Fort Myers Hotels/Bonita Springs

Old Feb 20th, 2005, 03:15 PM
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Fort Myers Hotels/Bonita Springs

Hi:

I'd like the take my sister on a surprise (girl's only) 50th birthday trip. We are pretty much locked to the dates in mid-April. Last year I went to the Sanibel Harbour Resort w/hubby near Sanibel/Captiva. We REALLY enjoyed it. I've priced that out for this pending trip and it's a bit pricey. (Which I knew already). I'm looking at packages thru Expedia if that makes a difference.

A few others places pop up that I'm not familiar with. One is the Diamond Head Beach Resort at Fort Myers Beach and the other is the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs and the Gullwing Beach Resort also at Fort Myers Beach. The Hyatt wasn't all that much cheaper than the Sanibel Harbour and I'm not familiar at all w/Bonita Springs. Is it nice?? What about the others mentioned? Thanks for ANY tips!
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Old Feb 20th, 2005, 05:15 PM
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The Hyatt is a great place, but it is out in sort of the middle of nowhere (as many resorts are since you can just stay there). But yes, there are a lot of nice places in Bonita, including the fabulous Roy's for dinner. And I don't really think it's any more out of the way than Sanibel Harbour Resort. It involves a bit of driving if you want to go anywhere, particularly into Naples. They have their own shuttle boats to the beach as it sits back in some pristine wilderness mangrove area.
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Old Feb 21st, 2005, 03:52 AM
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Thanks ... I really don't want to be staying in the "middle of no where" and thus appreciate the info about the Hyatt.
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Old Feb 21st, 2005, 04:01 AM
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Hey Patrick, a hotel sitting in the midst of the fastest growing community in the US (as of this quarter) would hardly qualify as sitting in the middle of nowhere. The world does not begin and end in Naples. The traffic is pretty horrendous everywhere in SW Florida however and you will want to take this into account when planning day trips.

There is certainly more around the Hyatt than the Sanibel Harbour Resort. Hyatt is much much more luxurious and well appointed than the Sanibel Harbour Resort and the Stillwater Spa is top notch compared to the mediocre spa at Sanibel Harbor.

Diamond Head is right on the beach which is great and there is lots going on, its just a little downmarket from the Hyatt.

LMF
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Old Feb 21st, 2005, 04:35 AM
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LilMsFoodie is of course right about everything she has said.

Maybe my "middle of nowhere" comment seems out of place, but I'm used to answering so many questions about hotels here and "how close to restuarants and shops" and "walking distance to places to eat". The answer to those two questions remain the same. You will be slow driving miles to go anywhere OUTSIDE the resort. It isn't like staying in the middle of a lot of other things. But as I suggested before, if you are content staying at the resort it is a great one!

Incidentally, I made the "middle of nowhere" comment recently for a poster asking about the Doubletree in Naples. We carefully explained how far it was from the beach, downtown Naples, and other restaurants including those of Bonita. They stayed there and one of his first comments here was "I couldn't believe how far it was from everything." I just think it's fair to warn people about the driving and the distances here.

Also one of the main attractions of the Coconut Resort is that it is indeed "in the middle of nowhere". It is its remote location in the mangroves and beautiful natural setting that is one of its most attractive features. So this whole question boils down to what you are looking for.
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Old Feb 21st, 2005, 05:01 AM
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The Coconut Hyatt is a very nice place to stay, as LMF and Patrick have said. They have superior service. Once when I was there for a party and had a headache the gift shop (which sells tylenol) was closed...so, unbeknownst to me, a bellhop actually DROVE to a convenience store and brought me back some Tylenol.

Like LMF said, there is a lot growing up around Bonita. But, like Patrick said, it may not be altogether worth it to stay there when the area is (IMO) one of the worst stretches of traffic in Ft Myers.

I saw the posts Patrick was referring to, and the poster also complained about the traffic in that area. No one is exaggerating when they tell you that the traffic is a major downside of this area in season.

If I were going with my friends for a relaxing spa/resort/beach vacation, I'd go to the Hyatt, no problem. But if I knew my friends would spend less time in the hotel and more time out running around shopping and dining out, I'd stay somewhere else. The bottom line is how much you think you'll stay on property vs how much you'll want to get out and explore. Going out into Bonita or Naples once or twice will be tolerable, but much more than that and you'll feel like you spent your vacation in the car.

As for whether Bonita is nice, yes, there are some nice places in the area. It runs into North Naples, where there are also nice shops and restaurants. The Venetian village area (not sure the exact name of the shopping center--Patrick?) is so pretty. There a couple of other good shopping areas, and the Miramar outlets are not terribly far away, nor is downtown Naples. Several good restaurants all around. You'll just have to plan accordingly and factor the traffic into your excursions.

As for the Fort Myers Beach places, I am not sure about them, but I'd estimate that the other two options would be much nicer than anything you'd find on Ft Myers Beach.

 
Old Feb 21st, 2005, 06:26 AM
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Thank you all for your comments. I am not locked into the Ft Myers area and thus are open to other suggestions. Here's the deal: We live in New England, we have to go during April (sis is a teacher), we can only go for 3 or 4 days max (I have kids/hubby) and I think we'd prefer ocean. Also, I don't want to break the bank. I'm open to other FLA suggestions or even the Carolina's. Thanks people! (Oh, I'm in Orlando in March w/hubby & kids so prefer no Disney). Went to Tampa last year w/hubby and wasn't impressed so those 2 places are out.
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Old Feb 21st, 2005, 06:55 AM
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I think you'll enjoy the Ft Myers/Naples area a lot. I am sure Patick and LMF would agree. I just don't want you to be surprised by the traffic problem in the Bonita area.

If the resort itself is not the draw, and you think the beach/shopping/dining is more fun, you might want to try the panhandle--Seaside, for example is so nice. Try www.garrettrealty.com for reasonble condo rentals in Seaside or nearby Seagrove. You'll still have the traffic problem if you drive out into Destin, but there is plenty to do right there in Seaside.



 
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 07:35 PM
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Hi everyone.I am currently staying at Sanibel harbour resort.I love it,The rooms are beautiful,views are unbelieveable,Eveywhere you go there is waterService is great,Restaurants are ok at the hotel but there are some really nice restaurants on sanibel,Try Ellingtons on Sanibel,Great food and Jazz music.The spa is great.Have you been since it has reopened.?It is beautiful with all the amenities.I love this place.Well I am now off to patricks town for the weekend.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 04:38 AM
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I also am taking my sister on a trip to the Ft. Myers area in late May. She wants a beach and spa, I am continuing my search of retirement, single family home golf community. Last year stayed on Marco Island (not impressed) and went into Naples (great restaurants). So I was thinking Sanibel but the Hyatt sounds great (have to use Amex points which I could use at Sundial or South Seas). I understand the drive may be difficult but is this the best bet for our needs?
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 07:09 AM
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Nicole, I'm pretty sure South Seas will still not be opened by this May following the extensive hurricane damage.
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Old Apr 5th, 2005, 04:43 PM
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Hey there, has anyone stayed at the Pink Shell, i've read a lot of good reviews about the place. We aren't staying in the brand new bldg, but in one of hte Sanibel View building (renovated in 2001). Does anyone have any recommendations about the place?? What to do?? Where to go??
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 02:40 AM
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South Seas will be lucky to reopen by March 2006. When it reopens, it will be a completely transformed resort. Much of the rrestoration on Captiva is behind schedule. There was much more damage than first thought and coupled with already overworked trades in SW Florida, things have backed up considerably. LMF
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