Casa Ybel Resort

Sanibel Island, Florida

Island Accolades

You already know that travel guru Arthur Frommer, of Frommer’s Guidebooks, declared that Sanibel Island is Tops in the World, but did you know Sanibel continues to receive even more recognition?

  • Sanibel Island was recently named by USA Today as one of the worldwide “Top 10 Great Places for Families to Escape the Snow”.
  • Trip Advisor has named Fort Myers and Sanibel and Captiva Islands a “Top 10 Favorite Travel Locale” and honored the area with the 2012 Travelers’ Choice National Destinations On The Rise award.

Take advantage of Casa Ybel’s Special Rates and come discover – or rediscover – the natural beauty of Sanibel Island for yourself!

Casa Ybel Resort Awarded 2012 Pick in The Knot Best of Weddings

Casa Ybel Resort is pleased to announce they have been selected winner in The Knot Best of Weddings 2012 for Knot Florida Magazine and  This is the second year Casa Ybel Resort has been voted one of the top Wedding Venues for the west coast of Florida.

We would like to thank our wonderful brides and grooms for nominating us for this distinction and we would also like to send a special thank you to our colleagues and service providers for the accomplishment.  We look forward to another year of making Sanibel wedding dreams come true.

Best regards,

The Team at Casa Ybel Resort

Move over Paris – Sanibel is tops in world

Written by
Laura Ruane, & Dennis Culver,

Pittsburgh residents Jeremy Rosen and Susan Crouch walk along the beach on Sanibel Island on Tuesday. They said the island is one of their favorite vacation spots because it is peaceful. / Dennis Culver/

The dean of U.S. travel writers ranks Sanibel Island first among his 10 favorite places to visit — in the world.

That’s above the island of Bali and Paris, which are Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, on Arthur Frommer’s list.

To be sure, it’s high praise from Frommer, who in 1957 published “Europe on $5 a Day,” which is credited with changing the way a generation of Americans visited Europe.The book launched one of nation’s the biggest lines of travel guides, under Frommer’s name.

Tourism promoters in Lee County, not surprisingly, are thrilled about the compliment, and the media and visitor buzz it is creating.

“It’s perfect timing,” said Ric Base, president of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce. In a few weeks local tourism’s winter high season kicks in. That’s when demand — and lodging rates — are the highest.

Reservations for island lodgings and vacation rentals already are looking very strong, Base said. Frommer’s remarks can help sustain the momentum, according to Base.

About a year-and-a-half ago, chamber staff gave Frommer a “behind-the-scenes tour, all over the islands,” Base said, adding that Frommer is a longtime repeat visitor to Sanibel.

Writing for his Dec. 28 blog, Frommer calls Sanibel an “idyllic haven of white-sand beaches, condos whose sea-front apartments are available for weekly rentals, excellent restaurants, good shopping.” He then singles out for special praise, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, “visited by thousands of birds of every species, who bask in the sun after diving for fish and are one of the great natural sights of wildlife in America.”

Frommer’s remarks also appeared in a column he writes, and which a number of newspapers across the country use.

Favorable remarks “from a person of Arthur Frommer’s caliber means they will be repeated in a number of media outlets. The reach will just grow and grow,” said Lee Rose, a spokesman for Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau.

This isn’t the only recent accolade from important travel sources. TripAdvisor recently named greater Fort Myers as No. 3 among of the “15 destinations on the rise,” based on a significant increase in user reviews for the area on the travel Web site over the past year. Sanibel and sister island Captiva were also recognized by readers of TripAdvisor when they were named the “Top 25 Beaches in the United States & the World” in TripAdvisor’s Travelers Choice 2011.

Some visitors to Lighthouse Beach late Tuesday afternoon didn’t hesitate to add their endorsement of Sanibel.

“It’s beautiful,” Jeremy Rosen and Susan Crouch of Pittsburgh said in unison.

“We just love the area,” Crouch said. “We are planning on moving down.” She said they learned about the island through word-of-mouth recommendations.

St. Louis-area residents Camie and Roy Northcutt said they honeymooned on the island 25 years ago, and have been coming back ever since.

Camie Northcutt said she loves the shells, the cleanliness of the beach and the minimal commercialism.

Ray Northcutt said he enjoys the quiet: “It’s not so much a crazy college beach,” he said. “It’s a laid-back beach.”

We’re Number One!

January 12, 2012
BILL SCHILLER ( ) , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home, but sometimes, there’s good reason to brag. While the picturesque paradise that is Sanibel Island is well recognized by anyone who lives or works here, the community may attract a number of new admirers due to the release of several new reports that further herald Sanibel’s status as the most desirous of Florida destinations.

In a recent U.S. News & World Report ranking of the eight best beaches in Florida, Sanibel shined as the #1 spot. Neighboring communities like Naples (#2) and Fort Myers (#8) were included on the list. In accompanying text, travel writers said, “You’ll be hard-pressed to find a place in Florida with quieter and clamer shores than Sanibel Island.” Pleasant weather and low-cost lodging venues were credited with making Sanibel enjoyable all year long. Online media attached with the article also paid tribute to area attractions such as Captiva Island, the shops along Periwinkle Way, programs at Big Arts, Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum and J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The multimedia presentation is available on the Internet at

Bowman’s Beach on Sanibel secured distinction for itself in a Top 10 of Most Secluded Beaches as surveyed by principals of the popular travel website known as “ Bowman’s, which is located along a corridor of the San-Cap Road took top honors. It was regarded as a great place to find shells, but not a lot of competition from other shell collectors., which is reportedly the world’s most widely-used travel-related website, also recently announced their Top 15 U.S. Destinations for 2012. These were determined through a poll of TripAdvisor travelers and editors.

Fort Myers, which ranked in 3rd Place, was distinguished among the top vacation hot-spots. The accompanying text, however, regarded Sanibel and Captiva among the area’s top attractions.

Of course, Sanibel and Captiva remains first and foremost in the hearts and minds of so many who live here, but such polls have been shown to influence destination choices made by tourists. Given the degree that this community achieves favor in this kind of national reporting, locals may soon see even more visitors with which they can share their love of Sanibel.

Long Time Employees and Co-Workers Promoted to Casa Ybel Resort Management Team

Casa Ybel Resort, a 23-acre full service resort off the coast of Southwest Florida’s Sanibel Island has promoted Lea O’Brien and Sean Ramsey to Event Coordinator and Restaurant Manager for its Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant.

Since 2006, Lea O’Brien has co-supervised the Food & Beverage operations at Coconuts Poolside Bar and Grill and has been front and center to Casa Ybel Resort’s many annual visitors.  Lea’s guest service ability and attention to detail make her an excellent candidate for the Event Coordinator position. She will work closely with Casa Ybel’s clients and staff to coordinate every aspect of an event to make sure it runs smoothly and successfully.

Sean Ramsey who has been recently appointed Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant Manager, is no  stranger to Casa Ybel’s Food & Beverage Department.  Having been one of its fine-dining servers since 2003 and later Dining Room Supervisor, Sean continues to share a wide-ranging  understanding of food, wine and its preparation.  With his prior role in providing the  premier Thistle Lodge experience and the  help of fellow management team members, Sean will  maintain Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant’s reputation for Best Beachfront Dining on Sanibel Island. Both Sean and Lea will continue to work under the direction of Dennis Riley, Food & Beverage Director for Casa Ybel Resort.
According to Froilan Ramirez, General Manager of Casa Ybel Resort, “Both Lea and Sean have an excellent working knowledge of the Resort and its Food & Beverage Operations.   We are committed to continuously enhance the guest and owner experience.  Lea and Sean’s promotions reflect our commitment to our associates as well. They will complement our strong Casa Ybel Resort management team.”