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Shalimar Cottages and Motel

2.5 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

In a few words… We wanted to give Shalimar five stars for our two-night stay, beach, views, convenience, but there are minor maintenance issues, and the second night we found out what some of the comments about noise meant, so we reluctantly stop at four. If you want to read on… Glorious first night. We applaud these people for their determination to preserve the original design of the buildings. There is no question about beach. There are no major roads between the beach and the buildings. There are no roads between the beach and the buildings. There are no condominium complexes blocking the view. The corner of the main building literally sits in the beach daisies a little above high-tide. Walk around the corner, and you are on the wide, clean, sunny, sandy, beach, scattered with shells. Take an extra thirty seconds to drag a chair along if you want. We saw one of the most striking Sanibel sunsets we could possibly imagine, puffy pink and grey clouds in red light in the west over the water, a few bright stars and a crescent moon in the middle, and a big, fat, silvery thunderstorm behind us, lit up like a cosmic salt lamp with constant lightning around the edges and inside. The window and the screened porch of the room have panoramic views of the beach and the plants along the beach. Disney could not landscape a better view with all the gardeners from a fairytale fiction. After messing around on the beach, we slept like Davy Jones. We are the sort of people who prefer to have what we need and be left alone as much as possible otherwise. We don’t need or want daily housekeeping service. If we need more towels or a blanket, we can ask. We like a kitchenette with utensils and supplies. With the exception of no filters for the coffee maker, all that was perfect for us. Bowman Beach is usually our favorite beach on Sanibel, and we did swing by for a couple of hours, but it was unusually crowded, even though the shells were minimal for Bowman, and there was a lot of algae in the water. The beach outside Shalimar is about as nice, and the water was clean. It’s hard to beat hanging out where you can get to AC and your own bathroom in less time than it takes to cross the parking lot at Bowman. Forgot something? Oh, I’ll be back in two minutes. They have installed epic brick paving for parking and driveways at Shalimar, and the general character of the place is charming, but there are some cautions. I’m not too fond of vinyl siding as an aesthetic effect. It’s too hard to trim attractively, and when it starts to age, it warps, bends, fades, and gets brittle. Some of that was evident, but we’re not taking anything off for vinyl siding. This is a preference, and does not affect either overall attractiveness or function. There are some issues having to do with general maintenance and with the upkeep of high-traffic areas. The place was clean and bug-free within the limits of what it is. You can only do so much to clean with cracked tile and missing grout or caulk, and the cleaning that could be done was done. Cracked tile is expensive to replace and doesn’t necessarily lead to further deterioration, but caulk and grout are a little different. Somebody needs to get in there with a caulking gun for an hour and take care of the gaps. There is rust, but fifty feet from the ocean rust happens, and everything was in good working order otherwise. The furniture is well-used, but good quality, comfortable, and thematically appropriate, tropical attitude. The AC units are in the back. Somebody knew what they were doing with that, and the doors to the rooms are also in back along an open porch with stairs at each end. The aluminum stair rail had a couple of loose screws with one leg about to fall out and the spacer between the stair and the porch had terminal splitting. If you are okay with a few loose screws, cracks, and rust spots, you will be happy with the overall condition of the place. Decent pool and wifi. No reason kids should not be entertained here. The general clientele did not seem to be especially friendly, but also not especially hostile, a rather eclectic crowd, maybe tending to red-neck fishermen, but that’s Sanibel, and that doelsn't hurt the rating anyway, unless it has an indirect relationship to behavior, since our only star-killer experience was the disturbance the second night, and that isn’t even really something that can be controlled. The building is what it is, wood-framed, with long spans in the rooms. You are at the mercy of your neighbors’ consideration for you. I slept through most of it, but my wife is kind of a light sleeper, and she got the full effect, which means that eventually I get the full effect too. About midnight, a troop of what must have been obese kangaroos in hiking boots thundered in upstairs and proceeded to leap relentlessly from one end of the room to the other, interrupted by a short interlude of the inevitable quaking bed. Every time the frolic seemed to have finally run down for the night, it would start up again a little while later, with the catastrophic footsteps crashing aimlessly around the floor until about four in the morning. By eight they were up and apparently on their way to the beach. We never did get a look at these semi-nocturnal creatures, just their minivan. The only real evidence we have of their existence is the memory of the merciless concussions. Based mostly on the arrangement, I wouldn’t recommend the three cottages in front (beach) on the side with the main building, although it seems like a few strategic plants could alleviate a lot of the disadvantages. The cottage closest to the water no doubt has the best view, but the traffic pattern for travel to the beach approaches it in proximity to the main building, also overlooked by a lot of units. The cottage closest to the main building has the same problems, with a somewhat more restricted view. The porch of the cottage behind the main building opens directly onto the parking lot, and the parking lot is about the extent of that view. If you love people, and privacy is not an issue, those cottages will be hog heaven for you. If you value seclusion with your view, the cottage on the far side to the west, away from the main building, looks like the best bet. The remaining cottages and the smaller building farther back toward the road are more of a trade-off between view and privacy, except that the upper-floor units at the back might be a pretty good combination if you are okay with stairs, and none of the units are a serious distance from the beach. Otherwise, go for the top floor on the main building. There is still some danger of noise, since the walls are also vulnerable, but at least you have the upper hand, so to speak. For food we did the mild insanity of the Bubble Room as usual, with the usual awkward parking on both sides of the street. I recommend waiting at the bar for your turn at a table. You can get a start on a margarita and the menu at the same time. Things tend to close down early, and we were a little skeptical about Island Pizza as an alternative, but we were pleasantly surprised. They have some unique beer, and something for everybody otherwise. The other new retail experience this time around was supplies for the kitchenette at Bailey’s General Store, which is a serious grocery store, but with the most annoying cashier we have encountered since getting yelled at in Italian to weigh our own damn grapes “Scala.” This one said two things to us, and two things only, “Don’t put your basket there,” when my wife tried to figure out what would be the best place to get it out of the way, and when I tried to follow the instructions on the card reader to slide my card, “Don’t do anything there until I do something here.” Alrighty then. We hit Schnappers on the way out of town, first customers of the day, but no awards. Fine dogs though. Our final observation is that Shalmar may be a touch pricey for what it is, but what it is also has to account for the arguably incomparable location, so we tend to be sympathetic to the price. Keep them going as long as they can maintain a reasonable standard of quality without giving up to another developer for more mega-condo mcboxes. Four stars.

My husband and I absolutely loved staying at Shalimar! We had a room looking right at the ocean! The rooms were clean and super cute. I would definitely stay here again. The front desk staff were so friendly and accommodating. I recommend Shalimar to anyone looking to stay on the island. I can't wait to go back!

This was a last minute "Girls Trip" for the summer. We pleasantly surprised when arriving at Shalimar. The grounds looked clean and very well maintained considering all of the salt in the air. The front desk staff were friendly. We stayed in the motel section on the bottom floor for 2 nights. It has a wonderful view of the beach. It was nice to hear the ocean at sunset. Our room was clean and the beds were comfortable. The A/C worked great and powerful. It was wonderful having a large fridge in the room. House cleaning wasn't available during our stay but it wasn't a problem. We walked to the office for some fresh towels and soap. Our room also had a broom so we could sweep up the sand. Ahhhhh "Beach Life". Colorful Adirondack chairs were provided or you could bring your own beach chairs. You can also rent bikes. The pool was clean and towels were provided. I noticed an ice machine near the pool, but not a drink machine. Two large resident tortoises enjoyed eating plants near the pool. If we had stayed longer we would have used the outside grills. At night, it was very quiet and peaceful; Very dark during turtle season. My only complaint about our stay was the 2nd floor guests above our room. We could hear them walking back and forth at 6:00am!!!! We would love to come back for another stay at Shalimar. Maybe in a cottage next time..

We enjoyed the good waterfront location of the property. Friendly service / staff. Rooms were clean. Only drawback, I would get a cottage next time and stay away from the two-story (motel). Too many noisy neighbors make it almost impossible to rest properly, especially on the lower floor with squeaky floors above :-( Upkeep of the place is good, kept neat and clean!

If you are looking for tranquility and a true disconnect, this place has tranquility and peaceful written all over it. Its a quaint property and it is very well maintained. We booked last minute so there were no cottages available, we stayed in one of the efficiencies #8 (double beds- nice view and a balcony) . Room was very clean and the A/C is great - very powerful which was fantastic for us that are always hot, Had all the standards (fridge,microwave, stove etc) Check in was friendly, quick and easy - they provided the property guidelines (lights out at 9 or make sure that your blinds are closed because of the nesting turtles ) There’s no daily house keeping - but you are welcome to do towel exchanges, get toiletries etc over by they office, I loved that the beach was steps from our room, great pool, there are grills if you want grill. We had a great three night stay probably should have booked an extra night - We did some shelling, saw a dolphin swimming right by the shore, played with a hermit crab, and saw a naughty turtle chasing his girlfriend LOL . We also had some great meals on the island (Mad Hatter- yummy, Traditions, Totally Baked on Sanibel, & The Sanibel Cafe). Check out was quick and the property manager was wonderful - he offered to show us one of the cottages which we fell in love with. Accommodations for the cottage was perfect for our future stay,

We have been staying at the Shalimar Resort for many years. It sits directly on the beach 100 feet from the water. They have a motel facility that is made up of rooms with kitchens. They also have several cottages that are convenient to the pool and provide everything you will need to make your stay fun and relaxing. They do not have daily room service for cleaning and linens, if you need towels daily you may pick them up at the office during designated hours. Dining and shopping is not within walking distance unless you want to walk 3-5 miles to get there. A great stay well worth the investment.

This was another stay at the closest place to the water on Sanibel, and again it was an excellent time. My wife and I enjoy the quiet and peaceful location on the beach. As for the rooms, we always stay in the same one and have never had any issues.

My wife and I just returned from a anniversary trip and this was our first time at Shalimar. We were pleasantly surprised. Own private beach was nice and we had a great view with a screened in porch. The room was big enough and the the AC was cold, which is good. Very close to the beach and the folks at the front desk were very nice. Would definitely return to this location.

My husband and I couldn't wait to get back to Shalimar cottages for our 2nd trip to Sanibel! We were lucky enough to stay in cottage #7 again. I can't say enough great things about the cottage(s) there. The property itself is beautiful, very well kept, and quiet. It is a peaceful oasis, and we already can't wait to go back. The cottages were clean and well equipped. We didn't cook much while we were there, but there were plenty of utensils and dishes ready for us in the kitchen. I was also impressed with the amount of space we had to unpack & store our clothes (an armoire and dresser, along with the closet). The screened porch was a great place to enjoy my coffee in the morning, and we even had a hose on the side of the cabin to rinse off after a trek along the beach. The best part, to me, is the access to and the view of the beach. Every time we went to look for shells or sit and soak up the sun, the beach and surrounding areas were pleasantly uncrowded. I can't imagine staying anywhere else on the island. I'm hesitant to write such a glowing review, because I selfishly want to keep this gem to myself! As we were checking out to leave, we asked the property manager about one of the trees on the property. He was gracious enough to help us collect some seeds to try to grow our own! Great customer service all around from the folks at Shalimar.

This is 2nd time we have stayed here and despite the drawbacks we had a wonderful tine - you just have to go with the flow and realize you are there for the beach, not the rooms themselves. We had to stay upstairs in the efficiency rooms (no, they are NOT cottages ) the first 2 nights, then moved into the best cottage (#7) in the whole place. There for a week. The view, beach access, screened porch in the cottage were wonderful but the place itself (both) were dated, shabby, worn with old old appliances and fixtures that didnt work all the time. The coffee pots were disgusting and bitter, no starter filters provided....the pool towels were rags....our bedding was fine. The kitchen provisions are only for 2..on the good side you can go pick up more towels or soaps (since it only lasts 1 shower) anytime....there are bikes, umbrellas etc on site for rent if you fly in. I'm an old Florida girl so I am there for the beach and atmosphere but the rooms and cottages need ALOT of updating.......

2823 West Gulf Drive Sanibel FL

Hotel highlights

  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Free parking
  • Outdoor pool
  • Laundry facilities

Shalimar Cottages and Motel places you within 2 miles (3 km) of Gulfside City Park and Sanibel Historical Museum and Village. This 33-room hotel has an outdoor pool, free in-room WiFi, and free self parking. It's on the beach and also near Sanibel Historical Village and Museum and BIG Arts Center.


Savor a meal from the comfort of your room with room service.


The 33 air-conditioned rooms feature kitchens and patios. Guests can enjoy free WiFi and cable TV. Washers/dryers and phones are also standard.

Property features

Guests of Shalimar Cottages and Motel enjoy features like an outdoor pool, free WiFi in public areas, and laundry facilities. A stay here includes free parking. Front-desk staff can help secure valuables, and provide local restaurant recommendations. This beach hotel also has barbecue grills.

Room options

Gulf View Motel Efficiency

King 1 | Queen 2 | Sleeps 4

Cottage, 1 Bedroom, Pool View

King 1 | Sleeps 4

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

83% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 335 reviews