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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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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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The Top Instagram Locations at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa

Instagram 'Tween Waters

If you’re like me, Facebook is out, and Instagram is in. And if you’re looking to beef up your feed with some beautiful vacation pics to make your friends (and frenemies) totes jealous, then you’ll want to scope out these perfect ’Tween Waters locations on your next vacation:

Colorful Cottages: From their idyllic stoops to their tropic colors, the flat sides of our colorful cottages are a great color-blocking beauty to match your vacation outfit. Be sure to be courteous of the cottage guests when taking your photos (try mid-day, stay quiet, away from windows and respect privacy).

‘Tweenies Pass: On the way to pool, you may have noticed the sweet bridge, pond and colorful cottages. We call this ‘Tweenies Pass and it’s the needed zen for your insta feed.

Manatee Cove and Dolphin Lookout: It’s named Manatee Cove and Dolphin Lookout for a reason! Manatees, dolphins and wildlife love to hang by the marina, and the outlook over the docks in a great way to not only spot wildlife, but it’s also the perfect way to capture a wide-angle view of the Bay!

Beachview Balcony: Where’s the best view on property? Checkout the beachview balcony. It’s a hidden gem that many overlook, hidden between the end of the Crow’s Nest and the large Wakefield building. Those steps at the tail end of Crow’s Nest lead up to a stunning view of the Gulf. Because of its height, it’s a vantage point you don’t want to miss and a great way to capture the sunset, blues of the Gulf and wind-blown palms.

Sunset Row: Take a seat in the Adirondack chairs situated on the beach and enjoy the view of one of the top-rated sunsets in the world. No matter your seat, be it chairs, blanket or bum, the sunset is insta-worthy.

Pool Umbrellas: My personal favorite, I love to prop my perfect pedicure and drink from the Oasis and capture the edges of the classic yellow and white striped umbrellas at the pool for the iconic vacation pic.

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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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‘Tween Waters March Madness

It’s March and it’s madness on the islands. From traffic to guests, it is the ultimate of high season right now. But despite some of the traffic woes, it is also the perfect time of the year to visit! From crystal blue waters to stunning Greenflash sunsets, my ‘Tweenies bracket is the ultimate March Madness competition.

It’s difficult to give seeds to all of the great things this resort has to offer, so they are all on even playing field. But there are some obvious favorites: Sunrises and Sunsets, Shelling, Sugar-Sand Beaches, the Crab Races and Historic Cottages.

For me, there’s it’s no contest. I live for the sunsets on these islands. They are like none other. I placed shelling as my runner up and here’s why — although I can only handle shelling in small doses, it is by far the most unique thing about these islands. You can’t go to Anna Maria Island, Siesta Key or the Gulf Shores and shell like you can on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. The treasures are endless here, and you’ll never see a sight quite like millions of shells washed ashore.

All of the selections that made the bracket are worthy of mentioning. From an on-property marina, to historic, award-winning dining at Old Captiva House, to live music at the Crow’s Nest and a massage at the Spa.

But March Madness is about those Cinderella stories too. Those upsets that make it from the bottom to the top on sheer will and a little bit of magic. For me, those picks would be the Serenity pool and renovated rooms. I love these newer elements of the resort, and for me, they are true underdogs I can appreciate.

No matter how you fill out your ‘Tween Waters bracket, you’ll find it to be tough competition!

 

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Captiva Sunsets via Text, Compliments of ‘Tween Waters

I’m in! I just became a member of ‘Tween Waters Resort & Spa’s latest communications inspiration, called ‘Tween Waters 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 ‘Tween Waters Mobile Club hit my email inbox? Well, that tells you right there. I DO subscribe to ‘Tweenies’ 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 “CAPTIVA” to 55222 and bam! Break out the cocktails: It’s sunset time.

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Drinks a Flowin’ at Oasis Pool Bar & Grille

Songwriter SaturdaysSoak in some rays, splash in the pool, and then join me poolside, as I enjoy the best cocktails on Sanibel or Captiva. That’s right, I’m headed to Oasis Pool Bar & Grille.

The Oasis is the best place on the island and on property to get tropical, alcoholic drinks that will quench your thirst and your need for a little fruity cocktail, poolside. If you’re not into the fruity cocktail mixes, you’ll also find bucket specials (buy 4, get 1 free!) on beers like Corona, Bud Light, Miller, Yuengling and more.

My favorite, and also a favorite by all, is the rum runner. This mix of light and dark rum, banana liqueur, blackberry brandy, orange juice and pineapple juice, plus 151 rum floater screams VACATION! I have to watch myself, because after a few, I’m more prone to falling asleep under the sun and waking up with more than a hangover (a sunburn!).

If you’re not into rum, you might try a Mr. Delicious — a specialty drink created by one of ‘Tweenies very own bartenders. It includes vodka, lemonade, sweet tea and a vodka float, and is sure to float your boat! On the rocks, my friends love the mojitos, margaritas and raspberry lemonade twists to name a few.

With the serenity pool and Olympic-sized splash and fun pool both within steps, you could spend your day between the Oasis and loungers, so be sure to soak up some of those drinks with some tasty menu items as well. The Oasis is actually one of my favorite places on the islands to grab a Chicken Caesar wrap, grouper sandwich or grouper tacos. Haven’t tried grouper before? It’s a light, moist, white fish that isn’t strong in fishy taste — a perfect introduction to the Florida seafood scene.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention ‘Tweens Beans, located just a few steps away, where you can also grab cookies, coffees and ice cream treats too!

It’s hot and happening at the Oasis Pool Bar & Grille. Will I see you there?

 

INNSIDER TIP: All Spring and Summer, enjoy music stylings from Nashville Songwriters at the “Saturday Songwriter” events, held poolside.

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TripAdvisor and ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa

DID YOU KNOW? TripAdvisor is a huge source or referrals for reservations for many hotels, but most people don’t leave a review, and many only leave reviews if they’ve had a negative experience.

I recently found out that ‘Tween Waters actually examines every review and when there are positive reviews or specific mentions of staff, they share those reviews with staff. They read every review and even respond to most — negative or positive.

Due to the nature of reviews these days, the resort takes TripAdvisor into large consideration when making decisions about the future of the resort. When they receive comments on individual updates to rooms, they respond immediately with the maintenance staff. When they received positive feedback on deals, promotions, renovations, or even staff actions and reactions, they also then utilize those to make new policies and standards for their staff training.

What I’ve noticed most about TripAdvisor is that they are constantly changing the way they evaluate and rank hotels. Currently, when search results are displayed, TripAdvisor shows first hotels with the best value. But ‘Tween Waters doesn’t rank high in value, because they do not often integrate their rates into TripAdvisor (it’s best to book direct with ‘Tween Waters). Therefore, they aren’t going to appear under “value” rankings, because they have no value (rate) associated with them. This is a flaw in the TripAdvisor system that causes the resort to lose out on potential customers like you, because they aren’t aware of how the data is being pulled. It’s imperative to be an educated consumer, but even educated consumers wouldn’t know why ‘Tween Waters isn’t listed under best value without knowing these ins and outs.

So if you love our little slice of paradise, and have stayed with the resort recently, then you’ll want to make sure to leave your positive and constructive feedback, so that not only are your ideas and feedback considered for the future, but also so that the resort has a future to speak of. They’re depending on you!

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Booking, Dining, Amenities & More — It’s All Here

What does ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa have to offer that other resorts in the area do not? From VIP Book direct benefits, to no resort fees, to on-site dining, boating, spa and more, “It’s All Here.”

When you book direct with ‘Tween Waters, you are guaranteed the lowest rate out there! Find a lower rate? Give us the details and we’ll match that rate, because we guarantee that what you find on our site and with our reservationists is the absolute best we’re offering. So when you’re booking your next vacation, we’re the one stop shop, because, “It’s All Here.”

And making your reservation isn’t the only way that ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa is your one stop shop. From bike rentals to boat rentals, spa to dining, Serenity Pool to hopping Oasis Pool Bar, there’s no shortage of things to do while on vacation, and no reason to leave the resort — because, yep, “It’s All Here.”

And while you’re taking advantage of everything ‘Tween Waters has to offer, you’ll enjoy the resort’s policy on resort fees — there’s isn’t one! Unlike some resorts and hotels in the area that charge you for the convenience of the amenities all in one location, ‘Tween Waters doesn’t charge a resort fee.

From booking, to vacationing, to enjoying all the resort has to offer, you’ll find it all at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa, because “It’s All Here.”

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