South Seas Island Resort
An extended weekend on Captiva Island’s South Seas Island Resort creates moments and memories that linger.
When it comes to destination resorts, the type of accommodations, facilities and activities they offer and the guests they cater to run the gamut. You can find any kind of resort experience you’re looking for no matter whom you’re traveling with and how long you plan to stay. Some properties are geared specifically to adults on a partying weekend and provide all-inclusive bar and restaurant service. Others focus on romantic getaways for couples or offer large spaces and meeting rooms for conferences or tailor their furnishings and events to families with children of all ages.
Cruise into Luxury
There are few hybrid resorts that are able to offer a multitude of experiences that appeal to most but are presented as a guest experience that’s specific to individuals’ own tastes and preferences. Though it’s rare, I found this to be especially true when I spent several days with Julia, my “daughter-in-love” from Wisconsin, at South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island, Florida.
Offshore cruisers on Florida’s Gulf Coast have easy access to the Yacht Harbour & Marina at South Seas Island Resort through Redfish Pass. Just inside the pass, turn south along the seawall and keeping green markers to port, turn to starboard into the well-marked channel just after green marker #9—you can’t miss it. Those with trailered boats 30 feet and smaller will drive to Bayside Marina in the South Village to use the ramp; overnight slips are available for boats under 25 feet.
Resort guests who prefer to leave their boats at home can still get out on the water with a fishing charter, sunset cruise or do what we did: take a sailing lesson through Steve and Doris Colgate’s Offshore Sailing School, which enables new sailors to earn US Sailing certification that qualifies them to skipper a boat up to 50 feet. Even though Julia and I are nowhere near ready to take a sailboat out by ourselves, the lesson was exciting and fun, and our instructor was very patient with our lack of experience and put us at ease—I highly recommend it.
Shellebrate the Good Times
South Seas Island Resort comprises 330 acres, but not all of it is built up with concrete buildings and tarmac roads. Much of it has been preserved in its natural setting, so for
nature buffs, wildlife and especially birds are prevalent on the property. Being from Wisconsin, Julia is familiar with wildlife there but particularly enjoyed seeing the dolphins
enter the marina as she watched from the patio of our two bedroom villa overlooking the marina entrance and Pine Island Sound. By the last day of our stay, she knew exactly
where to get a close-up view and take videos to share with her husband, daughters, and students. She’s a preschool teacher, so every experience is a learning opportunity, a
mindset we have in common.
South Seas Island Resort accommodations come in all shapes and sizes, so whether you’re traveling with a family, or on your honeymoon or on a girls’ trip, there’s an option
that suits. Love the beach? Stay in a beach villa or cottage, and make sure you get in on the weekly SHELLebration at Sunset Beach with live music from 4 PM to 7 PM. Traditional
hotel rooms, suites, villas, and even an entire house with a Gulf view can be found here.
If all you’re interested in is some R&R with quality pool time, you’ll be quite satisfied with
one of the private poolside cabanas. Julia and I recommend Cabana #1 that overlooks Pine Island Sound for some premium relaxation time with a view. When excessive amounts of R&R work up your appetite, there’s no shortage of dining options whether
you’re beachside, poolside, dockside, or cruising the island on your golf cart from Sunny Island Adventures.
Fill ‘er Up
Scoops & Slices is a cute diner with booths and tables that resembles an ice cream shop from the 1950s. One entire wall contains self-serve candy bins, so let this serve as a warning of major amounts of sugar coming your way. But this diner isn’t only for the kids in your crew. There’s also beer and wine on tap for the grown-ups, plus there are family-sized specials like spaghetti with meatballs (like mom used to make), garlic bread and salad that they’ll pack up for you to enjoy in your room or condo.
Even if you cook the majority of your meals in your own condo, you will not want to miss dining out at Harbourside Bar & Grill. The full breakfast menu with Gulf-caught shrimp and grits is a terrific way to start your morning overlooking the marina. Evening specials change frequently, but locally caught fresh seafood is always a favorite. As an added bonus, if you were especially lucky on a fishing charter, they will even clean and cook your catch for you. Make sure you save room for some delicious dessert. The pumpkin crème Brulee is sublime.
Whether you are on your honeymoon, traveling with friends, with a family, or just enjoying a long weekend getting to know your son’s wife a little bit better, South Seas
Island Resort not only accommodates but also customizes an experience that will foster memories that will last you a lifetime.
By Liz Pasch, Southern Boating March 2019