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Old 22 Jan 20, 10:30 PM  
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HermioneFuzzle
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Originally Posted by mick View Post
We've stayed at Fort Myers Beach a couple of times. It was a normal and average Holiday Inn on the beach but nothing special and as it was over 15 years ago it's probably changed its name a few times.

Lots of decent restaurants along the beach though.

If you or your children are interested in industrial or engineering history though as a change from the beach then this is worth a half day's visit.
It's in FM town rather than on FMB

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Thanks! I’m thinking beach, pool and nothing else. I think the kids might get bored and need a little something to do. It’s hard to find the right balance a gorgeous beach and a little bit of life.
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Old 22 Jan 20, 10:46 PM  
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TheHughesCrew
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We're staying in Bradenton in a small house, but it has no private pool. There's one ocer the road though as part of a community thing. We're hoping to be out and about round AMI for most of the days though.

A bit further south is Naples. I know this has already been mentioned. We're staying at The Bellasera. Recommended on here by numerous people. We've got a 2 bedrooms condo here. The pool isn't enormous, but will be big enough for us. Maybe worth a look?
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Old 22 Jan 20, 10:55 PM  
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Yes! I've heard the Bellaserra mentioned on here. Have you been to Naples or AMI before? I've now got Fort Myers in the mix too! I'm thinking that this is becoming another holiday for next year!
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Old 23 Jan 20, 12:18 AM  
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Originally Posted by HermioneFuzzle View Post
Yes! I've heard the Bellaserra mentioned on here. Have you been to Naples or AMI before? I've now got Fort Myers in the mix too! I'm thinking that this is becoming another holiday for next year!
We have done the following for the last 9 years, Anna Maria Island usually for a week-10 days (always use annamaria/ to book a home, can’t fault them) and then we do Naples for 5-7 nights the Bellasera is our favourite, I cannot fault it!

We don’t always do Orlando but we do always go to Anna Maria, it’s like home for us ❤️ And Naples is just lovely too, but significantly more expensive than Orlando
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Old 23 Jan 20, 12:26 AM  
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Anna Maria Island is my happy place .. hoping to head back again this year if we can find good priced flights x
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Old 24 Jan 20, 01:49 PM  
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I know that this is subjective, but any opinions or insights would be great.
Either:
6 nights Pink Shell resort (Fort Myers)
Pros: walking distance of chain restaurants for DS1, on beach, huge pool.
Cons: maybe not as scenic as Anna Maria, not sure what else is within an hour’s drive.

Rental condo on Anna Maria Island:
Pros: scenic, easy to walk around, less commercialised, lovely beaches, nearby shopping.
Cons: might be too “niche” to find DS food. He likes Five Guys, Bahama Breeze, Perkins and Millers, smaller pools in rentals.
What would you do? Are there any aspects i overlooked that make one more suitable than another?

Edited at 01:50 PM.
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Old 24 Jan 20, 02:31 PM  
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smithlane
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Originally Posted by HermioneFuzzle View Post
I know that this is subjective, but any opinions or insights would be great.
Either:
6 nights Pink Shell resort (Fort Myers)
Pros: walking distance of chain restaurants for DS1, on beach, huge pool.
Cons: maybe not as scenic as Anna Maria, not sure what else is within an hour’s drive.

Rental condo on Anna Maria Island:
Pros: scenic, easy to walk around, less commercialised, lovely beaches, nearby shopping.
Cons: might be too “niche” to find DS food. He likes Five Guys, Bahama Breeze, Perkins and Millers, smaller pools in rentals.
What would you do? Are there any aspects i overlooked that make one more suitable than another?
So very difficult as they are 2 very different resorts. I’ve not been to Fort Myers but I researched it to death when we were booked to go to Cape Coral. Cancelled it in the end as we found and fell in love with AMI.
In my opinion AMI would win hands down, purely for the fact it is far more relaxing, no chain restaurants and has such a chilled vibe I never want to leave.
I promise you you’ll find plenty of restaurants that will cater for your DS, have a look online as they’ll all have their menus on there.
It really is down to what you think will suit your family best. If you want a break from the madness of Orlando then I don’t think you can go wrong with AMI.
Have a wonderful time whatever you decide.
Oh and my 2 are like fish in water and never found the pool size to be an issue
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Old 24 Jan 20, 07:03 PM  
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The Pink Shell Hotel on Ft Myers beach is lovely. It’s in a great location and loads to do within walking distance.
We owned a villa in Cape Coral (20 mins from Ft. Myers) until earlier this year and a friend asked us if we would visit the hotel and take some photos last year as they had booked this hotel later in the year. We happily did and the valet guys and the hotel staff were lovely, showing us around the hotel and answering questions. Our friends had a brill time!
Ft Myers beach is a great spot as it’s laid back, you can indulge in various water sports, and there are loads of other beaches nearby (Bowditch beach, Lovers Key, Bonita beach) and has both chain and independent restaurants and bars. As well as beach life stuff, there are the huge Malls, shopping outlets (Miromar Outlet, Sanibel Outlets), as well as historical buildings in downtown Ft Myers and 30 mins from Naples and all their attractions (zoo, etc). It’s also minutes from the gorgeous Sanibel and Captiva Islands where you can hire bikes and explore beautiful tropical island (no high rises allowed).
We have stayed on AMI too and it’s also lovely but for location and choice of things to do - my vote is further south, just my opinion. Wherever you choice it’s a win win.
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Old 24 Jan 20, 07:32 PM  
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Thank you both. That is invaluable information. I’ve been to Clearwater as a child, but as a family we’ve been to Miami Beach, which the kids loved, but hated the hotel and the pool as it was tiny. I’d overlooked that aspect, thinking they’d be happy with the beach, but in reality they wanted the pool too. Food was hit and miss for them, we had some lovely meals in some chain and independent restaurants, and some terrible ones in some very expensive parts of town. I’m just worried that we’re going to end up driving every night to that only place my son will eat!
I’m going to have a good look at AMI restaurants- it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit- and weigh up the best all-rounder.
All of your input has really helped. Thank you!
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Old 24 Jan 20, 07:39 PM  
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Another thought- if you are in Cape Coral area, do you fly from Tampa? We’re returning from Tampa at 6pm, and wondering whether to break the drive up by staying somewhere en route for 1 night. Is the drive manageable in 1 day before a long flight?
I prefer to be in 1 place and not break it up with lots of stop overs as it unsettles my son. But, if the return flight plus drive to the airport is too long-winded, I may factor a final night in nearer to Tampa.
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