Last Updated on June 26, 2024

It is pink. Very pink. And it’s a delightful beach property.

This quintessential Florida Gulf Coast resort is located on Estero Island, surrounded by the Matanzas Pass on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. Pink Shell opened in 1950 as a single beach cottage and has evolved to what is now an expansive and picturesque 12-acre beach resort and marina.  

There’s nothing I love more than a property that not only fits the location to a “T,” but offers an unforgettable vacation experience and top-notch customer service. That’s exactly what Pink Shell does.

Its motto “The only thing we overlook is the beach,” says it all.

Accommodations at Pink Shell

Gulf Coast views from my Pink Shell Resort villa.
Gulf Coast views from my Pink Shell Resort villa. Photo by Noreen Kompanik

Pink Shell offers the amenities of a vacation club resort in that its units offer more than a standard room.

First of all, every type of accommodation features unobstructed ocean views so there’s no gaming when it comes to views and pricing. Though there is a $49 nightly resort fee, it includes breakfast for every guest staying at the resort, in-suite bottles of Evian water, a Pink Shell beach bag, daily beach lounge chair and umbrella setup, Wi-Fi, complimentary kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals, a full fitness center and valet parking.

Sanibel View Studios

These guest rooms are ideal for couples or families of up to four. Each of the 20 suites features a screened-in lanai with direct Gulf of Mexico vistas and either a king or two queens with one bath.

The kitchenette area has granite countertops, a sink, ceramic two-burner stove, microwave, toaster, a small refrigerator, cookware and utensils.

Captiva Villas

These 108 villas with easy access to the beach can accommodate a group of four within 656-square-feet of floor space. They feature one king bed, open living and dining areas, two enclosed lanais with loungers and a fully-equipped kitchen.

White Sands Villas

Located in the main building directly about the pool area, 92 one-and-two-bedroom villas with a full kitchen offer direct Gulf of Mexico views from open-air screened patios. The one-bedroom king can sleep four guests while the two-bedroom with a king bed and second room with two doubles can accommodate up to eight.

These villas also include a sleeper sofa, two full baths and a washer and dryer.

Resort Amenities

Octopool at Pink Shell Resort & Marina.
Octopool at Pink Shell Resort & Marina. Photo by Noreen Kompanik.

When a resort offers so many amenities, it makes it hard to leave the property. In addition to the amenities included in the daily resort fee, guests have access to a daily activity schedule that includes guided nature beach walks and science and wildlife programs with a ranger, pool volleyball, and sidewalk chalk art. Guests can also sign up for a nature kayak tour, dolphin adventure wave-runner tour, fishing, parasailing, boat rentals and more.

During turtle nesting and hatching season each April through October, beach firepits are unavailable, however, if you visit any other time of year, you can enjoy the warmth and ambiance of an oceanfront campfire as I and my friends did, savoring the sunset with a side of ooey gooey S’mores.

Pools and Beaches

If you’re vacationing with children, good luck getting them out of this pool! Pink Shell’s giant Octopool is a signature lagoon-style zero-entry body of water complete with waterfalls, water features, giant shells, sponges, and underwater speakers. Trust me, this is a joyful experience for big and little kids alike.

Sanibel View Pool Deck is an adults-only place to sun or cool off for those ages 17 and older. The pool also includes a hot tub and luxurious lounge chairs.

The Captiva Pool Deck features a unique sitting area that encircles the Captiva Pool and also has a hot tub.

For those wanting to elevate their poolside experience, Pink Shell offers cabana and daybed rentals.

Now let’s talk about the beach, one of the many reasons travelers come to the Gulf Coast. The 1,500 feet of wide stretches of snow-white sand dotted with palms is an idyllic setting against the calm and crystalline aquamarine waters of the Gulf. Beach loungers and umbrellas are available at no charge to resort guests and if you’re into building sandcastles and hunting for shells, this is the ideal place to have fun.

White sand beach at Pink Shell Resort & Marina.
White sand beach at Pink Shell Resort & Marina. Photo by Noreen Kompanik

Dining at the Resort

Though you have the option to prepare some meals in your room at the resort, especially with a Publix grocery store approximately three miles away, guests will be thrilled with four waterfront drink and dining options at the resort, just steps from your villa, pool or beach area.

Jack’s Restaurant

Every guest can start their day off right with breakfast at Jack’s Restaurant offering stunning waterfront views. The meal features a full buffet that includes an omelet station along with a host of other offerings.

Bongo’s Bar & Grill

The poolside location is ideal for taking a lunch break. Bongo’s menu offers shareables, soups and salads, handheld options, pizzas, desserts and a myriad of tropical drinks and libations. Everyone can find something here, from its variety of land and sea offerings.

My favorite is the Louie Louie Shrimp Roll loaded with chilled Florida pink shrimp, a creamy Louis dressing and leaf lettuce on a toasted butter roll.

Bob’s Beach Bar

It’s toes in the sand and drinks in your hand at this beach bar offering a variety of tropical cocktails. Or you can get out of the sun for a bit and sit at the bar under a covered awning. Either way, this delightful place has a really fun drink menu.

Rae’s Real Italian

Open for dinner only, this Italian restaurant sports stunning views of the secluded beach and Gulf Coast waters. Reservations are recommended.

Rae’s features local farmers, producers and artisans in their creations that include antipasto starters, salads, primi pasta dishes, secondi entrees and fresh catch fish selections. If you’re a seafood aficionado, the Seafood Misto- Seafood Linguine features clams, mussels, Florida pink shrimp in a Calabrian chili, white wine and garlic sauce.

My first visit at this resort was a memorable experience. One that won’t be my last.

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