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Drinks All Around at the Crow’s Nest Bar & Grille

Martini on CaptivaThe secret to a great bar and grille is whether or not the locals hang out there. What’s better than a place that isn’t hiking up prices for tourists and that a local can trust to grab a pint (or a glass or a high ball) after a day in the sun? That’s why the Crow’s Nest Bar & Grille is my favorite place to grab a drink on the Sanibel and Captiva Islands.

Not only do the locals hang out there, but it’s a great place to meet new people that may be staying at the resort on property, ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa. Not everyone is looking for friendly conversation, but most guests, and of course the bartenders, are ready to tell their “fish story” and share a drink with you.

But what I love most of all is the variety a seriously delicious drinks to choose from. The wine selection alone is something no connoisseur would laugh at — from Raymond, California Merlot to a great Cab, If you See Kay, from Italy, you’ll enjoy the a great selection if you love wine.

Many go for a stronger drink to end the day, enjoying the specialty drinks and martinis at the Crow’s Nest. Named for local traditions and flavors, patrons enjoy the Key Lime Pie Martini, High Tide Margarita, Pink Dolphin, Captiva Chiller and Tipsy Mermaid. The local favorite of course is the Rum Runner, which you can see ordered here or at the Oasis Pool Bar.

If you’re feeling especially adventurous, the bartenders at the Crow’s Nest have been mixing and making drinks for years, and are always up for a challenge to impress you with a new flavor. “Surprise me” might get you a new concoction or a drink they’ve been making for yours.

Whatever you’re drinking, pairing it with an appetizer or plate from the Crow’s Nest dining menu is a no-brainer. You’ll find unique options like Mahi Fingers and Shrimp and Sausage Quesadillas, plus traditional apps like loaded nachos, mozzarella sticks and chicken wings. Yum! View the full menu, with drinks, here.

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Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts Announces New Corporate Structure

Best Hotel Captiva

Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts, the leading hospitality marketing and management organization in Southwest Florida (and parent company of ‘Tween Waters), has announced a new corporate leadership structure. Effective August 1, Tony Lapi (left) has assumed the role of Chairman of the Board & President, with Doug Babcock (right) now leading day-to-day operations as Chief Executive Officer & Vice President.

“I’ve learned a lot about the hospitality industry in Southwest Florida these past 42 years,” Lapi says, “and I’ve had the great pleasure to work side by side with Doug Babcock the past nine years. This transition has been part of our long term strategy that will allow our corporation to continue its growth and success, while providing ongoing opportunities to support our community, through valuable employment and charitable contributions.”

“I’m thrilled to have the chance to lead an outstanding corporation that’s been built by the integrity, quality and hard work not only of Tony Lapi, but every one of our employees over the years,” Babcock added. “In the hospitality world today, your employees are your ambassadors, your representatives of your brand and how our guests will most remember their experiences with Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts. The fact that we’ve grown, and are such highly rated on travel review sites, speaks to the quality of our people.”

Both Lapi and Babcock are majority owners of the corporation. Lapi first purchased with others ‘Tween Waters Inn in 1976, then added Beachview Cottages in 1979 and Castaways Cottages in 1982. With family ownership of both ‘Tween Waters Inn and West Wind Inn, Babcock was key in the addition of West Wind Inn to Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts in 2015, along with the launch of Sanibel Captiva Island Vacation Rentals in 2018. In total, SCBR offers visitors to Southwest Florida their choice of “the Official Beach Resorts of Sanibel and Captiva” — over 400 highest quality lodging choices including resorts and vacation rental homes and condos; five superior restaurants including Old Captiva House and Crow’s Nest Bar & Grille at ‘Tween Waters, plus Normandie Seaside Cafe at West Wind Inn; two marinas; and day spa.

Both gentlemen have and continue to serve various organizations, councils and boards related to hospitality, tourism, community causes and water quality issues. In addition, both are graduates of Syracuse University.

About Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts LLC
Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts LLC is among Southwest Florida’s top and most experienced hospitality marketing and management organizations. SCBR operates four of Sanibel and Captiva Islands’ top beach resorts that comprise more than 400 quality accommodations, from beachfront suites to classic seaside cottages, including: ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa of Captiva Island, Florida; West Wind Inn of Sanibel, Florida; Beachview Cottages of Sanibel, Florida; Castaways Cottages of Sanibel, Florida (at Blind Pass); and Sanibel Captiva Island Vacation Rentals of Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Florida. The organization also excels in food and beverage service with five dining outlets, plus outstanding banquet services and facilities for weddings, corporate meetings and family reunions. In addition, Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts manages and markets two marinas, numerous recreational amenities (discounted golf, tennis, water sports and more), retail outlets and a day spa.

Learn more at www.SanibelCaptivaBeachResorts.com.

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Finding Your Inner Beach Bum on a Cottage Vacation

Beachview Cottages

A beach cottage is not a place; it’s a state-of-mindlessness.

It conjures up images of sunset porch views and walking out your front door with bare feet. A beach cottage promises the ultimate island vacation, where your only work is on your tan and finding out who “dunnit” in a breezy mystery novel.

Cottage vacations are my favorite, especially a Sanibel or Captiva island beach cottage vacation. Through Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts, I can pick from the historic cottages at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa, the shore-hugging and casual cottages of Castaways Beach & Bay Cottages, the sweet little beach-bum accommodations at Beachview Cottages, or a stand-alone home-away-from-home out of  the inventory of Sanibel Captiva Island Vacation Rentals.

At Castaways on Sanibel Island, 15 cottages line the beach at Blind Pass with options from one to three bedrooms, each with its own personality. The rest of the property’s 22 units are pool-front, marina-side or bay-front — across the street, but still an easy shuffle to the beach. (You may want to don flip-flops for that walk.)

Castaways Beach & Bay Cottages

It feels like a return to old Florida, but with all the conveniences. You become part of the “Santiva” community here, with the convenience of a handful of restaurants and a small store, where you can buy the makings of a meal should you decide to take advantage of the cottages’ modern kitchen facilities.

The staff, too, become like family. The resort is known for its longtime employees, who get to know their guests by name.

Same goes for Beachview on Sanibel Island, a postcard property of 22 cottages painted brightly with the requisite screened porch and sandy trail to the beach and pool. The one- to three-bedroom cottages slump comfortably, like a pair of favorite shoes you’ve worn in. Newly refreshed with modern upgrades and easy-living furnishings, their board-and-bead wainscoting epitomizes cottage living.

‘Tween Waters Island Resort

At ‘Tween Waters, a few of the cottages pay honor to famous past guests such as Charles Lindbergh, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and “Ding” Darling. Some have Gulf of Mexico views, others look out onto the bay. None lie far from the beach.

Slightly more “dressed-up” than the other two properties, the cottages at ‘Tweenies appeal to a still-casual, inherently charming beach sensibility, where time seems frozen ‘neath toasty Southwest Florida sun.

And for me, that’s the main attraction to spending time in accommodations that effectively erase the boundaries between seaside and bedside.

Castaways
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Get Your ‘Tween Waters Free Tumblers Before They’re Gone

What’s the deal with the tumblers? It’s a great deal, that’s what! Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts has boasted the Stay 3, Get Another Night Free offer as the best deal of the summer, but now they’ve added in a bonus! Get this deal, plus also receive 2 free drink tumblers with the ‘Tween Waters, Beachview Cottages, Castaways CottagesSanibel Captiva Island Vacation Rentals or West Wind Inn logo as a bonus!

Each of the tumblers is made by Tervis, a Florida-based but nationally-recognized company, which makes insulated drink mugs boasting cooler or warmer drinks. The tumblers come as a pair, with matching basic sip lids, all which are dishwasher safe.

This tumbler promotion is not only a bonus way of saying Thank You for booking your summer vacation (must book by August 31, 2019, but also a great way to stay aligned with our “Green” initiative. These drink mugs are a sustainable method to a cool drink by the pool, and bartenders at the resorts will fill your tumblers with drinks instead of utilizing the plastic non-reusable cups.

The tumbler offer is just another way that SCBR is adding value to your stay! With free nights, free tumblers, free parking, free $100-value resort coupon books, and no resort fees at any of our properties, you’re bound to see why Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts are you Official Beach Resorts of Sanibel & Captiva Islands.

This offer has been extended to August 31, so make sure to book now! You must book by August 31, 2019 and stay within the confines of the Stay 3 Get Another Night Free offer dates, in order to receive your free tumblers. Bookings after August 31, 2019 still receive the free night but will not be eligible for the two free tumblers.

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Celebrating Summer on Sanibel and Captiva Island

Of course winter and spring constitute high season in Southwest Florida, and Sanibel and Captiva island fall into that mold. Yet there’s something about summer on the islands. Something more intimate and personal. Something more authentically Floridian.

So why plan a summer trip to Sanibel and Captiva islands? For one thing, the most practical thing, rates at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa and Castaways  Beach & Bay Cottages on Captiva Island; and West Wind Inn and Beachview Cottages on Sanibel dip drastically from high season, plus other incentives make it an especially attractive time of year budget-wise.

For instance, right now, all four resorts are giving away a free night when you book three. They are sweetening the deal with $100 in reward coupons and, in the case of ‘Tween Waters and West Wind, dining credits. PLUS, if you book by June 30, you score two free logo Tervis tumblers (call-in reservations only, mention “tumblers”).

The newly remastered Old Captiva House

Speaking of dining, summer means no lines, no crowds, no waiting at your favorite resort restaurants, such as Old Captiva House at ‘Tween Waters and Normandie Seaside Cafe at West Wind Inn. Likewise, on the beach, it’s easy to find a spot  you won’t be sharing with anyone but the birds of summer.

Watch for manatees in the summer.

Bayside, watch for manatees, who mate this time of year close to shore. They favor the little cove on the south end of ‘Tween Waters’ bay shoreline. Get out on a paddleboard or kayak to see more of the islands’ wildlife come alive. Baby birds are hatching. Gigantic sea turtles are laying eggs, and adorable gator hatchlings are crawling out from their nests.

Not only fauna, but flora gets showy in summer. It’s that time of year when mangoes blush with serious, ponderous sweetness. Poinicianas, oleanders, crape myrtles, bougainvillea, and hibiscus blossom. Late afternoon rains bring the islands to their lushest.

Summer: It’s a season ripe for taking life easy, waterside, with a cold drink and a good novel. The Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts have your lounge chair and cocktail ready. Just add sunscreen.

 

 

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Captivaville: Wastin’ Away a Sweet Weekend of Songwriters and Sunshine

Take your basic tropical island paradise named one of the world’s top vacation destinations. Add in a top-rated, laid-back, beach-to-bay full-service resort. Then mix in four of Nashville’s finest singer-songwriters, playing live poolside by day and center stage by night. Throw in blue skies, sunshine, outstanding food, big bad beverages and “America’s most romantic sunsets,” and you’ve got yourself one heck of a party.

It’s called Captivaville Songwriters Weekend and it debuts June 7-9 at the legendary ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa of Captiva Island, Florida.

Inspired by the popularity of the resort’s monthly “Songwriter Saturdays,” the Captivaville Songwriters Weekend promises to be a three-day party headlined by Clint Daniels (who currently owns a Top 20 hit with “Some Of It” performed by Eric Church), Wynn Varble, Catie Offerman and Kat Higgins. Featuring two artists per set, showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights 9 PM – 11 PM at Crow’s Nest Bar & Grille, plus Saturday 2PM – 4PM and Sunday 12 PM – 2 PM poolside at Oasis Pool Bar.

“It’s gonna be 72 hours of sun, fun, outstanding live music and the biggest party of the summer.”

A TripAdvisor top-rated Captiva Island resort, ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa is offering specially-priced weekend “Stay and Play” packages that include:

  • Stay 3 or more nights, enjoy another night FREE at 800.223.5865 (be sure to mention “Captivaville”)
  • Book direct for guaranteed lowest rates plus 20 FREE amenities and services
  • Book direct and enjoy BONUS FREE 2 ‘Tweenies Tumblers per reservation

 

“We’re very excited to bring the Captivaville Songwriters Weekend to Southwest Florida,” says Brett Gooch, Resort Manager. “It’s gonna be 72 hours of sun, fun, outstanding live music and the biggest party of the summer, with 300 or more folks you’ll call friends by the end of the last show. Availability is limited and going fast, so book your weekend now.”

Captivaville Songwriters Weekend is sponsored by Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts, BMI, Karbach Brewing Company and MG3ntertainment.

For reservations or information, visit Tween-Waters.com/Captivaville or call 800.223.5865. ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa is the Official Jammin’ Beach Resort of Captiva Island.

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Only the Best: For Our Guests and Our Islands.

sanibel captiva beach resorts business of the year 2019

All of us at Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts are proud to share some very exciting news: your favorite island destination marketing organization has been named 2019’s “Business of the Year” by the Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce. The award was presented recently at the Chamber’s annual meeting.

Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce President John Lai noted that the corporation, under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Tony Lapi and Chief Operating Officer Doug Babcock, “has given back greatly to our community with their resources and time. This award recognizes their tremendous generosity over the years.”

“All of us at Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts are thrilled with this honor,” Babcock noted. “In particular, both Tony and I want to thank all of our 250-plus employees across our resorts, vacation rental company, restaurants, marinas and spa for living our mission of making our guest experiences so outstanding they return year after year, and sometimes, generation after generation.” Mr. Babcock (with wife Paige) accepted the award in Mr. Lapi’s absence.

In 1931, the aptly named ‘Tween Waters Inn welcomed its first overnight guests to Captiva Island and a history of hospitality that now spans two centuries was born. Forty-five years later, a young man from Rochester, New York — Tony Lapi — and his partners made ‘Tween Waters Inn the first lodging brand under the newly formed Rochester Resorts.

That company — today known as Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts — has grown to become among the largest and most successful destination, marketing and management organizations in Southwest Florida. The company’s portfolio includes the historic ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa of Captiva Island; West Wind Inn, Beachview Cottages and Castaways Cottages of Sanibel Island; and Sanibel Captiva Island Vacation Rentals (with more than 150 premier properties).

SCBR also operates five outstanding and top-rated dining destinations including the landmark Old Captiva House, Crow’s Nest Bar & Grille, and Normandie Seaside Cafe — as well as two marinas, a fitness center, wedding and meeting facilities, plus day spa.

As part of its mission, Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts has committed hundreds of thousands of dollars to island causes — particularly those that support the protection and preservation of our ocean, environment and wildlife. “We’re eager and enthusiastic to be a part of Southwest Florida’s economy, as well as many of our region’s very important water quality and environment efforts,” Babcock added.

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Relishing Sanibel Island’s best breakfast at the Normandie Seaside Café

Bloody Marys and sauteed plantains. The Normandie had me there. Because when it comes to breakfast, I seek the unusual. The creative. The eye-opening. The excellent. Normandie Seaside Café at the West Wind Inn – one of the Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts group – has thereby become my favorite breakfast restaurant on Sanibel Island.

Let me preface it by admitting that my bestie breakfasts in the world have been devoured in the Bahamas. True, the Normandie doesn’t serve the Bahamas’ sheep tongue souse and fish soup breakfast specialties. But there are those caramelized sweet plantains, which are an alternative to grits or home fries as a side dish to Normandie’s ambitious array of breakfast specialties. (But, truthfully, the crispy potatoes fried with sliced onions makes for a tough decision.)

I find tropical influences, too, in its grilled French toast inventions: crusted with coconut and toasted almonds or, ta-da!,  topped with banana-strawberry cream cheese, fresh strawberries and bananas, and powdered sugar.

The omelet menu takes a more global tour. The kitchen fills the Pesto Omelet, for instance, with basil pesto, ham, tomato, and parmesan cheese. There’s also an Italian and Greek, but my favorite, the Fiesta Omelet, bulges with roasted red pepper, mushrooms, onions, salsa, and cheddar.

Its specialty breakfasts, on the other hand, salute the American flag with bennies and breakfast sandwiches. Seduced by the velvety hollandaise sauce and the quality English muffins, I sway often in the direction of the classic Eggs Benedict or Eggs Florentine.

As for the Bloody Marys, they’re just spicy, just strong enough. When we order mimosas instead, they come with just a dash of OJ, exactly how we order them.

Muffins, pancakes, granola, and a tasty bacon and egg wrap: No matter what the Normandie cooks up for you, it delivers excellence. And perhaps the true and most important test of its excellence is a seasoned service staff that knows the value of making guests feel immediately welcomed, no matter how busy they are, and ultimately satisfied. I can think of no better way to start the day.

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Welcome to the Club – The ‘Tween Waters Mobile Club

I’m in! I just became a member of Sanibel Captiva Beach Resort’s latest communications inspiration, called Mobile Club.

I am not typically what you would call a “joiner.” Other than my women’s book club and supper club with fellow empty-nester couples, I avoid signing up for membership. I also avoid subscribing to website email newsletters.

So why, then, did I jump the minute the invitation to join the Mobile Club hit my email inbox? Well, that tells you right there. I DO subscribe to the email newsletters. They bring a ray of Florida sunshine to my inbox with discounts and specials and just happy images of the beach, sand, food, and memories of a Captiva Island respite.

So why wouldn’t I want more of that popping up on my phone’s text message app from time to time? Bursts of Captiva Island to brighten my day with exclusive members-only savings and “the best complimentary sunsets.” Who could resist?

They promise three messages a month, so not too much, just enough to leave you wanting more. More sunsets. More Captiva, that island unlike no other place on the planet. An island that truly defines “away from it all.”

So, join the club! It takes literally two seconds to text the codes to 55222 and bam! Break out the cocktails: It’s sunset time.

Codes are as follows:
• Text SCBR to 55222 to join all property texts
• Text Captiva to 55222 to join the ‘Tween Waters texts
• Text Castaways to 55222 to join the Castaways Cottages texts
• Text SCIVR to 55222 to join the Sanibel Captiva Island Vacation Rentals texts
• Text BV to 55222 to join the Beachview Cottages texts
• Or Text WWI to 55222 to join the West Wind Inn texts

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Employee Spotlight: Christine Harrower, Group Sales and Events Manager

Christine Harrower has been working for ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa and Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts for a combined total of 3 years, first working at ‘Tween Waters in 2012. She couldn’t stay away, stating she loved the work environment and managers, guests and beautiful tropical setting, all which led her to rejoin the team in September of 2018.

Christine was first drawn to SCBR because of the family environment. Her managers and co-workers are not just work to her, they are her family. Christine loves her job as Group Sales and Events Manager for brides and grooms, corporate groups, family reunions, milestones and celebrations not only for the family environment, but because she loves being part of making dreams comes true!

Her SCBR family is not her only family. Her proudest accomplishment is raising her son, who is a deployed United States Marine and who now also has his own wife and son.

At work, Christine is most proud of creating lasting memories (and setting new sales records). Christine says, “It’s so rewarding when a bride and groom stop me, years after an event, to tell me how grateful they are for making their event so memorable.”

When she’s not coordinating the details to your big event at Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts, she loves to be near the beach as much as possible — paddle boarding, doing meditation and yoga, dancing, and spending time with friends. She loves the sun and salt water so much, that her ideal vacation always includes both of these.

“My job is so rewarding,” says Christine. “Whether it is planning a couples’ big day, to details for a family reunion, corporate event or engagement party, I get to create these lasting memories all at a place I love, with a view of paradise.”

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