Six accommodations on Fort Myers Beach are among 19 honorees in Lee County to have earned two prestigious designations in lodging by the state, according to the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau.
Beach Shell Inn, Harbour House at the Inn, Manatee Bay Inn Bed & Breakfast, Matanzas Inn, Silver Sands Villas and White Cap Beach Condos earned the Florida Superior Small Lodging Association award and the coveted Donal A. Dermody White Glove Award.
Beach Shell Inn, Harbour House at the Inn, Manatee Bay Inn Bed & Breakfast, Matanzas Inn and Silver Sands Villas, a winner since the mid-2000s, took home the award last year as well.
Lee County Commissioner Larry Kiker and Lee VCB Executive Director Tamara Pigott recognized SSL White Glove Award recipients at the Aug. 9 Tourist Development Council meeting. Attending were (l to r) Andrea Carriere, Silver Sands Villas; Rob Wells, Tarpon Lodge; Debra Anderson, White Cap Beach Condos; Cynthia Welch, Lahser House; and Loreal Reilly, Legacy Harbour Hotel & Suites.
The other designations went to Lahser House, Legacy Harbour Hotel & Suites, Tarpon Lodge, Two Fish Inn, Anchor Inn & Cottages, Blue Dolphin, Gulf Breeze Cottages, Mitchell's Sand Castles, The Palm View, Shalimar Resort, Signal Inn, Tropical Winds Motel & Cottages and Waterside Inn on the Beach.
"I would like to extend my congratulations to each of these Fort Myers Beach businesses," said Lee County Commissioner Larry Kiker, liaison of the Lee County Tourist Development Council. "The Superior Small Lodging White Glove Award readily identifies their business as one that maintains the highest level of operational and service standards in the accommodations industry. Their efforts reflect a commitment to the finest hospitality practices and positions our community as a premier tourism destination."
The Florida Superior Small Lodging Association (SSL) award is a statewide hospitality recognition program. In addition, Bridgewater Inn, Casa Loma and Sandpiper Inn earned the SSL designation.
The Donal A. Dermody White Glove Award is awarded to properties that receive a perfect housekeeping score of 100 percent during the annual inspection done by an outside company.
Beach Shell Inn is located at 2610 Estero Blvd. (www.beachshellinn.com). Harbour House at the Inn is located at 450 Old San Carlos Blvd. (www.harbourhouseattheinn.com). Manatee Bay Inn Bed & Breakfast is located at 932 Third St. (www.manateebayinn.com). Matanzas Inn is located at 414 Crescent St. (www.matanzasinn.com). Silver Sands Villas is located at 1207 Estero Blvd. (www.silversands-villas.com). White Cap Beach Condos is located at 2670 Estero Blvd. (www.univacus.com).
Eligibility for participation in the Lee County SSL program is restricted to accommodations with 50 room units or less. Properties must hold a valid hotel, motel, inn or bed and breakfast license and pay all applicable state and local taxes related to the operations of an accommodation.
The SSL inspection program and designation is designed to provide travelers with an easily identifiable symbol to demonstrate that the accommodation is a "clean, safe and well managed small lodging establishment, offering friendly ambiance and personal service." All property review inspections are conducted unannounced and can be repeated periodically and randomly to ensure that SSL program standards are being maintained.
The passing grade for participation in the program is 82 percent and is based on a comprehensive review process of six different property attributes: registration / operations / public places, guests accommodations, bathrooms, bathroom supplies, kitchens and property exterior. These six categories are further delineated with numerical scoring to create the 343 total point inspection system.