Shell Island Beach Club Resort is on Sanibel Island, Florida. If you have not been to Sanibel Island, this blog about my recent trip will grab your attention.
Sanibel Island is on the West Coast of Florida near Fort Myers which is on the opposite side of Miami, near the foot of Florida before the Keys. The area has amazing weather, sunset views that people move for, and great food and fun.
Video by InsightAirPhoto
Day One Travel & Arrival at Shell Island Beach Club Resort
My journey began with a flight down. I have switched to flying recently. I used to always insist on driving down to Florida, but when driving all the way to the Fort Myers or Miami areas, it is a long drive. More than ½ a day of steady time behind the wheel. I often break it down into a 2 day drive instead of doing it all at once.
Lately, with gas prices on the rise, it made more sense to fly down for less and rent a car from the nearby airport in Fort Myers. It reduced my travel time to about 1.5 hours total in the car, and 2 hours in the air. That is much better than 2 takes of gas and 15 hours of drive time.
Also, if I took a break on the way down, that would be another $100 for a hotel room and given the good prices on flights at this time, I went for the flight option. I just have to book first class, or business for my size. The only other alternative is to get a guarantees seat on the emergency isle. That way I have legroom at least.
For this flight I had first class round trip thanks to some upgrade points. Even first class is not what it used to be. They pack people on planes like sardines in a can these days. If I was with a group, I would charter and split the costs, but it is just me on this trip.
This resort is what Hilton Grand Vacations calls an exchange resort. I have stayed at several of these lately and they are very nicely maintained. Some may not have the Hilton Brand feel but they still reach a high standard of quality for this program with Hilton.
This particular resort is very near the lighthouse beach area on Sanibel, which is a great stretch of beach on one end of the island.
The villas here are 2 bedroom units that are 1,176 sq ft in size, which provides a king size bed in the master, and two twins in the second bedroom. The living room has plenty of space and a sleeper sofa. This means the villa can accommodate 6 people comfortably, and it is a great size for a family. The master has a full bath with a shower, and the second bedroom offers a full bath with a tub and shower. The tub helps for those with kids.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
- In-Room Safe
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Free WiFi
- Outdoor Pools
- Business Center
- On-Site Restaurants
- Fitness Center
- Concierge Services
After I checked in and unpacked, I went for dinner. I went to the lighthouse café, which is within an easy walk from the resort. It is actually farther from the lighthouse than the resort, so when going just walk the opposite direction on the road from the lighthouse. It is just a few blocks’ distance.
They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner here. I was starving for whatever reason so I started with Bada Bing Shrimp, then a Caesar Salad. I then had a Lighthouse burger which as nice half pound burger.
The food was good and I can see coming back for breakfast one morning during my stay.
Day Two at the Beach
I wanted to just sleep in, get some breakfast and then put my feet in the sand. I went to the Tipsy Turtle for breakfast. I enjoyed a meat lover’s omelet. I had eaten a large dinner, so I did not add pancakes or waffles, but they did look and smell good coming to the surrounding tables. I did choose fresh Orange Juice which in season which tastes like liquid gold for sure.
I drove to the Turtle, so I then looked around the island some. There are many locally owned shops in the area and it is nice to interact with some of the owners.
Next back to the beach. I spent the entire afternoon with my feet in the sand, watching the small waves roll in, and listening to the sounds of the sea. I say sea by default, but it is the Gulf of Mexico here. The main difference between the west coast to the east coast in my mind is the clarity of the water. You can see deep down below the surface in the gulf.
During your trip, take some time to look for shells here. If you get up to see the sunrise, just take a stroll on the beach to look for shells before the night’s fresh batch that came in with waves is picked through. It is especially good for shell gathering after there has been a storm the night before.
These islands provide amazing shelling opportunities and you can even find occasional conch shells to listen to the ocean with. If you have not listened to a large one, you are missing out. You should check a local gift shop for one just so you can listen if you do not find one yourself on the beach.
Day Three Boating
The gulf and local water ways here make boating a great experience here. Sanibel Marina offers charters, rentals, and much more. I rented a center console here for half a day. They rent them by the half day or full day here, for most a half day is enough. Afterwards, you can get a bite to eat at Grandma Dot’s restaurant. Our meal here was excellent.
The time on the water was fun as well. The water was a little rough as the wind was coming in right, so the half day rental ended up being a wise decision as the wind continued to pick up and I spent more time on the sound side of the island the more it picked up.
If you rent a boat, you may want to rent some fishing gear too because even the inshore fishing here is some of the best in the world. You may get lucky, even just throwing in a line where it looks good to you as you are out and about on your boat. A center console gives you enough room and stability to fish with ease.
Do put on sunscreen, bring water or soft drinks, and wear a hat. The sun can get intense here fast this close to the equator.
After my time on the water, I headed back to the resort to relax and rest up. The salt air is , but it does seem to zap the energy right out of you. Maybe one day I will move closer to the ocean or the gulf to see if I build up some sort of resistance to that salt air effect. But for now, it just helped me catch a late afternoon nap of legend.
Do you want to travel to Sanibel Island? If so, book through TZort and consider this resort seriously on your list.