Casa Ybel Resort

Sanibel Island, Florida

Casa Ybel Featured in Gulf Coast Times Magazine

Historic Casa Ybel Resort on Sanibel Island was featured in the travel section of Gulf Coast Times Magazine, May 2010 edition.
Historic Casa Ybel Resort Among The Best Stays Worldwide
With an incredible history dating back to 1889, Casa Ybel Resort is truly a treasure.

When Reverend George Barnes and his family visited Sanibel with its sandy, shell-sprinkled beaches and phenomenal sunsets, it was fate calling. Barnes moved from Kentucky and purchased 160 acres of gorgeous gulf-front Sanibel property on which he built a home and a 300-seat worship house.

The Reverend also added a quaint cottage known as “The Sisters” for his daughters, which eventually evolved into a popular 30-room inn and the island’s first resort.

In 1915, “The Sisters” cottage became the Casa Ybel Hotel derived from Ponce de Leon’s name of the island. And today, Casa Ybel is an award-winning destination resort recognized as one of the “500 Greatest Hotels in the World,” by Travel & Leisure Magazine.

Nestled on 23-acres of exclusive beachfront property and lush tropical landscaping, Casa Ybel is an all-suite accommodations facility. The 114 one and two-bedroom suites offer sensational views of the Gulf of Mexico, fantastic sunsets, and premiere style and service.

Each suite is spacious, newly renovated, and contains screened in lanai’s overlooking the white sandy beaches. A full kitchen and a spacious living room with a sleeper sofa make extended stays almost a must. Maid services are available and the 14-miles of natural, sandy beaches are steps from the suites door.

The property has limitless options and features to enjoy. Everything from hammocks and croquet to swimming pools and tennis courts are available for guests to relax and take pleasure in.

The resort is a family-fun destination spot as well with exciting amenities like the Casa Kid’s Club, a specially-themed activity club offering indoor and outdoor games, craft projects, and much more.

But the two jewels of Casa Ybel are the Thistle Lodge Restaurant and in-room spa services by Sbarra’s Day Spa.

Around since the late 1800’s, Thistle Lodge is an award-winning epicurean experience of European, Asian and American cuisine. The old-island fine dining establishment serves the tastiest Florida seafood, the most delectable Midwest beef and the freshest herbs, fruits and vegetables with your choice of indoor or outdoor dining overlooking the Gulf.

Sbarra’s Day Spa will bring any guests’ Casa Ybel experience to another level. With in-room spa services like a seaside dream with shells and oils massage or a sea shell facial cleansing, pampering yourself never sounded better.

Insider Tip:
Guests can enjoy the Island’s Wildlife Refuge, the Sanibel Historical Village and Museum, pull up a chair at the many great dining and entertainment establishments or enjoy some shopping at the Periwinkle Place Shopping Center.

The word is guests should rent bicycles to explore the Island’s more than 17-miles of bike trails. Or patrons can spend a couple of hours shelling along the shoreline since Sanibel Island is considered to be amongst the top three shelling beaches in the world.

Rooms vary in prices according to time of the year and room choice. During the low season (May 3 – December 16), rooms go for $289 – $389 a night, plus tax. For February and March, the price for accommodations is anywhere between $549 – $649 a night, plus tax. (Prices are subject to change & special deals are frequent; therefore, please call for more information.)

Casa Ybel Resort is located at 2255 West Gulf Drive, Sanibel Island, FL.
For more information or to make a reservation, please call (800) 276-4753 or visit

Grand Getaway: Romantic Casa Ybel; Victorian Splendor on Sanibel Island

Casa Ybel Resort was featured this past weekend in Grandeur Magazine!

Grand Getaway: Romantic Casa Ybel
Victorian Splendor on Sanibel Island
by Joanna Hogan

Boats have run aground on the sandbars hemming Sanibel’s southernmost shore forever.

By providence or an act of fate, Southwest Florida tourism took root here at what is today’s beachfront Casa Ybel Resort.

The 23-acre, centrally located resort is large enough for you to spread your wings but not too big to be easily accessible. Each of the 114 beachfront suites has a screened porch, full kitchen, convertible furnishings and jack-n-jill bathrooms.

The resort has been a choice getaway — in one incarnation or another — for more than a century. It owes its enviable location to faith healer George O. Barnes (1827-1908).

After quitting his vocation as a Presbyterian minister, the reverend landed here in the late 1880s in what he called “the full tide of life” and stayed. With his credentials, you have to believe him when he looked around and said “It’s paradise!”

By 1895, people were wintering at The Sisters Inn, Casa Ybel’s predecessor, run by Barnes’ daughters Marie and Georgia (today’s Thistle Lodge is modeled after her Victorian home). Thomas Edison and Henry Ford were reported to be guests, and the ladies served up dishes accented with rare imported spices they obtained from seafaring visitors.

The resort’s reputation has only grown: Travel + Leisure magazine listed it as one of the Top 500 Places To Stay in the World in 2006, and it’s been similarly recognized by Conde Nast Traveler.

Much of Sanibel Island’s attraction is in its environment, and the resort takes advantage of that. Veteran sea shellers say the multi-star resort lies on Sanibel’s sweetest spot, and Casa Ybel offers unique shelling stations all around.

Sanibel Island is two-thirds nature preserve, and no one should leave the island without a trip to J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, You can tour the refuge by car, but it’s ideal when seen by bike. Rent a resort bicycle or bring your own.

All of the island is accessible this way, with a 30-mile network of bicycle trails that wind past popular shops and such unique spots as the island’s historic cemetery.

History buffs will also want a side trip to the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, next to BIG Arts cultural center. The village is made up of pioneer homes and businesses that have been restored and filled with period pieces.

Weekends are wedding central, with the resort being a popular destination wedding locale. Weddings are celebrated on the wide beachfront lawn (large enough for a 200-person gathering) or in more intimate venues such as the lakeside gazebo or the secluded beach. It’s one of the best spots in the country for a combination wedding/honeymoon.

The resort is also a popular multi-generational family destination. If you bring children on your Casa Ybel getaway, check out the resort’s kids and family offerings in advance. For 4-to-11 year olds, the indoor and outdoor Casa Kid’s Club features three-hour craft activities and games. The resort has activities for all ages, including shark-tooth-hunting and sand-dollar painting.

Commit at least one afternoon to grabbing a snorkel and mask for a float in the Gulf. If you’re less ambitious, snag a nap from a beach raft anchored with a sand-filled plastic water jug.

Swimmers swoon over the Olympic size of the pool; parents of small swimmers find nirvana in the adjacent kiddie pool.

On the resort’s six tennis courts, director Kerry Kendrick (sister of ranked ATP player Robert Kendrick) runs a high-caliber program that provides group and private instruction for adults and teens.

Serious players visit Casa Ybel for multiple-day junior and senior tennis tournaments. The resort hosts high-profile charity exhibitions and competitions, accompanied by gala dinners and the chance to rub elbows with tennis stars and island celebrities.

Other sporty diversions include basketball, sand volleyball, shuffleboard, bocce ball and horseshoes.

If all of that activity works up an appetite, you have numerous choices. If you want to prepare your own catch in your suite’s spacious kitchen, fresh shrimp are perfect on Akavit-soaked wooden skewers cooked on one of the massive outdoor grills, one stationed at each building.

Indulge in a lunch-time soft-shell-crab po’ boy served at the Coconut Pool Café, where the popular Danny Morgan Band attracts a crowd on Sunday afternoons.

At Thistle Lodge, executive chef John Wolff’s spectacular menu includes banana leaf-steamed whole yellowtail snapper; bruleed gorgonzola sirloin and lobster tail; and lobster and lump crab scallops.

Lighter appetites can go for for a bowl of the menu and go for Wolff’s signature creamy lobster bisque, followed by a couple of appetizers. We’ve done that.

We also keep a copy of Wolff’s Thistle Lodge menu in the top desk drawer. We have only to read the words, “key lime cheesecake” to evoke a heaping dose of Casa Ybel déjà vu that vows to guide us back at the next opportunity.

2225 West Gulf Drive,
Sanibel Island, Fla.
(239) 472-3145

Casa Ybel Featured in SWFL Parent & Child Magazine!

getaways11_0001Casa Ybel is thrilled to have been selected by SWFL Parent & Child Magazine as a desired family vacation location! They were kind enough to give us mention on the cover shot, a directory photo, the main article lead photo and a wonderful write-up!

Be sure to pick-up your copy of Parent & Child to read the article for yourself and get suggestions for your summer vacation.

Our thanks to Parent & Child for both their mention and their kind permission to allow the pages to be reproduced here (in part).