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“Beachfront gem”

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Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach
Ranked #20 of 48 Hotels in Sarasota
Provincetown, Massachusetts
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Beachfront gem”
Reviewed March 7, 2013

This 4 story beachfront gem is a pleasant place for a stay on Lido Beach. We had a 3rd floor beach front room that was spacious, clean and had a nice ocean view deck. Enjoy the crashing waves while you wind down from Winter's Blues. We passed on the restaurant as it was a frenzy of fried food for their breakfast buffet. Grab some yogurt and stash it in your in room frig and enjoy the great food offerings at nearby Armands Circle favorites. 2 pools, in room frig, free parking, poolside bar and more.

Room Tip: Beachfront rooms have the greatest appeal, but if budget doesn't allow, poolside rooms on second...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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5 Thank Ptowngirl1616
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
138 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2013

The Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel is one of the older hotels on Lido Beach but we feel a great buy. First your on the beach with lounge chairs and cabanas available for hotel guests. It has a pool, an outdoor bar and restaurant. It looks from the 50's but it is clean and service people friendly. We will be back next year!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank dlennp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013 via mobile

great spot, excellent service, excellent food, unbeatable location. once you park your car you never have to get back in it the whole stay.great pool bar, restaurantsand beach. Loved it, would recommend it all!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank BartW13367
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
201 reviews
103 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

This dated but clean hotel is on a quiet stretch of the southern end of lido beach, nice sand and shell, lovely for long walks, just a few condo buildings south of it.
The rooms are clean and adquate but not luxurious in any way. We had a courtyard room by choice as we thought the ocean front rooms were overpriced if staying more than a couple of days. The room was slightly larger than the ocean front ones in a block only two floors high.
Most of the ocean front rooms are three floors high so a lot of steps. We were lucky to have a part ocean view and the location was quiet unless there was a group playing games in the courtyard/garden.The bathroom was tiny but there is another wash basin outside the bathroom in a vanity surface with coffee machine. There was a small refridgerator in the closet area along with iron and iron board. The beds were quite comfortable but I found the pillows a little too thick and hard, they were all the same size. The ceiling is not high enough to allow a fan and the air con kept switching off even though I kept turning down the temperature in the night. There was a sliding window (with insect screen) on the door to the balcony so when not very hot we could turn off the air con and hear the ocean waves. There was no dining table in our room just a small round table but I think the ocean front rooms do have a table. Most of the rooms on the poolside wing have a window and door on the poolside but their balcony is overlooking the car park multi storey.
The pools are very good one being quite large and it is the only hotel I have ever stayed in where the water was actually too warm, like getting into a warm bath! Good on a cool day but not refreshing when hot.
There are tables and chairs with umbrellas but no umbrellas by the poolside loungers. The pool bar wasn't that good as even when it was supposed to be open the member of staff always seemed to be missing - perhaps in the kitchen for food. We only had food there once and it was not good, dried up barely warm food. Breakfast was good value but the buffet never changed, crispy bacon, sausage, scrambled egg, potatoes and hash. The only additions for a lower fat option being packet cereals (no oats or muesli) fresh fruit - mostly melon, waffles, pastries with icing on and muffins - one variety usually bran. No yogurts or low fat milk or plain croissants. You can however order off the menu for a very reasonable price it just takes too long as the kitchen doesn't seem to send things out in order.
Other facilities are coin operated washing machines and driers and a good little shop.
As others have said the walls are thin and tvs in adjoining rooms can be heard and the annoying bleeping of cars being locked in the car park.
There were two or three bus tours when we were there, one party that stayed a week - mostly elderly and others that called for one night. The one nighters were a problem as they all wanted to eat together and the staff couldn't cope the hotel should put extra staff on both in and out of the kitchen. We decided to eat in one night after a busy day only to be told we had to eat in the bar due to a party coming in, despite many empty tables.
We didn't use the hotel transport to St Armands circle as the driver was busy cleaning a room when we wished to go. The circle is a convenient place to eat with some good restaurants but it is rather crazy with drivers not seeming to know how to merge and double parking when they spot someone who might be leaving a parking space. We ate at a few restaurants here but found it better value and better atmosphere in Main Street in the town centre.
It is a difficult hotel to review, personally I wouldn't go back as the rooms are not up to the standard I have come to expect in the USA nor is the service which is erratic. I don't think this hotel would survive without taking bus tours and it would cost a fortune to bring up to todays standard it really needs rebuilding.
I understand some guests loving it as it is, probably because they have happy memories of times gone by spent at the hotel in their childhood.
You can have a good holiday here if you are happy with a basic room and it is certainly quieter than many hotels for a beach hotel particularly with children.

Room Tip: If you don't want to pay the price of an ocean front room ask for a courtyard room on the upper...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank VirgoQualitySeeker47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2013 via mobile

Had booked 2 nights here. The view was beautuful. Great section of beach. Room looked clean but there were flying bugs in the room that were attacked to the light. There were a ton of them by the sink and in the bathroom the next morning. Went to front desk and they offered to spray the room but my son has asthma so that was out of the question. The girl at the front was not surprised about the bugs but offered no explanation to what they were. We checked out immediately.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank B5105MMcindyw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Sarasota hotels

Atlanta, GA
Level 6 Contributor
210 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2013 via mobile

Very friendly service. After walking up and down the beach, I believe this hotel has the prettiest and least crowded spot. Two large pools. The hotel offers a free shuttle service to near by St. Armand's Circle. While the food at the hotel is pretty good, I like to experience different places. Unfortunately, there are no real options within walking distance, especially right on the beach. That's about the only negative. That and the pool bar doesn't open until 11:30, but that's a very minor thing. Bartenders are great.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank RockyRaccoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockville, Md
2 reviews
Reviewed February 21, 2013

We recently stayed three nights at this outdated hotel and would not recommend it to anyone. The staff was unfriendly, the room (and the entire hotel) was in need of a paint job and updating and there was the smell of stale cigarette smoke permiating from every corner of the hotel, even outside. The internet connection in the room was weak, so it was useless to try to go online. There was a charge for you to go online at the computer in the lobby. When we indicated that no other hotel does that anymore the elderly man behind the desk just ignored my husband. Guests had to go to the front desk to check out. In our case, they presented us with someone elses bill. My husband quickly told the old man that he would not pay for someone else's bar tab and the old guy back off. The owners of this hotel are clearly looking for a buyer for this property because they are putting so little effort into it's upkeep. The trade off for a Gulf view was not worth it.

Room Tip: The gulf side rooms did not appear to be as run down as the parking lot rooms.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank CateRockville_Md
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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