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Which southwest Florida Resort?

JMBC

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We are planning our October 2009 vacation. We are focusing on the HGVC affilate(s) in the panhandle and southwest Florida. We are not focused on one property or location. Our previous HGVC stays have been at Valdoro and International Drive and our main priority is to stay at one of the HGVC affilates which is most similar to Valdoro and I-Drive in quality of units. Based on our research on TUG and Tripadvisor we have ranked the resorts in this order: 1)Club Intrawest - Sandestin, 2)Harbourview Villas - Captiva 3)Eagles Nest - Marco, 4)The Cottages - Captiva and 5)Casa Ybel - Sanibel. Would you agree with our ranking of these resorts as far as quality of units? We realize that these resorts are older than the two that we have visited, but we would like the most updated with the highest quality furnishings and ammenities.

We are going with our two small children (they will be 5 and 3). We are interested in playing on a beach that has nice powdery sand, have a nice pool (preferably heated) as an option, go bike riding, fishing (small kids donating worms to the local fish), go out for ice creams, etc. Would you suggest any one location over another for this type of relaxing, kid, beach vacation?

Also, what is the likelihood that there will be availability at one of these resorts at the 9-month window for a trip during the last two weeks of October? Has anyone had luck booking any of these for this time period?
 

PigsDad

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I don't think CI Sandestin is on the beach -- I believe it is about a 1/2 mile walk / bike ride. But I have heard it is a beautiful resort.

Kurt
 

b2bailey

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How about Ft. Myers Beach?

I like the central location better than I like Marco Island.
There is an affiliate -- I think it's called Sea Watch.
 

Steve

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If you want to stay on Sanibel, both Sanibel Cottages and Hurricane House are much nicer than Casa Ybel in terms of the quality of the villas and the furnishings. Casa Ybel has a nicer pool and it has an onsite restaurant, but the villas aren't nearly as nice.

Steve
 

tashamen

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I don't think CI Sandestin is on the beach -- I believe it is about a 1/2 mile walk / bike ride.
That's true. However there is a free shuttle to the beach, and each person also gets free use of bikes for 4 hours a day if they prefer to bike there. And there is a beach club area with chairs and pool right on the beach for CI members - I would assume this is also available to HGVC members.
 
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Sandestin options...

That's true. However there is a free shuttle to the beach, and each person also gets free use of bikes for 4 hours a day if they prefer to bike there. And there is a beach club area with chairs and pool right on the beach for CI members - I would assume this is also available to HGVC members.
Our preference for Destin is to convert and stay at the Hilton Sandestin. It's on the beach, with a balcony and mini-fridge. There are bunkbeds for the little ones and plenty of childrens programs to keep them busy. CI is on the bay side of the development.
 
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