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“WONDERFUL! We will definatley return.” 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
Tampa, Florida
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“WONDERFUL! We will definatley return.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2007

Let me say I was a little bit nervous when I booked this hotel. I prefer to stay in the Hilton hotels, but when I was looking for a hotel on the beach for Memorial Day weekend I found this hotel at a really good price on Onetravel.com. I went ahead and booked it with the idea of it only being 1 hour from home and we could always leave if we needed to. We arrived and when we checked in we were told that we were put in a courtyard view room instead of the pool side room that we requested. I was not very happy, but when we arrived at our bottom floor room with a really nice patio I was so greatful. The courtyard rooms are really nice because they have patios. The pool can get loud at night so courtyard is to me the way to go, unless you want to pay the extra money for the Gulf view rooms. The furniture was not fancy nor was the room, but it was one of the cleanest rooms I have ever been in. The beach was absolutely beautiful and the two large pools were really nice. The beach towels that are supplied are not very big so we took two towels for each person, it really beat having to bring all of our own beach towels. The hotel also supplies beach chairs for free and you can rent an umbrella for $10 per day. The hotel is a little over a mile from St. Armand's Circle and the hotel supplies transportation to and from the circle, it was really nice because parking can get difficult. This hotel is one of the few "Old Florida Hotels" left. Nothing fancy, but very enjoyable. The only bad thing we found was the rooms that are on the "NORTH SIDE". These rooms literally face the parking garage and all you see are the cars when you open your door. There is no way to even get sunlight in the room. I would not stay in one of those rooms no matter how much I saved! This hotel and Lido beach are the best untold secret out there! My husband, my one year old, and myself had a WONDERFUL time. We will definately return this summer.

Stayed May 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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865 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (244)
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English first
Chicago, IL
20 reviews 20 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2007

Stayed at the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel 4/30-5/3. The only thing going for this place is it's location on the beach. It is a two star at best. It is in a great location on Siesta Key, near St. Armands Circle. The beach is nice, the pool is ok, it is pretty quiet, but the hotel is in need of serious remodeling. The rooms all have paint chipping, the decor is out dated. This place is really a motel since the rooms are all exposed. I did not try the restaurant, so I can't comment on that.

  • Liked — The Beach
  • Disliked — The room
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2007

we stayed two nights at helmsley sandcastle--wish it were more. everything great--right from check-in--Matt at the front desk was pleasant, helpful, and accomodating. we were able to get a free upgrade to beachfront room. parking is free and covered which i always appreciate. pool is large, gift shop interesting and food great at the on-site restaurants--however, be aware that 16% gratuity already added (we weren't aware of this and consequently tipped very generously). beach is outstanding--rooms were extremely clean and toiletry amenities and coffee for the room were plentiful. our maid patty did an excellent job! would definitely return for a longer stay!!

  • Liked — gulf front on gorgeous beach and free parking' smoking allowed on lanai
  • Disliked — no pets allowed
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
North West England
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
138 helpful votes 138 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2007

This is the 2nd time we have stayed at the Helmsley Sandcastle, and enjoyed it tremendously. We were there for 2 weeks which surprised a lot of people but we found plenty to do. DO NOT take a Northside room unless you really have no choice or do not care one bit about outlook etc, these rooms overlook the car park and have little/no natural light, no sitting out area, no chance to open windows or door etc.
Inside the room was fine 2 beds, easy chair dressing table fridge bathroom etc - BUT there was no way we could stay in there for 2 weeks.
Therese upgraded us the following morning as we were late arriving 3am UK time and all we wantedf to do was sleep. This process was painless and not expensive only £20 ($40) per night and well worth it.
We had balcony, overlooked the gulf, larger room with dining area and sitting area, more drawers and hanging space.
Large fridge and coffee machine with supplies were good, hairdryer in bathroom, large TV. Rooms well cleaned by chamber maids who are a credit to the hotel, loads of toiletry supplies, nice towels etc.
I do have to agree with a previous traveller that bathrooms do need a bit of modernising but they are more than adequate.
Restaurant for breakfast is good and the buffet is well priced and extensive, we never had lunch in the coffee shop so cannot comment. Evening restaurant I find a little 'odd' there is no atmosphere but the food is OK, can recommend the Baked Brie and the Filet Mignon, nver had room for a dessert.
The pool bar is a must we had something there with Kelly every day who is a great find, she has lots of knowledge of the area and is happy to give directions etc, she's also a good laugh and asset not to be missed. (Send her my love if you go - Heather room 470!)
Pool area is good loads of sunbeds, table umbrellas etc, you can alos have beds etc on beach there are Tikki Huts for those who need/want the shade. You can hire various other sporty things for the sea, there is a gym and shuffle board.
Laundry and gift shop on site as well although not used by us.
My two comments and they are comments not complaints is that I woukld have preferred the hair dryer in the bedroom at the dressing table I got really fed up drying my hair in the bathroom and we were concerned that 2 rooms have a joint balcony and you could if you really wanted to have access to next door, BUT nothing happened so it may be I am a little sensitive.
One visiter said the walls were paper thin, I really do have to disagree we heard nothing from our neighbours at all and over the 2 weeks we must have had 12 or more different families either side of us.
We found out by accident that there is also a complimentary car service to the 'Circle' so that you can all go have a leisurely eveing and then not drive or have to walk the 1.3 miles back. Very civilised!
All in all a great time and we are booking to return next year but not in a northside room!

  • Liked — just about all of it
  • Disliked — Northside rooms
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newton Abbot
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2007

great location. A stone throw away from the most beautiful beach that I have ever seen. Paradise. The rooms were clean and large, with their own balcony. We asked reception for a taxi to take us out for an evening meal, they were very helpful and arranged their own driver for us. The driver was very friendly and helpful and drove us around a selection of restaurants giving us information on each so that we could decide. He charged nothing but a tip for this. My only gripe would be the unfriendly barmaid in the hotel bar. Not sure whether she was having an off day but she was fairly rude and not what I wold expect from the normally friendly American hotel staff that I am used to. That said - great hotel, will definately return.

Stayed May 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kenosha WI.
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2007

WE stay here 4/07/07 thru 4/14/07 in a pool view room #146 and it was a great room it was clean and the furnishings were like new really good condition and they are painting and cleaning all day the hotel staff was friendly and helpfull except for one bar maid I don't know her name but she was the only blond one I saw. She acted like she was doing you a favor when she waited on you but the rest of the bartenders were fine they need to lose her. They have two heated pools that were really warm but if you want the pool chairs you have to get up early people are out at 7:00 AM placing thier towels on the chairs to reserve them for the day. I do not understand why people book a beach front hotel then hang around the pool all day but if your like us and like the beach they have a very nice one and there are plenty of chairs to go around and are free $10.00 if you want a cabana. We would stay here again it really is a nice older hotel which is getting hard to find with them tearing them down to build condos.

  • Liked — clean
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed April 2007, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2007

My husband , myself and two children spent two nights at the HS and were very impressed. The hotel staff were beyond nice and helpful. The rooms were average, but the ocean front view was worth every penny. Everything was very clean and the Neutrogena bath products were a nice addition. Our room was on the ground floor and the outside seating was 2 feet away from the sand and the shore was 30 feet away! The breakfast buffet was fair, but the breakfast ordered off the menu was fabulous and well priced. We ate lunch poolside and was again fabulous. We ventured out for dinner at Armand's Circle. The rides provided to and from the circle by the hotel was a huge bonus. The pools were great and the pool bar was nice. The could have been music playing though. The beaches were top notch! Beautiful sand and clear blue water. I booked on Expedia the night before our stay and got an Ocean front room for 176.00. I called the hotel to see what price the same room was and their price was 206.00. So check out the Internet first before booking direct. Can't wait to return

Stayed April 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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
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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