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“Ok - it'll have to do now we are here !” 2 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 #30 of 48 Hotels in Sarasota
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Ok - it'll have to do now we are here !”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014

We checked in middle of the evening, it was dark, having just flown over from Dublin, via Newark. If we had stayed here 20 years ago it would have been fantastic. Have they spent any money on it since then, I doubt it. It is a run down property that we think was going to be sold to be developed or rebuilt into apartments. Staff were at their best - average, food from the bar or in the restaurant again - average, Pool Bar - not even average! However its position on the beach - wonderful ! Our room, at the back overlooking the car park. Could have done with a room overlooking the beach and maybe one with a balcony, had it been offered. Would have gladly paid the difference. Upon enquiring the following morning, told 'we are full' what a load of Bull. Thankfully we were only there for 5 nights, before heading down to Miami and a cruise on Ncl through the Panama. There are many restaurants nearby, not within walking distance though, thankfully we had a car. Would we stay there again? I don't think so. However would we stay in the same area again, a big definite Yes!

Room Tip: Check out the rates for a front, upstairs, balcony rooms. They are the best.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eddie S, General Manager at Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach, responded to this review, April 4, 2014
I am sorry to hear of your disappointment in our property and I do apologize for that. We are working on upgrading the property, as well a the service levels; so we may have a product you can be happy with and would consider visiting us again.

Thank you for the business and again I do apologize.

Regards,
Eddie Sipple
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826 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 (230)
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Ellicott City, Maryland
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

OK, look, this property is old, but its not run down. My mom is old, and she's not run down either.....just old. My kids say I'm old, I am....I'm not run down tho.

Here is what you get, a clean property, decent staff who seemed to care, on the beach, like right on the beach, two heated pools, lots of chairs, a restaurant, a bar, a small basic out door bar, clean rooms, a basic lobby, free wifi everywhere.

Here is what you don't get. You don't get fancy, you don't get wow, except the beach view, you don't get over priced drinks or food, you don't get wild night life....oh and you don't get great access to the one computer in the lobby. My only complaint. The one computer to print out boarding passed has full internet access, so guests will sit there forever looking at the internet. I would suggest they put the software on there that only gives you access to airline check in sites. This was annoying and no one from the hotel monitored this. I finally gave up and set my alarm for midnight and went over then to print my boarding pass.

And someone said no shopping? Well that's correct because this place is on the beach, and shopping is just down the street at St Armand's. Yes they are quaint, boutique shops...I sure don't want all the chain stores I can get back home. And the "traffic problem", well coming into Lido Beach there was never a problem, only on Saturday between 4 and 7 was it packed trying to get out of Lido Beach.

There are not many options here, oh someone said Holiday Inn. Its not on the beach. I paid $215 a night, which included taxes at the Sandcastle.

Room Tip: A pool view room is nice.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eddie S, General Manager at Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach, responded to this review, March 24, 2014
Thank you for the comments regarding our resort. I will share them with the staff so they can see how you rated your stay with us. We do appreciate you taking the time to write a review.

Again, thank you, and we hope you will visit us again.

Regards,
Eddie S.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

The Sandcastle Resort is a quite modest place in a fancy neighborhood....and much preferable to some of the fancy places nearby. We wanted to stay on Longboat, and this was one of the few places on the beach with rooms in March at less than $300/night. We spent five days at the Sandcastle, and had a great getaway. The beach is heads and tails above the Ritz Carlton's beach next door, which is so small the beach chairs with their white towels are crammed in. Lots of space and some nice shady thatched huts on the Sandcastle beach, with eager attendant to get you chairs and towels. Two large pools nicely heated also available if you don't want to swim in the cold (in March) Gulf waters.

We stayed in a poolside room, which actually afforded a partial ocean view. The best part of the room was that it had a good size fridge, since we like to keep fruit, yogurt, cheese, and other snack items. It was okay size, but had two double beds sted of a queen or king. The thing we missed most was some kind of balcony to sit and have snacks and drinks.

We were pleasantly surprised by the hotel restaurant. Modest, but always very nice food. And you can sit outside with a view of the beach and ocean. Breakfast was the best--a small buffet for $12. I loved the scrambled eggs (never over done) and there was always a nice sweet item or two, either waffles or blintzes, along with excellent muffins. The restaurant is important because, during the busy season, you don't want to venture out if you can avoid it since traffic is so heavy and backed up. We had dinner at the Sandcastle a couple nights and, once again, food very good. I had an excellent grouper sandwich one night. And the small poolside bar was okay--they had happy hour with 29 cent chicken wings a few times.

My main complaints were with the wifi--it was terrible. When I mentioned it to the hotel clerks, they just kind of nodded, as if they had heard it before.

Overall, though, a very nice, well maintained, modest hotel.

Room Tip: I'd opt for at least a poolside room, on higher floors, to avoid the noise around pool. Ocean fr...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Eddie S, General Manager at Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach, responded to this review, March 24, 2014
Thank you for the comments regarding your stay at the resort. I will share your thoughts with our staff and we will look at the wifi situation.

We do hope you will visit us again.

Regards,
Eddie S.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Nebraska
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

The staff is not the greatest. The bartenders by the pool are by far the worst, with the restaurant staff at a close second. This may have something to do with the property switching ownership in February '14. Trust me we heard all about how awful it's been! The only thing that saved the service at this resort was BRAD & DAVE. BRAD & DAVE work the beach area and they provide 5-star service. The beach is best on Lido by far and it has a family friendly atmosphere. We will stay again next year!

Room Tip: Just a heads up that if you Priceline or Hotwire you will get the North View rooms or parking garage...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Eddie S, General Manager at Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach, responded to this review, March 24, 2014
I appreciate the comments regarding our resort. I am sorry to hear of the lapses in service levels at the pool bar and restaurant. I will share these comments with the appropriate staff, so we may improve our service standards. I will also share with Brad and Dave your comments regarding their service.

Please accept my apologies and I hope you visit us again.

Regards,
Eddie S.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014

The Norh view room was dirty, mould, peeling wallpaper, stained tiles, hair in the bath, rusty bathroom fittings. Complaints produced little evidence of improvement. By the second week I was told the room had been 'deep cleaned' ....never.... old problems remained. What standard are they working to! I was expected to pay for an upgrade. When a ceiling tile collapsed it took 2 days to fix. Even the fridge had a broken frosted up icebox.
The holiday was booked with Saga. Is this the standard of a 3 star establishment? I think not.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Eddie S, General Manager at Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach, responded to this review, March 24, 2014
I apologize for the condition of your room as well as the lack of a timely response to address your issues. That is not the experience we want our guests to have.
I will take your comments and share with our staff so we can make the improvements necessary to prevent this from occurring again.
Again, my apologies.

Regards,
Eddie S.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

The front desk was very snotty and not helpful until we practically begged for a better room and then they had the audaciousness to charge us an additional fee. They did provide a heater as they were on air conditioner mode and it was COLD. The heater worked well. When calling the front desk they were helpful (this was after the shift change so we had the night crew as opposed to the day crew). This hotel is old and run down and for the price, much better can be had in the area and and on Lido Beach. Holiday Inn would even be a better bet. In other words, don't waste your money.

Room Tip: Don' go here, but if you must, upgrade to Ocean view. Don't waste money on any other view a...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Eddie S, General Manager at Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach, responded to this review, March 24, 2014
I am sorry to read of your experience while visiting our resort. I do apologize for the reception at the Front Desk, that is not the service we strive to provide. I will share your comments with our staff so we can make improvements. I do hope you will return in the future and we can deliver the service levels you should receive when visiting our resort.


Regards,
Eddie S.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2014 via mobile

Great location nice beach clean nice rooms. The outside is in need of some work and gives a poor impression. Too bad because the rest of the hotel is above average. Food is decent both pools are well kept and the place has a friendly family atmosphere.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eddie S, General Manager at Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach, responded to this review, March 24, 2014
Thank you for the comments regarding our resort. We are continually working to improve all aspects of the resort, including the exterior. Hopefully, on your next visit, you will be able to notice the changes we are making.

Regards,
Eddie S.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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*
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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