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“Great for a quick getaway”

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Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach
Ranked #19 of 51 Hotels in Sarasota
Reviewed October 5, 2013

We stayed at the Helmsley over a weekend with our 3 children. It was perfect. While our room was advertised as a garden view, from our balcony it was actually an ocean view. The hotel room was clean and spacious. The beach was phenomenal and we enjoyed quite morning walks search for shells with our kids and watching the birds dive for fish. We were impressed to see so many mollusks and rays in the shallows, along with endless fish.

The hotel had a great restaurant on site, we never went out, and a decent buffet for breakfast. There were also 2 large pools and a nice grassy common area and an outdoor bar. We would absolutely plan to return. Good service and location.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Jennifer J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 5, 2013

I have just had a week at the Helmsley & have to say it was fantastic! Unable to upgrade room to beachfront as no availability but this didn't deter from our enjoyment here. The staff are wonderful and nothing is too much trouble for them. Two really nice pools but never used them as yards away is the most amazing beach I have ever been on. Sand is so fine, white & clean - just like icing sugar, it is made from ground quartz so doesn't get hot underfoot even in 98 degree temperatures! There is free parking & rooms can be accessed from all levels of the car park so easy to transport cases etc. The rooms are basic & there is a little wear & tear but nothing major. Housekeeping are excellent & our room was always spotless. No complaints about the beds, our two doubles were fine & we slept well. Air con is a little "fierce" so may need turning down of a night as you can get rather chilly, that said - there is a light fleecy blanket on the bed you can pull over you. Hotel gift shop reasonably priced & some beautiful shops in the nearby St Armands circle. Hotel provides a free limo service so no reason not to enjoy the many restaurants in the area.

There is so much to do around this area & would definitely recommend a trip to Mote aquarium (money off voucher can be got at reception) we went on their boat trip & had a really good guide who was so knowledgeable but enthused rather than bored you. We enjoyed it so much that we booked up for the nature trip next day.

All in all our stay far exceeded our expectations & I would certainly recommend the Helmsley to anyone.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank DianeF518
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2013

We just spent a weekend at the Helmsley Sandcastle and we really enjoyed it. Our room faced the gulf and it couldn't have been more beautiful. You are close to the beach as opposed to other properties that are set way back away from the water which made it nice to go up to the room if you needed to. The property was well maintained both inside and out. The rooms are very clean and easy to access from the parking lot if you stay in the North Tower which is also the closest to the water. Showers had good water pressure. Pool was clean, beach chairs are free, umbrellas are $15 per day but, you can bring yours if you want as opposed to other properties where you get nailed for beach chairs and umbrellas and bringing your own is frowned upon. Saint Armand's Circle is 1.5 miles away and they'll shuttle you there for Free but, of course you want to tip the driver. There is also no Resort Fee which can range from $20 to $40 with many other properties and you won't know til you check-out. Yes, this is an old hotel and your AC may be a little noisy but, other than that....it's a very charming Old Florida hotel which offers great value. For about $100 more per night you may do a little better....I shopped it. I would definitely stay there again and I highly recommend it.

Room Tip: Beds are very firm but, if you ask Housekeeping they will put extra padding under the sheets to make...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Cruiser1021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013 via mobile

This is a very run down older motel next to the Ritz Carleton. The parking is very difficult. I had 2 rooms both with beach walk out acces which was great and best part was the beach. It all goes down from there. This could be an amazing property but needs a lot of work.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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1  Thank Jeff P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Arrived with my husband and 2 kids (5yr old and 10yr old). The exterior does not represent "beachfront hotel" - more like motel. But, you HAVE to look past that into the inviting lobby and 2 sparkling pool before you reach the beach. Our room was not ready - we arrived too early. So, we changed into out bathing suits and headed straight to the beach. We were given lounge chairs (free) and an umbrella ($10). The beach was gorgeous. Power white sand, and clear blue/geen water. We were greeted by FRIENDLY stingrays that swam by several times. The beach was not crowded at all.
Pool bar opens at 11:00am. Bartender was a bit late opening up. We ordered the 2 shrimp baskets - came with fries and a few small onion rings ($11 each). I do NOT recommend anyone this meal - honestly the worst part of our stay. Everything else was nice - except for our lunch. Totally, ruined our appetite! The butterfly shrimp had NO flavor and it was very greasy and crispy. (nothing else on the small menu looked appealing) The kids went hungry until we finally checked in and went out for lunch.
We finally entered our room on the 4th floor and found the table full of crumbs and stains, my husband also noticed the carpet was not vacuumed. I called the front desk to let them know - too bad the hotel was completely sold out - no switching rooms. Our gulf view balcony was shared with the next door room but we NEVER saw them - so we had the whole balcony to ourselves. One of the beds was springy, and the other bed was hard like the floor - wierd. Bathroom is TINY, especially the tub/shower.
The pools are great! Big and heated. I wish they played music - would make the atmosphere way better. Lots of poeple around the pool bar and very convienent between the pool and beach.
BEST PART OF OUR STAY - THE SUNSET!!!!!!!!!!! Sooooooo beautiful!!!
We will come back mainly for that reason alone.

Room Tip: All rooms are located with easy access to the beach and pool - no tips on that. However, bring your...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank R L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

Perfect location, decent food, decent price, nice pool, dated. They automatically add gratuity at the restaurant (16%), so the service we received reflected that. Should have researched the sleep quality prior to traveling. Would return if they ever replace the mattresses.

Room Tip: Bring you own mattress
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mica V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2013

It might not be the newest Resort, not the most recently refurbished ... and Nonetheless it has got a lot of charme. Rooms - the ones facing the sea - are spacious, have a small balcony and the usual 3 star Equipment. there are Swimming pools and even a laundry - and last but by no means least - quite a good Restaurant.
Annoying is the noise on the beach in the morning when the beachboys use tractors to pull out the sunbeds, but well - what's perfect in paradise?
It's the amazing Sunset.
You can smoke on the balcony. Nice!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Stefan M
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)
Phone Number:
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: $159 - $339 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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