FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Security and Emergencies. 911 Service is available and our island crew is standing by in the event of an emergency. There are hospitals a short distance away on the mainland. Because there is no bridge to the island, traffic and tourists are virtually nonexistent with resulting absence of crime. See LGI Fire & Rescue.
The neighborhood. There are about 400 single family homes and about 130 individual condo units on the island. The Rondavel is located away from the condos on the south end. Click here for Google map.
Water. Safe to drink from the tap/faucet. We use county water, not well or cisterns.
WIFI. There is free Wifi at the house. Please bring your own wireless phone or other mobile device. Good reception available.
Fishing: Rods / License / Guide. Two rods are available. If you bring your own lines, tackle, and bait, you can catch a variety of fish from the dock or beach. If you don’t bring your own fishing gear, you can take advantage of several deep sea fishing excursions. Bait for purchase is available at Eldred’s Marina.
You do not need a saltwater fishing license if you are under 16 years of age, a Florida resident 65 years of age or older, planning on using a fishing guide, or if you are a resident and plan on fishing off the dock or from the beach. You will need a license if you fish from a boat. Details can be found at http://marinefisheries.org/license.htm and http://www.takemefishing.org/state/FL/FL-fishing-license-and-regulations/
There are many guides in the area. Make your reservations early as these are some of the best guides in the area and they book up quickly.
What to bring. Not much… see our checklist of vacation essentials. The Rondavel already has beach towels, bed linens, and every kitchen utensil you can think of. Pack light!!! You will probably spend the entire time in a bathing suit or shorts and a t-shirt. There are two washers and two dryers in the house. Pack light!!!
The Rondavel has its own list of amenities and furnishings. Please check this first to see what you may need in addition to what is already provided.
There are a variety of cooking spices and condiments provided. We have an informal “co-op” arrangement. Use what you need and leave any extra non-perishables behind. If there is a favorite spice or condiment that you must have or simply cannot live without, be sure to bring it with you.
Items provided include:
- Beach bags
- Bedding, bath & beach towels
- First-aid kit
- Gas grill
- Herbs & spices
- Inflatable kiddie pool (good for afternoon on the lower deck)
- Water is great – absolutely no need to bring bottled. We are hooked up to county water.
The most important thing to bring? Laid back and ready to relax attitude. Remember, it’s not resort living but island living!
Clothes (Very little!)
- Flip flops, water shoes
For children bring:
- Antibacterial wipes
- Diapers (do not flush down toilet)
- Ibuprofen, Band-aids, Benadryl etc.
- Bait for fishing
- Bug spray (Off) and Avon Skin So Soft or Lemon Eucalyptus for no-see-ums
- Cash for water taxi/parking/ massage
- Feminine products (do not flush down toilet)
- Personal items
- Cell Phone and charger
- Sunscreen – an enormous amount / Zinc for nose and cheeks AND aloe lotion
- Toiletries: including shampoo
Keep it simple. Food and drink – lots. Champers for morning mimosas? Bring beer and soda cans vs glass as empty cans are lighter to carry as trash when leaving island.
- Paper towels & paper tissue
- Plastic wrap/foil/either zip lock bags or lingerie wash bag for shelling
- (1) shower/bath; (2) detergent; (3) dish liquid; (4) dishwasher pods
- Toilet paper
- Trash bags – extra large
- (they will hold 2-3 regular bags and will be cheaper to discard)
- Tea, Coffee/Filter/Keurig/Nespresso, Cream, Milk, Sugar, Sweetener, Juices, Bread, Eggs, Butter, Bacon, Waffles, Fruit, Jams, Cheeses
- Sandwich meats, cans of tuna etc, peanut butter, rolls, condiments
- Meats, fish, chicken, vegetables, garlic, rice, pastas, spaghetti sauce, potatoes, tacos, tortillas
- Chips and dip (avocados), Nuts, Candy, Cookies, Granola bars, Chocolate
Purchasing of Groceries
There are no stores on the island. You will need to buy all your groceries before you meet the water taxi or before you launch your boat. The trick is to be organized and make a shopping list so that when you get to the island, you don’t have to go back for provisions. Plan a menu and list of groceries needed. Work out your meals in advance – 5 meals and 2 leftovers or restaurant on mainland.
- The house has a crockpot.
- Precooked or frozen meals (lasagna) or casseroles also a good way to go.
- Grilling: steaks, burgers, hot dogs
There are two Publix grocery stores on your way to the island about 2 miles from Eldred’s Marina. Publix is a large, clean, well-organized grocery store with an excellent reputation throughout Florida. Adjacent to Publix is a liquor store. There is also a Walmart in Englewood which is further away. The closer you buy your items to the island, the longer they will last. When checking out of Publix, please ask the clerk to double bag your order for your trip to the island. They sometimes call this a “boat bag”; it is a paper bag with a plastic bag wrapped around it. Tie the plastic straps so nothing falls out. This makes it easier and safer to transport your groceries in the boat. You might want to bring an ice chest or insulated bags for the perishables. Publix sells a cheap ice chest that will serve the purpose. There is also many sizes of ice chests & on wheels for transportation to/from the beach at The Rondavel. In addition, the golf cart has a utility box for coolers etc.
There is also a concierge service to meet you at the dock with our golf cart (if you’ve hired one from us) to help you take your groceries and belongings to the house for $40 round trip. Other concierge services could be negotiated – groceries/boat rides etc. Let us know if you wish to utilize any of the services.
Check-in Time. Check-in is anytime after 3:00 p.m. on your arrival date. Early or late check-in times are always possible but please make arrangements in advance. If the Rondavel is not rented the morning of your arrival, check-in time is fairly loose. If you arrive before 3:00 p.m. and the cleaners are busy, you can always place your items temporarily in the fridge downstairs and enjoy the beach.
Keys for the house. We will email you the code numbers for the lockbox which contains the keys to the house.
The day before departure. If it is applicable, you should call the water taxi to reconfirm your departure time.
Check-out time. Checkout is anytime before 10:00 a.m. on your departure date.
Garbage. Remember there is no garbage service on the Island. You are responsible for removing all of your garbage. It goes with you on the water taxi or on your boat. Eldred’s Marina will take your garbage for $3.00 per bag regardless of size. Use large garbage bags and save yourself some money.
LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE AREA
The Englewood Chamber of Commerce has an excellent website with a very nice Visitor’s Center. The Visitor’s Center has lots of information about boat rentals, beaches, and restaurants.
What is Little Gasparilla Island? The Stories – The Legends – The Lives 1909 – 2016 by Sue and George Paskert. This book is a History of Little Gasparilla Island. It includes stories told by residents of the island, as well as family photos. This book also includes portraits of the island’s beauty.
Article in Ocala Style Magazine 2019: Spring Break in Old Florida. See here.
The State of Florida’s official website has lots of really good information on fishing and boating.
This Englewood , Florida Guide offers a great “Things To Do” section with discount coupons for area attractions and restaurants including a 10% discount for The Fishery Restaurant. The Fishery Restaurant is across the bay from the Rondavel, is right on the water so it has a boat dock, and is highly recommended.
A useful weather page.
Don Pedro Island State Park is located a quarter mile north of Gasparilla Villa. This website gives useful information about Don Pedro and the photographs were taken from our beach.
Cayo Costa State Park is a really cool park located just south of Boca Grande pass. The pass is located 10 miles south, and is at the south end of Gasparilla Island. Gasparilla Island is the next island south of Little Gasparilla Island. Gasparilla pass separates the two islands. It is only assessable by boat but is worthy of a day visit.
Gasparilla Island State Park has a really cool lighthouse museum and visitor center. You can drive there from Eldred’s Marina as access is via the Boca Grande Causeway right there at the marina.
The Charlotte Sun is the local newspaper’s web site. It does contain information about boating, fishing, beaches, clubs and organizations, dining and entertainment along with art and culture.
The Florida Sportsman discusses fishing, boats and regulations. If you are a fisherman, this site, although it has lots of advertising, is worth spending some time.