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Seaside Inn voted Top 10 Family Hotel by Web site visitors

By Staff | Mar 4, 2010

The pool area in the center courtyard of Seaside Inn offers guests a picturesque view of the beach and Gulf of Mexico just steps from their wonderfully appointed accommodations.

Recently, international travel Web site TripAdvisor.com announced their Travelers’ Choice Awards 2010, which ranks hotel accommodations across the United States and around the globe in 10 individual categories. Among the categories rated are Best Service, Romance, Trendiest, All-Inclusive, Luxury, Bargain and Relaxation & Spa.

So when Sanibel’s own Seaside Inn, located on the southeastern tip of the island, came in at #10 on the Travelers’ Choice Top Family Hotels in the United States, management and staff were quick to give themselves a well deserved round of applause.

“The fact that these awards come from TripAdvisor.com says a lot, because their Web site ranks hotels and accommodations based upon customer reviews and guest experiences,” said property manager Anthonia Smith. “About 75 percent of our guests are repeat customers, some of which have been coming here since the days we were known as The Gallery.”

Seaside Inn, which is comprised of 32 rooms (including six cottages), earned one of the Web site’s prestigious awards among family-friendly hotel accommodations, following the top-ranked Desert Pearl Inn in Springdale, Utah. It is also the lone Florida hotel which made the list.

“We chose the Seaside Inn based on other TripAdvisor reviews and totally agree with the reviews,” said one customer review on the Web site, from a Rhode Island vacationer. “The hotel is tops in customer service and does whatever it takes to make your stay there the best it can be.”

Other Top 10 winners include West Inn & Suites in Carlsbad, Calif.; Hometown Suites – Liberty Station in San Diego, Calif.; Courtyard New York Manhattan/Midtown East in New York City, N.Y.; Dunes Village Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Holiday Inn Charleston – Historic District in Charleston, S.C.; Ka’anapali Beach Hotel in Lahaina, Hawaii; Bavarian Lodge in Leavenworth, Wash.; and Embassy Suites Hotel Washington in Washington, D.C.

Another guest review, written by a traveler from Virginia, boasted, “The staff at the Seaside Inn were very personable and friendly. The room was very spacious, clean and comfortable. We enjoyed the pool and the short walk to the ocean. The staff were eager to help guide you around the island and help point out good places to eat.”

Hearing such praise from their customers brings a smile to Smith’s face.

“We’re very big on customer service skills,” he explained. “We want to offer everybody who stays here a great one-on-one experience. We want to make them feel like they’re at home.”

Seaside Inn’s complex of guestrooms, cottages and multi-bedroom suites come with fully-equipped kitchens, a heated swimming pool, shuffleboard court, complimentary bicycles, umbrellas and beach chairs, kayak rentals and a daily breakfast basket filled with bagels, yogurt, fresh fruit, juice, coffee and tea.

“I’m really proud of our team,” said general manager David Shepherd. “Being named a Top 10 Family Hotel validates the type of personal interaction we spend getting to know our guests.”

For more information about Seaside Inn, located at 541 East Gulf Drive, call 472-6518 or visit www.sanibelcollection.com/seaside_inn.

“We really believe in customer service, because so many of our guests come back and see the same people working here year after year,” added Smith. “If they have an issue, they can come to anybody and we will do whatever we can to make them happy. Our staff always tries to put their best foot forward. Personal service is our top priority.”