North Captiva island is isolated from the mainland and must be reached by boat (unless you can pilot a small plane capable of operating off a grass runway.) There are only a few small restaurants and no grocery stores. Understand what you are signing up for before coming. This is not Sanibel or Siesta Key, but that is also what is great about it.
If a North Captiva vacation is right for you, then Manatee Haven is a superb rental home. It is spacious and extremely well appointed. The pool and spa, screened from insects, are more than we expected for a private home. The views from the large screened balcony, the attached open balconies, and the crow's nest above are magnificent. If at night you tire of star gazing, head inside and select a movie from the collection of 500 DVDs. The bedrooms are very comfortable and beautifully decorated. The kitchen is equipped with anything you could need, and probably a few things that you don't have at home.
I give Manatee Haven my highest recommendation.
My husband, our four children and I recently stayed a week on North Captiva Island over Thanksgiving week.
The island is pretty isolated. You have to take a boat/charter to get onto the island. There are no cars, only walking, biking or golf carts are used and the paths are small and sandy.
Also, there's no market on the island; there is a small 'store' at the North Captiva Club which sells a bit of pharmacy needs, beer, milk and ice cream....very expensive though.
There's a Publix on Pine Island where groceries and alcohol can be purchased prior to boarding your charter.
While it seemed like a lot of work to get started on our vacation, everything went smoothly. The transport from the airport stopped at Publix and helped us load our groceries and then the charter helped us as well.
We were greeted at the boat dock when we arrived by the caretakers of Manatee Haven and they took us by golf cart to the house, showing us around and making sure we were comfortable.
Manatee Haven has everything a family or couples could need on vacation. Access to the beach, a screened in pool, hot tub, tons of deck space, a huge catalogue of movies, Netflix, telescopes, paper products, towels, linens, cd's, grills, plenty of cooking utensils and needs, games, books, laundry needs, I could go on about how much the house is stocked....also, you have your own golf cart and the owners are members of the North Captiva Club, (a small pool club that has a pool bar, food, bikes, kayaks, etc...) so you have use of its facilities.
The house was clean and the owners very accessible for questions/comments.
My only comment on improving the house would be an easy instruction manual on using the tv/Netflix....it was rather confusing at first as was using the telescopes.
One other thing about the island...there's plenty to do during the day, enjoy the beaches, ride bikes through the state park, fish, use the North Captiva Club facility, book a charter for sightseeing or going to another island, birding, or just relaxing. The night is a different story. There's four restaurants on the island and they all close early. If you're looking for a night life....this is not the place.
We really enjoyed North Captiva island, it's truly a unique place and a great family resort, very tropical and friendly....We also felt very comfortable at Manatee Haven and would recommend it to anyone looking to stay on Captiva Island.
My family and I have been renting homes along the gulf coast for over 15 years. We decided to take a chance this thanksgiving and change it up. I was very pleased with the house, all of its amenities and the island itself. The people were friendly and the beach stunning. My only suggestion for first time visitors would be to take the time to go fully stocked with food, any medications, etc. As there is no inexpensive transport on and off the island. Although the travel by ferry or private boat was fun and exciting it was also very expensive. Total reclusiveness for those that are looking for a true family getaway.
What else can be said that hasn't been said in all the previous reviews - all with perfect scores of 5! I bet you can't find that for any other rental home!
Here's the scoop as experienced by my wife and in July:
STAR 1 - The OWNERS are extremely responsive at any time of the process - from the initial inquiry through following up after your stay. I don't recall ever waiting as much a day for an email response. I am confident that their main objective is to make the experiences of their quests memorable and to continuously improve their home.
STAR 2 - The on island PROPERTY MANAGERS are top notch. They are extremely personable and respond immediately to a phone call if you have a concern or a need. They are very approachable.
STAR 3 - The HOME. You feel comfortable from the time your drive your golf cart into the driveway. It's extremely clean and neat - and has practically everything you would want. The pool and hot tub are outstanding. Once inside you feel like you belong there. Kudos to the cleaning crew. Read all the other reviews for more details on the amenities of the home - they are all accurate.
STAR 4 - The ISLAND - miles of soft sand beaches nearly desolate. A wonderful nature preserve that is an easy 25 minute hike through a sandy path ending in more isolated beaches away from everything. You must take this walk and be sure to wear your sneakers. Bring a backpack with some goodies and some cool drinks!
STAR 5 - The WILDLIFE - Do you like kayaking with the dolphins, perhaps a catching a glimpse of manatee. How about watching a gopher tortoise amble across one of the sandy paths (no black top on these roads). There are also various species of birds, bunny rabbits, and various fish in the gulf if you like to fish.
STAR 6 - RELAXATION - The five preceding Stars lead up to this one. If you're looking for crowds, night clubs, and load noises - this is not the vacation for you. If your looking to relax and have fun - look no further. Manatee Haven is the place for you. Don't miss out on a vacation of a lifetime.
I have to rate Manatee Haven a "6".
|How easy was it to book the property?||How helpful were the directions to the property?|
|How easy was key pickup/access to the property?||Overall condition of the property|
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|Friends getaway||People with disabilities|
|Older travelers||Families with young children|
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|A romantic getaway||People with disabilities|
|Older travelers||Luxury-minded travelers|