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“Beautiful Oceanfront Location-Upgraded Motel Setting” 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 47 hotels in Sarasota
boston
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Beautiful Oceanfront Location-Upgraded Motel Setting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2009

The beach is the draw. Never a problem with lounge chairs, cabanas, towels, etc. Staff very friendly. Older facility but well maintained. Room was clean but walls paper thin. Also balcony outside of rooms (on 2nd floor) is shared. No problem if you're not next t o rowdy neighbors (we were awakened by noise only one morning). Had room service once during our 5 night stay and food was delivered promptly and well prepared. Lively bar by the 2 pools.
Overall would recommend with above reservations.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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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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
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Toronto
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2009

Booking the trip went very smoothly, the staff gave us a discounted rate and were very friendly and helpful. When we arrived we were greeted by an awesome staff member named Tim who helped up out immensly. The lobby was lovely and we were given a courtyard view room with a view of the gulf without paying for a gulf side room! The grounds, pool, and beach were beautiful! The hotel is something out of the 50's and you can picture "the brat pack" would have been there back in the day! The location really makes this hotel superior by far. Okay that was the pros...now the cons..The hotel room was beyond dated, hole above the room door, peeling wall paper, ratty blanket, could hear the neighbours like they were in the room with you and a very dated screen door. However all this said the rooms were very clean. The price is very high for what you pay for the room so clearly you are paying for the view alone. The staff as I stated were excellent and the bartender at the pool bar was great! I would stay there again however would be careful of the room I chose and ask to move the next time I dont like the room given. Helmsley keep your prices but please update and you would be 5 stars!!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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.
ohio
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2009

We loved our stay. We upgraded from a northside room to a gulf view based on Travel adviser review. Looked out on ocean. Nice pools and breakfast/lunch dining. Don't recommend for dinner. Too many other choices close by. The rooms are just as the review said, dated but clean and cared for. Staff was especially cheerful and helpful. Good for older couples and families.

  • Liked — the view
  • Disliked — the room decor
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Idaho
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2009

When we arrived at the Helmsley Sandcastle, we were moved from a ground Courtyard view to a 2nd floor Courtyard/Ocean view room which was great! Apparently our first room had a king size bed and we needed two double/queen beds. We loved our view every morning. We had our own little balcony to sit and watch the ocean. The guys at the front desk were very helpful and very nice. They gave us a map and told us where to see different things. I had an issue with a server in the restaurant one night and Chris, the asst. manager, was very helpful and very kind and went above and beyond my expectations to take care of the situation. The beds in our room only had two sheets and a blanket on them (no bedspread), so we requested another blanket, because it was a bit chilly when we were there. They came immediately with the blankets. Another day, we noticed we were not supplied with wash clothes, so I called and asked for some and I had to call two times before we got our wash clothes. Not sure what happened there. The hotel is across the street from a Nature park so it is really quiet and I liked the location. The hotel is old and definitely needs to be updated. Wallpaper was curling, the mirrors needed to be replaced in the vanity and bathroom area, the toilet didn't seem to be bolted to the floor very well, the doors to the room and to the balcony were old and needs to be replaced. There was no free breakfast of any kind. You had to go to the restuarant. 16% gratuity was automatically added to your bill whether the server was good or not and even when we ordered something to take to our room. If you needed to use their computer, it was 35 cents a minute which I think is a little high. There was no elevator for our two story building which is a pain when you're trying to carry a 50 lbs. suitcase up the stairs. However, they did let us know this before-hand and we could have taken a ground floor room if we wanted. The parking in front of our room was really small and few spaces. We could park in the parking garage, but it was over on the other side of the property and we didn't want to walk that far. What we did like with the hotel was that it was clean every where, it was right on the ocean, the people were nice, the pools were very nice and clean - one was warm and one wasn't as warm, but probably still heated, the courtyard was beautiful and well manicured, the bathroom amenities were nice, it was nice to have a big long vanity with a sink and a sink in the bathroom, the beds were very comfortable, the carpet was new and well padded, and it was really quiet in the hotel. Since we had an ocean view, I feel we paid a decent amount for the room, but if we had been given a room without an ocean view, I would have been very upset for the price and the condition the room was in. Sandcastle Helmsley either needs to lower the price of their rooms or update their hotel before I would come back.

  • Liked — Ocean View - Hotel On the Beach
  • Disliked — Condition of the room - old - needs repairs
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Sarasota, FLorida
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2009

When I was a young kid in the 80's, this hotel is where my family would stay on our trips to Florida. I'm not basing my current review on those happy memories, just giving you a bit of background.

In present day, I find myself living permanently in Sarasota. And even though our house is less than 20 min away, we often take a fun weekend off and stay at The Sandcastle. I highly recommend it to all of you.

That being said, it is not a 'first class' hotel. It shows it's age in room design and slight blemishes here and there. Nothing dramatic, but if you are the sort of person whose vacation could be ruined by the sight of a small crack in a bathroom tile, then perhaps you'd do well to look elsewhere. If not, then this is the place for you.

Why ?

Location, location, location.

It's *right* on the beach, it has a great pool and a very nice restaurant and lounge. The staff is friendly and accommodating without being stuffy, and the general 'vibe' of the place is relaxation, Sarasota style. You're a short cab ride or rental car drive (or bike ride, I suppose) from St. Armand's circle, with it's unique shops and restaurants. But, if the beach is why you're here, you may not want to leave the property at all.

Enjoy.

  • Liked — It's litterally on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world
  • Disliked — Aging rooms
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Northern Ohio
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2009

This is an older facility which was very clean and neat. Our unit had a great view, comfortable beds, and nice ammenities. The bathroom was in need of a complete update. The two pools were both heated and very clean. The employees from the front desk, to wait staff, room service, cleaning staff and pool and beach folks were all very friendly and courteous. Beach chairs and towels are provided with no fee or hassel. In fact there was no hassel for anything. We ate all our breakfasts either on the lanai or in our room. We had a lunch and dinner, and they were both very good and reasonably priced. I would definitely return to the Sand Castle.

  • Liked — relaxed atmosphere and reasonably priced
  • Disliked — Bathroom need updated.
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2008

My husband and I stayed at this hotel a few years back, it was the first time he had ever stayed in a hotel right on the beach. Everything was perfect. Our two little girls (ages 4 and 2) were with us on our trip. We added an extra day to our trip and the hotel was kind enough to accommodate us by not making us switch rooms in the middle of our stay.

We had an ocean view room on the second floor. It was great. We could hear the waves crash on the beach as we laid in bed at night it was the perfect way to end a sun-filled day.

There were a few cosmetic things that needed to be tended too but nothing interrupted our stay at the hotel. I am sure by now those have been taken care of though. That is the reason for the 4 out of 5 rating. There is always room for improvement. But this was a 4+++ in my book.

We are planning a trip to Florida sometime in the future and The Helmsley Sandcastle Inn is on the top of our list if we go back to Sarasota. Thank you for making our trip wonderful!!!

  • Liked — The location to the beach. It was also close to the airport.
  • Stayed February 2005, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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:
#6 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*
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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