One of the perks of working at a resort? Getting stay certificates at other resorts 🙂

We have this employee incentive at work where you can collect points for doing something good. You can then turn in those points for things like gift cards, movie passes, etc. Or if you’re a point hoarder like me you wait for the once in a while “big” items to come around and then cash in all your points at once. When I saw an email come in for a stay certificate at Sanibel Harbour Marriott I snatched that baby up!

Sanibel is an island about a half hour from Cape Coral, where Jon’s family lives. Only about a 2 hour drive from St. Pete, which to me is a perfect staycation distance. Plus, I love Sanibel. It’s very remote and has that islandy atmosphere. Think The Keys except much less partying, more low-key and more money (HUGE houses there). It is a beautiful, lush place to visit.

Sanibel Harbour Marriott isn’t exactly ON Sanibel. It’s right before the bridge that takes you over to Sanibel, which was kind of annoying to find out at first since the bridge toll is $6 (yes, $6). But that annoyance quickly went away as soon as we arrived.

Yup, that was our view from our room. Gorgeous.

I was instantly impressed from the beginning. The bellman were extremely friendly. They asked what name our reservation was under and I saw the guy say it in a head-piece he was wearing. So by the time we got to the front desk they were able to greet us by name. Nice. Sometimes I think staying under a certificate means you’re not going to get the same service since they know you’re not paying for the stay. Thankfully though, I was wrong. From check in to check out the staff was super friendly and practically falling over themselves to help you.

Our room was extremely spacious. Love balconies!

I also loved that the bathroom had a separate “getting ready” area.

Bath and Body Works toiletries!

We had a great view of the property as well.

Our first night we watched the sunset from the balcony.

Then took a dip in the jacuzzi and pool before getting ready for dinner.

We headed over the bridge to Traders, which we’d been to before and loved. I love Trader’s atmosphere. It’s not too casual, not too stuffy, bright and friendly. There’s a cute shop attached to the restaurant as well.

Unfortunately, while our waitress was great, our food was not as good as we remembered.

We started with the crab stuffed mushrooms, which were pretty good. Loved the gorgonzola cream sauce.

For my entree I had the special, which was seared scallops over tortellini. The scallops were fresh and delicious. The tortellini was nothing special, but it was obviously not homemade. Just seems so strange to put beautiful fresh scallops over something like frozen tortellini. And I’m pretty sure the waitress had said it would be served over ravioli, which would have been homemade and a much better choice.

Jon’s entree, however, was the real problem. He ordered the rib eye, which was flavorless and not cooked right. He ended up not eating it. 😦 Luckily, we had an excellent bottle of wine to cure our food woes.

The next day, we were treated to a couple’s massage at Sanibel Day Spa thanks to Jon’s parents (early bday gift for Jon). What a perfect way to relax!

Afterwards we drove out to Captiva to explore. We ended up stopping at The Mucky Duck for lunch.

This place has a cute pub atmosphere and some beach chairs and picnic tables outside that look right out onto the beach.

I had the Captiva Panini, which was pretty good. Nothing too exciting, but did the trick for lunch.

Once we finished we walked along the beach for a bit.

The beach was filled with shells! It was so cool to see the waves come in and keep turning over the shells…like a shell factory or something. 🙂

On the way back to the hotel we stopped at Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. I have a co-worker who is a huge environmentalist and she recommended we go there to see lots of wildlife. We saw some birds, but besides that just lots of trees…it’s neat though…you can drive or walk (we chose to drive) the trail. We did pull off to walk into an Indian Ground area.

That night we decided to head the other direction for dinner. We had been to Yabo before for drinks with friends and everyone we know who has eaten there has raved about the food.

Our server was very nice and brought us out hot bread with olive oil and roasted pressed garlic, which was amazing. Their wine list isn’t too impressive so I ended up with a sub par zinfandel. Jon and I shared the Cesar salad, which was HUGE. Pretty typical Cesar except it could have had a touch more dressing. For entrees Jon got the lasagna, which he said was soupy. I got the rigatoni bolognese, which was good but my pasta was undercooked. Definitely not the amazing food we were anticipating, but overall not bad.

We ended the night with a cocktail in the hotel bar. I had a Banana Split Martini, which was deeelicious.

Overall, our stay was perfect. We loved the resort. The service was fantastic and the resort itself is beautiful. Hope to come stay again in the future!

Side note: Jon and I have been watching all of the past Breaking Bad seasons. Such. A. Great. Show. Anyone else a fan? Can’t wait till we’re caught up!

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!


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