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“Stay for the location.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach

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Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1540 Ben Franklin Dr, Sarasota, FL 34236 (Formerly Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #29 of 48 Hotels in Sarasota
Cardiff, Wales, UK
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Stay for the location.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012

We had a four night stay here after a stop in Orlando. I was a little dubious about our choice after reading earlier reviews but was pleasantly surprised. It is a three star hotel, so I'm not sure why others had higher expectations, but the view is five star.
We had a little mix up when we arrived because somehow Expedia had double booked us, but Victoria at reception quickly got it ironed out for us. Our room had two small double beds but it wasn't a cramped room even with four of us and eight suitcases. We were gulf front and on the top floor so our view of the beach from the balcony was outstanding (I will post a photo or two later). We had no problem with noise and slept well.
The pool area was clean with plenty of lounges and fluffy free towels. The two pools were clean, if just a little tatty with chipped paint. The beach was easy to access and so beautiful to walk on. Each day the maintenance guy cleaned the beach of seaweed and smoothed the sand over, he also took the time to find me when I dropped my camera case walking on the beach to return it to me. Great service. Air conditioning worked well but as I like a breeze I also asked for a fan from reception and they delivered that to my room very quickly.
My one small complaint would be that the maid service was a little rough around the edges. There was some candy beside the bed from a previous visitor and it was still there four days later, when we saw the maid, she kept hinting about needing her gratuities for her holiday as if she was asking for a bigger tip, we had already left a sizeable gratuity for her each day so that wasn't appreciated.
Aside from that it was a perfect location and a good hotel for its star rating. I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again.

Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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865 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (244)
Date | Rating
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English first
Evansville, Indiana
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

Great staff. Great Location. Great Beach. Go to Tim, the asst. mgr. with ANY needs and he'll set you up. All the food is a little pricey so I'd suggest taking the free shuttle to St. Arm's Circle for all your meals, same cost but more enjoyable. I see myself becoming a regular guest!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

We had a lovely stay in this hotel, with rooms directly over-looking the sea and a balcony. It's very relaxing and the pool was not too busy, even though we were there over the American Labor Day weekend. People move between the sea the pool very easily. The sunsets are outstanding, with plenty of sea birds to watch, the restaurant food was good and the staff were very friendly and helpful. The beach is not crowded and you do not have to pay for the sunbeds. I would have preferred for breakfast to be included in the price as this did add to our costs, but we enjoyed the food nonetheless. Hope to return one day.
Nearby I would recommend eating and shopping at St Armand's Circle, a boat trip from Mote marine centre / aquarium, where we got to see dolphins in the wild and to look at birds and other local wildlife. Interesting talks from a marine biologist on board. Also, if you like nature, I recommend a drive to the Myakka national state park, where you can see alligators in the wild, in a beautiful setting.

Room Tip: Well worth paying the extra for a sea-facing room.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wausau, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

I really enjoyed this hotel. It is right on the soft, white sand beach. They provide chairs and towels. They also have a nice bar by the pool. The room wasn't perfect, but keep in mind that this is a three star hotel. It was great where it mattered. The beds are comfortable, the sheets and towels are nice, and the rooms were very clean every day. There were great amenities including mini fridges, flat screen TVs, and free safes. This hotel is also perfectly located. It is close to downtown, but not so close that it is busy or noisy. Overall this hotel was definitely worth the money and made our trip that much better.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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White Plains, New York
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

Photo is deceiving as it shows only the beach side part of the hotel. We were under the impression the whole property was like the photo so we were disappointed at the motel style layout but made the best of it. Whole property is somewhat outdated but our poolside room was clean and comfortable. Maintenance staff is very friendly and helpful but some of the front desk personnel can strive to be a little more pleasant. Overall, our week's stay was nice but we spent most of our time by the pool which was not what we went on vacation for. We wanted to enjoy the beach but it was covered with seaweed most of our stay. We were told that it was due to a storm back in July and that they had to wait until no more seaweed washed to shore (like that ever happens); no effort was made to clear the seaweed on a daily basis; should have been done early morning so guests could enjoy a somewhat clean beach and not let it pile up until you had to walk thru about six feet of it in order to get into the water. On fifth day there, someone finally went out to start removing seaweed. Management should take into consideration that most guests are only there for a week or so and a clean beach rates very high on our 'must have' and reflects on their property so every effort should be made to keep it clean at all times regardless of how other properties take care of their own. Overall, aside from the seaweed and another minor issue, we had a pleasant stay. We might try this property again in a few years :-)..

Room Tip: Ocean view and poolside rooms are best but are more expensive.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Centerville,Ohio
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

Great place to relax. We have been coming to the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel for 30 years and always enjoy the time we spend here. Two pools and private beach you never want to leave. St. Armands is about 1 mile away and has wonderful shopping and resturants. Pool bar is fun and Kelly will take good care of you!

Room Tip: We like the Gulf view rooms but would be happy in most of the rooms!
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Clermont, Florida, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

What a wonderful beach weekend for the family. Our poolside room was just the perfect location. Steps to the pool, steps to the beach, steps to the family-friendly restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. The decor isn't modern and lavish, but we spent most waking hours outside anyway. If you want luxury, go next door to the Beach Club by Ritz where you will pay substantially more. We saw no reason to pay those extra dollars. The Helmsley has 2 pools, plenty of pool/beach towels available, and great beach access. It's really hard to beat. If you have small children, you may want to ask about a room with a bath tub rather than only a walk-in shower. We had a small patio outside our room's front door, which was a nice seating area to relax and read the paper in the morning. The room had a little refrigerator to keep snacks and juice boxes for the kids. Overall, we had a fabulous stay. The staff was friendly and very accommodating to families as well as the retired guests. We will stay there again!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach

Address: 1540 Ben Franklin Dr, Sarasota, FL 34236 (Formerly Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel)
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sarasota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Sarasota
#11 Romantic Hotel in Sarasota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach 3*
Number of rooms: 179
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A tropical paradise at the Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach in Sarasota, FloridaSandcastle Resort at Lido Beach has a relaxing sunny resort flavor, with a storybook seaside setting on a 600 foot strand of private, natural white sand beach on the Gulf of Mexico.Sun. Sand. Swaying Palm Trees. And Great Service, Too. You'll be treated to thoughtful touches, such as a morning newspaper and a small refrigerator for chilling beverages and snacks. Free wifi is also available throughout the property. Plus the pleasures of outdoor dining for both breakfast and lunch are virtually right outside your door. What's more, our recreation staff can provide personalized sailing lessons. There's a convenient Gift Shop on premises and we're within easy walking distance of popular St. Armands Circle, with its fine shopping and entertainment attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Helmsley Sandcastle Sarasota
Sarasota Helmsley Sandcastle
Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel Sarasota

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