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Sanibel Vacation Planning

Holiday Inn Sanibel Island Beach Resort Blog

New Cell Tower on Sanibel Island

Posted by Danny Adams On June 16th
20140314 092408 Android 2 169x300 New Cell Tower on Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island’s new cell tower

On Donax Street, a few hundred yards away from our hotel, a new cell tower is now operational. Currently it serves only Verizon customers but eventually the other carriers will gain access. AT&T is already in negotiations. Yes, big news for us on the island as cell services has been spotty at best. So now Holiday Inn Sanibel Island provides great internet access both wired and wireless through-out our property; even out at the Star Bar, sun deck and pool area and your cell phones will have a clear signal. Not that you have to turn them on, but if you choose to; you may contact the folks at home and work and let them know you are enjoying the beach life!

As we enter into summer season we are a good venue for small beach weddings for parties of 40 or less people. Catering is provided by our fabulous restaurant the Starfish Grille; they also offer a private room suitable for parties of 40 or less. Please contact our sales department directly at 239-472-3453 to arrange your wedding or event.

This blog is about vacation planning. Here’s some tips:

In the summer season best(lowest)rates are on Sundays thru Thursdays. Fridays and Saturdays have much higher demand thus higher rates. If you have the option you will find the best rates during the week.

Gulf view rooms are at a higher rate because they face the pool and the Gulf of Mexico. If you spend most of your time out on the beach it probably doesn’t matter to you if you sleep in a room without a gulf view. It will save you some money and still you are only steps away from our beach. Of course, I understand to be able to look out over the gulf from your room is an outstanding feature.

Shelling, the activity of collecting sea shells, continues to be one of the great draws to our islands. This can be accomplished by land or by sea. You can walk the beaches at low tide or after a thunderstorm and collect the bounty that has been left along the shoreline. Or take a shelling charter to the little islands that are only accessible by boat: Cayo Costa and Cabbage Key.

The 4th of July, Sanibel Island celebrates Independence Day with a parade right down Periwinkle Way in the morning and a fireworks display at the Dunes that evening. You folks are certainly welcome to come on over and enjoy the celebration!

Meeting On Sanibel Island

Posted by Danny Adams On February 14th
IMG 0093 199x300 Meeting On Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island Beach

A big company just concluded a small meeting here at the Holiday Inn Sanibel Island. It was attended by some of their sales people from all over the world, just around 10 or twelve of them. The Holiday Inn Sanibel has just one meeting room, the Palm Room, suitable for functions of up to 40 or so people. The folks that were just here met during the day, enjoyed lunch out at our Star Bar, poolside on the beach, went back for an afternoon session, then off to happy hour at the Starfish Grille, or one of several other Sanibel Island establishments, maybe a swim in the pool or gulf, perhaps grabbed a book and reached the beach, or could have found a spot on the sun deck and relaxed. Talk about easy; and it’s fun too. I asked the gentleman that organized the meeting why he picked our location and kept coming back(5 times now), he said, “they love the atmosphere, the food and drink, and personal service.” As primarily a leisure hotel, as opposed to a corporate hotel, with just the one meeting room, these functions are much easier for us to pay close attention as generally it is our only function, and not one of many. The advantage to the attendees is great; they are smack in the middle of a wonderful vacation destination!

Lots of great stuff going on in Southwest Florida: Edison Pagent of Light nighttime parade in downtown Fort Myers as well as President’s Day holiday, Valentine’s Day, and here on Sanibel the Sanibel Shell Fair is right around the corner! Speaking of Valentine’s Day; Norman Love Confections is based right here in Fort Myers, so on your way from the airport out to the island, it’s an easy stop on Daniels Parkway to get some world-renoun chocolates for your stay. You can also pick-up a nice cabernet to go with them from Bailey’s General Store or Jerry’s Supermarket right up the street from the hotel.

We are also pleased to inform you that Bennett’s Fresh Roast, coffee shop has opened on Periwinkle near the Holiday Inn. This is their second store, original is in downtown Fort Myers. They feature superb coffee, dounts, breakfast, and lunch.

After I finish this coffee I’m going down to the beach, a most beautiful day!

Happy Holidays from Sanibel Island

Posted by Danny Adams On December 4th

IMG 0439 225x300 Happy Holidays from Sanibel IslandWell folks, it’s the holiday season on Sanibel Island. It’s about noon-thirty eastern time as this is being written, and it’s 80 degrees F with bright sunshine. Perfect. Great beach day with a light breeze coming in from the gulf. Maybe if you go to our website and click on “Live Webcam” you’ll see what I’m talking about, and just maybe get a whiff of that gulf breeze!

Sanibel Luminary is Friday night December 6th followed by Captiva Luminary Saturday December 7th. These are the nights that the shops, shopping centers, and restaurants celebrate the holiday season with food and refreshments for all along the luminary trail. For more information please click here.

Sure hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. We did. We are mighty thankful for all you fine folks that support us and make it fun to work at our hotel. Seeing many of you guys year after year and watching your families grow up is very rewarding from our perspective. Sometimes tradition is a good thing. For you folks that are looking for something new and different; you are invited to book us and see what Sanibel Island is all about. It’s an island with no traffic lights, no billboards, no high-rises, and minimum hassles. Home of the best shelling beaches in this corner of the world. There’s top-notch dining with an island casual atmosphere. A couple of great golf courses, an island recreation center open to the public with daily, weekly, and seasonal memberships available. The beaches are not just for shelling, you can read, write, photograph, film, sit there, lay there, run, walk, and fall asleep and dream. When you awaken your dream is right in front of you.

See you early next year!

Danny

The Best Of Sanibel-Captiva Islands 2013

Posted by Danny Adams On September 27th

The Islander newspaper ran it’s annual Best of the Islands edition thiBest of Sanibel 2013 300x300 The Best Of Sanibel Captiva Islands 2013s week where the results of their readers votes for “Best of” in various categories is announced. Our humble seaside resort was voted Best Hotel/Inn on the islands. We attended the award luncheon right up the street at the Sundial Resort with over 130 island business people most of which were winners in the other categories. Such great fun to be with folks from the various shops, stores, resorts, boat rental, bike rental, gift shops, pet groomers, massage therapists, beauty salons, tour guides, restaurants, and charter boat captains on the islands. It was an honor just to be there with all those fine people that for the most part serve us and our guests. I was there with my boss, our GM, and her boss, one of our owners. Truly an honor to be recognized as the best hotel. I am also proud to announce the Star Bar (our beachside tiki bar) was voted Best Tiki Bar! We want you as our guest to feel that we are committed to providing you an outstanding, hassle-free vacation experience at Holiday Inn Sanibel Island Beach Resort.

Did I mention it’s only 88 more shopping days until Christmas? Can you believe that? I know, I know, I can almost here the music. Summer is behind us (and what a wonderful summer season we had) and fall is upon us; and yes, the holiday season right squarely in front of us. The holiday season is a special time on our islands; lots of folks come to visit and escape winter and most of our part-time residents are back for winter and spring. The holiday season also brings us a Sanibel-Captiva tradition; Sanibel Luminary. The night of December 6th Periwinkle Way will be illuminated and the shops and restaurants will put out food and drinks as the trolleys move folks from one end of the island to the other stopping at all the shopping centers along the way. Santa is there too. He and Mrs. Claus arrive by firetruck at each of the shopping centers. Friday night is the Sanibel celebration and Saturday night is the Captiva celebration. These island celebrations are open to everyone.

Some notes: Our guest rooms all have new TV’s with DirecTV and 150 channels in High-Definition. All of our property has free high-speed internet access. In the guest rooms wired and wireless is available as well as our meeting room, the Palm Room. Our restaurant, the Starfish Grille, features special sushi nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s fabulous!

 

IMG 0328 294x300 On Sanibel Island its Back to School, Lets Hit the Books!

Sanibel Causeway

When I was a kid, there was one good thing about going back to school; getting to catch-up with your friends again. I loved to see everyone and hear what they did over the summer. And I admit it, I really liked to tell of my adventures from our family vacations to Silver Beach in Michigan, or New Hampshire, or Treasure Island (St. Petersburg not Las Vegas). Coming from Ohio, Florida seemed like a different world filled with exotic things that I wanted to explore. My parents liked coming to Florida, but I loved it! First time I saw a real palm tree in person, OMG wonderful. Then my first visit to the beach; the ocean and then the gulf. I was in heaven. It would take years, several jobs, several girl friends, and a 1978 Mercury Zepher (powder blue with a white vinyl top), but I moved to Florida to live in 1982. So what’s the point of my (true) story? After living in the Fort Myers-Sanibel, Captiva area for over thirty years, it still excites me; the smell of the gulf breeze, the feel of the salt water, the diverse characters, the white sand beaches, being able to be outdoors all year-long, and coming over the first causeway bridge seeing Sanibel Island surrounded by shimmering water lying before me. I swear, it just never gets old.

With school starting-up and less young families traveling, this is a great time to plan a romantic getaway for you and your partner. I’ll give you this link to our hotel because I know we will do a good job of being your home base while on Sanibel Island.

Great fun is to be had on a shelling charter, sunset cruise, or afternoon dolphin watch with our friends at Adventures in Paradise. See the islands from the water! They will pick you up at the hotel in their trolley and deliver you to the marina then back to the hotel afterwards.

We are also an excellent choice for your next board meeting. Our Palm Room can accommodate up to 45 people and our Starfish Grille can cater your event with the finest food and drink on the island. You can truly have a meeting in paradise! Sanibel Island Golf Club is located right-next-door if you want to skip the meeting.

While you’re out enjoying our beach it might be nice to have a book to read; perhaps Randy Wayne White’s Doc Ford series or Ron Base’s Sanibel Sunset Detective series. The Sanibel Island Bookshop is right up the street.

So off-to-school with you, or if you’re past that stage; come on down and visit. We would love to see you.

Danny

Summertime on Sanibel Island and the Living is Easy

Posted by Danny Adams On June 24th

Summer on Sanibel Island; good rates, less traffic, not so many folks on the beach, and you can probably walk-in to a very good restaurant. Sure it’s warm, but on

IMG 0065 300x199 Summertime on Sanibel Island and the Living is Easy

Shelling on Sanibel Island

the beach there’s usually a nice sea breeze and a late afternoon shower to cool it down a bit so you can clean the salt ‘n sand off you for happy hour and a nice dinner. Then just repeat as needed. Here at the Holiday Inn Sanibel we have the Star Bar right on the beach next to the pool. So refreshments and sandwiches, salads, and drinks are just steps away. Our free high-speed wi-fi also extends to the pool area and beach so you can text your friends and show them what they’re missing and you can see the work and weather that you’re missing. On the weekend live entertainment is featured and makes for a wonderful beach experience. Of course you may choose a more solitary time and spend time down by the water on our free beach chairs and read and relax and maybe even drift-off in thought. No pressure, your choice.

There is a lending library in the lobby with some great books for you to borrow. Our gift shop is also located in the lobby and open 24/7. There is some microwavable food and cold drinks for sale in there too. Free coffee is available to all our guests, fresh brewed(we drink it too)!

I feel silly bringing this up; but our new digital TV’s are high-definition sets with 100+ channels. Not sure why you would choose to be in the room watching TV, hi-def or what, when the magnificent beach and the rest of Sanibel & Captiva Islands are right outside(in living color). But you must rest sometime, right?

Speaking of summertime, the annual Independence Day Parade is July 4th at 9:30am right down Periwinkle Way from Bailey’s to Casa Ybel Road it’s an island tradition and a very good time for the whole family. Then of course, fireworks at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club! You can get in after 6pm.

So come on over and visit us and see what we’re all about. We are all about helping you find what you seek on beautiful Sanibel Island. See you down by the Star Bar, on the beach.

I have a collection of brochures from Holiday Inn Sanibel through the years even back pre-Holiday Inn days when the property was a Ramada Inn and we were

IMG 0058 300x199 The More Things Stay The Same...The More Things Stay The Same on Sanibel Island

Pool Deck

both much younger. The property has been renovated many times, me not so much. The most glaring difference I see is our landscaping; so much more lush than it was years back. The buildings have been many different colors but the configuration is as it was. The pool deck was added years ago and the tiki bar (now the Star Bar) was covered and seats added, actually it was just refurbished this last year. The room interiors have been redesigned many times and made to reflect the tropical island surroundings of this tropical island. Of course, hurricane Charley in 2004 gave the whole island a haircut and knocked-down most of the Australian Pines that lined Periwinkle Way. But the native trees and vegetation survived and thrived and the island looks as good as it ever did, maybe even better.

We have added some cabanas and new furniture on the pool deck, gives it a sort of South Beach look without the high rises and all the people: Sanibel style. Also we now put up umbrellas across our beach for our guests to keep out of the sun when you’ve had enough so you can sit and enjoy without over exposure. The Star Bar not only offers wonderful lunches and drinks but entertainment on many days!

You know what hasn’t changed? Read the rest of this entry »

main 1 300x200 Some Wonderful Mystery Reads for and about Sanibel IslandI love a good story. One of my most pleasurable pastimes is grabbing a book to take to the beach and getting lost in it. When the stories take place in locations that you are familiar with, and have visited, it just makes the fiction come alive. There are some great Florida mystery writers; James W. Hall, Tim Dorsey, Carl Hiaasen, John D. McDonald, and others, that have helped me escape the routine and jump into an adventure. We are lucky here on Sanibel and Captiva islands that we have some very gifted local authors that are producing some fast-paced mysteries set on these very islands and around the world that you will love to read.

Randy Wayne White author of the Doc Ford novels has just released Night Moves the latest in his “Doc Ford” series, Doc is a marine biologist based on Sanibel Island and former CIA operative that often finds himself and his “free-spirited” friend Tomlinson embarking on pulse-pounding adventures through-out the islands and Central America. Randy has also started a new series(I hope) with his first Hannah Smith novel Gone. Read the rest of this entry »

Shellabrate Good Times on Sanibel Island!

Posted by Danny Adams On March 7th

 

It’s time for the 76th Annual Shell Fair at the Sanibel Community House on Periwinkle Way. I mention the Shell Fair for several reasons; it is three days of exhibits and crafts and displays of pretty-near every species of mollusk on this planet. Image 225x300 Shellabrate Good Times on Sanibel Island!If this sounds interesting to you and you are already in southwest Florida, come on over (still open today and tomorrow), or plan on being here early March next year. If this is not your “cup of tea” you would want to plan around the first week in March, as other than Easter week this is as busy as it gets. Weather is perfect for the event and besides it is so much fun!

Time change this weekend got me thinking it’s time to plan your summer getaway. Sure, in the summer, there is usually an hour or so of rain late afternoon, but traffic is light, beaches are less crowded (never really all that crowded, even during season), and easy to get into your favorite restaurant. Actually, the shelling is excellent over the summer months because of the afternoon showers, they do help bring the shells in closer to the shoreline. You can also take a shelling charter from Adventures in Paradise and go out to the little islands that are only accessible by boat. They will pick you up at the hotel to take you to the marina and then deliver you back in their trolley.

Another option for a boat ride is the Sanibel Thriller, a 55′ fast power boat that cruises around the islands giving you a narrated tour of the waters around us and view Sanibel and Captiva from the waterside. It’s big fun to watch the dolphins play in the wake. This tour departs from Sanibel Marina.

That’s all for now, folks. Need to get some lunch, Star Bar down on the beach, Island Cow, Lazy Flamingo, or maybe Huxter’s Deli? It’s all good, my friends!

 

Sanibel Island History Lesson (relax, no quiz)

Posted by Danny Adams On February 20th

IMG 0066 300x199 Sanibel Island History Lesson (relax, no quiz)Hello from Sanibel Island.

Did you know Holiday Inn Sanibel Island is the only “brandname” hotel on Sanibel Island? It is.

The upside is; the name is known, the hotel must be compliant with brand standards, largest reservation system in the world, full service, and you can get points for your stay if you are a Priority Club Rewards member.

Now, the downside; probably a “cookie-cutter” hotel, like every other Holiday Inn. Actually, that’s not the case here, we are located on the beach, on Sanibel Island, featuring the Starfish Grille Restaurant and the Star Bar. Also, Priority Club Rewards members receive a free “shelling” bag at check in that may be used for collecting shells right on our private beach. Read the rest of this entry »