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Annual ‘Tween Waters Tree Lighting Celebration November 29 Promises Fun for All!

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It’s an island tradition that dates back almost two decades. More than 100,000 holiday lights in musical synchronicity. The colorful lighting of a majestic, 30-foot Christmas tree at the threshold to the Gulf of Mexico. Live holiday music. A spectacular fireworks show on the beach. Laser lights. Even real snow falling from the palm trees. All attending by a thousand or more holiday loving folks — grandparents, parents, children and grandkids.

And get this: it’s all yours to enjoy free.

Yes, it’s the annual ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa Tree Lighting Celebration, when the Official Beach Resort of Captiva Island — and its parent corporation, Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts — extends a hearty and heart-felt thank you to all of our guests, past and present, local and from around the world. After the day’s festivities, be sure to reserve dinner via OpenTable at Old Captiva House here or Crow’s Nest Bar & Grille here.

Here’s another bonus: book your Thanksgiving weekend at any Sanibel Captiva Beach Resort — ‘Tween Waters, West Wind Inn, Beachview Cottages, Castaways Cottages or Sanibel Captiva Island Vacation Rentals — and you’ll gain special access to this one-of-a-kind event you won’t want to miss. Choose your resort, choose your beach and choose your style here — then book direct for guaranteed lowest rates, no resort fees, a $100 Resort Rewards coupon book, 20 free services and amenities and (oh yes), memories to last a lifetime.

Caprese Salad

Gluten-Free Dining at Old Captiva House

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Dietary restrictions are becoming increasingly frequent and restaurants have adapted to those restrictions in efforts to make dining at a restaurant a more inclusive experience, and Old Captiva House has been leading the way on Sanibel and Captiva Islands.

Gluten-free dining is a challenge for those who suffer from Celiac disease or similar issues, and often restaurants can’t or don’t cater to all food sensitivities. At Old Captiva House, diners choose from a variety of gluten-free options.

Start the night off with Roasted Shrimp and Jumbo Lump Blue Crab Cocktail with classic cocktail sauce, or enjoy Pan Seared Sea Scallops with watermelon cucumber salad and white balsamic reduction. Both are seafood options, so if you’re looking for something fresh without the sea, start with a Grilled Caprese salad, including grilled beef steak tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, arugula, basil pesto and lemon infused white balsamic; or the classic wedge, which includes sugar cured bacon, baby heirloom tomatoes, red onions and a Catalina blue cheese dressing. Both are priced at only $10 and will start off any gluten-free menu perfectly.

Moving to entrees, diners choose from a variety of options from the land and sea. Island seafood favorites include the Grouper, Chilean Seabass or Blackened Snapper. For land-lovers, there’s a Slow Roasted Half Duck, Pomegranate Glazed Lamb Chops, Filet, or Vegan Delight (including pan seared vegetables and coconut jasmine rice). Ad lobster, scallops or shrimp to any of these options as well.

Whatever your dietary restrictions, be it a special diet, vegetarian or vegan, gluten-free or dairy-free, Old Captiva House is catering to guests to help them get the most out of their dining experience.

Old Captiva House Breakfast Menu — A Fresh New Look on the Morning

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Change can be hard to swallow. But when we’re talking about something as delicious as this, it’s not so bad.

Starting last year, The Old Captiva House decided to let guests have more options removing the free breakfast buffet and changing to an a la carte new breakfast menu. This gives guests the liberty to get whatever they want from The Old Captiva House’s breakfast menu. No more worrying about your favorite dish being out. No more hurrying in the morning to get the freshest plate you can get. No more excuses from picky eaters that might be on vacation with you (KIDS). And the best part, no more paying for a breakfast in your room price that you might not have redeemed.

With this change of direction comes an entire new menu with a little bit of something for everyone. If you’re looking for drinks, our freshly roasted coffee, espresso or even the double espresso will definitely jumpstart your morning. If you’re looking for a beverage that come with a small snack, our Bloody Mary’s are Captiva famous just for that. Or if you’re looking to keep the tropical vibe, why not go with some freshly squeezed Florida orange juice or a mimosa.

As for the food, there’s plenty of options for just about anyone. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean your diet has to as well. The Old Captiva House has an ample number of dishes that will satisfy any guest who is health conscientious. The fruit and granola bowl or a bowl of yogurt are the staples of keeping it nutritious. Or, if you’re looking to keep it light in the morning, a fresh bagel with cream cheese or a bowl of oatmeal should do just the trick. But if you’re looking to keep it relatively healthy while getting your money’s worth, try out our veggie omelet – three eggs with zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, red onions, fresh mushrooms and feta cheese.

On the other hand, you are on vacation so you might as well go all in. What better way to do that than order up a sweet dish like our daily pastry or muffin? Or, straight from the griddle and perfect for the kiddo, The Old Captiva House offers up some mouthwatering grand mariner French toast or buttermilk pancakes. If you like meat with your breakfast, the steak and eggs with cheesy grits is a must order. Either that or, if you prefer it in sandwich form, cheddar bagel steak and eggs sandwich will do just the trick.

If you’re looking for a slice of local flavor in a dish, The Old Captiva House has many signature dishes to offer up as well. Try the OCH Omelet, three eggs with Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, ham, peppers, tomatoes, fresh mushrooms and onions. The Captiva House Hash definitely screams Southwest Florida with two eggs cooked anyway you like, on top of shrimp sausage and three colored potato hash and hollandaise. If neither of those sound like your thing, the Lobster Benedict is a great choice with a toasted English muffin, cold water Maine lobster meat, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and potatoes.

With these many options, order what you want and when you want it. After all, you are in paradise.

A Classic is Reborn: The New Old Captiva House Officially Welcomes You.

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It stands on the site of Captiva Island’s very first schoolhouse that opened its doors in 1908 to a few pioneering students and families. In 1931, when the first overnight guests to Captiva Island checked in at the new ‘Tween Waters Inn, Grace Price treated guests to homemade meals at Old Captiva House while husband F. Bowman Price tended to their fishing excursions.

Across the many years since, Old Captiva House has welcomed tens of thousands of guests to its tables — notable names like Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, J.N. “Ding” Darling, Roger Tory Peterson and more, as well as equally notable names like you.

Today, May 14, 2019, a new chapter of Old Captiva House has officially been written. After more than a year in the works and one-million-dollars-plus of investment, Old Captiva House has been re-envisioned and re-created to once again stand as the top island dining destination for its classic styling, contemporary design, breathtaking beauty and mouthwatering cuisine. And this National Registry of Historic Places landmark is ready to welcome you and your family to experience it all, for breakfast or dinner.

Chief Executive Officer Tony Lapi is excited. “Old Captiva House has a long tradition as a top-rated TripAdvisor Captiva Island restaurant,” he explains. “The time had come to ‘up our game’ and over-deliver to our guests with a new Old Captiva House that combines its classic style and feel with bright and beautiful additions.”

Laurent Bosc serves as Food & Beverage Director of Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts, and has led a team of highly talented foodservice professionals — including Executive Chef Greg Nelson, sous chefs, servers and attendants — in creating an exciting new menu of Florida-fresh favorites, along with the highest standard of service to be enjoyed on the islands. Bonus: this talented team gets to perform their magic in a sparkling all-new kitchen that rivals any in Southwest Florida for state-of-the-art preparation and presentation.

Chief Operating Officer Doug Babcock anticipates that guests — both those who’ve visited the resort in years past as well as local residents — will be wowed. “The new Old Captiva House is simply remarkable, the moment you walk through those famous doors that front the Gulf of Mexico,” he says. “Your eyes literally wander from here to here to there, with so many ‘wow moments’ as you take it all in.”

Drawing from its historic past, Old Captiva House features a delightful “Darling Gallery,” a collection of original J.N. “Ding” Darling illustrations that — over his many years as guest — he would sketch in ‘Tween Waters Inn’s registration book. The illustrations are sometimes fun, sometimes silly, but altogether fascinating in their “slice of life” in the 1940s and 50s.

Open to the public (breakfast and dinner) and available for weddings, Old Captiva House has indeed embarked on a new chapter in its remarkable history. Be a part of it — make your reservations now to see, taste and experience the best dining on Captiva Island, with a Gulf-front view of Captiva’s romantic and beautiful sunsets, no extra charge.

Visit OldCaptivaHouse.com or call 239.472.5161 (Extension 421) for reservations.

the new old captiva house tween waters

How Old Captiva House Became Old Captiva House and the New Old Captiva House

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In the early 1900s, Captiva was truly a “tropical paradise,” populated by select families of inhabitants who were adventurous, courageous, hard-working and hot weather loving — the first and second generations of American founders of the island.

As the first pioneers of Captiva began to have families, educating the children became an important “civic” issue and in 1908, a one-room schoolhouse was built for reading, writing, arithmetic and more. The site of that school is where today’s Old Captiva House resides.

Both ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa, along with Old Captiva House, have been designated Historic Landmarks by the United States and Lee County. As a result, as Old Captiva House is nearing completion of its historic re-creation in kitchen facilities, amenities and restaurant décor, certain aspects of the structure have been preserved.

However, as a grand opening nears this May, the new Old Captiva House will inspire diners both with its stunning visual appeal, as well as the outstanding, mouthwatering culinary delights that Executive Chef Greg Nelson and his team will be creating nightly.

We encourage you to follow us here, as well on social media including our Facebook page, for exciting announcements, sneak peeks and other treats awaiting Sanibel, Captiva and Southwest Florida at the all-new Old Captiva House. We can’t wait, and we know our many fans and followers feel that same way. Stay tuned!

old captiva schoolhouse
old captiva house tween waters rendering

The new Old Captiva House: Coming soon to a legendary beach resort near you.

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More than 110 years ago, Captiva Island’s first schoolhouse welcomed its first class of children to a small, one room white building perfectly situated between the Gulf of Mexico to the west, and Pine Island Sound to the east.

Some 20 years later, in 1926, that building served as the site of the first “recreation destination” on Captiva — a fishing camp where sportsmen followed the lead of President Teddy Roosevelt and enjoyed waters rich with tarpon, redfish, grouper, snapper and other delights (not to mention remarkable nature, from dolphins to manatee to gators, as well as breathtaking natural beauty). Five years later, ‘Tween Waters Inn welcomed its first overnight guests, and a restaurant called Old Captiva House served to satisfy the appetites of those guests.

Sometime in the next few weeks, ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa will celebrate the grand re-creation and opening of the new Old Captiva House — a stunning realization of architectural style and grace, coupled with one of TripAdvisor’s top Captiva menus, in a remarkable beachfront location that is, in fact, recognized on the National Registry of Historic Places.

With such a designation, the architects and visionaries of the Old Captiva House were required to retain and respect certain aspects of the original, historic structure. Upon its much anticipated opening, guests will find a breathtaking transformation of one of Captiva Island’s classic restaurants (with an all-new in-house bar) — true in some respects to its origins, yet contemporary in every other way.

Parent corporation Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts has funded this extensive project to more than $1 million — representing once again the corporation’s dedication to bring local, regional, national and international guests the very best vacation experience.

In addition, an entirely new kitchen has been constructed in concert with the Old Captiva House re-creation — bringing a state-of-the-art culinary, creative setting for Executive Chef Greg Nelson and his team to dream big and delivery the biggest, best dining experience anywhere on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Note: Old Captiva House also serves as a romantic, perfect reception option for brides and grooms who dream of once-in-a-lifetime beach weddings.

Parent corporation Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts has funded this extensive project to more than $1 million — representing, once again, the corporation’s dedication to reinvest in its product, with the goal of bringing local, regional, national and international guests the very best vacation experience — which of course includes an out-of-this-world experience in food, flavors, wines, desserts, decor, natural beauty, friendly camaraderie and fun. An experience you’ll want to repeat, again and again.

Stay tuned, as the new Old Captiva House is coming soon to the Official Beach Resort of Captiva Island. You’ll want to make your reservations early, and often. Visit our website here for updates or follow us on Facebook here.

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