guide with ecotours.com.

The property was originally owned by Liberty Mutual. Jimmy Connors was the tennis pro for this tennis resort. Late 2009, the property joined the Marriott family. I am told the owner of the property now is the company that owns the most Marriott run properties as a franchisee. No one could think of their name though, and neither can I. One employee did say Marriott had its eyes set on a possible purchase of the property. the employee was in the spa and was worried about how Marriott pays spa staff, compared this owner.

The property is made up of three buildings. But these three buildings are built around three separate condo complexes. One of them is named Sanibel Harbour. The owners must drive through the property to get to them. The other two are right in the mix of the buildings, but use a different driveway to access them.

The buildings must be close to 25 – 30 years old. They show it, but not in a bad way. Some FL wear is showing. Black streaks on the outsides of the buildings, peeling paint on balconies, old tiles, thick grout in the bathroom, old shower glass, etc.

Sanibel Harbour Marriott’s north most building is the spa. This used to have a tennis center in it. You can see the stadium lights on the roof – explains why they are there. Lots of tennis courts next to it too,

Then there is the Sanibel building. This is the ‘hotel’. It has the restaurants, the valet parking, the garage, the party pool complete with live music and tiki hut.

The Captiva building is closest to the toll booth and bridge. There is a county/city boat launch between the bridge and the Captiva Building. The ‘check in’ here are just two desks, not a walk up counter. There is a pool, but no amenities. Yes, the pool is quieter, and at night, almost no one is in it. You could hear the music from the Sanibel Building a few times. Also, you hear the speakers at the pool, but the music was very mellow.

There is a snack shop at the Captiva Building, but when it is closed the sign says ‘dial extension 0’ where you are told to go to the other building (Sanibel). Why can’t the sign just say to go there, I don’t know. There was no one at the check in desk. This also led to a strange moment. A driver ‘missed the toll; and ended up in one of the condo parking lots. The driver wandered through a field calling for help. I called At Your Service. They struggled to get anyone to the Captiva Building since no one was assigned down there (around 10 PM). They must have all been up at Sanibel. It was night time so dark in the field. Just a voice could be heard off in the distance. When the Marriott employee arrived, I could hear (on the 5th floor) the woman say she had been drinking and missed the toll.

When you drive in, there is a gate house. They direct you to which building you are to go to. At time when no one is on duty at the Captiva Building, everyone goes to Sanibel Building for check in.

Platinum here. I had reserved a Captiva waterfront basic room. I received an end suite. And it was swee!!. I think it was close to 1100 sq ft. The balcony faced mostly west, but wrapped around to see to the east (and north). It is dark enough over Sanibel and Captiva Islands at night, and a limit of lights, that you can see real stars in the sky. I could make out constallations (OK I have lived in too many cities in my life). The room came with a refrigerator. This was one of the end tables in the living room of the suite. In the coffee bar area, there was a place for a refrigerator, but I doubt anything had been in that area in years. Room was maintained decently for its age. The air return for the AC was very dirty. The tub was cracked in the middle. The area underneath must have been empty, and the tub as 25-30 years old.

I did not eat in any restaurants but room service does deliver to the Captiva Building. When there is a Cheeburger Cheeburger nearby, I must go there. Sadly, the one in Olde Naples reported that Labor Day weekend was their last in operations. They have been cutting back a lot. AC was broke, never to be fixed. And the last day was to be that weekend.

There is a shuttle service that runs between the buildings. This is a lite bus, not just a golf cart. They advise you call ahead to let them know you need it. But I never waited long even when I did not call ahead. Mostly I walked between the buildings. It was not a long walk. The path to the spa leads into a Mangrove area complete with some open water with large fish. There was a problem with the outside phone near the bell stand. They said to call from your room first. I saw people struggling with it when I left.

Fitness center was huge. More than enough equipment I thought. Sunday morning, everyone was there. I went for a walk around the property. They do have a ‘trail’ that goes around the tennis courts and the spa.

From the hotel site, I learned of ecotours.org. I used them for a day tour to the Everglades. They pick up at the property for an interesting day of airboat ride, Cypress Preserve tour, lunch, boat ride and nature walk. All of this is in the western end of the Everglades.

You pay for parking and have a resort fee. The fee includes many amenities including kayaks and water toys. But there is no beach here. The property is next to a public boat lunch. It made for fun boater/people watching from the balcony. A storm moved in (FL summer after all) and all the boats rushed to get out of the water. A few boaters beached themselves at this low tide time and got stuck out in the rain.

Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa was worth the try and more tries to come. Location was great. Close to US41/Taimiami trail or if you want to pay the $6 to get to Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Also, lots of restaurants in the area and up and down US41. I did hit many iDine locations in the area.

(BTW - I did try to add this to the old thread I started a few months back but kept getting a Page not Found error - hopefully better luck with a new one).
FLgrr is offline  
Old Aug 28, 11, 8:15 am
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Seems this property may be going away. I can not book anything for the new year here AT ALL. Anyone heard any news? This is a complex with some condos involved? Maybe the condos went bust or they decided not to be a hotel anymore and just focus on the condos?
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Old Aug 28, 11, 2:35 pm
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I was able to show availability for Jan 6-9, 2012.
I will be there next month so I will let you know if there is any up.
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Old Aug 28, 11, 4:28 pm
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Originally Posted by bendar06 View Post
I was able to show availability for Jan 6-9, 2012.
I will be there next month so I will let you know if there is any up.
Well, a little progress. Maybe just slow adding to the inventory. Last date I can book is 22 Feb. After that, all the way through the days I really wanted in early March, just come up with a list of other area properties. Do update us after you enjoy your stay.
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Old Aug 29, 11, 11:29 am
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I was able to book a suite with marriott rewards for December 23-27 just a couple weeks ago.
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Old Aug 30, 11, 7:58 am
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Originally Posted by FLgrr View Post
Well, a little progress. Maybe just slow adding to the inventory. Last date I can book is 22 Feb. After that, all the way through the days I really wanted in early March, just come up with a list of other area properties. Do update us after you enjoy your stay.
I had a similar thing with a dif property. They hadn't loaded the inventory yet.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 30, 11, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
I had a similar thing with a dif property. They hadn't loaded the inventory yet.

Cheers.
thanks Sharon. looks like they just have some large groups around the time I want. It is the beginning of Spring Training. I am seeing later in March now and even out to April. Business is looking good for FL, or at least this property, during the cold months
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Old Aug 30, 11, 12:22 pm
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Originally Posted by FLgrr View Post
One employee did say Marriott had its eyes set on a possible purchase of the property. the employee was in the spa and was worried about how Marriott pays spa staff, compared this owner.
unlikely - MI only buys properties for the short term because they want a location in the system, since this hotel is already in the system the company would likely have little interest in it (The family trust, which is one of the largest owners these days, likes to buy under performing assets and reposition them so it most likely wouldn't fit their targets either)...these days it's the REITs who are all out buying higher end properties with long term outlooks in mind, the smaller investors are looking for under performing assets to turn around
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Old Aug 30, 11, 12:24 pm
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Originally Posted by FLgrr View Post
Seems this property may be going away. I can not book anything for the new year here AT ALL. Anyone heard any news? This is a complex with some condos involved? Maybe the condos went bust or they decided not to be a hotel anymore and just focus on the condos?
strange - I'm able to book both 1/1/12 and 7/1/12
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Old Aug 30, 11, 12:32 pm
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Originally Posted by socrates View Post
strange - I'm able to book both 1/1/12 and 7/1/12
just slow in loading the inventory since I could not get that a few days ago.
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Old Aug 30, 11, 12:36 pm
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Although I normally stay at my mom's condo down in Bonita Springs when I'm in Ft. Myers I've had the opportunity to stay here twice and both times I was upgraded to a suite.

Beautiful hotel.
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Old May 3, 12, 10:45 am
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online reviews are only so-so.

Would love any "newer" updates from people who have stayed there. Thanks
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Old May 6, 12, 4:32 am
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Most people on holidaycheck review it favorably. I'm also deciding right now if I should stay here, at the Residence Inn down the street or even at the Hyatt Coconut Pointe in August, so I welcome all kind of updates.
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Old May 6, 12, 7:06 am
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Stayed 2 nights; April/2012. Nice Marriott hotel; very convenient for exploring Sanibel or Captiva Islands. No Beach/good pools. Restaurants good. Excellent fitness facility. If interested in general geographic area, definitely a nice place to stay
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Old May 6, 12, 8:49 am
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Originally Posted by Muerz View Post
Most people on holidaycheck review it favorably. I'm also deciding right now if I should stay here, at the Residence Inn down the street or even at the Hyatt Coconut Pointe in August, so I welcome all kind of updates.
I'm a fan of both being on Sanibel Island and the Hyatt Coconut Point resort. They are very different destinations, and far enough apart you don't just buzz over to the other for the day.

The Hyatt is a newish, polished, destination resort that you don't leave. Fabulous pools but limited beach. Big, newish, and polished on the inside. For me it is a great weekend place I go every summer, but three nights max and I've done it. (Might work longer if you play golf, or are a tan by the pool addict). Sanibel is a Florida beach town island I loved and need to go back to, but I'm spoiled by my Hyatt status and what it brings. Decide what do you want the trip to be.
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