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“You're only paying for the Beach”

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Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach
Ranked #20 of 48 Hotels in Sarasota
Aurora, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“You're only paying for the Beach”
Reviewed February 20, 2013

This is an OK hotel. We paid $180 for a view of the garage. Which everyone and their uncle has a need to check their door lock continuously. The walls are paper thin, you can hear conversations. And when I got cold I was told by the front desk that they are in "a saving mode" so they can't be turned on. But they would bring me a space heater, or an extra blanket. Their restaurant food was terrible. We ate dinner and breakfast there for convenience. Would I stay there again?, no, but was it horrible? No. And the staff was very good at trying to make you comfortable and happy. They had a snappy waitress who was hilarious and helped us choke down the breakfast. Again, not a horrible hotel, just not great for my husband and I in room 105.

Room Tip: Ask for a view and be willing to pay for it
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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1 Thank Roxanne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Chicago
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2013

We stayed here for two nights while visiting Lido Key. It is right on the beach with chairs available for guests. Beautiful beach. THe pool area is huge with two nicely heated pools and lots of chairs and tables. THe restaurant had good food. We had breakfast and lunch there. There is an outside bar as well. We booked last minute so we got a room by the parking garage which was not ideal. THe rooms are a little dated, but very clean. Next time I will book with Gulf or pool view. Even though the hotel was full, it never seemed crowded which we loved. Will be back!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank RoseAleneP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staffordshire Moorlands
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2013

We've been coming to this hotel since the late 90's, originally with our young daughter, nowadays on our own and few yars ago with our new son-in-law on their honeymoon.

Please don't change things......its why we keep coming back. Someone described below as the Helmsley being "vintage Florida" ...best description i've seen in ages. It's not 20 floors and soulless!

We arrived this last time on a Saturday, after unpacking we decided to have a couple of hours by the pool.....heaven..... Skype-ing our daughter while sipping a rum and coke and listening to the live music playing behind us......was our daughter jealous.....you bet!!

We have never found the staff anything but friendly......from Kelly at the bar to the regulars on reception and the lovely people who have taken us into and brought us back from an evening in St Armands.

We always ask for a room on the ground floor in the courtyard area, spending many a late evening with a bottle of wine talking to each other on the patio outside our door.

Yes, all rooms need updating occasionally when they are past their prime, but this isn't the Hilton and we wouldn't want it to be. I have yet to find a room I would complain about. More than I can say about the other hotel we stopped at on this holiday.

We are not the only ones who think like this......the last 3 times we have been here we have seen the same couple....we don't know them but they obviously like the place or THEY wouldn't keep coming back either.

Just wish we could afford to come every year..... lol.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sand_dollar_57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level 6 Contributor
205 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2013

We've returned to the Sandcastle many times over the past 40 years, each time appreciating it all the more. The Gulf Front rooms are as close as you can get to the beach anywhere on the west coast of Florida. The Building starts where the beach ends, approxiamately 100 yards from the Gulf. I open the window in the door at night so I can hear the surf. Small balcony overlooks the Gulf. Beautiful white sand beach about 2 miles long if you want to walk it. Two large warm pools (I'd still like a jaccuzzi) and relaxing courtyard. We love eating breakfast & lunch alfresco in the cortyard. The rooms are large and comfortable. Small bath, but this was build in the 60's.

Room Tip: 3rd or 4th floor Gulf Front
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Verne K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syracuse, New York
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2013

My fiancee and I, 23 & 26 years old, went to this hotel just to get away for a week (Late January, 2013). It sounded nice, right on the gulf of Mexico, soft white sand, lots to do...

PROS: The service was wonderful, staff was very nice and definitely kept everything clean. We got there and walked the beach which was VERY clean and had beautiful white sand, full of shells though so watch where you step! The water was pretty clear, very calm, barely any waves that night but the water was very cold the whole trip. You can jump in and get used to it for awhile but then you'd start to get numb. You need to watch for sting rays also, which was a little nerve racking but it was really cool when they came up to you in barely 2 feet of water and swam by you! You need to stand Very still for this to happen.
Weather ended up being really nice, High 70's to Low 80's, barely any clouds in the sky. A couple days it got pretty windy so we took shelter in the pool area and sunned ourselves, but didn't go into the pools because it was a little chilly. The 2 pools are heated so we took advantage of that some days. SUNSETS WERE GORGEOUS. It also didn't take long to get anywhere if you wanted to drive to a restaurant. St. Armonds Circle was nice but everything was overpriced. We walked there a couple of nights, about a mile away.

CONS: We got a room on the NORTH side, horrible view of the parking garage. We could hear people parking their cars at night and honking their horns.
The walls in the rooms were very thin so we could hear people taking showers and flushing toilets all the time. The rooms weren't anything special either. Typical hotel room. And for some reason they gave us 2 double beds.... worked out well when we put all our luggage on one of them!
Went to the beach, sunned ourselves and then found out that they take the chairs away from you at 5pm. Really, 5pm!? SO we took towels from the pool area and sat on those to watch the sunsets.
The meals there were VERY EXPENSIVE. For a buffet breakfast (which included sausage, bacon, eggs, toast, corn beef hash, waffles, orange juice, cereal) was $19 for one person. I understand that's a lot of food and you can get 2nds, but really, it wasn't worth $19.
There also was absolutely nothing to do at this hotel. They didn't have any themed nights, parties, or people out at night. Their outdoor bar closed at sundown, which was 7pm for us. Us being young and don't go to bed till at least 11pm, we want to party! The indoor one closed later but the prices were ridiculous and the bar itself was straight out of the 70's. Mirrors and everything.


For a couple that is going on their honey moon, I DO NOT recommend this hotel at all. Go to Hawai'i or somewhere where there are younger people to be around. Seriously, no one was younger than 35-40. Go to Siesta Key for a younger feel (10-15 min away, driving)

If you want somewhere to relax and have a peaceful quiet time, hang around older people that can spend a ton of money and not worry about it, this place is for you.

Room Tip: Don't get a North Side room, they face the parking garage.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank KrystenSarkissian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mukwonago
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2013

We booked this hotel sight unseen hoping for a really nice room (it wasn't cheap). The initial welcome was not very friendly (then I got a different clerk and they were much better). The room left a lot to be desired. Our young son was scared by the fact that one of the electrical outlets was completely shattered. The bathroom door did not close at all, leaving little privacy in the room. The room was a nice size with a great view to the gulf, but thanks to chain smoking neighbours not something we used as much as we would have liked. The room was just very tired and needed some freshening up. It was relatively clean, but there were some hairs around. The bathroom was old and had black on the grout and a broken window.

On the plus side. The restaurant and service there was good. Lots of repeat guests made for good company and the beach was amazing and very convenient and clean. The guest shop clerk was super friendly and the staff were helpful.

The location was AMAZING, can't state that enough. With some work, this place could be really great. It is possible that our building was the only one that was so run down. Other areas might be nicer.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank mustangdjb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Villages, Florida, United States
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2013

We just spent two wonderful nights here.........yes, the building itself is a bit dated....but, then so are we. It was very clean, the staff was wonderful and the restaurant was good enough that we didn't even have to leave the property. The beach was a shellers delight !

Room Tip: Of course a view of the Gulf is a must !
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Irene P
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:
#5 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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