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Welcome back to Old Florida. Summer Full. Book OCT. NOV. DEC. now!


Member since: 2011
Call Owner
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Speaks: english, french, german, italian
Bedrooms 2
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 1 - 28 nights

Contact the Owner


Member since: 2011
Speaks: english, french, german, italian
Response time:
Within a few days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
May 6, 2015
Tell the owner when you would like to travel.
Call Owner
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Welcome back to Old Florida. Summer Full. Book OCT. NOV. DEC. now!

Bedrooms 2
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 1 - 28 nights


Sanibel Island Cottage Rental Photos and Description

The Perfect Beach Cottage. Pool, Beach & Porches

WELCOME to our fresh, bright & clean & classic 'Old Florida' Beach Cottage.

Phone calls welcome weekdays & Email answered every weekday morning. Our Calendar & rates are up to date. We only have 2 rates (1 for warmest months & 1 for coolest months).

The most frequent questions.....

- Our Cottage is only rented about 8-10 times a year for 28 day agreements. We use it 2-3 times annually & often lend it to family & friends (always on the calendar). So we may be able to move dates around. We suggest writing first - you never know!

- 'Is a true cottage?' Yes. It was moved in the 1950's back away from the Gulf beach. It is NOT a duplex or townhouse. There will be no one above, below or on the 'other side of the wall'. Wonderful privacy. Classic wood walls and old mid-century Florida design means it's bright and our attention to detail means it's kept fresh and clean.

- Our calendar - is updated daily. If you are looking at any 28 day period those dates are available today.

- Our (heated) pool is only a few steps from the back door (not the pool at the recreation center - which is lovely but a drive...). It is one of only 2 true old Florida beach cottages on the island with a pool and a tennis court. The pool deck and BBQ's are brand new.

- The beach is a short walk. The famous 21 mile Sanibel path is right out your front door. Your kid will make it in a 1.5 minute bike ride door to sand. It may take you 3-5 minutes to catch up. Use `Google street view` to see exactly how short your walk would be! Also one of our photos is taken right from bike path that shows you distance from the cottage to the Holiday Inn, down the street (which is right on the water & a great place for a 1st night cocktail or dinner) then stroll home....

Just down the street from the Gulf of Mexico, our (fun/clean/easy) beach cottage offers the best of two worlds - your own cottage but part of a small pleasant association with a fantastic pool & tennis court, on 4 acres of gracious, lush, quiet grounds with mature tropical trees. No one walking past your door (or worse smoking outside it).

A quiet oasis on Sanibel, but close to everything.

Donax Village is half occupied by owners who do not rent. They are our friends and neighbors, so we are always delighted to rent to respectful people.

Also, while it does sleep 6 nicely, futons are not as comfortable as beds - so it's best suited for the month for 2 to 4 with occasional guests like children or grandchildren on the futons. All beds are brand new and the star is a Tempur-Pedic king (no eating or drinking in bed!)


Your own cottage, no shared walls. All yours.

An Unusual 5 places to relax outside!

1. the FRONT PORCH open air. Perfect for evening cocktails

2. the SCREENED IN BACK PORCH. Perfect for morning coffee. naps, looking over the pool or waiting for the cook to come back from the (excellent Weber) BBQ

3. the POOL DECK. Chaise, chairs and dining tables and (we have lunch by the pool most days we are on Sanibel). Newly designed and installed paver decking & patio furniture (Summer 2014)

4. the PICNIC TABLES. Right near the GRILL and of course.....

5. the BEACH.... just down the street.

Tennis court - newly resurfaced 2011

Rinse shower in front of house - helps keep the house clean and the beer cooler ready.

Hot & cold shower in back - the finest shower in the world if you ask us!

Two full bathrooms

Sanibel's famous bike path-- just outside our door.

Walk to the Jac or Matzaluna for dinner

Hit the Dairy Queen for a `dip` then walk over to Periwinkle Campground and say hello to the birds

Close to the premier bike rental places with our own beach clunkers thrown in for free.

A big old box of everything: sand toys, boogie boards umbrellas umbrella stand, shovels & pails, and even POOL RAFTS and some decent tennis racquets.

Games, toys, the classic paperback book stack, some decent DVD's, videos, and small diverse music library.

Audio wire to a fantastic stereo system for your MP3 & Smart phone playlists!

Entertaining items (champagne, wine, water, margarita & cocktail glasses, ice bucket, interior & exterior tablecloths, candle holders lobster pots, etc). One of us is a professionally trained cook so we have lots of kitchen toys.


This is a true cottage (and it's pretty darn cute). It even use to sit on the beach in the 1950's. It is clean. We feel it's very comfortable & graceful in it's dotage. HOWEVER it is NOT perfect and it is NOT brand new (there are no Corian counter tops, stainless steel appliances, Sub-Zeros refrigerator or modern new furnishings - although the household goods are all quality and fresh).

This is more like borrowing your family's old beach house.

Not for everyone but PERFECT for some.

You know who you are....

More Details
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
Frank (Owner)
Member since: 2011
Call Owner
Enter your email address to view the phone number
Speaks: english, french, german, italian
Response time:
Within a few days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
May 6, 2015

About Frank

We live in NYC. We are both in non-profit health care and we're from NY and Ohio originally. We rented as adults for the first time in 2008 and then for several years before we bought the Shellbox Cottage. We hope to retire here. 10 year to go!

Frank purchased this cottage in 2011

Why Frank chose Sanibel Island

The cottage was designed by an architecture student as his graduation thesis. His parents were early developers on the Island and his mother refused to destroy the house. So it was saved and moved to its location. It's a great cottage - interesting and efficient layout, bright, old wood walls that still smell like the beach and it belonged to the islands first real estate agent.

What makes this cottage unique

Several real estate agents tried to steer us to the west end, which we love for it's seclusion but we really fell in love with the Sanibel Shores area. It is true the east end is busier. But the entire island is a joy....don't misunderstand us - but we loved the way the streets run north south here (easier beach access) and we liked the convenience of riding our bikes to the Dairy Queen, the liquor store or a stroll home from Matzaluna or the Lazy Flamingo. We also think of ourselves and environmentalists so we see how many days we can go without using our car and this is the perfect part of the island for that. It's also kind of a romantic area in a way, so it's good for our soul.

Why HomeAway

Bedrooms 2
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 1 - 28 nights
Pay with confidence
Pay with confidence
Guaranteed, secure, with no booking fees
Add vacation protection services to your booking
Three services to protect your trip:
Protect your payments in case you need to cancel.
Guarantee the rental meets your expectations
Ensure you're prepared in case of accidental damage.


based on 23 traveler reviews

Write a Review
Welcome back to Old Florida. Summer Full. Book OCT. NOV. DEC. now!
average rating of 4.9130435 based on 23 reviews
Piqua, OH USA

Reminds me of Old Florida

  • 5 of 5

Sanibel reminds me of my childhood vacations in Florida (before hi-rise hotels and over-development). This cottage is a classic beach house, but it's bright with lots of windows and a cheery decor. The location is a couple blocks from the best shelling beach. The bike trail is right across the street. Who needs a car? The house is well-maintained and well-supplied with all you need. It's big enough to have the kids and grandkids (for a weekend) especially with a warm pool. The owner is very good about answering all questions immediately! Yes, I would recommend it to friends who are tired of condo living - it's quiet and private. Though there are many restaurants nearby, we enjoy our own cooking. We recommend the Shell Museum, the kayak trail in Ding Darling, all the bike trails and of course, collecting shells.

  • Submitted: Dec 2, 2014
  • Stayed: Oct 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks Kath & Rich. This is why updating the cottage becomes difficult over time. Some people want all the newest creature comforts and some of us want something you can rarely find anymore. We prefer the later ourselves and are happy to have built a community of others who do as well. This is why we say renting the Shellbox is like borrowing your family's old beach house. Hope to host you a 3rd time! soon. Frank & Terry
East Sandwich

Perfect Vacation Home

  • 5 of 5

The home was exactly as depicted and more. Frank is a wonderful host, helpful and quick to respond. Sanibel is a beautiful island lots to do we can't wait to make a return trip to this island. Luckily for us it was off season so we had no trouble getting around, but the bikes were a fun alternative. This home came with everything for a beach vacation.

  • Submitted: Oct 12, 2014
  • Stayed: Sep 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We try to respond as quickly as possible and make any changes to the site to be as descriptive as possible Sandy, so we really appreciate your review. Thank you. You were also a wonderful guest, we hear you left it almost as you found it - and we appreciate that. When you return we hope we will be able to honor the same rate (we try to do this for return guests when we can) however we are planning new floors and a bathroom renovation for the master bath. Enjoy your holidays and hope to host you soon again!

Wonderful, Cozy and Relaxing!!!

  • 5 of 5

I was so pleased and excited to arrive at Shellbox for my first time. I found it to be clean, well equipped and very homey and comfortable. It had everything I needed and I love the feeling of a "cottage" versus a "unit" somewhere. I have been coming to Sanibel for several years, and have previously stayed in Sanibel Shores, just up the road. While I can't say anything negative about Sanibel Shores, I MUCH preferred Shellbox cottage. It has great amenities and location, just a few steps to the pool, and that true Cottage experience! I particularly loved listening to the stereo tuned to that great Florida channel (can't remember name of it?!)... but was easy listening while my living was easy! I met several folks in the Donax Village Association and was invited to a potluck afternoon event, which was very nice of them to include me. Everyone I encountered there was friendly, and as an individual traveling solo, I felt very safe and welcomed there. Shellbox would be perfect for couples, families, a girls/guys get-a-way or even an individual vacation like I did. Frank was so great to deal with for all the arrangements... very responsive and sincerely dedicated to making sure my stay at the cottage was a wonderful experience... which it was, and I can't wait to go back!! Thank you so much!! Erin

  • Submitted: Apr 18, 2014
  • Stayed: Mar 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Erin for you taking great care of the Shellbox. You were listening to WGCU the area's public radio station (must be many like minded people at the cottage - we've `never` had to change the station when we arrive!). We agree, while there are many great places on Sanibel (and we've stayed at some) there is just something magical about the backyard and pool at Shellbox & we even just like looking at the pool from the cottage. Right now we are putting in new pavers around the BBQ area and the pool - it will be even better when you return in April 2015. Also, thanks for booking in advance. You have to on Sanibel. With 10,000 people a day retiring and many looking for the last great places left, 'm glad we all have our piece of Sanibel - and you will have yours at the same rate as last year. Have a great 2014 - see you next year.

Holidays 2013

  • 5 of 5

The Shellbox Cottage was PERFECT for our family of 4 – including our 2 grown children. Clean, bright, freshly painted, and homey, it is a style of old Florida that we really appreciate. My husband & I shared the comfy king-size bed in the master bedroom with bath, my daughter enjoyed the privacy of the loft bedroom, my son liked spreading out on the futon in the sleeping porch, and they shared the second bath. We prepared at least one meal a day and found the poolside grill and the kitchen perfectly adequate. We had super (winter) beach weather the whole time, yet we never used the AC and found the ceiling fans just right to cool the house. Having the pool in the back was a great bonus to relax around after salty sandy days and the long bike ride (Shellbox bikes—another bonus!) around Ding Darling preserve. The walk to the beautiful beach was easy peasy; we even walked to shopping at Periwinkle Place and had my husband pick us up with our packages. He was engrossed in the Randy Wayne White "Doc Ford" novels, and was so happy to run into the author at Doc Ford's Rum Bar, which turned out to be a favorite restaurant of ours. Timbers also had a super seafood menu and very professional service, whereas we were pretty disappointed in the "Green Flash" in Captiva.

Frank was totally personable and responsive, and I felt as comfortable as if I were dealing with an old friend. We REALLY hope to return!

  • Submitted: Jan 3, 2014
  • Stayed: Dec 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Nancy and family for a great review and you were kind enough to write it during a Polar Vortex! The majority of our guests in 2012 and 2013 had already stayed here once and we would love to add you to the list. I'm here now and you took wonderful care of the Shellbox. Also we try to offer return guests the same rate for as many years as we can. We prefer people who know and understand the place which results in better communication, less wear and tear and satisfaction for all of us. Happy New Year Nancy and it was a pleasure to work with you as well.

Five stars aren't enough

  • 5 of 5

This was our second year at Shellbox, a testament to how perfectly it met our needs: quiet; multiple places to read and relax; breezy (no need for AC during our stay!); a pool big enough to swim laps; a good kitchen; and proximity to everything we wanted (ice cream, the farmers' market, library, beaches, & wildlife refuge). As we didn't want to bother with a rental car we'd be unlikely to use much, we took a shuttle from the airport and we were unlocking the door at Shellbox less than an hour after our plane landed. We watched with smug satisfaction as we bicycled past lines of traffic and did not contribute to the congestion we assume most people are on Sanibel to escape. We pedaled Shellbox's bicycles everywhere, including a 12-mile trip, departing at 5:45 a.m., to the Key West Express and a return at 9:00 that night. With all the great bike paths on Sanibel you can get everywhere with ease, including Captiva, where we experienced the MULLET FESTIVAL!! (Long live the mullet, an underrated fish that we ate fried in a bun, smoked, and in fritters, while listening to a singer with a repertoire of John Denver, CCR, and Jim Croce at the water's edge.) The owners of Shellbox were responsive to all our needs, and clearly cherish this delightful place. We're thankful they're willing to share.

  • Submitted: Dec 18, 2013
  • Stayed: Dec 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Allison & Dave, Thank you! What a great holiday gift to receive such a nice review. And I'm so happy to have environmentalists on the island. We chose Sanibel in part because when we retire we have a self contained community we can reach via bicycle. You did the Key West Express! Extra points doing it via bike! I've had mullet and I agree (underrated). And boy are you right - we do cherish that cottage - thanks for taking care of it for us. Happy New Year to you and yours.
Piqua, OH USA

Great location in a one of a kind Florida cottage

  • 5 of 5

We loved our first time visit to Sanibel and our stay in the Shellbox cottage! The description and photos are accurate; clean; well-equipped for cooking on your own; great location for biking all the bike routes or walking to the beach or shopping if you need to. Frank was excellent in communicating with us before and during our stay - answering all questions promptly. Yes, I'd recommend it to a friend as long as they promise not to take "our" month next year. We liked Gramma Dots at the Marina though we usually did our own cooking. Activities we enjoy are biking, shell collecting, swimming, kayaking.

  • Submitted: Dec 17, 2013
  • Stayed: Oct 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are really glad you are coming back. And we are laughing because even though we own our own cottage now, when we see people at the place we rented our first year on Sanibel we think "hey, that's our month!". My favorite places have always been the kind of places people feel protective about - and Sanibel is certainly that kind of place; very special in the country and particularly special for Florida. Happy New Year Kathy.


Tarpon Bay Explorers
"A must do. "
Lighthouse Park Beach Sanibel
"Ride your cruisers easily breezily down Middle Gulf to Pinnochios grab some Sanibel Crunch o..."
Billy's Rentals
"Walk from the cottage to get a bike. Easy. Done. Check."
Matzaluna-Italian Kitchen
"I'm Italian....and I'm a New Yorker so I can't give it 5 stars - but it is a really good res..."
Cheeburger Cheeburger Restaurants,Inc
"Need we say more - you want one - this is the place. "
Pinocchio's Italian Ice Cream
"Really. Just go. "
Island Cinema
"I have actually done small rain dances hoping I can go here during the day some visits - I m..."
Sanibel Causeway
"Beautifully designed - elegant engineering and close to the cottage - best of all if you go ..."
Tanger Outlet Center
"IF YOU HAD TO LEAVE (or wanted a break from paradise) or you're a shop-a-holic then, well, t..."
Bike Paths on Sanibel
"One of the best bike paths in the country. Period. It starts right outside the front door o..."
The Jacaranda
"Don't drink and bike but you can drink and walk home from one of the best (ok the only) late..."
Gramma Dot's Restaurant
"There is NOTHING more wonderful than getting on the bike that first night on the Island and ..."
Lazy Flamingo
"I went to cooking school. Not the best one in the world - but still enough to know this is ..."
Beachview Golf Course
"You could technically hit the ball from the cottage to this beautiful public course (if you ..."
Sanibel Steakhouse
"Like meat? Quality service. White tablecloths and napkins? Special night? GO. "
Lighthouse Restaurant
"Whole wheat blueberry pancakes. That's all I have to say on the subject. "
Il Cielo - Sanibel
"Romantic Elegant. We don't go every time ($$$) but worth it. A beautiful walk from the cot..."
Dairy Queen
"No Dairy Queen is cuter. "
Island Cow
"Yea, no one goes to Sanibel and not vist THE COW. Everyone has fried pickles - but this is ..."
Gramma Dot's Restaurant
"There is NOTHING more wonderful than getting on the bike that first night on the Island and ..."
Tanger Outlets
"ONLY IF IT RAINS OR SNOWS or I need underwear."
Nearest Airport
28 Miles
(RSW) Fort Meyers International or Southwest Inter
Nearest Barpub
Nearest Restaurant
Nearest Beach
Donax & Nerita Streets beach access
Car: not necessary

Many people know of Sanibel's tranquil beauty, pristine white beaches and laid back charm. But there are other things just as important to a vacation you may want to consider! Sanibel & Captiva Island is one of the best place in the world for a beach vacation and shelling with half the island a federal wildlife preserve! Visionary land use means few chain stores (no big box stores, no high rises and no buildings no taller than a Royal Palm Tree) so our Island is pristine and beautiful from one end to the other (no matter who's home your stay at). There are no traffic lights! no McDonalds, no cars going faster than 35mph. Just the laid back island life style. There are over 20 miles of paths for walking jogging strolling and biking - one of the finest in the United States and we are only 45 minutes from and efficient and well planned international airport (2.5 hours from Miami) making visiting the island one of the closest in the United States but a narrow 3 mile causeway placing it far away from everyday life.

Come relax & reunite with yourself & those you love.


Rates & Availability

From $125 Per night

Sanibel Island Cottage Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Rental rates quoted in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Apr 15 2015 - Sep 30 2015
28 night minimum stay
Oct 1 2015 - Apr 17 2016
28 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
1 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning $125 + Tax
Tax Rate 11.0%
Notes NIGHTLY RATE IS FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES. We cannot rent nightly (short term) per Sanibel city rules
Short dates already blacked out could be the many (lucky) friends & family we lend the Shellbox to. These dates may be able to be changed so ALWAYS write is if you have dates you are interested in!
We are happy to tentatively block dates for you before deposits are received - please ask!
$200 Holiday surcharge for NATIONAL HOLIDAYS/PLEASE INQUIRE if your days overlap the following dates by a week on either side: 5/25, 7/4, 9/7, 10/10, 11/25, 12/25.
No surcharge for New Years if includes Christmas too.
Enter dates to see total


Sanibel Island Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1300 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Beach
  • Near The Ocean
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Activities Guide
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alarm Clock
  • Broadband Access
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Parking ...
  • Shampoo
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Blender
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Grill
  • Kitchen ...
  • Lobster Pot
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower
    Outdoor showers - outdoor shower , hot & cold water
    Outdoot Rinse - cold water only
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Master BR - 1 king
    Lanai - 1 sleep sofa /futon
    Living Room - 2 sleep sofa /futon
    LOFT (steep steps) - 1 king , 2 twin/ single , There are 2 twins with a king bed adapter (daybed)
  • Each bed has brand new fresh & attractive 100% cotton linens and comforters (purchased 2012). Futons are 'full size' and can sleep 2 people who really like each other, but better perhaps for 1 person. At heart the Shellbox is truly a 1 BR however the cottage sleeps 6 well and with 2 bathrooms 6 is not a problem. Please note the steps to the loft are steep and not recommended for disabled, elderly and some younger children.
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games
  • Games for Kids
  • Music Library
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys
  • Video Library
  • Barbecue
  • Beach Chairs
  • Beach Towels
  • Bicycles ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Patio
  • Porch / Veranda ...
  • Screen Porch / Veranda
  • Tennis ...
  • Tennis Court
  • Unscreened Porch / Veranda
  • Walkway to Water
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • 6 garden chairs
  • 4 beach chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool ...
  • Heated Pool
  • Outdoor Pool
Onsite Services:
  • Car Optional
  • bay/sound
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • synagogues
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • outlet shopping
  • paddle boating
  • walking
  • whale watching
Local Services & Businesses:
  • fitness center
  • massage therapist
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • golf
  • golf privileges optional
  • hiking
  • jet skiing
  • paragliding
  • pier fishing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • wind-surfing

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