We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Back again!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 8 more sites!
Save
You added Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach to your Saves list
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
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Back again!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

We have been going to the Sandcastle for several decades, a fact the hotel management seem unaware of. Indeed, they seem unaware that anyone ever comes back. I suppose they get all the trade they want without encouraging or recognising repeat visits (The Constantinou brothers running hotels in Cyprus sent us Christmas cards for years after we visited with their latest info and rates in) It is impossible to book a specific room – you just have to take pot luck and argue if you don’t like it.
The hotel has recently changed hands – it was previously owned by Leona “only little people pay taxes” Helmsley for almost the whole time we have been staying there. What makes this hotel very special is that it is on the beach - literally. It’s such a good position that we bought a time share a few buildings along the road.
The restaurant encourages you to have the buffet breakfast which his fine is you want a full breakfast – only scrambled eggs, no fried, poached etc. The rooms all have fridges and we usually have our own cereal and milk breakfast and a salad lunch in the room. There is a good coffee maker in the room. The food service round the pool is ordered from the bar. Its not always efficient – we waited 45 minutes for a burger.
The rooms are rather tired and in need of TLC but basically sound. They need a much better cleaning regime. Beach recliners and Wifi are included in the $25 a day Resort Fee they levy on top of the room cost - shameful.
St Armand’s Circle is a few minutes drive away, Publix supermarket a nice 10 minutes drive along Longboat Key.
Will we be back? Oh yes.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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 18, 2014
Having read your review, I want you to know that we very much appreciate any and all guests who have stayed here over the years. I, personally, spend a good amount of time making reservations for our long term guests. In the future please email or give me a call and I will be happy to do that for you.

Regarding booking a specific room, when you book your room type (gulf front, courtyard, etc.) we put into your profile a specific room number and/or floor if requested. We then try to arrange our arrivals & departures to meet that request. There are different things that may arise making this difficult to do. As examples, a guest may request to extend his/her stay or a room may need to be put out of order for maintenance.

I do appreciate your business and hope you return to the Sandcastle. Any help that I can be to you, please let me know.

Regards,
Eddie S.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

866 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    240
    344
    178
    63
    41
See reviews for
248
323
16
24
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
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

We spent two weeks here in July and enjoyed our time in the Sarasota area.
We were a little disappointed with the location of the poolside room allocated to us on arrival and asked if we could upgrade to either a room with a view of the sea or a larger room with bigger beds and storage, in view of the length of our stay, for which we were quite happy to pay.
For whatever reason, British Airways do not book rooms with an ocean view, according to the hotel. Whenever I spoke to the people on reception I think they assumed I was making a complaint and were quite short with their answers to the point that I had to say to them 'I am not making a complaint, merely trying to secure a better room if possible'. I put it down to the Americans and British being famously divided by a common language!
We were upgraded (at extra cost to us of $440 for 11 nights plus tax) to a room overlooking the Gulf and the views are stunning. (We were offered a suite above reception which was impressive looking but they wanted an extra $1,000 plus tax for 12 nights which we thought was excessive)
From the gulf front room, we watched dolphins and plenty bird life swim back and forth most days.
All told, the hotel would benefit from a large amount of money being spent on it which I know is totally unrealistic.
The location is amazing and very peaceful; perfect for relaxation. We travelled with two children (11 & 14) and the rooms are not really big enough for a prolonged stay. The air conditioning units are noisy but sleep is totally impossible without them in the heat.
All of the staff were pleasant and we ate breakfast a couple of times which was good, as was the evening meal we had on arrival.

Stayed July 2014
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, August 16, 2014
Thank you for visiting the Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach. I have passed along your comments regarding the staff and your dining experience to the various departments.

We are continually working to improve the look and feel of the resort in all areas, including the guest rooms. In some sections of the resort we have changed out furniture, mirrors, bedding and we are replacing AC units as they are needed.

We do hope you return again to the Sandcastle. Please call me directly if I can be of any assistance to you and your family regarding a future stay.

Regards,
Eddie S.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

Our family have stayed in this hotel I think 7 times over the last number of years while on vacation from Ireland. Room 168 has been our bolthole. Mark my son was very hard to fed at breakfast but loved porridge. The hotel went out of their way to make sure mark got porridge every day to set him up. Paul at the front desk could not have Ben more helpful. Where to shop where to see where to eat nothing was to hard for him .The rooms are dated but who cares the pool is great tiki bar great .All told 10 out of 10. See you all on the 12th of sept.we are going again. Ray o keffe

Stayed August 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, August 18, 2014
Thank you for the comments regarding your stay here at the Sandcastle Resort. I will pass along your comments to the kitchen, front desk and pool bar staff. They will certainly appreciate them.

Looking forward to having you stay with us again in September.


Regards,
Eddie S.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Memphis, Tennessee
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

Having stayed here several times when it was owned by Helmsley we were a little apprehensive about what we might find under new ownership but weren't disappointed. All of the staff is still great. Our housekeeper was the best and we had no problems with the room at all. Our only complaint is a small one and it is the resort fee. In the past you paid for an umbrella daily if you chose (the chairs were free) and your chair and umbrella were set out for you each morning with towels. It was there when you were ready to go to the beach. Now the umbrellas are included in the resort fee and there is a mad rush to get to the chairs which, being older and on a cane, I didn't care to participate in. On the bright side the beach attendants will set you up when you are ready. The lure of this hotel is the beach and the access. We had a ground floor beach front room as we requested and it is a matter of a few steps to the beach. As always we had a wonderful, relaxing vacation and look forward to going back.

Room Tip: Definitely get beach front for the view. If handicapped I recommend ground floor or if that's no...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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.
See more room tips
  • 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.
Mims, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Price Your Stay

Been to Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Priceline, Despegar.com, TripOnline SA, getaroom.com, Odigeo and Tingo so you can book your Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Helmsley Sandcastle Sarasota
Sarasota Helmsley Sandcastle
Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel Sarasota

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.