3/2 luxury home overlooks lakes & golf course, private heated pool, home theater
Ralph A. Penalver
- english, french, spanish
About Ralph A. Penalver
I first heard of Sanibel while on a visit to Tahiti in French Polynesia in 1976. There I casually met a couple who were making their way around the world on a sailboat. When I said I lived in Florida, they said, "The closest thing to Tahiti in the continental United States is Sanibel Island in Florida." The first thing I did when I returned from my trip was to check out Sanibel. It was love at first sight. I decided to buy a place in Sanibel as a second home and searched all over the island for a location that offered me beauty, peace and tranquility - and close contact with nature. I searched and searched until I found a spec house under construction overlooking the lakes and greens of The Dunes Golf and Tennis Club. The view from the house was magnificent and there was wildlife everywhere. The Dunes is adjacent to Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge and many of the birds come to swim and feed in the lakes of the golf course. The moment I saw the property, I knew I had found my place. It was private and quiet - yet centrally located with Sanibel's best shops and restaurants less than five minutes away. I had a professional 18-hole golf course with beautiful greens and lakes in my backyard. The gulf and bay beaches are just a short bike ride away. So are the groceries, shops and some of Sanibel's best restaurants. Bill Frey one of Sanibel's most renowned builders and architects, designed and built the house. He called it the Sand Castle. It has truly been a castle of joy and wonderful memories for my family and for the many renters with whom we have shared this island paradise. You will marvel at the magnificent view overlooking the lakes and greens of The Dunes Golf and Tennis Club and the beauty of the pool area and tropical gardens. We hope that you will love our vacation house as much as we do. Thanks for taking our home into consideration for your Sanibel Island vacation.
Ralph A. Penalver purchased this House in 1980
Why Ralph A. Penalver chose The Dunes
The Sand Castle is not your typical rental property. We love our Sanibel home and have devoted much time and effort over the past 30 years to make it a truly unique property. As such, we have furnished and equipped our Sanibel house for maximum comfort. We have been fortunate to have good renters over the years - persons who appreciate our house and cared for it as if it was their own. Some have been coming back every year for the past two decades. This year we completely renovated the house, installing new floors, bathrooms and kitchen while maintaining the warmth and happy feeling that brought us so many wonderful memories over the years. We take special pride in the garden and landscaping of our Sanibel home. We have planted every tree on the house with the idea of creating a tropical paradise. Guests to our Sanibel house are welcomed to take home with them a small potted "Tahiti coconut palms". These are the "offspring" of the Tahitian coconut palms we brought from our trip to Tahiti and the South Pacific. Take home a Tahitian coconut palm from our yard and plant it in your yard. The Tahitian coconut palm will be a souvenir of your Sanibel vacation and bring back fond memories of your stay at our Sand Castle.
What makes this House unique
The Sand Castle is beautifully-designed will be specially appreciated by people who enjoy a home with a "happy feeling" - beautifully designed and decorated in simple, yet elegant, island style with all the comforts you would expect in a luxury house. The yard and pool area are magnificent. It offers a private heated swimming pool and a secluded sun deck surrounded by tropical gardens.
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 10:00 AM
No smoking inside house.
Minimum age of primary renter:25
Max guests:8 (sleeps up to 8 adults)
Children in yard and pool must be accompanied by adult. No diving in pool; no running in pool deck. No loud voices or music. No events or parties.
Please shower in garden shower before entering pool. This helps maintain chlorine level in pool and keeps water clear.
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
Nice gulf coast escape
We spent 4 nights at this property in August-2019 as a family of 7 (4 adults, 3 kids). It was perfect for our stay and completely suited our needs. The owner was a pleasure to communicate with and immediately handled a very minor issue. We would stay at this house again while visiting the Sanibel / Captiva area.
The SandCastle home is soooo beautiful and comfortable. We had an excellent family gathering without feeling like we were confined. Many spaces to enjoy!
Awesome experience and beautiful home!
We didn’t get in till late and there were no issues getting in and we were given some ideas of what to do and good restaurants in the area. Would most definitely stay in this home again!
Thank you for the 5-star ranking you gave my island home and for taking such good care of the house. I'm very happy that you enjoyed your stay and hope you come back soon.
Great family house
We spent a great long weekend with family at Sand Castle on Sanibel. The owner, Ralph, was gracious and accommodating, thoughtfully leaving a welcome gift for us upon arrival and going out of his way to make arrangements that made our stay even more enjoyable. He was very responsive and provided helpful tips on bike rental, nearby beaches, and other island highlights, like the Sunday Farmer's Market, which we visited as we biked around the island. We highly recommend renting bikes for the duration of your stay on Sanibel. The house is located on a quiet neighborhood street with easy access to the island's bike paths, which are a wonderful way to explore the island! The beds were comfortable, and we enjoyed grilling poolside while the kids swam in the pool. We were glad to have found a place where our two families could enjoy quality time together on this special island.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a positive review and for your 5-star ranking. We are most grateful that you chose our property for your Sanibel vacation and hope you come back soon. With appreciation and best wishes,
The home is warm and welcoming and the lovely surroundings afford total privacy. We loved the pool , enjoyed the grill and found the Dunes to be exceptionally well equipped. The beds were wonderful! I cannot imagine a more caring and responsive landlord than Ralph Penlaver, and my family thoroughly enjoyed our stay at The Dunes.
Thank you Peggy! You've made my day with your wonderful review. You and John were fantastic guests. What a pleasure to host you. Come back soon!
Great place to stay in Sanibel!
This house was perfect for our stay in Sanibel. There were six of us and it was the perfect size. It was exactly as described. The house was very clean and well maintained. The covered porch and heated pool were my favorite places to relax. Ralph did a great job of letting us know where everything was, gave us great tips on places to eat and things to do while we were there. He was an excellent host. The house is in a great location, close to many restaurants, the beach and Jerry's Foods (for groceries). I highly recommend renting bikes from Billy's Bikes. They delivered the bikes the day we arrived and picked them up the day we left. The bike trails on Sanibel and Captiva are amazing. We also enjoyed the Sunset Cruise at J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge and, of course, all of the beaches. I would definitely stay in this house again on a return trip and I would highly recommend this property to anyone looking for a great place to stay in Sanibel.
Thank you, Fonda, for your 5-star rating and for taking thé time to write such à wonderful review.
We strive for excellence and appreciate it greatly when our efforts are recognized by our guests. Above all, we are happy that you enjoyed your stay. Thanks for taking such good care of our house. Hope you and your family come back soon.
Best, Ralph and Ana
Sanibel Island offers fantastic opportunities for a family vacation. Over half of the island is a nature preserve. Sanibel's bicycle paths take you from the Sanibel Lighthouse on the south end of the island to Captiva Island on the north. Along the way you will pass the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, known for its migratory birds populations. Tarpon Bay offers fantastic boating and kayaking. You will not want to see the sunset cruise. Another great place to celebrate the sunset is Mucky Duck, an Irish pub in Captiva. Live music on the beach and a truly festive ambiance to watch nature's grandest spectacle. Sanibel's Farmers' Market on Sunday morning is a "must". For those who love history, the Sanibel Historical Park offers the chance to visit some of the actual homes of the island's early settlers and other places important to understand the island's history. Less than 30 minutes from the Sand Castle, you will find the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. A visit to the Edison and Ford Estates will offer fascinating insights into that era of America's history and great exhibits. Koreshan State Historic Site, 30 minutes from the house, offers interesting history and fabulous kayaking. Two hours away is the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. It is an amazing complex - a first quality art museum as good as the best of any European capital. The history of the Ringling Circus is displayed in a way that will leave you speechless. Combine a day at the Ringling with shopping and lunch or dinner at St Armand's Circle. The Boating to Sanibel's nearby islands is a delight. I highly recommend taking a cruise to Cabbage Key and having lunch or dinner at its historic restaurant. The isolated beaches of North Captiva in the north and Lovers Key offer a romantic get-away. You will see dolphins, turtles and a wide variety of birds as you cruise the waters of San Carlos Bay. An hour away from Sanibel is the city of Naples, known for its fine shops and restaurants. Drive another half hour and you will discover the beauty of the Everglades National Park. I recommend an airboat ride with a stop at one of the Micosukee Indian villages. Sports lovers will not miss the spring training centers for several major league baseball teams. The Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins both have their spring training in Ft. Myers - just 30 minutes away from the house. The Miramar Outlets, 30 minutes from the house, are world famous for top brands at the lowest prices.
But I do not exaggerate when I say that you will spend most of your time enjoying the house. The views overlooking the greens and lakes of The Dunes Golf Course are magnificent. You will enjoy the wildlife - from bald eagles flying above the house to the birds that come to bathe in the backyard fountain. One of my favorite things to do is a poolside bar-b-q, or a bonfire at night followed by a swim in the heated pool. The 65" high-definition TV is an entertainment center in itself. The 3-D movies will amaze you. The house is decorated in island style. The beds are comfy and the whole ambiance is cozy. Your family will enjoy your time together at Sanibel's Sand Castle. Thanks for taking the time to consider our Sanibel house for your family vacation.