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“Great spot for 4th of July Celebration!” 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 #28 of 46 Hotels in Sarasota
Sarasota, Florida
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Great spot for 4th of July Celebration!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

We have stayed here many times and always really have a great time. We went with our family to enjoy the fireworks on the beach and the boat races. What brings us back is the extreme friendliness of the staff. They go out of their way to make your stay very comfortable. Even the guys doing maintenance would stop and talk to us and say hello each morning. The manager makes himself very visible and is constantly monitoring the hotel and facilities. What stands out about The Helmsley is the fact you see the same employees year after year and they seem to really enjoy their jobs. Yes, the hotel is dated but very clean and well maintained. I love to stay at a hotel and return and love it just as much as the first time, The Helmsley does this every time!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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932 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 (272)
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St. Petersburg, Florida
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

Stayed at this hotel right on the beach with another couple for a last minute getaway. Were able to get a beachfront unit w/o a reservation on the 4th of July weekend. A bit pricey for an older place ($260.) but we were happy to find a place right on the beach. An older three story hotel with plenty of rooms, two huge pools, a restaurant on sight (dinner was ok but breakfast buffet was better), tiki bar. Rooms were large and very clean considering it was an older hotel right on the beach. Beds were super comfortable, nice clean towels including bath sheets (a nice plus), even an inroom safe. Best part was we had not only a view but a door that went out to a small shared balcony with adjoining room. Really sweet as we were right on the beach. Great place for coffee or sunset. Super busy weekend with lots of guests but the staff was EXCELLENT! They were really great with service and seemed super friendly. Free beach towels for both poolside and the beach itself. Free chaise lounges, umbrellas for a small fee. Three huge thatch roof tiki huts that could be reserved for guests which we took shelter under when it rained. Best part was that we didn't have to leave the resort if we didn't want to. And we had front row seats for the Sarasota Grand Prix boat races on Sunday. That was great. Would definitely stay here again. Great job making our stay so enjoyable.

Room Tip: Stayed in 262, beach front. Very quiet.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

We have stayed at this property for years for the July 4 boat races. It is a great location - boats are directly off shore and you can float while watching the race. Great poolside bar - they tend to be a little less than perfectly nice on the holiday, but I guess that is to be expected? The property itself is dated, but I think it is "Florida quaint." And I've never found it to be anything but very clean. The on site restaurant is decent and (other than the poolside bartenders) the staff are all super nice - we see the same folks every year. The real draw for us is the proximity to St Armand's Circle -LOVE IT. You can't really walk it but there is a hotel limo service available (free), you just have to plan to be back by 10pm if you use it. We just drive up and plan to be patient looking for a parking spot. The price of the rooms is a bit steep given the age of the property, but it is location here that you pay for, and that makes it a good value on the 4th (just check with the Ritz next door and you will agree).

Room Tip: For the July 4 races you want a second or third floor gulf front - priceless if it rains!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Saint Louis, Missouri
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

My family was going on an extended vacation and wanted a lower cost beach location than what we were finding. My husband found this location and we booked it.

The key to enjoying your stay here is to have the proper expectations. It is not a luxury facility and may look a little dated BUT it is very clean and you cannot get a better location. We stayed in a courtyard room and I would highly recommend that. We were able to sit on chairs outside our rooms and enjoy the nice weather.

The only drawback was that you do not get a microwave or access to a microwave without paying for it. A microwave is available for $10/day. Since we have a family and don't like to eat out all the time, this is a must for us.

Pools were great and the beach service also a benefit. They place lounge chairs on the beach each day and they are complimentary. If you want an umbrella, it is $10/day or $50/week but again a good deal.

This hotel is directly across the street from a Florida State Park with nature trails. We had a blast going on "adventures" through the trails and would highly recommend, if you like that type of thing.

Room Tip: We enjoyed the courtyard room.
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  • Stayed July 2013, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

We used this hotel as our preferred hotel for our guests to stay at for our wedding this past weekend. Needless to say we were NOT impressed. Upon arrival the front desk staff was not friendly and rude when I asked to speak to the woman we did our booking for the rehearsal dinner (at the hotel) as well as our farewell brunch she was unavailable and I was passed to three different people before any one could answer any questions I had. I had to ask to see our rehearsal dinner room as well as to meet the manager in charge of our events. I was expecting them to be much friendlier and willing to show us around, especially since we had over 25 rooms booked with them and two meals. After the rehearsal dinner our guests overheard the manager in charge of our rehearsal complaining to the bartender how they we not making any money off of our event???? Unacceptable to complain in front of guests and they made plenty of money from our event.

The rooms were okay, somewhat dated. Had to call to get housekeeping to come up but they did once we requested them.

The servers both days (Saturday and Sunday) for breakfast were not friendly. I guess as the bride I expected better service that what was received. It was not told to us that 16% gratuity was already added. I work at a very well know resort and we add 18% gratuity but our servers are required to tell all guests. Otherwise people few like it is intentionally hidden, this is exactly how we felt.

During our brunch on Sunday my new husband and I were told by our rude waitress that we had to have our breakfast vouchers! We are the new bride and groom!!! My parents event put money down for the breakfast prior. So once again expecting great service because we spent a lot of money there and we just go married we were harassed by the waitress to go back to our room to get our breakfast vouchers. After her asking for them for the 5th time I asked to speak to the manager. Well then it wasn't an issue to just add two more to the total count for the brunch!?! So instead of being able to enjoy brunch with our guests before we all checked out we were harassed about breakfast vouchers. Extremely disappointing.

We do not plan on returning to the Helmsley and do not recommend anyone who wants great customer service to stay there.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

We stayed here in a wedding block which brought the price down. If we had to pay the normal rate I would be livid! The staff was very cold and short with us the whole time we were there. The rooms only offer double or king beds, no queen! Housekeeping was wonderful but front desk and wait staff deserved ZERO tip. Maybe they didn't care because they were already guaranteed a 16% tip with all checks. The food was NOT worth the price and the drinks were flat. We ended up going out and stocking our room ourselves. The pool and beach were great which was probably the only positive. It was a typical run down beach motel and I'd rather be at the holiday inn down the street. Never again!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jamison, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

What a great place to stay.My wife and I spent a week here in June 2013 and we wouldn't hesitate to go back.Location is better than perfect, being less than 15 minutes from Sarasota airport and 5 minutes from tons of shopping and restaurants,but the best is it is right on the private white sand beach of the gulf.Staff was very courteous and efficient thruout our stay.Check-in only took about 2 minutes.I paid the extra for a Gulf view room on 3rd level and it was worth it,I only wish the balcony was a little bigger.From it you look directly on to the beach and beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico.The room was great for us but if you have kids running around, it may be a little small.2 queen beds were very comfortable,fridge coffee maker,TV and table for laptops were indispensable, and of course the air conditioner---it worked like a champ keeping me comfortable and my wife in sweatshirts, constantly trying to sneak turn it down ( you guys know what I mean)..They also provide a free( I repeat FREE) safe in the room for any valuables if you want to use it.Housekeeping was very thorough and courteous and gave whatever "extras" asked for.Beach staff wouldn't let me haul 2 chaise lounges,but insisted on bring them over for us instantly.The beach was nice white sand and I actually liked it better than Siesta Key beach( voted #1 in America), which is the next beach south of here(maybe 2 miles), mainly since it was quite as crowded.There were plenty of people at this beach of all ages and there was plenty of room,and hardly any noise.The water was awesome around 81 degrees with super small waves.Just off the beach there are 2 heated pools of quite decent size,with plenty of friendly people and families using them( at about 85 degrees they were like the Caribbean( which is my favorite water!!),and a poolside bar with drinks and food galore.We only ate at the restaurant on the first nite,and had a moderately prices BBQ buffet,food and service were good and had their breakfast Buffet the next morning which was a great value with good food (around $10). On site parking was great and easily accessible and they have an elevator as well as stairs to go up or down.In all due to the friendliness of staff and residents,the quietness of everyone(no blaring radios etc or wild screaming kids) and beauty of the beach( also plenty of bikinis) and gulf waters and sunsets that are gorgeous over the gulf we relaxed quite a bit and thus the 5 stars.Can't wait to go back, but book way ahead of time to get a room for sure.

Room Tip: gor for the 3rd or 4th floors for best views of beach and gulf, 3rd floor is highest level of parkin...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
#10 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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