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“Perfect hotel on the beach!” 5 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
The Netherlands, Europe
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
130 helpful votes 130 helpful votes
“Perfect hotel on the beach!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2005

The perfect place for me is the Helmsley Sandcastle. We've stayed at the Sandcastle for the last 10 years and it's always a nice place. It is an older hotel, but kept nice. The location is excellent right on the beach. We had a Gulf view room, definitely the best at the hotel and worth the extra money. Waking up hearing the sea, which is very relaxing and stepping on your balcony and looking out to sea was superb! You can watch the sunset from your balcony if you want and even see some dolphins swim by. Those rooms have also a refrigerator and lots of space and they all are gulf front rooms. One time we had the suite, with the jacuzzi and steam cabin, that was great. This room has a view over the pool and the beach. It was the 10th time we’ve stayed at the Helmsley Sandcastle, so we got a present from the manager. When we got back from the beach, we found the present on our room, with a card that saying that they appreciated that we’ve been there for the 10th time. We received lots of goodies like a bottle of wine, cheese, fruit and much more. That was really nice of him!
The beach is also great! The water is beautiful emerald green. The water on the gulf coast is generally warmer and much calmer than the east coast. If you are early in the mornings, you can find some beautiful shells, there are so many on the beach. Everyday you’ll see sandpipers and pelicans fishing. You can swim or when it’s get to hot, you can relax under the cabana and read a book or take a nap. During the weekends there is live music by the pool. A must in the evening is to grab a chair and watch the beautiful sunset. The staff is working there as long as we've come to this hotel. So they like to work there, and you’ll notice that on the service that you get. They are all so friendly. There are plenty of restaurants and shopping boutiques within walking distance.

Stayed January 2005
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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961 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
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A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2005

After reading the other reviews I was so looking forward to my stay at the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel. Forgive me if I'm wrong but I was under the impression that if the entrance to your room is via an external door from the outside into your room ie. not an internal door from a hotel corridor then you might class the hotel as a hotel/motel?
Well this is what we found at the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel. The rooms were not accessed from within a hotel corridor as such but from the outside, either from a balcony or from a courtyard or patio by the pool. Some even had the door access from balconies above the carpark and even some from within the car park. While the room itself was adequate and clean we were very disappointed - could hear everything from outside while in the room trying to sleep - sounded like there was a door / window open to the outside and didn't feel very private at all. Could hear everyone passing outside, noises from pool area, bar and all other outdoor activities. We were awakened way before dawn and then it was impossible to return to sleep. Also there was no bath in the room we were in either. Was on a driving tour around Florida were glad that we had decided to only stay the one night here. Of all the hotels we stayed in this was the most expensive and didn't live up to our expectations. I was very disappointed in how this hotel is advertised and what I got. Sure it had a few pools and a bar etc but It's very much a budget hotel. It's location on the beach is great, but that's about it.

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NJ/NY
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2005

Okay- so January in Florida is iffy and the weather was cold but the Sandcastle is a small jewel nestled between large oceanfront condo and the new Ritz Carlton residences going up ($1.2 mil to start). So who knows how long this 50 year old hotel will hold out- but go before its gone.

So the rooms are "beachy" but hey- that's why you're there. Our room with king size bed was spotless - so who cares if the nighttables and dresser had a faux marble top. The big draw was that it was a short 50 feet to a pristine beach. Alternatively - two heated pools.

There were kids when we were there and they seemd to have fun braving the cool weather. The crowd did seem a bit older but for quiet and relaxation that's a big plus!

The restaurant with patio serves breakfast at reasonable prices and the staff couldn't be more courteous and accomodating.
The location near St. Armand's circle for dining and shopping rounds out the list. All in all- all the pluses of a big bucks hotel without some of the amenities you don't need if the beach is your destination and at a fraction of the cost. Go and enjoy

  • Stayed January 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2004

i have never had a bad nite at the sandcastle it is just the best

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2004

I have to disagree with the "Brit" who was disappointed with the Helmsley. Yes, it is "dated" - that's part of it's charm. I always think I'll see the Rat Pack there - and once I even did see Leona. You can go to any other hotel in Sarasota, or anywhere for that matter, and they all start to look the same. The Helmsley is unique and my favorite place to stay anywhere because it takes me back to a simpler, more relaxed time. My husband and I got married at the Helmsley in 2003 and my family loved it so much, we decided to come back every year for our family reunion. Every time I go to Sarasota to visit my in-laws, we stay at the Helmsley. The service is superb, the staff is friendly - Julia in sales is tops! Plus, the rooms are spacious and clean and you can walk right onto the beach or to the pool or the lovely courtyard. No, it's not perfect - what hotel is? But the web-site does not misrepresent anything about this hotel, and you will never find a deal like the Helmsley for a beach-front room on the Gulf. If you want modern, go to the Hyatt and over-pay for a generic room on the bay. If you want the most relaxing, charming place on the most beautiful beach in the world for a great deal, stay at the Helmsley!

  • Stayed November 2004
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
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 Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#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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