The Best Hotels on Sanibel Island, Florida

West Wind Island Resort is one of Sanibel Island's best places to stay, with easy access to the beach
West Wind Island Resort is one of Sanibel Island's best places to stay, with easy access to the beach | Courtesy of West Wind Island Resort / Expedia
Photo of Nick Dauk
18 June 2021

Balmy tropical days await on Florida‘s tranquil Sanibel Island, where you can find views of the Gulf, fresh fish and impeccable service at the island’s best hotels, bookable on Culture Trip.

Out of towners take note: no two beaches in Florida are the same, and the shores of Sanibel Island are without question some of the best in the state. Buoyed by the Sanibel Causeway to the greater Fort Myers area, Sanibel Island’s sunsets, lighthouses and seashells draw in the crowds, but it’s the seafood, seaside suites and outdoor activities that’ll convince you to stay longer than you planned.

Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages

Boutique Hotel
Map View
Screenshot 2021-06-17 at 10.28.09
Courtesy of Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages /
Sanibel is a wonderful island, but Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages offers the opportunity to make the walk to its sandy neighbor, Captiva Island. Slip on some sandals and stroll from your cottage across the Blind Pass to Turner Beach for a swim. On the way from Castaways’ private beach to Captiva’s public shore, be sure to make a pit stop at the Mad Hatter, an upscale, gourmet affair you’ll find it hard to leave behind.

Island Inn

4.6/5 (989 Reviews)
Courtesy of Island Inn / Expedia

Island Inn is pure seaside bliss. At their Traditions on the Beach restaurant, fresh fish is cooked up before your very eyes. In fact, they’ll even cook up your own catch, and if you need advice on the best fishing holes or beaches for shell-hunting, their e-concierge service will answer all of your questions with a few taps of the fingers.

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Sanibel Island Beach Resort

4.3/5 (978 Reviews)
Courtesy of Sanibel Island Beach Resort / Expedia

It’s a shame you can’t pay for your room with sand dollars and seashells, because the private beach at Sanibel Island Beach Resort is full of them. You can, however, pay a few extra dollars to have your four-legged friend stay with you in a comfortable king suite at this popular spot. Latch on a leash and walk along the private entrance to the beach where, hopefully, Fido can sniff out some buried treasure left behind by pirates.

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Sundial Beach Resort and Spa

4.3/5 (2336 Reviews)
Courtesy of Sundial Beach Resort and Spa / Expedia
Your kids will be shocked when you tell them they need to go to school during their summer vacation – Turtle Scouts Sea School, that is. These exciting kids’ camps hosted by Sundial Beach Resort & Spa give children the opportunity to play while learning about the pirates and wildlife that call this island home. Day and evening camps are available, so you’re always free to indulge in as many massages as you want at the Kay Casperson Lifestyle Spa.
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Sanibel Inn

4.3/5 (1991 Reviews)
Courtesy of Sanibel Inn / Expedia

If it’s not the Gulf that brought you to Florida, then it was surely the golf. Sanibel Inn tees you up with an exclusive membership to the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club resort. Practice your short game on their 18-hole championship course, then brag about how much time you’ve spent away from the beach over spritzers and sunsets at the Clubhouse.

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  • Seahorse Cottages on Sanibel – Adults Only

    Boutique Hotel
    Map View
    Courtesy of Seahorse Cottages on Sanibel / Expedia

    Keep the screaming kids, giant floats and loud music at a minimum at the adults-only Seahorse Cottages. You’ll lay your head right in the historic district, lifting it only to apply a little more sunscreen to your glowing tan. Dixie Beach is a few steps to the west, but we suggest trekking a few more paces east to Lighthouse Beach Park for a picnic under the shadow of the historic beacon.

    West Wind Island Resort

    Hotel, Independent Hotel, Resort
    4.4/5 (969 Reviews)
    Courtesy of West Wind Island Resort / Expedia

    We’d normally talk about the kitchens, comfortable living areas and enclosed balconies of the West Wind Island Resort’s suites, but there are just so many other things to do at this resort that you’ll hardly see your room. Parasailing, stand-up paddleboarding, fishing. waverunners, boat rentals, jacuzzis – this place really does have it all.

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    Casa Ybel Resort

    Resort, Lodge
    4.3/5 (290 Reviews)
    Courtesy of Casa Ybel Resort / Expedia
    Casa Ybel Resort stretches out across the Gulf shoreline, with nothing more to do than while the day away in a hammock under a palm tree or with a margarita in hand beside the pool. You could cook up every meal in your room’s full kitchen, but the likes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford preferred beachfront dining at the award-winning Thistle Lodge, located on-site.
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    Shalimar Cottages and Motel

    Boutique Hotel
    4.3/5 (227 Reviews)
    Screenshot 2021-06-17 at 10.50.56
    Courtesy of Shalimar Cottages and Motel / Expedia

    Shalimar Cottages and Motel wants you to spend your entire stay under the sun. From kayak and bicycle rentals to basketball and shuffleboard courts, there’s always an outdoor activity at your fingertips. One-room motel-like suites are ideal if you plan on being on the beach everyday, but if you’ve got family and friends in tow, the apartments or cottages offer a little more room to relax. With fully equipped kitchens in all rooms and a heated outdoor pool, you can’t go wrong at Shalimar.

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    Periwinkle Cottages

    Boutique Hotel
    Map View
    Courtesy of Periwinkle Cottages
    You won’t be the only one flocking from parts north to Periwinkle Cottages. The Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge next door is one of the country’s top birding spots. These private, old Floridian-style cottages are best enjoyed at an island-time pace. Find some beach gear in the closet and ride a complimentary bike to the quiet, private beach where the crashing waves and cawing seabirds will set you at ease.
    These recommendations were updated on June 18, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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