FAQ

 

 

I’m concerned about traveling to Sanibel because of coronavirus. What’s the situation there?

Sanibel Island is a small community of less than 8,000 residents, many of whom rarely leave the island. While it is popular with visitors, it is nothing like major tourist destinations or hubs like Orlando or Miami!   The Island consists of 33.13 square miles and has a population density of around 240 people per square mile!  That gives each person an area of over three thousand square feet all to yourself – talk about social distancing! Compare Sanibel to other popular destinations in the US and Florida for travel.  For example, New York City has a population density of 27,016 person per square mile.  Miami is 21,484 per square mile.  Orlando has 2,639 per square mile and Tampa has 3,318 per square mile!

If you are looking for a change of scenery during this time of social distancing, you can’t find a much better choice than Sanibel Island.  Cases in Florida have been rapidly declining lately, and more than half of ALL cases (52%) of Covid-19 in Florida are in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties.  And while Sanibel is an Island located off-the mainland, it is considered part of Lee County.  Here are some other statistics to consider:

  •  As of September 1st, Lee County  accounts for less than 1.9% of new cases in Florida.
  • With regard to the current situation in Lee County, according to Johns Hopkins, the most recent daily positive case count for Lee County  is 42, and no deaths were reported for the entire County, which is the 8th largest in Florida by population.  These are the lowest numbers since mid-June.
  • The World Health Organization and the CDC  have made it clear that testing is key to controlling the spread of COVID-19 , and both agree  the share of all tests returning a positive result – known as the “positive rate” is the most crucial metric with regard to the COVID Pandemic.   According to criteria published by the WHO in May “a positive rate of less than 5% is one indicator that the epidemic is under control
  • As of the week ending  August 16th, 2020 the “positive rate” in Lee County is 4.0%, down from a high one month ago of 12.45%.  We are below the rate where the WHO and CDC consider the outbreak under control.  Considering that Lee County’s positive rate has declined by approximately 2% each week for the last 4 weeks,  and assuming this trend continues, we may be  around  2% by next week!
  • Consider that Miami has a rate of 20.5%, Texas was at 24.5% last week, and since the University of Iowa started classes in late August, the positivity rate went from 7.65% to 19.56% in one Iowa County in just one week.   Keep wearing those masks Sanibel! 😊

     

  • For the Month of August, Lee County has had a total of 192 cases per 100,000 persons including all cases (current and recovered).
  •  Since June 1st, Lee County has reported just 13.2 cases per day per 100,000 persons in population.
  • These figures include Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs-Estero and Lehigh Acres which account for an estimated 40% of cases.
  • Sanibel and Captiva account for less than 2/10th of one percent of total cases in Lee County.
  • The City of Sanibel reports that the number of reported COVID-19 cases remains at a total of only 41 cases since March 26th, with the majority of these occurring prior to June.
  • Grocery stores, restaurants, shops, etc  are all open and fully stocked, and Sanibel has a mandatory mask ordinance for your safety & protection while inside any public building.
  • City-owned public beach parking lots and beaches are open.
  • Our company is being extremely diligent – we were all just tested (all negative) and we are observing a stay-at-home policy other than time spent in the office, where we practice mask wearing and distancing.

 

Is Sanibel open now? Are you accepting new reservations now during the coronavirus epidemic?

Sanibel is open, quiet and safe, and the good news is that at Select Vacation Properties, if you are ready, so are we!  From enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures to providing necessary cleaning supplies and sanitize , we have been pro-active and committed to the health & safety of our guests.  We are also following industry-best safety and health practices in our office , and at our own homes to keep you safe.  And with its low population density and wealth of conservation lands that naturally promotes social distancing, we can’t think of a safer place to be than Sanibel Island. We also have additional resources on our website including links to the CDC, Lee County Department of Health and other informational sources.  Please refer to the City of Sanibel website for more information or call us at 239-395-0028 and speak to one of our friendly team members for more information.

 

What is your current cancellation policy now during the coronavirus epidemic?

With regard to cancellations, we have made our accommodations as safe as possible for guests who want to travel during the COVID pandemic. However, travelling during an infectious disease outbreak will always come with some risk, and whether to vacation or not is ultimately a personal choice.  When the epidemic came on suddenly in March, we did initially revise our cancellation policy at that time as there were stay at home orders, and regulations prohibiting travel and accommodations. At that time it was an unexpected event which few could have predicted.  However at this time, with restrictions lifted here on Sanibel, we have gone back to our standard cancellation policy, assuming that those who do decide to travel are well-informed and know and accept the risk.

 

What if I want to make a reservation but still thinking I might change my mind and want to cancel later because of worries about the coronavirus epidemic?

We always recommend doing some additional due diligence to be sure you are ready to travel before booking a reservation.  For those who might be ready to start making reservations and booking flights, but still not sure you will be ready to travel when the date rolls around, we recommend you consider  third-party “cancel for any reason” insurance policies.  Once you make a reservation with us, that time period is blocked off from everyone else and reserved strictly for you.  We have agreed to an exclusive lease for this time at this unit to you in good faith, and given up the opportunity to rent that time to someone else.  We feel it is fair that you honor that commitment in good faith also, and accept personal responsibility should you change your mind later.

Are you doing anything extra or taking additional precautions to make things safer?

Even before proclamations from the State or the City of Sanibel were enacted to allow the resumption of vacation rentals, we were among the first vacation rental companies in the area to begin voluntarily implementing additional cleaning and safety protocols in our office and in our rental properties.  This includes education about the virus,  instructions to all of our staff and third-party service providers on the proper use of PPE and detailed and rigorous cleaning mandates.  In cases where the property has not been vacant for a period of time which exceeds the lifespan of COVID-19 on household surfaces, we are taking the additional step of treating the interior with an anti-viral fogging agent. This treatment is safe even around food, pets & children, and is proven to kill coronavirus in under 60 seconds even on soft or porous surfaces.  This treatment is done at no additional charge and is scheduled based upon the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which suggests the virus can live up to four hours on copper, up to a day on cardboard and a maximum of three days on plastic and stainless steel   We are also following industry-best safety and health practices in our office , and at our own homes to ensure our staff and office is safe for you.  We are also providing every guest with ant-viral surface cleaner and hand sanitizer upon check-in for your use.  We continue to monitor the CDC and the Lee County Department of Health recommendations, guidelines and news, and will update our procedures as needed to stay ahead of our industry with regard to your health and safety.

 

Question: I received an Adobe EchoSign document that says it is from Select Vacation Properties, what is this?

This is our electronic Guest Registration. By signing it electronically, we can cut down on our environmental impact (paper and ink) and get you checked in faster when you arrive (nothing to sign, just grab the keys and go!). It is very easy to complete, you just follow the link to open the document, follow the onscreen prompts, then scroll to the bottom and hit “click to sign” to complete. If for some reason you have not been able to complete the registration, don’t worry, you can always sign a paper copy when you check-in here at our office.

 

Question: Do you stock the unit with any toiletries, food or other provisions?

Unlike a hotel room, this is your private residence until the end of your stay, so daily provisioning of shampoo, soap, facial tissue and the like is not provided. We also do not stock the units with perishable items such as foodstuffs or spices to avoid tampering, spoilage or possible allergic reactions. With that being said, we also understand how hard and exhausting it is getting settled in after a day of travel, so to get you started until it is convenient for you to get around to your own shopping, we do stock your unit with the following complimentary “starter pack” items:
Several complimentary bars of soap in the showers and vanities

Two rolls of toilet paper per bath
One box of facial tissue per bath
One small bottle of dish soap in the kitchen
Three single use packages of dishwasher detergent
Two single-use packages of laundry detergent
One garbage bag in each can
Three extra kitchen garbage bags
One roll of paper towels in the kitchen

If you are planning a lengthier stay, or if you anticipate you will have heavier demand for these types of items, we offer additional starter packs for sale, and we are happy to arrange for these to be ready and waiting for you upon your arrival! Of course, we know everybody has different needs and preferences, so once you have settled-in, taken stock and decided on exactly what you will need for the duration of your stay, we recommend doing your Shopping at Bailey’s General Store.

 

Question: How do we check in?

When arriving during normal business hours (Monday through Saturday 8:30 AM to 5 PM), simply come to our Sanibel Office, conveniently located Mid-Island at 2449 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Island, Florida, 33957 at Baileys Center. We will have all of the information you need including directions to the unit, wifi info, keys, check-out info, parking passes and association rules (where applicable) and some other info you might find important or informative.  Check-in is typically at 4 PM, but if you are arriving earlier, please call ahead and let us know, and we can see if early check-in is possible for your stay.  We have someone on-call 24/7, so if you have any problems or confusion call anytime.

 

Question: How do we check in after business hours?

When arriving after business hours, we have a lockbox on the wall to the left side of the front door at our Sanibel Office, located at 2449 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Island, Florida, 33957 at Baileys Center. We will put all of the information you need into an envelope with your name, unit and reservation number on the outside. Attached to the envelope will be directions to the unit and wifi info, like the network name and password. Inside you will find your keys, check-out info, parking passes and association rules (where applicable) and some other info you might find important or informative. You will find the lockbox code on the confirmation documents you received when you made your reservation, or call, or email for the code. We will hold your check-in packet until we close for the day (just in case you surprise us and arrive early), then we will put it into the lockbox for you. Just open the box, find your envelope and you are all set! Also, we have someone on-call 24/7, so if you have any problems, just call us!

 

Question: I understand that check-in is normally at 4 pm, but can we check in early?

If you plan to be on the island early, let us know, and as a courtesy, we will do our best to get you checked-in as quickly as possible. However, there is usually another guest checking out at 10 AM that morning, so it will always take some time to get everything cleaned and just right for you! With that being said, we will do everything we can to get your unit cleaned, inspected and ready for you without delay. Until the unit is ready for you, please take advantage of the shopping, restaurants and other great things to do on the island!

 

Question: I understand that check-out is normally at 10 am, but can we have a late check-out?

If you plan to be on the island early, let us know, and as a courtesy, we will do our best to get you checked-in as quickly as possible. However, there is usually another guest checking out at 10 AM that morning, so it will always take some time to get everything cleaned and just right for you! With that being said, we will do everything we can to get your unit cleaned, inspected and ready for you without delay. Until the unit is ready for you, please take advantage of the shopping, restaurants and other great things to do on the island!

 

Question: Can you tell us about any extra charges or hidden fees we should be aware of?

This is an easy question! For 99% of reservations Select Vacation Properties charges rent and tax only, and there are never any extra or hidden fees! Unlike may vacation rental agencies who publish low rates then add-on linen fees, booking fees, extra person fees, resort fees and more, with Select Vacation Properties, what you see published on our web site is the real rate.

 

Question: Do you offer any optional services?

We do offer a number of optional services such as optional trip cancellation insurance, upgraded room packages such as fruit baskets and chocolates and extra starter packs. If you have additional needs such as cribs or housekeeping services, we are always happy to arrange anything else you need to make your stay more enjoyable!

 

Question: What about rental by owner websites and other third party discount travel websites? Can I get a cheaper rate booking through them?

Most of these websites charge a service fee or add-ons which actually increase the price! We guarantee there is no lower rate anywhere on the internet than booking through us directly. These discount and “bundling” websites might be convenient, but it IS NOT the lowest rate – We are!

 

Question: Where do I check-in?

You will check in at our Sanibel Island Office, located at 2449 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Island, Florida, 33957. We are in Baileys Center, at the corner of Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road.

 

Question: Where can I go to plan my vacation?

You will find lots of great resources and recommendations on our website! We also recommend that you visit UltimateIslandGuide.com for tons of great resources and information about Sanibel.

 

Question: I am interested in information on buying a home or condo on Sanibel.  Who should I talk to?

We Highly recommend John Gee & Company, right here on Sanibel Island.   The Gee Family has more than 40 years of Captiva and Sanibel Island real estate experience, and you won’t find nicer, more dedicated realty professionals anywhere!  Call us and we can put you in touch with John Sr., Ann or John, or visit them a t2807 W Gulf Dr. Sanibel, Florida 33957.  You can call them directly at 239-850-0979 or email realtorann@hotmail.com.