7 Best Hotels and Vacation Rentals in The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

It's time to find perfect accommodations for your laid-back beach vacation

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The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel is home to a number of hotels. There aren’t many big names brands here. Instead, guests will mostly find inns and beachfront resorts with a lot of character. When it comes to booking a luxury hotel or vacation rental in The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, look to the ones on this list.

These hotels are spread out over Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island and Captiva Island, three areas I had a chance to visit recently for some of the world’s best shelling.

See also: Enjoy the World’s Best Shelling at The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

South Seas Resort (Top Pick)

South Seas Island Resort has homes, villas and hotel rooms. It's one of the best hotels in the Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel.

Location: Captiva Island

Why go: You’d like to be close to the shelling action on gorgeous Captiva Island. This luxury resort has several accommodation options including hotel rooms, one- two- and three-bedroom villas, and enormous vacation homes with up to nine bedrooms spread over a 330-acre wildlife reserve. Many of the accommodations have sparkling water views and the resort is surrounded by 2.5 miles of pristine beach. It is an excellent option for families and the kind of place you don’t have to leave much.

Resort amenities:

  • 20 Swimming pools (three have water slides)
  • A full-service day spa
  • An extensive activity calendar with events ranging from mermaid classes to art classes.
  • State-of-the-art fitness center
  • 2.5 miles of trails
  • Full-service yacht harbor and marina
  • Water sports including waverunners, kayaks, parasail rides, and paddleboards
  • Hotel rooms start at 450 square feet and have refrigerators, in-room coffee, comfortable linens and WiFi while villas and higher have full kitchens, balconies and more
  • Skully’s Family Interactive Center with lots of games and family fun
  • Bicycle, boat and golf cart rentals
  • Two golf courses
  • Yoga classes (including SUP yoga)
  • Six dining options including a Doc Ford’s restaurant
  • And much more

Recognition: Top 10 Family Resort by Parents Magazine, TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, and Conde Nast Traveler describes South Seas Island Resort as the “swishiest resort on the islands.”

Book South Seas Island Resort

Sanibel Island Marriott

The Sanibel Island Marriott is one of the best hotels in The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

Location: Fort Myers (just across the causeway from Sanibel Island)

Why go: Sanibel Island Marriott is a good option for those who like the familiarity of large, name-brand resorts with a decent roster of amenities. In an area where there aren’t many chain hotels, it’s one place where you can redeem points for a stay at one of its 300 rooms.

Resort amenities:

  • Rooms have private balconies with floor-to-ceiling windows and luxury amenities
  • Five onsite restaurants and 24-hour in-room dining
  • A full-service spa
  • Complimentary WiFi (covered by the $25/night resort fee)
  • Three outdoor heated resort pools and an indoor pool at the spa
  • Tennis courts
  • Bike rentals
  • Jogging trails
  • Onsite laundry

Recognition: TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

Book Sanibel Island Marriott

Gasparilla Inn & Club

The Gasparilla Inn & Club is a historic hotel that is one of the best in The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel.

Location: Boca Grande Island

Why go: It’s a classic resort that opened 1913 and has played host to a number of notable guests ranging from the DuPont family to Thomas Edison. The 137 rooms, suites, and cottages are draws for family retreats and even avid tarpon fisherman/fisherwoman (the island is known as the tarpon fishing capital of the world). In keeping with the Inn’s longstanding tradition and Victorian flair, a seasonal dress code is enforced for dinner.

 Inn amenities:

  • 66 Deluxe king, queen or twin bedded rooms; 18 private cottages; and the larger Sharp Houses with 3 or 4 bedrooms (the inn offers Tempur-pedic beds)
  • European, modified or full American meal plans with all accommodations
  • Championship Pete Dye golf course
  • 250-slip marina
  • Fitness center
  • Spa and salon
  • Concierge services for booking excursions

Recognition: Gasparilla Inn & Club is one of the approximately 200 hotels that is a member of the Historic Hotels of America. Condé Nast Traveller readers ranked it as the #1 resort in Florida (2016).

Book Gasparilla Inn & Club

Sea Oats

Sea Oats is a gorgeous vacation rental home on Captiva Island

Location: Captiva Island

Why go: This nine-bedroom and nine-bathroom beachfront estate gives guests the feel of a luxury resort in a private, 10,000-square-foot home. It’s an excellent choice for weddings, multigenerational trips, corporate retreats and getaways with friends since you could take up the entire property which is shaped in a “U” around a swimming pool. The beach here is also quiet as it’s a mile from the closest public beach. Its location overlooking Buck Key provides excellent wildlife viewing including birds, dolphins and manatees, depending on the season.

Estate amenities:

  • Tennis and basketball courts
  • Fishing (complimentary fishing poles, tackle, bait boxes, nets, and a variety of fishing locations)
  • Open-top kayak rentals and stand-up paddle boards
  • Game area and library
  • Onsite fire pits
  • A heated pool with bar and barbecue
  • The ability to set up an appointment with a chef or bartender
  • Beach umbrellas, coolers, a beach cart, sand toys, boogie boards for the beach
Book Sea Oats

New Latitude

New Latitude is a gorgeous vacation rental on Captiva Island near Sanibel.
Location: Captiva Island

Why go: You’d like a vacation rental with plenty of space for your brood. New Latitude can sleep 16 people across six bedrooms (two rollaways are also available) that each have an en suite bathroom. Guests can practically step off of the estate’s patio and on to the sand… it’s literally a few steps from a secluded Gulf Coast beach.

Estate amenities:

  • Rooftop porch
  • Swimming pool
  • Outdoor shower
  • Ocean views from almost every room
  • Pool table and other outdoor games
  • Covered patio with large dining and sofa areas
  • Fitness equipment
Book New Latitude

Casa Ybel

Casa Ybel Resort is one of the best places to stay at The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel.
Location: Sanibel Island

Why go: You’d like to stay at a historic Sanibel Island resort that has been welcoming guests for over 100 years. It’s a 23-acre property with 114 units that also have full kitchens, which is handy for family travel. Casa Ybel provides easy access to 14 miles of beaches that have some of the world’s best shelling. It is also a popular place for weddings and events.

Resort amenities:

  • 114 Beachfront one- and two-Bedroom suites with gorgeous gulf views
  • Tennis courts
  • Recreation concierge to plan activities
  • Olympic-sized beachfront swimming pool
  • A kids’ club
  • In-suite spa services
  • Beachfront dining at Thistle restaurant as well as a poolside bar and grill
  • Bike rentals
  • Onsite games including beach volleyball, basketball, shuffleboard, croquet and more

RecognitionCondé Nast Traveller named Casa Ybel one of the best places to stay in the world, The Knot’s Best of Weddings Hall of Fame, TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

Book Casa Ybel

Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina

Pink Shell Resort is one of the best hotels in Fort Myers Beach.

Location: Fort Myers Beach

Why go: You’d like a beach resort that is closer to the action in Fort Myers. Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina has villas with kitchens and vacation studios with kitchenettes that are spread across several buildings. Accommodations provide plenty of room and conveniences especially for families. It is a very busy resort and where I stayed on my most recent trip to The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel. A number of Fort Myers Beach restaurants and the fishing pier are within about 15-minute walk of the resort.

Resort amenities:

  • Three heated pools including the lagoon-style Octopool complete with waterfalls, giant shells, sponges and underwater speakers
  • Bike rentals
  • Seasonal fishing camp for kids
  • Full-service spa
  • Two onsite restaurants and a limited in-room dining menu
  • Dinner on the beach can be arranged
  • Fitness center with an ocean view
  • A welcome amenity (mine was a lovely cheese plate)
  • Accommodations have enclosed lanais (some have jacuzzis on the lanai)
  • Kayak, waverunner, pontoon, stand-up paddle board and beach gear rentals available
  • Beach fire pit and chair rentals (with optional s’mores kits)
  • Parasailing

Recognition: Pink Shell Beach Resort is often featured on lists of best resorts in The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel. And, it was voted by Conde Nast readers as the #2 resort in Florida (2016).

Book Pink Shell Resort

 

See also: 10 Things to Do in The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

Do you have a favorite hotel in The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel? Please share!

*This post is written in partnership with The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

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