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lenlu Mar 6th, 2006 03:23 PM

Key West, Naples or Sanibel
I need to decide whether or not to stay in the Keys or Sanible/Naples area. I like luxury resorts, great food and stuff to do with kids. I'm inclined to stay around Naples having spent time there as a kid but haven't been in years. Still, Key West sounds fun and I hear it's cooler in June. But I'm no0t reading good reviews on luxury places to stay. Help! Thank you!

rapotap Mar 6th, 2006 08:14 PM

The beaches are wonderful in Naples...and not at all so in Key West. Sanibel is gorgeous, but I can't recommend a hotel. In Naples try the Charter Club resort. Very nice condos. A luxury resort,? not sure. There is the Naples Beach Hotel - yes! A great place, and with a beachside Tiki bar, too. Great lobby.... Also the Cove Inn - a little funky, hotel rooms or condos, but cool. Recommend Vergina restaurant in Naples.

starrsville Mar 6th, 2006 08:18 PM

Ritz Carlton Naples

rapotap Mar 6th, 2006 09:38 PM

Yes, starrsville's right about the Ritz Carlton - I forgot that one...also a resort called the Registry - on the same level (luxury) as the Ritz Carlton, and with a fantastic beach right there. (Clam Pass Park) Registry has plenty of toys at the beach for the kids, etc. Can rent a canoe and paddle around in a lagoon.

mclaurie Mar 7th, 2006 06:24 AM

I think it would help to know the age of the kids. I'm not sure any of these options will have what you're looking for in terms of good beach and things for kids to do if they're older. Key West doesn't have great beaches and I think the things to do are more adult than kid friendly. Naples and Sanibel have high end resorts that may have kid's activities, but the areas themselves don't offer things like zoos, aquariums etc.

I would consider Ft. Lauderdale (there's a new St. Regis hotel, don't know how good it is). Key Biscayne or South Beach could also be fun. Key Biscayne has 2 big resort hotels and is near enough to Miami for other things to do. You should also find good prices in Miami at that time.

ksanders Mar 7th, 2006 06:26 AM


Not sure how old your kids are but I would say Naples or Sanibel might be better. We have been to Key West a couple of times and to Sanibel numerous times and Sanibel wins hands down as far as family vacation. Sanibel is beautiful. Much nicer beaches, great restaurants, more "kid" activities and everywhere is child friendly on Sanibel and Captiva. As for luxury resort I am not sure. We always stay at Casa Ybel which is lovely, right on the beach. Most of the places on Sanibel are more condo complex than mega resort feel. You might try Sundial or the South Seas resorts. One is on Sanibel the other is on Captiva. They too, look like nice resorts.

Neopolitan Mar 7th, 2006 02:28 PM

There is no longer a Registry Resort in Naples. It is now called the Naples Grande.

dmwalker Mar 7th, 2006 03:15 PM

I would stay in Naples (or Sanibel, Fort Myers Beach, Marco Island, etc.) rather than Key West. I have two teenage daughters and they enjoy the beautiful beaches of the west coast of Florida. You may want to stay at La Playa in Naples, the Pink Shell in Fort Myers Beach and the Marriott in Marco Island. I have stayed at the Ritz and the Registry (Naples Grande) in Naples and enjoyed both, but neither one is directly on the beach. Save Key West for a grown-ups only trip.

lenlu Mar 8th, 2006 12:21 PM

Thanks everyone, it's all very helpful. I was leaning toward avoiding the Keys, thinking it is more adult oriented. My children are 3 and 1 1/2, so I thought shelling might be fun. When I was young, I went to Jungle Larry's Safari which I'm sure is gone and was probably a shabby place to begin with. From a child's persepctive I thought it was great. My kids are little enough though, that they get worn out quickly. Anyway, I'll check out the Naples/Sanibel area more closely. Thank you!

Neopolitan Mar 8th, 2006 12:33 PM

Jungle Larry's in Naples is now The Naples Zoo at Carribean Gardens. It is far nicer than in the old days. In the past year it was sold and purchased by a "charitable trust" organization for the city. A smaller attached part will be developed (much controversy), but it is a great place to visit in Naples. You won't still see the tacky lion taming shows however.

Naples has a really nice playground in Cambier Park right downtown.

mollmatt Mar 8th, 2006 01:36 PM

As far as luxury hotels in Naples, it doesn't get any more lux than the Ritz Carlton Beach Resort. In June, you will have warm/hot weather with afternoon thundershowers likely and it will be humid. The Ritz hosts many families and they have an extensive childrens program, although your children may be too young.. The gulf of Mexico will be at least 85 degrees warm, making it great for the little ones and you should encounter pretty flat conditions. No real waves, unless there is a storm out in the gulf. (Hurricane season begins June 1 but we rarely see storms that early on.)
There are many great restaurants in Naples, most are in the Old Naples area which would be a 10-15minute drive from the Ritz. The Ritz has 2 "fancy" restaurants, 1 more casual poolside restaurant and then the beach side place called Gumbo Limbo which is great. The Turtle Club is just North of the Ritz and it's a nice, beach-front choice.
As for the kids, take them to Carribean Gardens, but go early, before it gets too hot! Neopolitan is right on about the playground at Cambier Park. It's great, but again, go early in the morning, before it gets too hot!

emmynick Mar 19th, 2006 02:05 PM

KW - Ocean Key

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