Dreaming of a vacation? South Seas Resort offers an array of family friendly options.
My husband’s family has been coming to South Seas for years, and we all came back again last July 4th weekend. We stayed 4 nights in the Harborside Hotel rooms. The rooms were renovated after the hurricane several years ago, and are clean and comfortable.
Harborside Hotel Room
If you have never stayed at South Seas before, the main thing to keep in mind is that it’s not what I would consider a “luxury property”. Yes, there are people who own 100-foot yachts who come to the marina, but the resort should not be confused with the Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton. Imagine something more like a Disney property, but bigger and more spread out, and on the beach. Almost like an upscale summer camp for families.
Games and activities for the holiday weekend
That being said, we always have a wonderful time and come back again and again. It’s just important to know what you’re getting when you book at South Seas. It’s a large property (you can rent golf carts or take the trolley to navigate around) with many different rental options, most of which are individually owned and managed by the resort.
We like to stay on the north side of the property, as it’s closer to the marina, golf course, Harborside Grill, beach, and other activities. The property is under new management, and they seem to be doing a much better job with customer service and keeping guests happy. We are avid boaters, so we usually request a marina view, as it’s fun to look at all the boats. Many people may prefer the open water view (which is considered a higher category) if you’re staying in the Harborside Hotel.
We ate several times at the Harborside grill, and had good food each time. Service ranged from decent to good, depending on how busy the restaurant was at the time. The resort was completely sold out over the holiday weekend, so given the large # of guests, they did a good job.
South Seas doesn’t have too many dining options. They do have grills all over the property and many people bring food and make it in their condos (most units- not in the hotel- have full kitchens). the Ship Store has a small but well-equipped deli and meat selections. If you don’t mind spending a little more, it’s not even worth hauling a cooler and going shopping ahead of time, you can get what you need at the Ship Store (especially if it’s only for a couple of meals over a long weekend).
The main beach has a designated area for chairs and umbrellas, and when it’s a busy weekend, it’s packed. It would be nice if they could expand the “sitting” area. The beach itself is huge, but there are private homes on the south side and you cannot sit in front of them, and the golf course is on the north side, and they will not set up chairs in that area. It’s a wide beach, so they just stack the chairs 3 rows deep to accommodate everyone.
Main beach can get crowded; walk north or south and you will have shoreline to yourself
I highly recommend bringing or renting bikes. You can cover a lot of ground, and bike all over Captiva Island. Be sure to bring bug spray, as there are lots of mosquitos here. The nature center is a fun place to stop into, especially for kids. Vince does a great job running the place, as he has for years. The new management cut the hours for the nature center, so it seems like it’s barely open.
Lots of activites for children at the nature center and kid’s club
You can rent pontoon boats from the smaller marina, and it’s a great way to get out on the water for the day. There are also cruises on the Lady Chadwick that run on a daily basis. The pool is large and has water slides for the kids, but it does get quite crowded. I would hit the pool first thing in the morning (while it’s nice and clean and calm) then head over to the beach midday.
Have the pool to your self early morning or evening
Overall, South Seas is a fun place to come with family, and there’s plenty of things to do. Don’t expect posh lounges or luxurious rooms, but set your expectations appropriately and you will have a great time with your family.