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“Loved the Sandcastle” 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 #29 of 48 Hotels in Sarasota
Michigan
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Loved the Sandcastle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2007

What a wonderful place

We stayed there for 4 days 3/21 to 3/24 and enjoyed every second of our stay.

The staff was great, thanks Linda at the pool bar, Bart on the beach.

The beach was close (right out the door) and beautiful. The sunset's were awesome.

St Armands Circle was nice. We also took the sunset boat from town one night, the band was good and the sights were great along the way.

The mix of hotel guest was younger and older couples about 50% and young families with kids about 50%. We all got along just peachey.

The rooms were ok but when in paradise you don't spend much time in your room.

You won't regret your stay there

  • Liked — beach
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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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865 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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)
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
Holland MI
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2007

Great place. We would definitely return. My first impression was excellent, and never changed. The staff was friendly and helpful, the place was clean well maintained; the pools were great; and the beach was beautiful.

The place is a little dated, but who cares? We opened the door and the Gulf of Mexico was right there, so who cares what the curtains looked like.

We didn't eat at the restaurant much, because we wanted to try different places in and around town but the restaurant was good when we were there.

They just installed wireless in the lobby before we left, but frankly we didn't want to be checking emails much while we were there. It was vacation, after all.

Overall, it was a terrific experience and we would definitely stay there again.

Stayed March 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2007

I guess the Helmsley name made me expect more from this hotel. Despite it's excellent location and nice public areas, the rooms are dark, dank, with all the charm of a highway Holiday Inn, complete with noisy air conditioning unit that goes on and off all night long. Bathroom tiny, towels thin, ragged and in short supply, and very inferior fixtures and bedding. If you want a glorified cheapy motel for a high price at a lovely location, this is your spot. The staff was very nice, but many of the areas looked in need of refurbishment. Just not what you would expect from a Helmsley property at all. We wouldn't come back here.

Stayed February 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, MN
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2007

I have stayed on Lido Beach at least 25 times before in a timeshare condo, but for a 2 night stay with friends, I needed to find an actual hotel. I had seen this hotel countless times from the beach, and it always seemed to be busy, and received good reviews on Trip Advisor, so I booked it.

It is an older location, and could use some upgrades in minor details such as wallpaper & locks on the doors that were hard to turn at times, and free high speed internet would be nice, but that's the extent of the "negative" things I have to say. Everything was clean, which makes a big difference in an older property.

The property is right on the Gulf of Mexico, with great views from the Gulf Front rooms. It is very well maintained, and the grounds are in terrific condition. The beach is raked every morning by the staff to keep it as soft as possible. 2 big heated pools sit in the courtyard along with a pool bar. Beach chairs, cabanas & beach volleyball are all available free of charge. The staff was friendly, from the front desk, to the coffee shop/bar, to housekeeping and maintenance.

The beach is great for walking, and we had good views of dolphins one afternoon. The sun sets each evening right in front of the hotel. St. Armand's Circle, filled with shops & restaurants, is a 10-15 minute walk or a 2 minute drive.

It was a positive experience staying in a different place on a beach that I already know is fantastic, and is affordable for a beachfront location.

  • Liked — Location, location, location
  • Disliked — No free high speed internet access
  • Tips/Secrets — Gulf Front view was only 15% more a night, and was well worth that price
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled on business
    • 5 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga Ont
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2007

We spent five nights at this hotel and, contrary to some of the previous reviews, we found it to be excellent. All of the staff were friendly and helpful, our requests were met and service was delivered with smiles. We enjoyed our Gulfview corner room and all of the hotel's amenities. The beach was clean and groomed regularly. In terms of value, our holiday experience at the Helmsley could not be exceeded. Overall, we highly recommend this accomodation.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Wear and tear
  • Tips/Secrets — Upgrade to Gulfview
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Laughlin, NV
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2006

The Helmsley Sand Castle was a truely lovely place to stay.
It's Located on the 'quiet' end of Lido Key and the road there is peaceful and easy.

I must say the property is not new, but extremely well kept and maintained. The rooms were big and the beds were more than comfortable. We had ocean front with a lovely balcolny which had a table and 2 chairs on it. The view was a dream come true...the beach was impecable...ever so clean and kept up.

The food was wonderful! We had room service a number of times and the resteraunt was very very nice.

The service simple matched the wonderful mood of the property. I felt some sort of 'bug' coming on...and became very ill for the first day. I was freezing (I'm sure I had a fever) and called the front desk to tell them I just couldn't seem to get the room warm enough for me..2 minutes after I hung up, a kind gentleman was knocking at my door with a nice big space heater!

I would recommend this hotel to ANYONE. There's 2 pools, great food and a lovely ocean to keep all their guests content.
And if that weren't enough...the room was very reasonably priced.

I'm going back....and it can't be soon enough for me!

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blackpool, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2006

This was our second stay at the Helmsley and yet again we loved it ok so its not the hilton regarding the rooms but the staff and the facilities outweigh that, when we go it is lovely and quiet with hardly any children (hooray) lots of other english people there so the word is spreading. The staff at the hotel actually get to know you and this is appreciated and whatever you need is provided to enjoy a relaxing holiday, also the food in the restaurant is on a par to the best restaurants in the area so often no need to travel to dine. will be back next year along with several other couples we met, who go back on a regular basis, please dont sell out to the big boys we like it just as your are.

  • Liked — Location and the staff
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Tips/Secrets — Go when the children are in school lovely and quiet
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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 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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