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Olympics at ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa

Kayak Captiva

The much-anticipated Olympics have arrived, and we’re enjoying every minute watching athletes compete on television, but you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to enjoy some of the events you see — you can do it all righOlympics Beach Volleyballt here on your next vacation to ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa. Which sport will you take on for the gold?

Swimming: ‘Tween Waters Inn is home to an Olympic-sized swimming pool, which means not only can you race laps against your bestie, but it’ll be official size requirements too. So get your Phelps on, and swim laps — just don’t plan on any Olympic diving — it’s strictly prohibited.

Beach Volleyball: We can’t all look as great at diving in the sand as Misty May or Kerri Walsh, but we can have fun trying! You’ll find a beach volleyball net set up on our private beach, with volleyballs to rent at the front desk, for your fun in the sun.

Canoeing/Kayaking: Did you know that canoeing was an Olympic sport? It’s certainly not the most notorious, but it is definitely a fun way to get out on the water and enjoy a little competition. Go for gold and try out your speed canoeing or kayaking, with ‘Tween Waters Inn’s peaceful open waters in the Bay.

Innsider Tip: For less aerobic exercise, catch Olympic events on live television at the Crow’s Nest Beach Bar & Grille, and enjoy a drink!

Tween_waters_inn__captiva_island-5554Tennis: It’s iconic. It’s a cardio workout. And the resort has four courts to try out your best backhand. If you’re looking for more info on the tennis courts, check out fellow Innsider Lyle’s hilarious article as he tackles tennis at ‘Tweenies.

Sailing: It’s great to get out on the open water any time you visit ‘Tween Waters Inn, but what better way to do it than sailing our beautiful sea? What’s better, the resort has a sailboat docked on at the property — New Moon Sailing — to charter, complete with sailing captain. If you’re looking for more competitive sailing, or even to try some lessons, Captiva is home to America’s #1 sailing school — Colgate’s Offshore Sailing School.

Plus there’s even more ways to enjoy the Olympics while visiting your favorite Captiva resort — try Golf at Sanibel Island Golf Club (where ‘Tween Waters Inn guests receive a discount), synchronized swimming, cycling (rent bikes right on property!), combine events for a triathlon, or simply take a sprint down the beach. You might even try rhythmic gymnastics — I’ll come take pictures if you do!

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Top 5 Things to Splurge on For Your Wedding at ‘Tween Waters Inn

Every bride and groom has a budget, and everyone goes over that budget by a little (or sometimes a lot). But wedding planning is full of tough choices and most of them come down to budget. Do I splurge on cupcakes instead of a cake? Do I spend more on a dress that really flatters me? Do I buy expensive gifts for my wedding party? Well, say no more. I’ve done the dirty work for you and narrowed down the top five splurges you should consider for your wedding at ‘Tween Waters Inn.

‘TWEENIES WEDDING SPLURGES:

  • HIRE A VIDEOGRAPHER. Okay, I should preempt this with, hire the best photographer ever, and THEN hire a videographer as well. This day goes so fast, and while you think that everyone will be taking video of your big day, you’d be surprised when it comes time to rounding up video, how many of your friend Maggie’s videos were deleted to make room on her phone. Plus, you’ll want to relive this day again and again, and what better way to do that with good photography and video.
  • PRE- OR POST-WEDDING ACTIVITY. Skip the in-room gifts for guests like beach towels and sand shovels (don’t worry, ‘Tween Waters Inn has nice luxury towels available for all guests anyway) and instead, spend the money on a cool activity that your guests or bridal party can enjoy together. Take out the kayaks and canoes, rent bikes or spend the day on the water with few boat captains.
  • Food. Food. FOOD. I’ve attended countless weddings where the food was forgettable.
    INNSIDER TIP: Hire our Executive Chef Jason Miller to do a cooking demonstration for your bridal party! It’s a fun way to get everyone together plus learn from a pro!
    If your reception is at ‘Tween Waters Inn, you’ll never have to worry about forgettable food, but you might consider splurging on a little on something extra like pizza at the end of the night or special dessert.
  • Captiva WeddingPAMPER YOURSELF. A lot of time was spent on my hair for the wedding, so I was definitely rushed to “don” my dress and get out of the door on time. I regret not taking the time instead to pamper myself with a massage in the morning and a little R&R before the ceremony. Brides and grooms (and friends and family) will love The Spa at ‘Tween Waters Inn — complete with massage rooms, manicure and pedicure stations, sauna and even a whirlpool spa tub.
  • TIME. Okay, this one’s a little abstract, but hear me out. Spend the extra few days off from work to enjoy your time at a Captiva Island resort, with all of your friends and family. My pre- and post-wedding celebrations were some of the best moments of my wedding experience, so don’t just stay the night, stay the week! Enjoy all the amenities of the resort — beach, spa, marina, restaurants, pool, pool bar (!), and more — and consider it your wedding gift, to you.

No matter where you spend or where you cut, there’s no going wrong with a wedding at ‘Tween Waters Inn. It will be the kiss you’ll remember for a lifetime, with the love of a lifetime.

 

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SAVE THIS FALL & WINTER ON CAPTIVA ISLAND

Trick or treating might be over, but I have a treat for you! As an Innsider, I’ve privy to all of the ways to save at ‘Tween Waters Inn, and I’ve rounded them up for you! The fall and winter are great times to visit Captiva Island, and if you’re looking to save on vacation before the big holiday season, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what this top-rated resort hotel has in store for you if you book now:

BOGO: Stay one night, get another night free, midweek, Sunday through Thursday in any guestroom, studio or one-bedroom suite, now to November 24. You can find details for this deal here: http://tween-waters.com/bogooffer/

Stay 2, Get Another FREE + $50 Dining: So if you can only stay 2 nights, the offer above is perfect for you, but if you’re ready to stay THREE nights, you’ll get one of those nights FREE, plus $50 in dining credits! This is also a midweek, Sunday-Thursday offer, but is valid through December 17, so there’s more opportunities to stay and save! Also excludes two- and three-bedroom suites and all cottages. Check out the details here: http://tween-waters.com/stay2offer/

30% or 50% Winter Savings: Okay, so you want to stay in a two- or three-bedroom suite or cottage, but the above offers don’t apply? ‘Tween Waters Inn has you covered! Stay November 29 to December 17, midweek, Sunday-Thursday, and you’ll save 30%! Or stay in a guestroom, studio or one-bedroom suite, and they’ll give you 50% off! Call for details on this offer, some exclusions do apply: 800-223-5865.

ALL STAYS INCLUDE FREE CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST BUFFET.

And just because your vacation doesn’t fit into some of these parameters, doesn’t mean you can’t save. ‘Tween Waters Inn pro-rates or mixes three- and five-night package rates with these offers if you stay on the weekend, so be certain to call and speak with the friendly reservationists to find out all the ways to save big.

As an Innsider, I can tell you that these are not only the best deals of the fall, but these are some of the best deals I have seen all year! It’s a great time to visit Captiva Island, so begin your planning and book now!

*All offers are midweek, Sunday-Thursday and exclude holidays.

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Anniversary at ‘Tween Waters Inn

I love, love. I love celebrating love. I hate trying to come up with unique ways to demonstrate the depth of my love.

For my wedding, people were asked to write down pieces of advice for the happy couple. At the time, most of the advice was innocuous — don’t fight about the toilet seat, don’t go to bed angry, and always celebrate holidays and special moments. These seemed like common sense, and after living with my then boyfriend for seven years, I knew the toilet seat and angry bed rule, but the celebrating specials moments seemed like a no brainer. Of course I would celebrate our anniversary! Why wouldn’t you? Of course when February 14 came along, I would think of my loved one. Why wouldn’t you?

Now in my third year of marriage, I’ve realized that it’s a lot more difficult to devise unique ways to celebrate our love — I thought about throwing in the “celebration” towel completely. I was stumped for a traditional “leather” gift, or any gift for that matter. Frantic, I stayed up all night scanning homemade Etsy pages and Pinterest boards for “anniversary” gifts and ideas. Frustrated, I went to Instagram to lose myself in mindless photos of friends’ dinner tables, when I came upon a ‘Tween Waters Inn image of the sunset with the claim of “America’s Most Romantic Sunset.” It was a great reminder that I had a romantic resource right at my fingertips!

When I contacted ‘Tween Waters Inn to find out how they might make my anniversary special, they had a multitude of suggestions from beginning to end of my mini-vacation. It started out with champagne in the room upon arrival, and then delectable dinner for two at Captiva House. If you’re celebrating an anniversary, Chef Jason Miller will include free dessert with champagne purchase.

For our second day, I scheduled a relaxing couple’s massage with Georgie, the Spa at ‘Tween Waters Inn manager. From what I hear from Innsiders Lyle and Michele, she’d have us relaxed into a bleary-eyed-, can-hardly-walk-out-of-the-spa-state. For our final evening, I thought I would keep things light with a romantic picnic basket for the beach to complement “America’s Most Romantic Sunset.”

INNSIDER TIP: Anniversary couples might also try renting bikes or a kayak at the marina for additional action.

Like with every two-night vacation, the resort also included the standard $100-value resort coupon book, free breakfast, free wifi, free parking, daily newspaper and no-resort fees. Booking all of this was as easy as calling the friendly reservationists at 800-223-5865. They’ll even work to coordinate your spa reservations and picnic basket, and keep it all a secret from your loved one.

After that, it was easy as call, confirm and keep it a secret. Rather than frantic and frustrated, I was now enthused with the idea of celebrating our anniversary. While I didn’t quite find my typical “leather” gift for our third anniversary, I don’t think my husband will mind when he has a drink in hand and ocean waves as his backdrop. Three years down, only roughly 62 left to celebrate. (Which reminds me, I should probably call ‘Tween Waters Inn to set up next year’s anniversary celebration too).

 

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Shopping on Captiva – Resort Wear, Swimsuits, T-Shirts, Souvenirs and More

I’ve been known to take a last-minute trip or two, with no planning in advance. By “no planning,” I mean, no planning. Nada. Not even packing more than a swimsuit and a phone charger (essential!). So on a last-minute trip to ‘Tween Waters Inn (where I booked three nights and received an additional night free, plus a $50 dining credit — awesome summer sale!), I really needed some gear to get me through my trip.

I headed to the Pelican’s Roost — the on-site store next to the Marina, where they sell everything “under the sun,” including sunglasses, hats, swimsuits, cover-ups, t-shirts and more. For a seemingly small store, they were packed with fun Captiva favors. I hadn’t thought about getting a souvenir — I just wanted to grab some essentials for covering up and enjoying dinner at the Crow’s Nest Beach Bar & Grille later.

INNSIDER TIP: While you’re at Pelican’s Roost, be sure to check out the sale items — some savings are as much as 70% off what you’d find in stores in the area!

My first purchase was a sundress; a beautiful blue dress that had straps to hide my shoulders from the sun. I found a variety of dresses, and this one perfectly matched that Captiva blue water. A floppy hat to completed my look, because let’s be honest, my hair wasn’t going to look the best after a swim in the salt water. And lastly, I grabbed a blue (that’s the color theme of this shopping trip) ‘Tween Waters Inn Captiva Island T-Shirt to sleep in, but I’m loving it so much I probably will wear more than my sundress!

Heading out the door with my purchases, shop manager Cindy asked if I’d looked at any of the Brighton sandals. For a limited time only, if you purchased one pair, the second pair was half price! Well, there went my drink budget for the night, but if I have to choose between shoes and drinks, I’ll choose shoes every day.

 

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Plan Your Captiva Holiday Party Today

It PAYS to plan ahead! Reserve your company or employee holiday party now, and when you and your work companions stay November 29 to December 18 you’ll enjoy 30% off weekends and 50% off Sunday through Thursday on every reservation! Plus, with four fantastic venues to celebrate and party, there’s even more to love!

So go ahead, celebrate the holiDAYS (and nights) and the legendary ‘Tween Waters Inn.

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THINGS TO DO: Pool Day at ‘Tween Waters Inn

Conjure up your favorite Jimmy Buffet song and keep it in mind as you spend the afternoon with me, settled into my lounge chair and soaking in the rays beside the Olympic-sized pool at ‘Tween Waters Inn.

It’s a typical day on my Captiva vacation — I’ve just enjoyed my free continental buffet breakfast — and now it’s off to the pool for me. It’s obligatory sun-worshipping day today. And who could argue with me? I’ve got a perfect 78 degrees as the pool opens for me at 11:30 this morning and not a cloud in the sky.

At the heart of the resort (and centrally located), the pool at ‘Tween Waters Inn is the pumping, beating, life of the resort, and has something for everyone. There’s both a smoking and non-smoking side, drinks, food, a kiddie pool, spa tub and a coffee bar (plus shop with all the essentials you may have forgotten). But me? I’m geared up, with my favorite Sun Pac suit, a little sun protection, my nice, soft resort towel, and headphones (I like to mellow out at the pool, so I bring my own tunes).

Every hour is “happy hour” when you’re poolside in the sunshine state, but all joking aside, it’s time for me to grab the local favorite from the Oasis Pool Bar — a rum runner. Personally, I like mine with white rum rather than spiced rum.

Innsider Tip: Buy a ‘Tweenies Tervis Tumbler for $19.99 and get it filled with one free drink, or two for $29.99.

Dip and Flip: Time to flip, which probably means I should take a dip in pool. I’ve been told that they keep the pool at an even 84 degrees, which means even on a cool day the pool is comfortable. Plus, it’s geothermally heated, so ‘Tween stays Green and you get to leave a smaller environmental footprint.

Despite the miles of sugar sand beach within hopping distance, it’s a busy day at the pool, but I’ve still been able to claim a chair and escape from it all. I think that’s what I love most about the pool at the resort — whatever your style, whatever your scene, you can find it poolside.

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America’s Most Romantic Sunset – ‘Tween Waters Inn

Sunset on Captiva Island

Local rumor is, ‘Tween Waters Inn and Captiva Island have the “most romantic sunsets in America” and Travelocity backed up that claim in an article years ago.  Now recently, USA Today named the resort one of the 10 most romantic coastal destinations in the United States, citing the romantic sunsets, white sandy beaches, shops and dining. So, naturally, my husband and I needed to vet this buzz, and soak in the romantic evening rays for ourselves.

We found that Captiva is one of the few local places where visitors can experience a truly unobstructed view of the sunset. Times vary based on season — be prepared for a sunset as early as 5:00PM in the winter, and as late as 8:30PM in the summer. 

INNSIDER TIP: If you’re looking to plan your dinner accommodations around the sunset, be sure to check out the sunset times on weather website like weather.com or wunderground.com

Really, there’s no gear needed to enjoy the painted sky each evening on Captiva, but if you’re looking to pay homage to the sunset and desire to make it an “event,” a blanket to sit on, some bug spray and champagne on ice with some plastic flutes will do nicely. Mathew and I even opened our iTunes on our phones and found a few classics like “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” and “When the Sun Goes Down.”

Legend has it that right before the sun dips below the water line, there’s a green flash that appears, but when the sun made its descent, there were beautiful oranges, pinks and purples in the sky, but no green in sight for us. It’s no hardship having missed this — it gives us another chance to come back, watch another sunset and look for that legendary green flash again.

I’ve traveled many places, seen plenty of sunsets over water, fields and mountains, but rarely have I seen such an event as a Captiva sunset. Whether you’re struck by the beauty of the calm water and orange ball sinking into the earth, or the various people facing west in tribute to another day complete, there is no doubting Captiva’s claim to romance.

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Sunset on Captiva
Captiva Island Sunset
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Unpack and Unwind: Take a Walk Around the Resort

Carefree Couples Innsider Walk on the Beach

You and your ‘other half’ have arrived and it’s finally time to relax. With hours of enjoyment ahead of you take off your watches because now is the time to chill and get familiar or reacquainted with the unique, ‘Tween Waters Inn you are delighted to call home while you spend time on Captiva Island.

Begin by taking a carefree stroll together around the property that stretches famously from the Gulf of Mexico to the Bay. Get some sun on your faces and a little wind in your hair while discovering the places you both want to locate and return to during your visit.

  • Head to the Oasis Pool Bar on the south side of the resort, meet the bartender, order a fruit drink, take a peak at the Bar’s restaurant menu, and spend a few moments taking in the sights.
  • Across the pool deck you’ll see the children’s area, hot tubs and the poolside Tween’s Beans shop where specialty coffee and frozen treats are served all day. Visit here also to pickup the most popular and necessary pool items ranging from cotton t-shirts to a new pair of water wings.
  • Look up to the 2nd floor to find the Spa At ’Tween Waters. Take the stairs to enter the Spa or the Resort’s Fitness Center. Make appointments if you like, and also look for the quiet lanai located beside the Spa. It’s an out of the way place where you can relax for a few minutes protected from the sun almost anytime during the day.
  • As you leave the Spa go west and you’ll be walking by the Shuffleboard and Bocce Courts, as well as directly toward the resort’s Private Beach on the Gulf of Mexico. Go all the way to the beach now or save this promising adventure for another carefree walk.
  • From the entrance of the resort off Captiva Drive, look for Captiva House restaurant. This is where guests dine graciously for breakfast, and again during the evenings in gourmet-style. Step inside to make dinner reservations and browse the gift shop. Make a note of the outside seating area here that offers a place to share a meal or simply take it easy in the shade under cover. 
    INNSIDER TIP: Guests who stay two or more nights receive a $100-value resort coupon book, where they enjoy $5 off a $30 purchase or more at both T.H. Osprey Gift Shop and the Pelican’s Roost — ‘Tween Waters Inn’s on-property gift shops.
  • You have also arrived at the famous Crow’s Nest Beach Bar & Grille located right next door. This is ‘the place’ for enjoying happy hour in the late afternoon or to take in early evening and late night entertainment along with lots of fun.
  • From the Crow’s Nest walk to the east side of the property to savor a view of the ‘Tween Waters Marina and the resort’s beautiful Bay view. Find the Canoe & Kayak Club near the Boat Ramp, then the bayside Snack Center and the Pelican’s Roost Boutique near the water offering the finest, tropical fashions you’ll want to wear.
  • The last thing to sight on this unwind tour is the picnic table with a thatched roof. This special spot overlooks the ’Tween Waters Inn view of the Bay, and is located near a charcoal grill guests may use during their visit.

You’ve now strolled past all the various buildings and secluded cottages on the property. It was a relaxing walk you will likely call on for quick reference during your ‘Tween Waters Inn visit. Best of all you are a short distance from the pool, again. This will work out great if one of you thinks it’s time for a snack or to take a carefree swim. Have fun!

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Manatee and Dolphin and Osprey, Oh My!

A visit to ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa is a chance to get up close and very personal with nature. And it took only one trip for me to discover a truth I’d have never otherwise known.

Manatees are smart-alecks.

Yes, they’re gently gigantic majestic sea cows and all the other lovable things you’ve heard, too. But when you’re a 45-year-old guy wedged into a kayak and armed with only an obsolete iPhone to document your interaction, they also know exactly when to surface while you’re still fumbling through your access code, and precisely when to submerge just as you’ve lined up the perfect shot.

Maybe it’s instinct.  Maybe it’s coincidence.  Or maybe, as I surely suspected by the end of a two-hour paddle-bearing dalliance in the waters surrounding Buck Key, maybe they’re all hovering just beneath the surface — readying for just the right moment to re-emerge, and have me miss another great image.

But regardless of their intent — and in all seriousness — it’s an experience not to be missed. I was part of a six-strong mix of vagabonds (two from Michigan, one each from New York and Ohio, a Naples resident and myself) for a 2.5-mile trek offered by Adventure Sea Kayak Wildlife Tours, bayside on the property.

Adventure Sea Kayak offers four tours daily —9 am and 1130 am, 2 pm and 4 pm, weather permitting — from $40 for adults down to $30 for kids 10 and under. Reservations are recommended and customized trips and rentals are available.

Our trip was led by amiable tour guide Bob, a self-professed Florida cracker who spends half his work week splashing around the Tween Waters Inn, and the other half shuttling between his home in Fort Myers and a gig at Cabbage Key.

The time on the water has served him well, because he barely missed a beat between getting this northern transplant into just the right vessel — a candy apple red Whistler with a foot-pedal operated rudder — and dazzling the half-dozen of us with a college-level refresher on the flora and fauna just a few paddles off the shore. We saw the aforementioned manatees, a dolphin whose dorsal had an unsatisfying meeting with a motorboat, and enough osprey, little blue heron and mullet to fill three seasons of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.

But just remember: if a good photo of manatees is what you’re after, you might have to endure some silliness to get it.

Lyle Fitzsimmons Innsider Kayak
Lyle Fitzsimmons Innsider Kayak 2
Lyle Fitzsimmons Innsider Kayak 3
Lyle Fitzsimmons Innsider Kayak 4

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