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“Look Ahead and Book Ahead” for Captiva 2020 Beach Season’s Lowest Rates!

look ahead book ahead tween waters

As the weather changes and begins to cool in many parts of the country, warm weather lovers everywhere turn their thoughts toward Florida — and, for more and more of you each year, Southwest Florida in particular. Lucky you, ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa is looking forward to our 2020 Beach Season and inviting you to book now for our absolutely guaranteed, we-wouldn’t-fib-about-something-this-valuable lowest rates.

We call our special promotion “Look Ahead and Book Ahead,” and that’s exactly what any cold weather hater should do now. Simply visit our more than 130 highest quality seaside cottages, Gulf-front and Bay-front studios, suites and guest rooms here on our website, find your favorite and book it prior to November 15! When you do, you’re guaranteed the lowest rates on any and every 2020 vacation rental — as rates change at 12.01 AM November 16.

One final note: keep in mind that when you book direct with us at ‘Tween Waters (versus places like Expedia), you’re guaranteed our lowest rates, you enjoy no hidden resort fees, you receive a Resort Rewards coupon book with more than $100 of valuable food, beverage, water sports and fun discounts, plus you receive 15 free amenities and services. And that’s only when you boo direct, with us. Tick tock, hurry and book now!

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Taking Advantage of Offseason at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa for a Girls Getaway

Yes, “Captiva Island” are those two magical words that make winter go away.

Yes, ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa is the perfect antidote for snow blindness and frostbite.

YAS! In the offseason, Captiva and ‘Tweenies is the place my gal pals and I head for a getaway without the seasonal crowds (and rates!).

We spent an off-weekend (Sunday and Monday nights) in offseason (end of September) and barely paid anything for our gulfview rooms. But even better, we happened upon Island Hopper Songwriter Fest, a region-wide event that spends its first few days on Captiva Island.

Picture this: Hanging at ‘Tweenies pool, mojito in hand, while artists who have written songs for the likes of Garth Brooks and Eddie Rabbit, sing their hits, crack jokes, and take you on a journey through their Nashville careers.

Just us and the birds on the morning beach

Island Hopper happens at almost a dozen venues on Captiva, but you can’t beat ‘Tweenies’ pool and Oasis Pool Bar scene. So start making plans now for next September.

Trolleys and shuttles take you free-of-charge to other Island Hopper venues on Captiva, and after the show ended at ‘Tweenies, we hopped aboard to discover “downtown Captiva” at its offseason liveliest.

We wound up back at the Crow’s Nest, where the popular Gatlin Show act paid tribute to Island Hopper’s country music theme with a cowboy hat hall-of-fame presentation and repartee that had us laughing out loud. And vocals that had us dancing like no one was looking. Watch for the entirely entertaining male-female duo every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night starting at 8:30 p.m. through October.

The rest of the “unweekend” we spent on a morning beach walk, lazing by the Serenity Pool, getting a pedicure (orange nails for fall) at the spa, dining at the marvelously remastered Old Captiva House, and kayaking.

We learned a little offseason secret about the latter. The ‘Tween Waters marina has a small fleet of single and double kayaks for guests’ complimentary use. Another good reason to go in the offseason, when you have a better chance of scoring one, or, in our case, three. That physical exertion called for cocktails at the Serenity Pool bar, where we posted selfies of our fivesome on the swings at one end. Another new discovery!

 

 

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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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Sea Turtle Nesting Season – An Exciting Time at ‘Tween Waters!

sea turtle captiva

It’s sea turtle hatching season, and one of the most exciting times to be a visitor at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort and Spa. If you love nature, baby animals or simply one-of-a-kind experiences, then now is the time to visit.

Baby sea turtles hatch late at night when the moon is bright. And when they are ready, they follow the moonlight and head back to the Gulf of Mexico to join their relatives. This season begins in May and ends in October, but you’ll notice especially right now, the peak of that season and those hatchlings. The SCCF on Sanibel monitors sea turtle nests and so many of these hatchings are controlled and assisted. Over 100 volunteers help with the daily search for tracks that the sea turtle left behind when she emerged from the sea the night before. Not only do they monitor for successful hatchings, but the assist in the protection of these nests to ensure this happens. If you visit our beach, you may see flagged square areas, usually indicating a turtle nest awaiting a hatching.

While it may be difficult to spot loggerhead turtles, you can usually see their tracks, especially in the early morning on the beaches, so keep your eyes open when you are taking that morning walk or out shelling, and you’ll probably encounter some of the tiny turtle tracks heading back to the Gulf.

Common tips to ensuring the best for turtles include:

  • Turn off or shield all lights that are visible from the beach. Do not use flashlights or cell phone lights on the beach. This is why ‘Tween Waters asks that you shut off porch lights visible from the beach when not using.
  • Do not disturb the screens covering nests. They prevent predators from eating the eggs and the hatchlings emerge through the holes without assistance.
  • Dispose of fishing line properly to avoid wildlife entanglement.
  • Fill in large holes that can trap hatchlings and nesting sea turtles. Did you build a mote around your sandcastle? Be sure to fill it in!
  • Do not disturb nesting turtles – please do not to get too close, shine lights on, or take flash photos of nesting sea turtles.
    Pick up litter.
  • Notify us, or please call the Sea Turtle Hotline: 978-728-3663 if you notice any nest that has not been identified or a hatching in progress.

 

In 2018, a record number of nests were laid on Sanibel and Captiva for the fifth year in a row.  Of the 721 nests laid, it is estimated that over 38,000 sea turtle hatchlings successfully emerged from their nests!  Our beaches welcomed 718 loggerhead nests, two green turtle nests, and one famous Kemp’s ridley sea turtle nest. We look forward to another successful sea turtle nesting season and hope to uphold Sanibel’s reputation as having one of the darkest and most “turtle friendly” beaches in the state. Remember, after 9, it’s turtle time!

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Enjoy the Thrilling New Shark Boat!

Shark Boat Tween Waters

The newest and most thrilling adventure on the water has joined the watersports brigade at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa! Replacing the banana boat, the new “shark boat” has guests zooming across the water and splashing through the surf in a thrilling ride. The new boat holds up to 6 passengers, which makes it perfect for big groups or families ready for a good time!

Better than the banana boat, the shark boat has individual seats that keep riders safe and separated. With double the size of the banana boat, the shape and size of the shark boat helps riders to board the boat easier, keep riders on the boat, and keep them stabilized. The boat also has foam handles with knuckle guards to help guests hold on during the ride with ease.

Guests glide through the Gulf side, splashing through waves on this 12 to 15 minute ride. Enjoy it all for just $20 per rider, available with Captiva Water Sports located on-location at the ‘Tween Waters Marina or beach stand. The shark boat is pulled behind a jet ski and operated by a USCG licensed Captain. Riders must be over 40lbs and under 250lbs, and riders under 18 must have a parent or guardian present to consent.

If you’re looking for more adventure watersports while at ‘Tween Waters, try jet ski tours and rentals, parasailing, and private boat rentals — all hosted through Captiva Water Sports — available at the ‘Tween Waters Marina. Visit Captiva Water Sports for more information on the shark rides or call 239-472-6336 to book your next adventure with Captiva Waters Sports.

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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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Discovering What’s Old and New at Restyled Old Captiva House

Finally! I’ve been waiting for my favorite dinner-out island escape to open for months. On May 15, the highly anticipated re-opening of the Old Captiva House at ‘Tween Waters Beach Resort & Spa on Captiva Island finally happened. I was there within days to bask in the polished, refreshed setting that makes old and new a seamless time warp.

Old Captiva House’s roots reach back to 1908, when it served as Captiva Island’s first schoolhouse. After the Price family opened their ‘Tween Waters Inn in 1931, the schoolhouse, now on the National Register of Historic Places, transitioned into a kitchen and dining room to serve guests – guests, through the  years, who have included Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh,  preeminent birding author Roger Tory Peterson, and Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling, an important editorial cartoonist in the 1930s who twice won the Pulitzer Prize and created the national wildlife refuge on Sanibel now named for him.

Darling, in fact, became one of ‘Tween Waters’ biggest fans and proponents, decorating the lodge’s registration book with his famed doodles. To honor the man and his legacy, the new design of the Old Captiva House has created a Darling Gallery of some of his original cartoons and engravings.

The gallery greets guests as they enter the shiny space that gleams with new furnishings and appointments and the gracious patina of its venerable years.

The restaurant retains its two indoor and patio seating areas. The veranda-like smaller dining room with its lulling sea views is a favorite, but the addition of a physical sushi bar to the larger room ups its attraction. From their handsome wood floors to new patterned, stamped-tin ceilings, the inside dining rooms spell pure class. But in a relaxed vein, despite their starched white table linens.

One of the biggest changes of the multi-million-dollar renovation is one guests don’t see: a totally revamped kitchen. But they can enjoy those upgrades in breakfast and dinner menus that, like the restaurant itself,  joins hands between before and after.

The dinner menu has made a Caprese salad convert of me. Well, for this version, anyway: grilling the juicy beefsteak tomatoes and the swap of basil pesto and lemon-infused white balsamic for the typical red balsamic send it over the top.

We also loved the addition of the “steak of the moment” option, which rewarded us with a bone-in filet mignon on our most recent visit.

And with such inventions as the artichoke chorizo benedict and cheddar bagel steak and eggs sandwich, the breakfast menu adds so much dimension to morning dine-out options on these islands. Finally!

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