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Green ‘Tween Saves Energy with GeoThermal Pool

For many years, guests have enjoyed and luxuriated in the ‘Tween Waters’ Olympic-sized pool, and now more than ever, that experience is to be celebrated. As a leader in green policies, Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts has partnered with Symbiont to install a GeoThermal heating units, which use the earth’s heat to warm or cool the pool — making these the greenest pools on Sanibel and Captiva Islands.

This time of year, with air temperatures in the 80s and 90s, keeping the pools at a refreshing temp actually comes from the earth’s heat! The GeoThermal unit can both warm and cool the pools at ‘Tween Waters. This works by utilizing the heat of the earth to transfer energy, rather than employing the heat of the earth as the heating source.

Utilizing two wells, one to bring the water from earth, and another that transfers to a heat pump, this geo-thermal process utilizes water in the ground and then returns back to the ground. This process is 30% more efficient than a traditional heat pump that uses air, and 80% more efficient than a heat pump that uses gas (what most hotels use to heat their pools). This all results in less energy being used, less waste and more use of our natural resources to provide an eco-friendly swimming experience. Plus with two pools to heat and cool at ‘Tween Waters, that’s double the energy savings!

Not only is geo-thermal heating more eco-friendly, but it’s also economical and reliable, meaning the hotel saves money on gas bills and can utilize that budget toward additional hotel improvements. This system also lasts 15-20 years (whereas a typical gas system lasts between 5-10 years) meaning less breakdowns and repairs, meaning guests will enjoy the pool all year round without issue!

This installment isn’t new — the ‘Tween Waters has been using GeoThermal energy for a few years, but the significance of how ‘Tween is staying green makes this newsworthy. For more information, visit https://symbiontservice.com Plus, visit our sister property, West Wind Inn, who has newly invested in this GeoThermal system on Sanibel Island.

 

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Sunrise, sunset at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort

“Sunrise, Sunset:” One of my favorite songs from my all-time favorite musical, Fiddler on the Roof.

Sunrise, sunset: One of my favorite reasons for staying at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa on Captiva Island.

True to its name, it settles comfortably between the Gulf of Mexico and Pine Island Sound. For water lovers, that means the best of both worlds: beach and bayside scapes and endless water sports.

To me, it means sunrise, sunset.

In Fiddler, Tevye and Golde express, in song, a bittersweet emotion as they realize their daughter has grown. With a fled-the-nest son of my own, I get that. But nevertheless, the rising and setting of the sun are ever  joyful, introspective happenstances in my life, especially given the beauty of the moments at ‘Tween Waters.

We like to book a bayside room, where coffee and sunrise go together. Sometimes, if my husband is sleeping in, I will sneak down to the marina docks, where all is silent but for the sounds of early birds and lapping water.

From there, I can do a simple sun salutation as I feel the day come alive. Fishermen head out to catch a good tide and manatees often poke their piggy whiskered snouts out of the water. Pelicans kamikaze-dive for breakfast and dolphins arch silently at the surface. It’s magic, with the promise that the day could bring anything at all. Like an unfilled journal page.

The beach, of course, is for sunset, and little can improve upon a sand-based farewell to the day. But at ‘Tween Waters, there’s more than one way to watch sun melt into sea. Charter a sail or motor boat ride, and toast the parfait sky with a bottle of bubbly. Paddle a kayak or board out to meet the sun. Book a seaplane cruise into the gilded clouds.

Meditate on the flow of the day, the swift flight of years. Relive the happiness and tears: the filled journal page.

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Changing Landscapes — New Renovations to ‘Tween Waters

Landscapes are changing at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa, and for the better! The resort is always looking for ways to make the guest experience better, and some of us don’t love change, how could you not love an improved vacation experience?!

It started a few years ago with all new interiors on the main buildings. That includes gutting the kitchens, bathrooms and carpets, replacing them with granite counter tops, beautiful tile and glass showers and more. These room renovations have now included new mattresses for the whole resort, new furniture, updates to the cottages and a paved drive to cut down on the dirt and dust of this traditional “old Florida” property.

But changing landscapes don’t stop in the rooms. This year, the resort added a second “serenity” pool to the mix. For those opposed to the more active, loud, family-friendly, Olympic-sized pool, now adults can relax at the quiet, calm serenity pool. Renovations around the pool also include new pool chairs, umbrellas and cabanas and a tent over the kiddie pool.

I’m most excited to reveal this year’s plans now include renovations to the kitchen and dining experience! A complete overhaul to the Old Captiva House and Crow’s Nest kitchen will begin June 11, and will be closed for a brief four days, with plans to return power back to Crow’s Nest on June 15. Lunch will be served at Oasis Pool Bar in the meantime. With renovations and décor redesign made to the Crow’s Nest last year, this restaurant will serve as the main dining experience until fall, when Old Captiva House will complete the full restaurant updates. You can expect a new, state-of-the-art kitchen, full reno to the dining room, chairs and tables, bar top area, and new décor all meant to provide a better, more efficient and relaxing dining experience.

What I love most about these renovations is that not a single one of them takes away from the charm, history or integrity of the resort you know and love. As National Historic Register property, there are a restrictions to décor, style and even paint color that you can use, so while the resort is adding comfort and style, they’re truly sticking to tradition.

 

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The Perfect Fit — Getting Your Workout In While On Vacation at ‘Tween Waters

Olympics Beach Volleyball

I’ve really been working on myself this year, which includes working out each work day. So when it comes to vacation, I’ve made it my goal to not skip workouts. While ‘Tween Waters does have a beautiful fitness center located near the spa and free to use with any stay, it feels like a shame to walk on the treadmill when there’s so many fun ways to stay active while on vacation. So how do I get my work out in, and still have fun enjoying paradise?

Tennis: Tennis is a great aerobic workout and an even better way to enjoy the outdoors while still getting a pretty consistent aerobic exercise. Rent rackets and balls at the front desk or bring your own!

Beach Volleyball: Grab some friends and head to the beach for this seriously intense workout. If you dig into it, this can be a huge workout on your quads and even a little aerobic when you play a little three on three. Beach volleyballs are available at the front desk.

Walk or bike down the beach: ‘Tween Waters rents bikes by the marina that you can take on a nice ride along the miles and miles of road and pathways on Captiva Island (note: Captiva Island does NOT have sidewalks, so biking on the beach sometimes is safer and harder work! It’s also the reason they do not rent children’s bikes). If you’re not much of a biker, you can make the four mile trek there and back by foot to Blind Pass for the best shelling on either island.

Kayak or SUP: If you’re seeking to tighten that core, you’ll find kayaking or SUP (stand up paddle boarding) is the perfect fit. These balanced activities have your ab muscles tightening and contracting to keep you in place — and if you’re like me, crashing into the water with your lack of balance and trained muscles!

Lap swimming: Let’s not forget that ‘Tween Waters is home to an Olympic-size pool, perfect for early morning laps. The pool can get busy during the day, but as soon as it opens, it’s a great time to jump into position and get your laps in before the party begins. This is my kind of workout — both aerobic and low-impact — plus I can enjoy a cocktail from the Oasis Pool Bar after my workout.

Now that I’ve worked off some calories, it’s time to rest and relax, and then maybe earn some of those calories back at Crow’s Nest Bar & Grille or Old Captiva House! Yum!

 

 

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Get the Most Out of Your Next Vacation with Vacation Rentals

One of the greatest perks of being an Innsider is knowing the best ways to make the most of your vacation. Whether it’s with ‘Tween Waters directly, or with their sister properties and rentals, Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts seems to have the perfect answer for every vacation situation.

INNSIDER TIP: Book direct with ‘Tween Waters Island Vacation Rentals via http://www.twivacay.com/ or 844.TWI.VACAY for best availability and benefits!
I love the amenities of staying at a resort like ‘Tween Waters — from daily housekeeping to being steps away from pool, beach and dining — but I also love the benefits of a vacation rental home, including long-term rental options, full kitchen setups, no neighbors and common rooms to be as noisy or quiet as we want, plus of course, lots and lots of space.

So what’s a girl to do? Well of course ‘Tween Waters has the answer, and it is their new venture: ‘Tween Waters Island Vacation Rentals. The answer is in the name — vacation rentals. What I love about this option is that you don’t have to skip out on the resort amenities while staying at a rental. You benefit by being able to enjoy resort amenities, the pool, close proximity to any one of their four properties, plus sweet discounts via a $100-value discount coupon book. Plus, if you have a large family like I do, and you all want to hang out together, the price per person of a vacation rental home is less than staying on-property. With these benefits, plus so many more it’s a slam dunk.

I have to also give honorable mention to my other Sanibel Captiva Beach Resort property favorites, Beachview Cottages, Castaways Cottages‘Tween Waters and West Wind Inn. If you’re a traditional Sanibel person and just can’t stand stay anywhere but Sanibel, there’s a bunch of great properties under the SCBR umbrella. I love the cottages because much like the vacation rentals, you have your own space, while not paying a premium to be directly on the beach (plus yep, same SCBR benefits!). West Wind Inn has its own charm, with beachfront rooms and location, a huge beautiful pool overlooking the ocean, and on-site restaurants so you never have to leave, it’s another great option. ‘Tween Waters benefits with the name resort amenities, and also has a marina, boat rental, spa and more to help sweeten the pot.

I can’t say enough great things about each and every one of these Sanibel Captiva Beach Resort properties, so whatever your preference, choose SCBR.

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Fall in Love with February at ‘Tween Waters

February is my favorite month in Florida. The weather is near-perfect, there’s so much to do and I get to celebrate two “National Holidays” if I’m lucky. February at ‘Tween Waters is no different — from Songwriter Saturdays to “Big Game” Sundays, plus a little Valentine’s Day love in between, there’s a million and one ways to fall in love with February. Here’s a few to get you started:

Songwriter Saturdays: Start off February with a relaxing day at the pool and a little nationally-recognized music. With temps rising, the Oasis Pool Bar is the best place to “chill” and relax, and now with Songwriter Saturdays, it’s an even cooler hangout. This month, enjoy music stylings from Hugh Mitchell on February 3, starting at 4PM. This “golden-throated troubadour” gives you grit and melody all and one, and now it’s all poolside to enjoy. Book a reservation ASAP because they fill up fast for these music-filled weekends or plan to bring a carful of people for just $50 for the day.

Valentine’s Day: They love love at ‘Tweenies, and there’s no better place to enjoy Valentine’s Day than the home to “America’s Most Romantic Sunset.” If you can’t make a week-long vacation out of it (this year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday), the perfect Valentine’s Day gift is a romantic dinner at Captiva House. I’ve enjoyed more than one Valentine’s Day pre-fixed menu at Captiva House, and couldn’t ask for a better way to celebrate love than with my mouth full of delicious food. Make your reservations asap!

The Big Game: Okay, so I can’t say those magic words that start with Su and end with owl, but you know the Big Game I’m talking about. Cheer on your favorite team, or just come for the commercials, but either way, you’re going to want to do it at Crow’s Nest Bar & Grille. Grab a stool and join in the fun as they give away huge prizes (TVs, spa and dining gift cards and more!). The fun starts at 4PM on February 4.

Soak in Fabulous February Weather: The last, and best way to fall in love with February is to soak in fabulous February weather by making a vacation out of it all. Save big during high season with un-heard of three- and five-night packages, starting from $263/night for a Poolside Guestroom February 2 through April 8, 2018. Plus, when you book direct, you get all of those great VIP benefits like bike rentals, kayak and canoe rentals, hassle-free cancellation and so much more. Book by calling: 800-223-5865 or getting your deal online: www.tween-waters.com.

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Songwriter Saturdays — A Relaxing Afternoon by the Pool

Songwriter Saturdays

If you thought Oasis Pool Bar was a cool (pun intended) place to hang, you’ll be surprised to find out it got even more chill with Songwriter Saturdays. The hit sounds and hip artists of Nashville hit the ‘Tween Waters stage this September for the Island Hopper Songwriter Festival, and now have returned to the resort for more live tunes — this time Poolside at Oasis Pool Bar.

The first Saturday of the month, we grabbed a carload of friends and for $50 headed to ‘Tween Waters. Admission got us parking, use of all of the free amenities at the resort, plus a live performance from Nashville songwriter Brian Sutherland. We hung out poolside, grabbed some drinks and snacks and enjoyed a “chill” day hanging by ‘Tween Waters’ Olympic-sized pool.

INNSIDER TIP: Book a room stay for Songwriter Saturdays early! Reservations fill up fast during high season and parking is limited! 800-223-5865 ** 
There’s nothing like the island breeze and a little acoustic music mixed together to put you in vacation mode. I really felt like I was transported to my own little “Margarita-ville” (sans Jimmy Buffet music, because hey, Brian Sutherland is more than just kitsch Jimmy Buffet artist — his writing style includes Americana, Florida-Folk and Alt Country). With a signature ‘Tweenies Tervis Tumbler in hand and my friends nearby, the day couldn’t have been more perfect.

Songwriter Saturdays are held the first Saturday of every month, and next up is songwriter and artist Hugh Mitchell, who will perform at Oasis Pool Bar on February 3. Currently Nashville resident and performing artist, Mithcell’s down-home flavor of music has people calling Hugh Mitchell the “golden-throated troubadour.” If you love a mix of gritty rock and intimate melodies, you’re going to want to save the date for February 3!

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Getting in the Holiday Spirit (Sans Snow) at ‘Tween Waters Inn on Captiva Island

When people from up north tell me they just can’t get into the holiday spirit in Southwest Florida, I have eight words for them: “Santa climbing a ladder up a palm tree.” To me, the holiday display at ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort epitomizes all that is beautiful and festive about spending the holidays on Captiva Island.

If you are like me, and view holiday spirit as a warm, fuzzy feeling and a giving, loving pause from all that’s upsetting in the world, you’ll get it. Where is warmer than Southwest Florida, after all? What can be fuzzier than ‘Tween Waters’ traditional decorations, like old friends I look forward to seeing once a year?

And that Santa on the ladder? A clear demonstration of how islanders make magic – with a little humor — out of a tropical setting. ‘Tween Waters fills the grounds with old-fashioned decorations and thousands of twinkling lights.

The centerpiece, a towering traditional Christmas tree, marks the season’s kick off with a lighting ceremony that takes place the day after Thanksgiving – Friday, November 24, this year. We like to make a night of it with dinner at the Captiva House once the excitement of the lighting, live music, and fireworks draws down.

So, you can keep your snow, frostbit cheeks, and yule log. I will happily settle for seashell-studded decorations, sun-kissed cheeks, and Santa climbing a palm tree.

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Benefits of the New Breakfast Policy

breakfast tween waters inn

I hate change, so when I heard that ‘Tween Waters was switching their breakfast policy, like many of you, I started to panic! Would they have my beloved pastries? What about the mornings when I just want something fresh? Was this going to cost me more? I just want my breakfast back!!!

After speaking to Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts CEO Tony Lapi (and maybe taking a chill pill too), I was able to calmly examine the policy a little further, and began to realize this really wasn’t the end of the breakfast world as we know it. In fact, I might actually save some money.

As explained to me, in order to maintain their bountiful buffet, they have to work that into the nightly rates. It’s built in. So removing the free breakfast buffet option, I don’t have to pay that automatically in my nightly rate — so no money lost. In fact, they reduced their rates by 8% across the board (so all cottages and suites too), meaning I’m actually paying less per night in the future.

So now that I have 8% back in my pocket — equating to anywhere from $20-40 per night — can I still spend it on breakfast? Of course! But I also don’t have to. Food and Beverage Director Laurent Bosc says they plan to have quick breakfast options, which will have grab and go items like fruit, cereals, pastries and more, all at reasonable prices, so that I can grab my breakfast, not waste any time getting to the beach, and still have money left over in my pocket each day in savings.

But some days I want a little extra — pancakes, omelets, eggs benedict, oh my! Bosc tells me that that won’t change. I will still be able to order these items from a menu for breakfast, just like I had when the breakfast buffet was in place.

Plus, with newly renovated rooms complete with partial and full kitchens in some rooms, I also have the option to make my own breakfast.

So to all of my ‘Tweenies peeps who, like me, started to fret when they heard about the 2018 policy, don’t panic! It’s designed to save us money, reduce waste and save us precious beach time, while still giving us options — and that’s the truth.

NOTE: The New Breakfast Policy doesn’t begin until 2018, and they’ve been planning this for a while now, which means your rate most likely reflected the 8% change. If you booked your reservation extremely early (around 1 year prior) your initial reservation might not have been adjusted, but has since been refunded the 8% difference. 2017 reservations are not affected by this new policy.

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Relax, Chill, And Perhaps Do A Little Dance!

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At the end of almost any day, but everyday at ‘Tween Waters Inn it’s time to relax and enjoy the evening.

My husband and I are usually ready for a cold drink, cold beer, a fine wine or favorite cocktail after being on the beach and around the resort during the day. When we’re visiting we look forward to having dinner together, along with a few evenings out sharing a little fun. Best of all, the entertainment we’re looking for is conveniently located right at the resort.

At night the ‘Tween Waters Inn is all about The Crow’s Nest… where we sample great food, drinks and entertainment. We count on spending lots of time at the popular …Beach Bar & Grille. Around the Islands it’s simply called the Crow’s Nest. As a local, I know firsthand that many memorable evenings have been made enjoying live music and drinks “at the Crow’s Nest on Captiva Island” for special occasions of every kind!

Drop in before or after dinner and plan to stay as long as you like. Stop by later in the evening after walking the beach or enjoying dinner at the Captiva House restaurant next door. Families with kids and crab race enthusiasts from everywhere, love watching the famous Crab Races scheduled during the week. It’s a good idea to check with the resort Staff to find out what’s planned for any particular evening during your visit.

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Many nights, guests are treated to a variety of outstanding live music that is perfectly suited to the upscale but casual, Island setting of the Crow’s Nest. The entertainment changes from night to night and features popular music, the songs everyone remembers and original music from solo artists. When there’s a band we love to “do a little dance” together. When a crowd gathers later in the evening it seems like everyone is dancing and those who prefer, just sit back and take it easy.

The Crow’s News is open until after midnight when it closes and reopens for lunch every day.

Click Here to view the Gulf of Mexico in real time, from the Crow’s Nest Beach Cam located across the street.

Most importantly, enjoy!

 

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