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Welcome back to Old Florida. Consider Booking Holidays & Winter Soon!

30 Reviews
Bedrooms 2
Property type cottage

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Sanibel Island Cottage Rental Photos and Description

The Perfect Beach Cottage. Walk to Beach, Heated Pool, Porches. Clean & Fresh

WELCOME to our fresh, bright & clean & classic 'Old Florida' Beach Cottage just down the street from the Gulf of Mexico.


Are you tiring of white wall cookie cutter condos with cheap art? Admittedly, some have great water views during the day - although my dad used to say "you can't see the ocean at night, right" Kidding aside if you are looking for that piece of old Florida, with a pool, a tennis court and a very short walk to the beach -- then the Shellbox Cottage may be for you.

Although it is not for everyone - read on - especially the last sentence.

The most frequent questions.....

- We only rent our Cottage 8-10 times a year. We use it 2-4 times annually & often lend it to family & friends (usually on the calendar). So we may be able to move dates around. So we suggest ALWAYS writing first. One never knows....

- 'Is a true cottage?' Yes. Moved in the 1960's from the Gulf. It is NOT a duplex. There is no one above, below or on the 'other side of the wall'. Wonderful privacy. Classic wood walls, blinds and ceilings. A classic mid-century Florida design, mistakenly preserved! It's bright and our attention to detail means it's kept fresh and clean.

- The (heated in winter) pool is only a few steps from the back door. One of a very few true old Florida beach cottages on the island with a pool (or tennis). The pool area & BBQ's are brand new 2015!.

- The beach is a very short walk away, with the famous 21-mile Sanibel multi use out the front door. Your kid will make it in 2 minutes [it may take you 3-5 minutes to catch up]. Use `Google street view` to see exactly how short your walk would be. One of our photos is taken right from the cottage - you can see the Holiday Inn down the street - which is right on the water & a great place for a 1st night cocktail or dinner - then a stroll home.

- Our fun - clean - bright - 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 a 4 acre oasis of gracious, lush, quiet grounds with mature tropical trees. No one walking past your door [or worse, smoking outside it]. Best part - no worries about a crowd at the pool!

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 keep in mind futons are not as comfortable as beds - so it's best suited for a month for 2 to 4 people with maybe occasional guests like children or grandchildren on the futons? The beds are brand new (within 3 years) [with mattress pads/blankets/linens cleaned each time - hopefully!] & the star is a Tempur-Pedic king (2015 - no eating or drinking in bed please!)


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

*full disclosure - we have a tough to fix leak - although we bought a wet vac (4/16) for rare rain days.

3. the POOL DECK. Chaise, chairs and dining tables. We have lunch by the pool most days we are on Sanibel.

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

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

Plus - a hot & cold shower in back - the finest shower in the world if you ask us!

[and rinse shower out front for shells and feet and keeping beer cooler ready]

Two full bathrooms

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

Walk to the Jac or Matzaluna for dinner or hit Dairy Queen for a `dip`

Walk over to Periwinkle Campground and say hello to the birds

Close to premier bike rental places with our beach clunkers thrown in FOR FREE [more unusual on Sanibel than you would think and big money saver]

A big old box of everything: sand toys, boogie boards, umbrellas, shovels & pails, and even POOL RAFTS and some decent tennis rackets all for the price of putting it all away clean.

Games, toys, the classic paperback book stack, some decent DVD's, videos, and small diverse music library & audio wire to 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 quality & 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

Member since: 2011
Speaks: english, french, german, italian
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
October 21, 2016
Call Owner

About Frank

We live in NYC. We are from NYC & Ohio originally. We rented here for the first time in 2008 and were hooked! We rented for several years before we bought the Shellbox and hope to retire here. 10 years to go......

Frank purchased this cottage in 2012

Why Frank chose Florida South Central Gulf Coast

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 this 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 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 we love the way 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. 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.


based on 30 traveler reviews

Welcome back to Old Florida. Consider Booking Holidays & Winter Soon!
average rating of 4.9333334 based on 30 reviews

Wonderful stay!

  • 5 of 5

Shellbox is a charming renovated cottage with Old Florida appeal! My husband and I were fortunate to spend a month there. Shellbox is very open concept, brightly lit, impeccably clean and decorated with charm and warmth. It doesn't take long for it to feel like home! The large heated swimming pool is just steps away - it is virtually deserted in the morning so I swam lengths to my heart's content. The beach is a 5 minute walk away and all the beach equipment you could possibly want is provided. The complex is quiet and the neighbours are friendly and helpful - we even got invited to an Easter potluck :). The owners are easily reachable for any queries and are generous and accommodating. Location is great - restaurants and shopping a short walk or bike ride away. Just fabulous!

  • Submitted: Apr 26, 2016
  • Stayed: Feb 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Everything they say about Canadians is true! Lovely guests who stayed in touch and were patient with a rough spot here and there. Thank you and thanks for taking great care of the Shellbox.
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2 0


  • 5 of 5

This unique cottage is situated on a beautifully landscaped property with easy access to a large pool area. It has an ideal location, one block away from the beach. The bike path, across the street, allows for easy access to all the adventures the island has to offer. We much enjoyed biking to the various beaches, stores, restaurants, and other activities. We kayaked Tarpon Bay, rode the Thriller, and found a diverse collection of shells! The owners are unusually friendly, helpful, accommodating and knowledgeable regarding the island. Not only did they equip the cottage with many speciality items, they also provide a large variety of sporting equipment and games. We all had a great time!! Christa and Maureen

  • Submitted: Dec 11, 2015
  • Stayed: Dec 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much folks. We've rarely had people thank us so much! These folks called us personally! Wrote us emails! Sent us photos! I did not want to bother asking you for a review because you had been so nice and now you've written this great public review - NO - you guys are great. Thanks so much and have great holidays.
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4 0

Great getaway cottage so close to the beach !

  • 5 of 5

Fantastic cottage, just as described! Spacious & airy with every amenity.The bed in the large master bedroom is luxurious, with wonderfully soft sheets.Slept like a baby. Plenty of beach equipment, including chairs, umbrellas, & toys. I biked to the beach in minutes, but you could easily walk. Also a short bike ride to Jerry's Market for groceries, etc.Lots of great restaurants a bike ride away! The awesome Sanibel bike path is out the front door with 21 miles of well paved, safe trails. Look both ways when crossing a street, but a real thrill for this northeasterner to have traffic stop for bikes & pedestrians!

  • Submitted: Nov 2, 2015
  • Stayed: Oct 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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4 0

What a Great Place!!

  • 5 of 5

Shellbox Cottage was just as good as it looked online. It was a perfect place to use as a base on Sanibel and everything came with it to make it like home. We had a terrific time and would go back again in a flash.

  • Submitted: Oct 5, 2015
  • Stayed: Sep 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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3 0

A beautiful and unique place to stay on Sanibel

  • 5 of 5

I am sitting in my office in south London on a dreary rainy day thinking about what an amazing time we had on Sanibel Island. The Shellbox cottage was perfect, a really gorgeous place to stay that is very spacious, has amazing facilities and lots of little extra things like beach equipment and bikes to use that really made things fun for us. It is a very special little house, our two boys loved the attic room and there was a lovely comfortable bedroom for us. No one else seemed to be using the pool and tennis court during our stay so we had it to ourselves. It was a bit hot to cycle much but otherwise that would have been the perfect way to see everything. We particularly enjoyed the nature reserve and the different beaches we went to and saw tons of different creatures. Thanks very much for letting us stay in your house, Sarah and family x

  • Submitted: Aug 13, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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6 1

Laid back Island fun

  • 5 of 5

We are a well travelled family from Scotland who loved this place. From the vintage beach hut decor to the great pool and tennis court, there was pretty much nothing we could fault with this lovely laid back cottage. A short cycle to a great beach, loads of restaurants/shops to walk/cycle to, and wildlife a plenty : something for everyone. Strongly recommend.

  • Submitted: Jul 17, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Almost every June, July & August we have been able to rent to at least 3 families from "across the pond", but you're our first family from Scotland. Thanks for taking care of the Shellbox and for such a nice review. We try to be as chill as possible so you can enjoy your vacation. Thanks for the compliments - we love that place and try to keep it's retro charms intact. F&T
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5 0


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."
"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-America
"Need we say more - you want one - this is the place. "
Pinocchio's Original 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 Seaside Saloon
"There is NOTHING more wonderful than getting on the bike that first night on the Island and ..."
Lazy Flamingo II Incorporated
"I went to cooking school. Not the best one in the world - but still enough to know this is ..."
Sanibel Island Golf Club
"You could technically hit the ball from the cottage to this beautiful public course (if you ..."
Sanibel Steakhouse -- CLOSED
"Like meat? Quality service. White tablecloths and napkins? Special night? GO. "
Lighthouse Restaurant & Bar
"Whole wheat blueberry pancakes. That's all I have to say on the subject. "
IL Cielo
"Romantic Elegant. We don't go every time ($$$) but worth it. A beautiful walk from the cot..."
Dairy Queen
"No Dairy Queen is cuter. "
The Island Cow
"Yea, no one goes to Sanibel and not vist THE COW. Everyone has fried pickles - but this is ..."
Gramma Dot's Seaside Saloon
"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 on your vacation. 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. We have visionary land which 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 you choose). No traffic lights. No McDonalds, no cars going faster than 35mph. Just laid back island life. There are over 21+ miles of paths for walking jogging strolling & biking - one of the finest in the United States and we are only 28 miles from and efficient and well planned `international` airport (& only 2.5 hours from Miami). Few great beaches in the world are this close to an international airport. And a narrow 3 mile causeway places it far away from everyday life.

Come relax & reunite with yourself & those you love.


Rates & Availability

Sanibel Island Cottage Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Oct 1 2016 - May 1 2017
1 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $500
Cleaning Service Charge $140 + Tax
Tax Rate 11.0%

NIGHTLY RATE FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES. We cannot rent nightly (short term) per Sanibel city rules.
Short term dates you see already blacked out may be times we or our (lucky) friends & family are borrowing the Shellbox - so -
As these dates `may be able` to be changed PLEASE ALWAYS write us if you have dates you are interested in!
Also happy to tentatively block dates for you before deposits are received although we prefer to talk by phone for these situations.
$225 (an extra night) Holiday Surcharge for NATIONAL HOLIDAYS/PLEASE INQUIRE if your days overlap the following dates on either side of these days: 5/25, 7/4, 9/7, 10/10, 11/25, 12/25.
No surcharge for New Years if you stay Christmas Eve and Day.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
Send a Message
Available arrival
Available stay (no arrival)


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
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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