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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992

Fresh - Bright & Roomy. Tired of Cookie-cutter condos?

Bedrooms 2
Space 1,250 sq ft
Property type cottage


About the property

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

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

As availability for Shellbox is limited, please do not request a booking until we settle date availability & if the cottage is a match for you (for people with disabled or young children take a look at the loft steps).

Are you tiring of white wall cookie-cutter condos?

Admittedly, some have great water views during the day - although my dad used to say "you can't see the ocean at night"! Kidding aside, if you're 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 paragraph.

The most frequent questions.....

- We only rent Shellbox Cottage about 8x a year. We use it 2-4 times annually & we often lend it to family & friends and offer it for honeymoons and weddings to our friends children. So we may be able to move dates around. We suggest ALWAYS writing first. One never knows.

- 'Is a true cottage?' Yes! It was moved from the beach in the 1960's. It is NOT a duplex. There is no one above you. There is no one below you. Nor on the 'other side` of a wall.

It's a classic - original wooden walls, wooden floors & important details like true/real wooden blinds. A classic mid-century Florida design, mistakenly preserved! Great design leads to a very bright home. Our attention to detail means it's kept fresh and clean. Sanibel Islands first Real Estate Agent lived here (Pricilla Murphy). The woman who named Periwinkle.

- The pool (heated) is only a few steps from our back door. Shellbox Cottage is one of very few true old free-standing beach cottages left on the island with a pool and tennis court. Additionally, the pool deck, the pool heater, the tennis court and BBQ's are all brand new!

- The beach is a very short walk away. The famous 21+mile Sanibel multi-use path is right outside our front door. Your kid will make it in 2 minutes but it will only 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 (now The Sanibel Beach Resort) down the street - which is right on the water & a great place for a cocktail your first night or a dinner - then a stroll home.

- Our fun, exceptionally clean, bright & easy to use 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. This means no worries about a crowd at the pool.

A quiet oasis on Sanibel, but close to everything.

Donax Village is more than 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 months stay - for 2-4 people with the occasional guests, like children or grandchildren on the futons and in the loft. The beds are brand new (within 3 years) [with mattress pads/blankets/linens cleaned each time] & the master bedroom hosts a 2015-16 Tempur-Pedic king [no eating or drinking in bed please].


Your own cottage, no shared walls. All yours.

An Unusual 5 places to relax outside!

1. FRONT PORCH. Open air - perfect for evening cocktails

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

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

4. PICNIC TABLES. Right near the grilling/bbq area

5. and of course the BEACH and thee Gulf of Mexico just down the street.

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

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

Two full bathrooms - the master bath, newly redone for 2017, was designed by a well known decorator from NYC & East Hampton NY in return for a stay at Shellbox! He also advised us to keep the charm of the original [and adorable] guest bathroom under the loft.

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 for the casual biker]

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 a small diverse music library. An audio wire to our 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 sat on the beach in the late 1950/60's. It is clean. It's bright, comfortable & graceful in it's dotage and it has this really great energy everyone seems to feel the moment they enter.

HOWEVER it is NOT perfect & it is NOT brand new (there are no Corian counter tops, no stainless steel appliances, nary a Sub-Zero refrigerator or modern new furnishings. THIS is by design!

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

Not for everyone - but - perfect for some...

You know who you are......

More Details

Member since: 2011
Speaks English, French, German, Italian
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
19 June, 2018

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 Sanibel

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 - a woman - who also named Periwinkle!

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.


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage in Sanibel in Lee County

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 1250 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • children welcome ...
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • beach
  • near the sea ...
  • 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
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Grill
  • Kitchen ...
  • Lobster Pot
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath with Shower
    Bathroom 2 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
    Outdoor showers - Outdoor Shower , hot & cold water
    Outdoot Rinse - cold water only
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Master BR - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed
    Lanai - 1 Sofa bed/Futon
    Living Room - 2 Sofa bed/Futon
    LOFT (steep steps) - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed , 2 Single Bed , 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
  • Deck Chairs
  • Beach Towels
  • Bicycles ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Patio
  • Veranda ...
  • Conservatory
  • Tennis ...
  • Tennis Court
  • veranda
  • Walkway to Water
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • 6 garden chairs
  • 4 deck chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool ...
  • Heated Pool
  • Outdoor Pool
Onsite Services:
  • Car Optional
  • bay
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • library
  • live theatre
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
  • synagogues
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • outlet shopping
  • paddle boating
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • fitness centre
  • massage therapist
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • golf
  • golf pass optional
  • hiking
  • jet skiing
  • paragliding
  • pier fishing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • diving
  • snorkelling
  • bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • wind-surfing


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(33 traveller reviews)

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Fresh - Bright & Roomy. Tired of Cookie-cutter condos?
average rating of 4.909091 based on 33 reviews

Perfect little beach cottage !

  • 5 of 5

The Shell Box cottage who’s more than what we imagined it to be. It was very cozy, convient to the beach, shopping , and the pool! We are looking forward to returning next year.

  • Review Submitted: 20-May-2018
  • Date of Stay: May 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Comfortable, Relaxing, Centrally located, Very helpful owners

  • 4 of 5

We had a wonderful family vacation on Sanibel Island. Shellbox cottage has everything a family could need and it provides the privacy and a feeling of being at home that you won't get at a resort. Its just close enough to the ocean to stroll over with a morning cup of coffee. We rented bikes at Billy's and biked everyday from the cottage to various destinations on the Island. We enjoyed the pool and barbecue very much. The owners were extremely helpful and respond quickly to questions. I definitely would recommend vacationing on Sanibel and staying at Shellbox.

  • Review Submitted: 05-Jun-2018
  • Date of Stay: May 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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A charming, stylish cottage with great pool and tennis court on the doorstep

  • 5 of 5

Shellbox Cottage provided a comfortable, relaxing place to stay, in a good location on the lovely island of Sanibel, when my husband and I, and our children, 13 and 11 years old, visited in October. The owners have furnished the property with thought and style. It is very well equipped and providing the use of bikes, tennis rackets, pool toys, games, books etc makes the cottage feel like a home from home. The outdoor shower proved a hit and gave a real feeling of being at one with nature. Frank was a pleasure to deal with and went beyond what could've been expected by offering flexibility in our stay after we were delayed by hurricane Matthew. We hope we may be able to return one day, it is a very special place.

  • Review Submitted: 23-Oct-2016
  • Date of Stay: October 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hello from Sanibel Katrina - It's January now and I'm on the Island and I just checked in and realized I never responded and thanked you for this really nice review. Thank you. I've been using the outdoor shower for you almost every evening! Come back sometime. We'd be happy to give you the old rate. And thanks for taking care of the Shellbox - all out guests were great this year - when we arrived back on January 1st we had few surprises.
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6 0

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!

  • Review Submitted: 26-Apr-2016
  • Date of Stay: February 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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7 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

  • Review Submitted: 11-Dec-2015
  • Date of Stay: December 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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8 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!

  • Review Submitted: 02-Nov-2015
  • Date of Stay: October 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
28 Miles
(RSW) Fort Meyers International or Southwest Inter
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.


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday cottage in Sanibel, USA

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event Price
1 May 2018 - 1 Oct 2018
1 night minimum stay
for 1 night

Additional pricing information

Cleaning Service Charge £105.7 + Tax
Refundable Damage Deposit £377.5

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.
$200 (basically an extra night) Holiday Surcharge for NATIONAL HOLIDAYS ONLY/PLEASE INQUIRE if your days overlap the following dates on either side of these days: Memorial Day, The 4th of July, Labor Day, Columbus Day Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years
No surcharge for New Years if you stay Christmas Eve and Day. No other fees other than tax and cleaning.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
Ask Owner a Question

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