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“Very old and tired motel but on the beach!” 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 #29 of 48 Hotels in Sarasota
Orlando, Florida
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Very old and tired motel but on the beach!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

I recently stayed here and was concerned due to the other comments regarding this motel. It is very old, very tired and needs a severe renovation to the rooms. The bathroom was awful, the toilet seat was so low to the floor a toddler could use it with no problems. We stayed two nights and had to call the front desk THREE times for clean towels and supplies. The pool area was nice, there are two pools but they need a major makeover as the tile was cracked and dirty all around. I had wished one of the pools was for ADULTS ONLY,,,but it wasn't. The pool bar was nice and the servers were pleasant as we ordered snacks and the food was good.
Ask about "hidden fees" depending if you book your reservation through Sandcastle or use another booking agent. The fees could be resort fees or parking fees,,,ask first. The parking is very tight, the parking garage was a little dark at night too.
The BEST part of this motel,,,was the beach access. It was awesome! The resort beach staff will put up a beach umbrella and chairs for you. (Please tip them, they are nice) The gulf water was warm and we had beautiful sunsets. Another plus, the resort has a bus service (free to motel guests) to take you down to St. Armands Circle, check on return trip times. We enjoyed our visit for the most part but the resort was over priced for a run down place. Beware of all the smokers. No smoking in the rooms but sitting areas were fair game. I will go back to Lido Beach, but to a different hotel next time.

Room Tip: Stay away from the pool area, very loud.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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)
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Mims, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014

If you want a cheap dirty hotel for a big price just to be at the beach....stay here.
Upon arriving we were not allowed to check in early which is understood so we perused the property and were excited about the beach so close!
Later on we checked in and received a room that had stains on the carpet and smelled like mildew! Horrible!! The staff were kind enough to move us to another room. Packed up the car moved to the other side of the building. Opened the door to our new room and IT WAS OCCUPIED!!!!!!!!! EMBARRASSING!!!!!!!!
For the third time, this time completely furious! The front desk clerks said "your supposed to check the room first!" Really?!
They did apologize!! Thank you for apologizing for my and that guests complete embarrassment! So gave us an upgrade to an oceanfront room. Which needed painting, new furniture and had stains on the carpet and a cockroach! Was it worth complaining anymore???
Unfortunately I could NOT find another hotel to go to for the next couple nights so we had to DEAL with this hotel!
Wish I stayed at the ritz next door!!!
The only good was the gentleman who set up the beach chairs and the beach!

Stayed July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Coral, Florida, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

I researched the area extensively before deciding to stay at Sandcastle Resort. I knew it had some bad reviews, but the style of the hotel was too tempting with the beach so close and the pool in close proximity, along with the tiki bar so close by. I'm giving the review three stars because the beach is beautiful, and some of the staff was awesome. Particularly, the beach staff (Forrest) was super nice and the bartenders (Brook) also very nice! The drinks were good and priced at around $7.00 which isn't too bad considering I've been to higher end hotels and paid twice that much. The hotel is somewhat outdated and old, and I think that's part of the problem. Some updates need to be done. We had a problem with the AC in our room. Fortunately, it was working a little, but not perfect. We called the front desk and spoke to Brian who was not helpful and had a terrible attitude. They were not able to switch us to a new room because they were booked full. When I checked out the next day, the woman who helped me was extremely nice. I wish I could remember her name. She offered to credit me the resort fee for both rooms I had booked which was a $50 credit because of the AC problem. I was very appreciative of that. It's nice when the staff actually listens and seems to care about your issue and not dismissing it way Brian did the night before. We were told by the maintenance person that the AC was working to maximum potential and there was nothing he could do. For that reason we most likely would not stay here again. As much as we liked most of the staff, not knowing if your room will be comfortable is just too much of a gamble especially when you are paying $229.00 a night, plus a resort fee on top of that. In my opinion, that is way overpriced, but they are getting people to pay it so I don't foresee it changing due to that.
I've read lots of reviews that talk about new owners, and how great the old owners were as well as the staff that used to be there. All the newer reviews do not seem to be so glowing.
Pros: Location and beach are beautiful, some great staff, food was good and drinks were good
Cons: Outdated, a little dirty in places, AC not working the greatest in either of the rooms and some staff very rude.
Likelihood of staying here again: Not likely

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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, August 18, 2014
I am glad to read about the positive comments regarding Forest & Brook, but deeply disappointed to read about one of our staff being rude. That is not acceptable behavior, nor how we want to run our business. For that, I apologize.

Our maintenance staff is working on the AC, new coils have been ordered.

We would like to have you return. Please let me know if I can help in any way with a reservation.


Regards,
Eddie S.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dayton, Ohio
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

Front desk clerks not very friendly, got more info from one of the houseman. Rooms are just OK, nothing special for the high rate. Pools are nice but both were warm on the 90 degree days of our stay, would prefer cooler water to refresh.
Hotel has several bikes to use...only you have to pay 25 bucks if you want to ride with your family, that allow you one bike and have to rent another.. silly when 10 are sitting there all day.
They also close the pool too early..the place is dead quiet in evenings.
Loved the bungolos on the beach and the water was awesome.

Room Tip: 2nd floor beachfront
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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, August 18, 2014
I am disappointed to read, and do apologize for, our front desk not being friendly during your time with us. We do not want that type of presentation at our resort. It has been addressed with the front desk staff.

The 3-hour use of the bikes is part of the resort fee, which includes other amenities throughout the resort: in-room bottled water, in-room coffee, free internet access, patio games, shuttle to St Armands Circle, beach chairs, towels- these are some of the items within the resort fee.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss further. Again, my apologies an I do hope you return to the resort.


Regards,
Eddie S.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greensboro, North Carolina
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014

nWe have been coming here for YEARS! No its not a high class hotel,... Its dated and needs many things changed. But money can not replace a warm, caring place you called home for so many years! New owners came in and of course its all about MONEY!!!!! They could careless what you think, they even said, once the old regulars move on, the new people wont even notice the difference and we have that taken care of! Guess what, you are going to lose about 35 regular families that spent money there. Yeah, the "new" pool chairs are used and moved down from another place they bought! And you are also getting the used room furniture in your room from the place they bought too! So look real close cause you are charged a 25 a day resort fee, for crap that use to come free with a real person who knew you can cared about seeing you, also hidden 35 a day charge just in case you charge to your room, they give that back, but dont tell you, so your credit card takes a HUGE hit, it takes about 4 days for it to show back up. You can forget friendly staff, nope not here gone when the new owners came. I dont really care to hear we are sorry you feel this way, we are looking into this. No you are justing saying that and keeping the money rolling in. HONESTLY I could not work for this company or be the CEO of this place and lay my head down at night and sleep. sad times!!!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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, August 5, 2014
I have read your review, and although we do appreciate the business, I find it somewhat concerning on a few counts. I have never made a comment regarding regulars moving on, nor has anyone in the company that I have spoken with made that type of comment. On the contrary, I spent a good amount of time talking with long term guests and working on planning their next trip.
The pool deck furniture has been changed out; no matter where it has come from we are trying to improve the resort.
Regarding the $35 charge, that is for incidentals (items you may purchase while on the resort property in the restaurant, pool bar, gift shop, Room Service), it is not hidden and is explained at check in.
Regarding the resort fee: we have purchased 50 new umbrellas for the beach, 20 for the pool, added new games and activities for the pool & beach, purchased 8 new bikes- that you can take out for 3 hours, wireless is now free- there is no internet kiosk with a charge, local, toll free and credit card calls are now free and there is a shuttle to take guest to and from St. Armands. These are just some of the items (not all) that are included in the resort fee. I do feel the word "crap" is not how I would describe these items.
I am sorry you feel this way about the Sandcastle Resort, but we are trying to improve the product and the service for our guests.

Regards,
Eddie S.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cocoa Beach, Florida
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

We made the reservation for July in Jan with a confirmation price. When we checked out, it was $56 more than the confirmation. I know the hotel switched ownership, but the original price should be honored. I emailed them on July 8, but never heard anything back. The $25 resort fee should definitely be returned for July 6 since they refused umbrellas and lounge chairs until guests complained. No one ever did get umbrellas that day. I don’t mind the tired look of the place, we knew that when we booked it. I just think charging more once the reservation is made is not right.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014 via mobile

It was a hastle at first since my mother in law works at an affiliated location and they couldnt send over the credit card authorization, but we didnt arrive to the resort until later in the evening but it was a view of the perfect sunset, rooms were clean, and we went to the restaurant and the food was outstanding. We were right near the pool, so unfortunately we didnt get to sleep in because of children enjoying their vacation, but that was okay. We got room service for breakfast and that was really wonderful. I would totally go back to this place. Parking was great as well. A nice, romantic getaway!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, August 5, 2014
Thank you for visiting us at the Sandcastle Resort. I am glad to hear you had an enjoyable experience. I will pass along to the various departments your comments regarding your stay.

Please let me know if I can be of any assistance in the future if you are planning another getaway.

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 ( 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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