by Janet Malin
Best Western is one of the most popular budget-friendly hotel chains for families, with more than 4,000 properties worldwide. And the Best Western Plus brand provides a step-up from the basic amenities, while still offering travelers competitive pricing. The Best Western Plus Beach Resort in Fort Myers Beach is clean, modern and particularly friendly — making it a popular spot for a family beach vacation on a budget.
Completely renovated in 2008, the hotel has 75 rooms, all of which have views of the Gulf of Mexico and private balconies perfect for taking in the sunset. Full-sized refrigerators, microwaves and cook tops are standard in every room, making it easy to prepare simple meals. And the Best Western Plus’s free, daily hot breakfast gets you up and fortified early — ready for a full day of beach fun.
Word is out about the beautiful beaches and gentle gulf waters of Fort Myers Beach, as much of the island is congested with traffic and crowds. The Best Western Plus Beach Resort is located on the northern end of Fort Myers Beach, also known as Estero Island, pleasantly removed from the action near the pier, but still within walking distance of plenty of outdoor cafes and shops.
The Fort Myers Beach area is packed with activities for families, with everything from boat cruising in San Carlos Bay, visits to The Shell Museum (a Fort Myers landmark!) and Red Sox spring training games nearby. For a family vacation that’s affordable, fun and comfortable, this hotel likely checks all the boxes.
Our Editor Loves
- Coco, the talking resident parrot
- Gulf-front location
- Free full breakfast offered daily
- Water Sports
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The hotel was completely remodeled in 2008, and the contemporary look is conveyed in the crisp white linens, granite countertops and tiled floors (crucial for removing the inevitable beach sand invasion) of its 75 rooms and suites. All rooms are equipped with appliances that traveling families will find useful -- microwaves, two-burner cook tops and full-size refrigerators are ready to be stocked with your favorite snacks and beverages. Basic pots and pans, safes, coffee makers and dinnerware are standard in all rooms. Each room also has a private balcony facing the beach with two less-than-ideal plastic chairs and a small plastic table. If possible, snag a room on one of the higher floors for the best views of the Gulf of Mexico.
The standard hotel rooms here have one king bed or two double beds and have plenty of space for a rollaway ($10 extra per day). Mini suites are available, too, and offer additional sleeping space with a pullout couch. The hotel's one- and two-bedroom suites have separate bedrooms and living spaces with pullout couches. For families looking for even more space, the hotel has one Cottage Suite, literally sitting in the sand. The cottage is a two-story stand-alone building with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, living area and a laundry room.
The hotel does not offer connecting rooms, but groups traveling together can request rooms on the same floor. Pack 'N Plays are available free of charge and accessible rooms with roll-in showers can be requested. DVD players are not available but there are connections if you've brought your own DVD player or gaming device. Free Internet is available in all guestrooms and throughout the hotel's public areas.
Front desk help were great, from advice where to eat to what to do made our vacation enjoyable. Rooms where clean and pool was nice. Location to board walk a short walk where many places to eat and shops. Only disappointed was had a room with 2 beds for 4 people and they were full sized not queen.
This is our second trip to Fort Myers Beach and our second time to stay at Best Western Plus.
Walk out the front door and on the beach. Nothing but good to say about the rooms and the service. Breakfast is exceptional! Love the 24 hours a day coffee machine. The pool is perfect. I have nothing negative to say about any of our experience. Centrally located on the beach. It is walking distance on the beach or sidewalk to the peer for eating and shopping. If it was closer to the airport we would not have even needed a rental car. Coco the talking bird gives the place a nice personal touch. Great Experience. Will stay there our next trip to Fort Myers Beach.
It's all about beach and pool fun at this gulf-front resort. Spend your mornings combing the beach for seashells (Fort Myers Beach is famous for shelling!) and playing in the warm, calm waters and shallow tidal areas. For bigger kids, Holiday Water Sports operates a kiosk on the beach and has wave runners, boogie boards, skin boards and paddleboards for rent. The hotel provides beach towels, while chairs and umbrellas are available to rent ($23 daily for two chairs and an umbrella).
Pack a picnic and enjoy lunch on the beach or escape the sun and eat under one of the hotel's "tiki" huts in the grassy area by the pool. There's a swing set and shuffleboard, as well as plenty of shade from the (often blaring) sun. Don't forget to look up -- Coco, the 35-year-old resident parrot, spends her afternoons relaxing on a perch under one of the palm trees here.
After the family rests and refuels, head to the hotel's rectangular pool -- it's heated during the winter months and has a maximum depth of 6 feet. The pool overlooks the ocean and while there are plenty of lounge chairs available, they fill up fast during prime daytime hours. There is no lifeguard on duty and parents are reminded to keep a watchful eye on their water babies.
One drawback of the hotel is that it doesn't have a kids club, nor does it offer any organized kids activities. Don't worry -- with all the fun to be had between the pool and the beach, your crew will surely be exhausted come bedtime.
Breakfast is the only meal served in the hotel (7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. daily), in a pleasant dining area in the lobby, and is free of charge for everyone in your party during your stay. The buffet is abundant and offers the typical assortment of bagels, yogurt, fruit and cereal, as well as hot items like scrambled eggs and bacon. The do-it-yourself waffle making station is a hit with kids of all ages and watching the young chefs pile their creation with whipped cream and strawberries is amusing, too. High chairs are available. There are many restaurants within walking distance, particularly near the Fort Myers Beach pier about three blocks south of the hotel.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Holiday Water Sports operates on the beach in front of the hotel and offers a great Dolphin Adventure Boat Tour. Kids love cruising through the mangroves looking for manatees and they scream with excitement when they see dolphins playing in the boat's wake.
There is no exercise room on the property.
There is a small sundries cart in the lobby that sells newspapers, batteries and sunscreen.
Gas grills and shaded picnic areas are available on the property.
Dogs and cats under 25 pounds are welcomed at the hotel for a fee of $20 per pet, per night.
Tea and especially good coffee are brewed fresh and available 24 hours a day in the lobby.
The Art of Smart Timing
The resort is family-centric year-round and quickly reaches capacity during peak spring break travel -- from late-February through April. Weekday stays from May to November are when you're likely to find less traffic on the island's only main road and score the lowest room rates, too.
Here on the Gulf Coast of Florida, temperatures are generally warm all year with the occasional cool night in the winter months. The summer is hot and sticky and you'll want to bring mosquito repellent if you plan to take in the sunset on the beach.
Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) is 16-miles from the hotel and the resort does not provide shuttle services. One-way taxi fare is approximately $60, but renting a car will come in handy for store runs and taking in the local attractions during your visit. Most major rental car companies have kiosks at the airport.
The Lee County Trolley stops near the hotel and provides transportation to Times Square and other destinations on Estero Island. One-way rides are $0.25.
For Mom and Dad
If you can sneak away from the kids and don't mind the crowds, check out the street performers and stellar people watching at Times Square. Take the trolley or walk three blocks south of the resort and you'll be in the heart of the action. There are lots of shops and restaurants here and it's worth a stroll down Fort Myers Beach Pier (watch out for roaming magicians!) for a cocktail at sunset. Once you've taken it all in, grab an ice cream at Kilwin's and head back to rest up for another day on the beach.