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South Seas Island Resort

Captiva Island, Florida

By Roger Cox, Editor

South Seas Island Resort, Captiva Island, FL
Photo: Roger Cox

A family looking for a resort with something for everyone is almost certain to find what they need at this 330-acre resort, 35 miles from the airport in Ft. Myers at the very tip of Captiva Island. Tucked in among its mangroves, palms, and Australian pines is a wide variety of accommodations, from oversized hotel rooms to 6-bedroom homes. A broad swath of sand, newly restored, renowned as one of the world's great shelling beaches, runs the entire length of the resort, though that's only the beginning of a recreational array that includes an 11-court tennis complex, 9-hole golf course, a marina with charter fishing fleet and a highly-regarded sailing school, two zero-entry pools, one of them with two waterslides, a day spa, a fitness center, and much, much more. There are also excellent children's programs and a free on-property shuttle.

Tennis Features

Pro Shop: 239-472-5111, ext. 4151

The big news for tennis players was the arrival of the Pavel & Blackwood Tennis Academy to manage the tennis operation. Founded by former Top 15 ATP player Andrei Pavel and junior development coach Nick Blackwood, the Academy is best known for its elite training operation in Phoenix, Arizona.

South Seas Island Resort, Captiva Island, Florida

But it is its management arm, Blackwood Management, that has taken charge of the South Seas' tennis complex and worked to raise its tennis profile, most recently by staging a $50,000 USTA Women's Futures event that attracted a solid international field. They oversee the main complex of 11 hard courts all painted in U.S. Open blue. Seven of these fan out from a compact pro shop and shaded deck adjacent to the guest reception center near the resort entrance, with the remaining four situated just across the road. supplemented by another four just across the road. Nick Blackwood himself is frequently on site, especially whenever there are tennis groups booked for custom-designed sessions, one of their specialties, and he has engaged a core group of pros to handle guests' day-to-day tennis needs.

Tennis Programs. Like anywhere else in southern Florida, there are seasonal variations in the tennis calendar. Private lessons aside, there are typically daily clinics for adults, kids, and those 10 and older and Cardio tennis three days a week. Those programs are supplemented on a seasonal basis by nightly evening clinics by level (beginner and intermediate) and social round robins. Groups are welcome at any time of the year and the staff will help craft packages specific to their needs.
Courts & Fees. 11 Hard courts (4 with lights); of those, 11 are near the reception center and managed by the Pavel & Blackwood group, the remaining 8 scattered among the various clusters of lodging. Court fees: Included in the resort fee.


(2 Reviewers)


(2 Reviewers)

Other Recreation

Beach. The 2½-mile-long boulevard of sand bordering one side of the property is one of the world's foremost shelling beaches.

South Seas Island Resort, Captiva Island, Florida

Golf Courses. The resort has a par 27, 9-hole course of its own but can also arrange for guests to play at the 18-hole Dunes course on neighboring Sanibel Island.

Spa & Fitness Center. Located in a Chadwick's Square just across from the entrance the resort, the Kay Casperson Lifestyle Spa offers massages, facials, body treatments, and salon services. The fitness center, which was near the courts when I visited, is moving to the north end of the island near the hotel, where it will have views of the marina.

And ... Other diversions, both organized and not, abound. The Colgate's Offshore Sailing School runs a variety of sailing courses ranging from two-hour lessons to multi-day Performance Sailing, Cruising and Racing camps. There is also a Sea School to learn about this natural habitat, a Nature Center, nature tours, kayak tours, fishing, shelling, biking, and jogging.

Children's Programs

South Seas has a national reputation for the quality of its children's programs. Headquartered in four purpose-built locations—Activities Galley, Skully's Arcade, ScoutAbout Headquarters and Little Matey's Discovery Center—these venues provide diversions for toddlers, kids, tweens, teens and families and take full advantage of the diversity recreation and activity within the resort. Also available is the Sanibel Sea School, a non profit dedicated to fostering a love of the ocean in children. Campers ages 6-13 spend two-thirds of the time in the field learning by taking part.


The lodging options at South Seas begin with hotel rooms at Harbourside and continue up through one-, two-, and three-bedroom condominiums and beyond to even larger private homes with as many as six bedrooms. Some of these complexes have their own swimming pools or tennis courts.


There are four restaurants within the resort and variously open for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, among them Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille,which is notable for its Mojitos, Caribbean fare, and relaxed atmosphere. There's also an ice cream and pizza parlor, a Starbucks, and a small grocery store called Captiva Provisions. If you leave the resort, you'll find more than a dozen additional on Captiva Island, including such local favorites as the Mucky Duck.

See Also

Among the other tennis resorts similar to South Seas are:

Rates and Reservations

Lodging consists of hotel rooms and 1-to-3-bedroom villas plus a selection of private homes as large as 4 bedrooms. Check the website for rates during the period you want to visit.

Visit the website for current rates

South Seas Island Resort
5400 Plantation Rd.
Captiva Island, FL 33924
Toll-free: 866-565-5089
Fax: 239-472-7541
Web Link: South Seas Island Resort

Travel Essentials

Seasons. Year-round.

Travel Instructions. By Air: The nearest airport is Southwest Florida International Airport in Ft. Myers, 35 miles from the resort. By Car: Take Exit 131 off I-75 and head west on Daniels Parkway. Turn left onto Six Mile Cypress, go across the intersection with US 41 (at that point Six Mile Cypress becomes Gladiolus) and then turn left onto Summerlin Road (State Road 869). As you continue south, Summerlin becomes Sanibel Causeway. You'll pass through a toll booth and then follow the signs to Captiva Island.

General Tourist Information. For information about this part of Florida, visit the Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel website or contact them at 12800 University Dr., Suite 550, Ft. Myers, FL 33907. Phone toll-free 800-237-6444 or 239-338-3500.

©2017 Roger Cox

Doubles Boot Camps

Visit the award-winning Cliff Drysdale Tennis program at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation this spring. Doubles Boot Camps, February 10-12 and 24-26. Luxury Ladies Retreat, May 3-7. Adult Tennis Camps offered every day of the year. Contact us for more information about our amazing camp-organizers-come-for-free special at 904 277 5151 or or visit Amelia Island Tennis Camps

Four Seasons Nevis

Enjoy an unforgettable Caribbean vacation, your way, at Four Seasons Resort Nevis with the new Nevis My Way package with daily breakfast for two and USD 100 daily Resort Credit. Use your credit to perfect your game on the court with tailored lessons with a Pro, participate in weekly clinics or reserve court times. Guests can also indulge at the spa, on the Golf Course, in five gourmet restaurants, and more. For reservations, please call 869-469-6238 or visit


(2 Reviewers)

Your Call

Here's what others have had to say about South Seas Island Resort.

  • 3½-Ball Rating "Spent 4 nights at the South Seas Resort and it was about what I expected. Fantastic hard courts, above average rooms, and great beaches and pools. What "made" our stay, was the tennis shop manager Stephanie. She has been on Captiva many years and went above and beyond to make sure me and my friend enjoyed our stay. I cannot give her personally a higher rating. Pros that we saw were personable enough, but the teaching is suspect.
    We rented a convertible to spend a day on Sanibel island, which turned out to be ideal as the resort is fairly spread out. You could also rent bikes on a daily basis. Also, there is a small 9 hole par 3 golf course that was is in immaculate condition with some beautiful views. It's over an hour from the airport, but Captiva was a great place to relax and play."
    —J.K., Pro, October 2010
  • 2-Ball Rating "Sadly, only had one day to play. Rain showers had occured the night before. NO ONE was trying to dry the courts, something that happens at all other resort courts if possible. Pro Shop difficult to find.
    spaceFacility Service was poor. Was actually checked into the wrong room, walked in on a women changing!?!?!? Food was pitiful!! For $300.oo a night, Expected and deserved a great deal more!!! WILL NOT RETURN!!!"
    —H.O., Low Int., February 2009

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©2017 Roger Cox