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“Beautiful beach, but hotel is dated”

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Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach
Ranked #19 of 49 Hotels in Sarasota
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
67 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Beautiful beach, but hotel is dated”
Reviewed October 24, 2011

We stayed 3 nights at the Helmsley Sandcastle in Oct. 2011 for our son's college Family Weekend. We had booked two rooms: one ocean-front, and another courtyard view for our adult daughter. Apparently, booking online is an issue for this hotel and reservations are faxed to the front desk and then put into the computer. Our reservations were not correct, but the staff was able to get us the ocean-front room. We had asked for king, but we had two doubles. Our daughter spent the first night in room 123, which had a terrible odor, probably mold because her allergies were awful in that room, the carpet was stained, and the room was worn out. They did move her to another room for the rest of our stay. Warning: avoid rooms 122-125. This is the original hotel, and it is awful! I did appreciate the staff's diligence in finding an available room for her to complete our stay.

My husband and I were in room 203, in the two-story section of the hotel. I will say that the beach is beautiful, and we enjoyed the view from our ocean-front room. The walls are thin, especially when there is an adjoining door. The bathroom was CLEAN! There was absolutely no mold/mildew in our shower, and I think housekeeping does a fantastic job--I can overlook a lot of faults when the room is this clean. Pillows are typically hard, but the bed wasn't the worst I've slept on. Balconies are shared with one room, but we never had a conflict. The door to the balcony has adjustable louvers, so we were able to sleep to the sound of the ocean waves.

Staff is generally friendly, beach bar is not great. Umbrellas are $10/day, but I don't mind that. We avoided the restaurants here, based on other reviewers. St Armand's circle has a Starbucks, and great food options for lunch (Columbia is great) The beach is kept very clean, and if you're on a budget, the Helmsley would be a great option. We won't stay here again, however.

Room Tip: Avoid the oldest part of the hotel (#122-125) Courtyard is tiny, so "courtyard view" is a...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank CharleneM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Luton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2011

I travel to Sarasota once a year around May time.

Always stay here and have done for countless years. Yes, some areas may need a bit of returns, but location is stunning, rooms are more than comfortable and staff go out of their way to be helpful.

In fact, I have already booked to return in May 2012!

The biggest compliment I can make is that I repeat visit every year, if it was poor I wouldn't do this!

  • Stayed May 2011
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Helpful?
2 Thank 624michaelh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miramar, Florida
Level Contributor
46 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2011

I booked this hotel based on reviews, spoke to Tim and requested a room with king size bed for two adults and balcony for one night stay, since this was a quick getaway for my girlfriend and myself, he said ok we will set you up in the garden area on second floor, when I called back to confirm one day before check in. Victoria told me there was no guarantee of any kind that I would get king size bed, and said she had no idea that the room would include a balcony and it would be in garden area. I told her I wanted to speak to manager and she put me on hold for 12 minutes saying she has to check to see if she can get the request that I had with Tim. I then told her for this mistake please upgrade to better room or credit me back for the room. All this hotel cared about was booking a room for two adults. After I made this comment to her she said don't worry I will get the requested room that you want. Everything looks great when you view their website. The bed was like sleeping on hard plywood with big hole on one side of the mattress. They said when we addressed the Issue that some people don't like hard beds and some don't like soft beds, I told Matt this was no way soft bed it was like dropping your body on wood board. We also asked them where can we find ice and water they told us to go outside in the back of the hotel close to the playroom, this area was so dark you could not see anything and the machine was broken not taking any dollars. Bird droppings all outside on second floor not very clean if you are walking with no shoes on from beach. The only thing that was good was breakfast if you like paying $9.95 per person for buffet which had very small selection. My advice stay away find better place to stay on Lido beach, Sarasota this is no Helmsley palace of New York Fame.

Room Tip: This Hotel looks like something that has not been fixed since 1960's
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank partyspecs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Sarasota hotels

New Jersey
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2011

We travel to Sarasota frequently, and this was the first time we decided to stay right on the beach. This was a nice choice- the hotel is clean, has newer carpets and some fixtures. It was relaxing, and the beach was beautiful (but all the beaches in Sarasota are). There are two pools, an outdoor bar that is open during the day, and a restaurant by the pool that has indoor and outdoor seating. The food was decent, good if you just don't want to leave the beach. The beach here is great- private, quiet, and close to the end of the key so the water is really calm and clear. They give you beach chairs and towels, but charge you $10 per day for an umbrella- you can buy them at the walmart down there for that much!
The hotel is not really exciting, just a basic hotel with no bells and whistles, but the rates are great and it is good for the money. I would stay there again for another trip.

Room Tip: Our room was third floor, right outside the top floor of the parking garage. It was quieter than I...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank skina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ruskin, Florida
Level Contributor
60 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2011

The front desk people were really rude. The staff at the beach however were the nicest people in the key. The restaurant is really expensive and not very good quality. Watch your receipts at the restaurant for the 12% tip they automatically add to your bill. Parking it's a nightmare at certain times a day. Rooms are small and need some updating.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank AyasFun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Levittown, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2011

the hotel is a bit dated, but i must say it's no frills simplistic approach was quite accommodating. the furniture in the room was current and clean. the elevators worked correctly. the beech was marvelous, and isn't that why we go in the first place. i go to enjoy the town the adventure the beech......well that is what the helmsley offered a good room with a view and a marvelous beech. the resturaunt with inside and outside dinning was nice and clean. the food was on par, nothing to brag about. the bar moderatly priced.
the pool was clean. parking couldn't be more convienient. (parking garage attached). the staff spoke english and generally where american. i would stay again

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank davidcomerford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, FL
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2011

The hotel is a good solid three star hotel. The location is five star. We originally booked a room on the fourth floor, but upon arriving and seeing the chairs and patio areas on the bottom floors we changed rooms, and I'm SO glad we did. We were able to chill out, drink wine, smoke cigarettes (outside of course)and pretend we were 20 something again while the kids could relax in the room and watch a movie (bring your own laptop) or dig in the sand out front. The beach is private, very relaxed and beautiful powder white sand and without millions of people around you. It is right on the beach so you don't need a shuttle or traipse through obstacles to get to it. It's right next to the Ritz so we walked over to their tiki hut and had a few drinks and a sandwich, which was great. The room is fine, beds are comfortable and the furnishings typical florida, but not grossly outdated, but not fancy pants either. The only negative was the food we ordered from room service for breakfast-it was bad-i mean truck stop bad, but we were starving so it got eaten. I think the breakfast food came from the cafe, i don't know about their dinner fare however. If you want delicious hit St. Armand s Circle. Anyway, we will be back for sure, for the price, location and pleasant guests and staff, it was awesome. I like five star too, but hey, i saved some money, got a better location on the beach then the ritz next door and used the $surplus for a fabulous meal in st armands circle. Because for me, going on a beach vacay, is all about the beach.

Room Tip: bring your own breakfast foods ;)
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank eekaboig
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

Property: 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:
#4 On the Beach 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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