Frequently Asked Questions

It’s time to pack your bags and tie up all those last minute travel plans!
Let us help by answering the most popular travel questions
asked by Ocean’s Reach guests.

What should I pack? What is provided in the condo?

Where are you located on the island? Can you give me directions from the causeway?

What time is check-in?

What if I arrive after hours?

What time is check-out?

Is smoking permitted in the condos and on the lanais?

Do you accommodate pets?

What is your payment policy? What about cancellations and refunds?

Do you offer travel insurance?

Are there any additional charges or fees?

Are there other important terms and conditions that I should know about?

I have a balance due on my account. When do I pay that?

What parking arrangements are available?

Are beach chairs and umbrellas provided with my condo rental?

Are bicycles available for rent on the premises?

Can you give me suggestions for picking up groceries?

How can I rent a crib and other baby items?

What if I need assistance with something while I’m there? Who do I call?

What happens in case of a hurricane?

What is red tide? What are algal blooms? How will they affect my vacation plans at Ocean’s Reach?

When do no-see-ums appear on Sanibel and how can I protect myself?

Do I need a license to fish on Sanibel?

What should I pack? What is provided in the condo?

Plan for sunshine! Bring your bathing suits and sunscreen, plus casual attire for island shopping and dining. Shorts, sundresses and sandals are the norm, both day and night. Remember that each condo is equipped with its own washer and dryer and fully supplied for your convenience with fresh linens, fresh bath towels, and basic supplies (dishwasher and laundry detergent, soap, paper towels, tissues, bathroom tissue and garbage bags) which can be replenished on a complimentary basis as needed through our office. A comprehensive list of the home-away-from-home items you can expect to find in your condo can be accessed here, including basically everything you’ll need with the exception of personal sundries (you’ll need to bring your own toiletries, shampoo, conditioner, and so forth). Your condo rental will come with beach chairs. Beach umbrellas, beach towels and single-speed adult-sized bicycles can be rented on site.

Where are you located on the island? Can you give me directions from the causeway?

Ocean’s Reach is located on a quiet, secluded stretch of beach, approximately 3½ miles west of the Sanibel Island lighthouse. Facing due south, you’ll be treated to seeing both the sunrise and sunset every day. Our complex is adjacent to Algiers Beach, better known as Gulfside City Park.

After crossing the causeway from Fort Myers to Sanibel Island, turn right at the stop sign onto Periwinkle Way, the main thoroughfare of the island. Continue 1.3 miles and make a left onto Casa Ybel Road (Jerry’s Supermarket will be on your right). Go 1.4 miles and turn left on Algiers Road, shortly past the entrance to the Children’s Center of the Island. Take your second right onto Camino del Mar and follow the palm-lined driveway to Ocean’s Reach.

Detailed directions from our local airport and interstate can be found here.

What time is check-in?

Check-in is at 3:00 p.m. on your scheduled day of arrival. Should you be interested in an earlier check-in, please call ahead to see if we can accommodate you.

What if I arrive after hours?

Our Guest Services office (800-336-6722) is open Monday thru Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Should you arrive after office hours, you’ll find your check-in envelope and keys in our brochure “library” (look for the blue door located 20 feet away next door from the office) in an easily-visible black box on the left wall.

What time is check-out?

Check-out is by 10:00 a.m. on your scheduled day of departure. Late check-outs can be accommodated only if other guests are not scheduled to check into your unit later that day; in that instance, you may check out by 11:00 a.m. on a complimentary basis, by 1:00 p.m. for a charge of $30 or by 5:00 p.m. for a charge of $50, payable by cash or U.S. check. Please drop off all condo keys and bike rental keys in our drop box or Guest Services office prior to leaving.

Is smoking permitted in the condos and on the lanais?

Ocean’s Reach is a NON-SMOKING resort. Smoking is prohibited in the condos, buildings, and all exterior amenities. Smoking is also prohibited on the lanais; with our gulf breeze, smoke can drift to neighboring units and upset guests who came to Ocean’s Reach for a non-smoking environment. Please respect the NO SMOKING policy at Ocean’s Reach and refrain from smoking on resort property. An additional cleaning charge of $300 may be assessed to any guest for violation of our non-smoking policy.

Do you accommodate pets?

With the exception of certified service dogs, Ocean’s Reach does not permit guest pets of any kind in our condos or on our grounds. An additional cleaning charge of $300 may be assessed to any guest for violation of our “no pets” policy. Please call Guest Services at 800-336-6722 for assistance with kennel arrangements.

What is your payment policy? What about cancellations and refunds?

PAYMENT POLICY: A $600 deposit is required to confirm your reservation. Deposits are taken at the time of booking your reservation and serve as your first payment. Final payment for your remaining balance is due no later than 60 days prior to your arrival. Reservations not paid in full by 60 days prior to arrival are subject to cancellation. Deposits and payments can be tendered with cash, U.S. check, Mastercard, Visa or Discover card. Payments may be made online through the secure Ocean’s Reach Guest Portal near the bottom of each web page or by calling our Guest Services office at 800-336-6722.

CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS: If your reservation is cancelled at least 60 days or more before your arrival date, all monies paid to Ocean’s Reach for the rental will be fully refunded. If your reservation is cancelled within 60 days of your arrival date, our cancellation policy allows for a refund only if the reserved condo can subsequently be re-booked; monies refunded will be equivalent to the re-rental fee for the unit, including potential discounts. Refunds are issued by Ocean’s Reach via check or credit card within three (3) days of the reservation cancellation or re-booking of the unit.

To avoid loss of monies, we strongly encourage purchasing Travel Insurance. Travel insurance can protect your vacation investment against unanticipated events. For information on optional travel insurance available through CSA Travel Protection, click here.

Regarding severe weather conditions, please note that Ocean’s Reach will refund monies only in the event of a mandatory island evacuation. Should the City of Sanibel issue a mandatory evacuation, Ocean’s Reach will refund rentals paid proportionally.

Ocean’s Reach is not responsible for trip cancellation or disruption due to weather, natural disasters, beach conditions or other occurrences beyond the control of the Association. No rate adjustments will be made.

Do you offer travel insurance?

We want to do everything possible to make your trip enjoyable and worry free. Because the unforeseen and unexpected can occur, however, we strongly recommend that you safeguard your vacation investment by purchasing travel insurance through CSA’s Guest Protect Plan. Travel insurance, available for 7.65% of your total reservation cost, covers an assortment of unforeseen circumstances that may cause a cancellation or early departure. CSA travel insurance can be purchased at any time up until your final payment by calling Guest Services at 800-336-6722. CSA offers a 10-day “Free Look” in which you can cancel your policy and receive a full refund within ten days of purchase (after that point in time, travel insurance is non-refundable). If you elect to decline this coverage, you do so fully understanding our cancellation policy. For more information, please click here.

Are there any additional charges or fees?

At Ocean’s Reach, there are no additional charges, hidden costs or surprise fees. For example, parking and cleaning costs are included in your rental fee, as well as all services, amenities, condo linens and supplies.

We provide one housekeeping service, completed prior to your arrival. Should you request additional cleaning, we can put you in touch with our housekeeping company. Applicable charges would apply and would be discussed directly with them.

Tax is charged at 11% of your quoted rental rate (6% state tax + 5% county tax).

Are there other important terms and conditions I should know about?

Management retains the right to 1) relocate a guest if their reserved unit is deemed unsuitable for any reason; 2) access a guest unit at any time in case of emergencies or other situations as deemed necessary; and 3) require any guest to leave the premises immediately for violation of any published policy and/or unruly behavior toward other guests.

Ocean’s Reach is not responsible for lost or stolen items. We ask that guests keep basic safety and security precautions in mind. Make sure all valuables are secured in the safe in your unit and remember to lock your vehicle, as well.

I have a balance due on my account. When do I pay that?

Final payment is due 60 days prior to arrival. Payments can be tendered with cash, U.S. check, Mastercard, Visa or Discover card. Payments may be made online — either in installments or all at once, whichever is more convenient for you — through the Ocean’s Reach Guest Portal near the bottom of each web page or by calling our Guest Services office at 800-336-6722. Reservations not paid in full by 60 days prior to arrival are subject to cancellation.

What parking arrangements are available?

Each condominium unit has an assigned parking space adjacent to or opposite the condominium buildings.  All parking spaces are covered and numbered. We ask that you please be considerate of other guests and park ONLY in the designated space for your unit.

Additional cars and visitor cars may park in the spaces across from Guest Services or in the spaces adjacent to the tennis court. Guests are asked to store paddleboards and kayaks in the designated racks behind the office. Trailers, boats and campers may park in the supplemental guest parking area only with prior authorization from management.

Most owners also allow use of their private storage shed. Located by your carport and accessible with your room key, your shed is a convenient spot for stashing luggage, beach toys and chairs.

All parking is provided on a complimentary basis for guests.

Are beach chairs and umbrellas provided with my condo rental?

Beach chairs are provided with each condo rental. Beach umbrellas are not included but may be rented from Ocean’s Reach Guest Services for $10/day or $30/week. Quantities are limited and we recommend that you place advance reservations by calling 800-336-6722 or emailing beach@oceansreach.com. The rental amount due is payable by U.S. check or cash only upon arrival.

Are bicycles available for rent on the premises?

Guests can enjoy exploring 26 miles of scenic bike paths that wind through the island. “Beach cruisers” (standard one-speed adult-sized bicycles) are conveniently located on our resort premises and available for rent at Guest Services for $15/day or $40/week. Please have cash or personal U.S. check available for payment upon pick up at Guest Services.

Our staff can also help arrange for delivery of children’s bikes, multi-speed bikes and specialty bikes from Billy’s Rentals.

Each bicycle comes available with a basket, lock and helmet. They can be stored in the Ocean’s Reach bike racks or under your carport during your vacation stay.

As quantities are limited, we recommend that you place advance reservations by calling 800-336-6722 or emailing beach@oceansreach.com. The rental amount due is payable by U.S. check or cash only upon arrival.

Can you give me suggestions for picking up groceries?

Many of our guests tend to their grocery shopping by stopping in Fort Myers on their way to the island. You’ll find several name supermarkets along on your route from the interstate or airport.  Once on Sanibel Island, there are two full-service grocery stores that are easily accessible by car or bicycle: Bailey’s (239-472-1516), located at the corner of Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road, and Jerry’s of Sanibel (239-472-9300), at the intersection of Periwinkle Way and Casa Ybel Road. Both also offer online ordering so your groceries can be ready for pick up or delivered directly to your condo prior to your arrival.

How can I rent a crib and other baby items?

Island Rental Services offers an assortment of rental items, including many of the same necessities you use at home. Please contact them directly at 239-472-9789 to order your items and schedule a delivery time. They will set up your items so that they are quickly ready for baby, and will also pick up from your condo upon departure.

What if I need assistance with something while I’m there? Who do I call?

Please contact Ocean’s Reach Guest Services at 239-472-4554 or 800-336-6722 as soon as possible so that we can tend to your needs quickly. Our Guest Services office is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

We are located on site and therefore able to assist on the spot with condo repairs, missing items or any other issues that need to be addressed.

Our Guest Service staff members are long-time “islanders” who would be happy to help offer suggestions for island restaurants and attractions or answer questions you may have. Please don’t hesitate to ask!

What happens in case of a hurricane?

The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1st and runs through November 30th each year. Only four hurricanes have made landfall in Southwest Florida over the past 100 years, and only one – Hurricane Charley in 2004 – was particularly damaging to Sanibel Island.

Each year, we work closely with local municipalities, including emergency management, to monitor potential strong storms throughout the season. Our guests’ safety is our utmost priority and we follow strict protocol to ensure that all guests are kept safe and constantly informed in the case of severe weather.

If severe weather is expected to draw near to Sanibel, our city officials will determine whether a mandatory evacuation is necessary. In that case, we will work with each guest to coordinate a quick, safe and timely departure to ensure that they will be far from danger when the storm hits.

What is red tide? What are algal blooms? How will they affect my vacation plans at Ocean’s Reach?

Algae are microscopic organisms that can have big effects on the Gulf Coast of Florida and elsewhere along coastlines worldwide. On rare occasion, large blooms (sudden increased growth) of algae can appear with minimal notice and affect water quality conditions along our shorelines.

“Red tide” is a common term used to describe a type of harmful algal bloom (HAB) resulting when colonies of Karenia brevis algae proliferate and become present in high concentrations. Karenia brevis needs many components to develop into a significant bloom, including a chemically “perfect storm” combination of temperature, salinity and nutrients.

Karenia brevis algae produce “brevetoxins” that affect the central nervous system of fish and other marine vertebrates, causing these animals to die. Fish kills are common, along with the odor one would expect until the fish are washed away or otherwise removed. In addition to the odor, airborne particles can lead to respiratory irritation, and can prove difficult for people with chronic respiratory conditions, such as emphysema or asthma. While brevetoxins are benign at low concentrations, the higher the concentration, the greater the likelihood of damaging effects.

A red tide bloom typically develops 10-40 miles offshore, but strong wind and water currents can bring the effects of the bloom nearshore. Red tide is naturally occurring and has been around since the days of Spanish explorers in the 1500s. Most recently, Sanibel Island has been impacted by severe red tide blooms in the summers of 2006 and 2018.

Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, is a different type of algal bloom that can also have harmful effects to ecosystems throughout Florida. This type of algal bloom is freshwater based, and can lead to damage in our estuaries on the bay side of the island where saltwater and freshwater mix. Estuaries provide the basis for an intricate food web for thousands of marine, plant and animal species. Destruction of seagrass and oyster beds through these these types algal blooms can also be debilitating.

What causes these blooms in our area? Scientists are still researching direct correlations. While Karenia brevis algae are always present in the Gulf waters of Florida, it appears that “just the right combination” of warm water, sunlight, atmospheric carbon dioxide and excessive nutrients can cause their populations to explode, resulting in a large red tide bloom. In the case of blue-green algae, many point to nutrient-rich polluted runoff that collects in the Caloosahatchee River and drains into the Gulf of Mexico as threats. In recent years, when the water levels of Lake Okeechobee (the largest lake of Florida in the middle of the state) get too high, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tries to relieve pressure on the lake’s aging dike system by releasing excess water into the Caloosahatchee River, which eventually feeds into the estuaries and bays surrounding Sanibel Island. The subsequent surge of freshwater, fertilizers, pollutants and nutrients combine to upset the delicate water balance in our ecosystem, leading to discoloration of our water and potential threats to public health and marine life alike.

Will there be any problems when you visit? Again, algal blooms are very infrequent. Even when a bloom occurs, conditions can be drastically different within a few hundred feet; they can affect one part of the island and leave other parts completely unscathed. If, by rare occurrence, the beach outside Ocean’s Reach is affected, you will be directed to an unaffected beach on the island.

Remember that Sanibel beaches are kept in “natural” condition – which does not necessarily mean clean. Small to moderate amounts of seaweed and natural debris along the shoreline are a part of normal beach ecology and should not be mistaken for a harmful algal bloom.

For more information, contact the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

When do no-see-ums appear on Sanibel and how can I protect myself?

Did you know that there are more than 4,000 species of biting midges worldwide?  In Florida alone, there are 47 different species.

No-see-ums – you can’t see ‘um but you sure can feel ‘um — are the smallest blood-sucking insects on earth and, like the mosquito, can cause a skin reaction from an itch to a welt, depending on the individual.

These insects are most active at dawn and dusk and breed next to beaches, standing water and lakefronts throughout the country.

You can protect yourself by wearing long pants and shirts to cover up during dusk and dawn in high humidity seasons. There are also several insect repellents on the market – including Sanibel’s own all-natural “No No-See-Um” – to combat these pesky little bugs.

Do I need a license to fish on Sanibel?

In most cases, yes!  Click here for fishing information, including safety tips, regulations and laws to follow.

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