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“Slice of heaven”

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Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach
Ranked #20 of 51 Hotels in Sarasota
Reviewed January 20, 2014

This must be one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. The hotel itself is clean, kitschy and well priced. Decor is plain. Long time staff greeted us like old friends. Nice big rooms. Great breakfast buffet price. Burgers rock. Get an ocean view and listen to the waves. Seriously what more do you want at this price?

Room Tip: Ocean front a must
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank TheIndulgentTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 16, 2014

This hotel has nothing else going for it than the location and the pools. Repeat customers mean nothing to the management. Very tired rooms and unfriendly personal. I am not sure why this hotel received a certificate of excellence.

Room Tip: Gulf front is most expensive but great for sunset viewing and listening to waves.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled on business
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1  Thank Sybille P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2014

Let's start with the GOOD:
*The beach is beyond beautiful!! You walk right off the pool deck onto 5 different grades of sand and crystal blue waters!
*The tiki bar is awesome! We loved Kelly!!! She makes perfect drinks (and my boyfriend was a bartender for many years)!! She took extra special care of us because it was my birthday!
*The rooms and common areas were incredibly clean... and the outdoor staff/cleaning staff were wonderful! Pleasant and Hard-Working!
*The pools were heated and there were plenty of chairs!

Now let's talk about why I didn't give this hotel 5 Stars:
*We showed up to the hotel and were in a rush to get ready to meet friends for dinner for my birthday... and the hotel didn't have our reservation. It took nearly 20 minutes to get checked in. The front staff were polite but not very friendly. They did offer us an upgrade from parking garage room to courtyard room because of our reservation issue.. but it was My Birthday! You would think they would have offered a little something more???
*The rooms are a little pricey for how dated they are... Clean, but dated. But I guess you pay for the location on the beach... which is AWESOME!!
*There is a fee for everything on the beach! :( Pay to Kayak, Pay to Bike, etc... With the price of the hotel, those should be included.


Overall, we loved staying at the Helmsley and will likely stay again!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jess1218
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2014 via mobile

I have never seen carpet so old and dirty in a hotel. I never took my socks off. This hotel probably used to be a great place to stay. The rooms are large but so incredibly dated. No frills that's for sure. The location and beach is lovely. That's what is has going for it. I would not recommend the hotel and I would not stay here again.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Cherri D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2014

My first impressions of this hotel were not good. I'd booked and paid for our room last summer and had gotten a pretty good deal. That expression, "You get what you pay for" comes immediately to mind. We ended up with a room with a window facing the parking garage maybe 20 feet away. Though I didn't expect we'd spend that much time in our room I could tell that my fella (whose a bit claustrophobic to begin with) was not happy. We upgraded to a pool side room that also ended up having some issues and were eventually moved to a beachview room on the second floor. This truly exceeded my expectations. There was a shared balcony and every night we opened the door window to hear the sound of the waves on the beach. The room was fairly basic but did have a bigger-than-tiny refrigerator as well as the basic amenitites. Every morning we walked all the down the beach to the south and around through the park at the very end. It was amazing. We saw and/or found dolphins, starfish, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, sand dollars, oh - and what appeared to be a resident raccoon that we quickly nick-named "Helmsley". He was actually up on the second floor one night when we arrived "home". the breakfast buffet was standard but good. Service was very good. This is also a "Preferred Pride" hotel so if that is important to you be sure to ask for the discounted rate. By the time we left we were both acknowledging that it had turned out to be a great place for us. We'd probably return in the future. The Ritz? Oh no. But good friendly service, two pools, sea toys (kayak, boards, etc.) available to rent, great tiki bartender --- it all worked for us!

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for a room that does not face the parking garage (unless you really cannot afford the...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank luckygreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

Very basic. The oldest hotel in the area Old, but clean. Good beach location. Budget price. 2 pools. Nice bar. Free shuttle to restaurants and bars. The hotel Is for sale. Beautiful beach. Beds 2 doubles very small Buffet breakfast, standard, usual

Room Tip: All room the same.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ajh697
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Every year, our " Village Greenies " cricket club says here during the Sarasota Cricket Festival, held over Thanksgiving. The hotel rates are very good ,so the rundown furniture can be excused. The hotel has the charm of a famed landmark whose best days are behind it, but which is a curio in the modern world due to its historic pomp.The rooms are clean, tidy and very functional and amenities are good ( pool, bar, free wi-fi, gift shop ).

The hotel is on the beach and there is an abundance of bird activity ( pelicans, egrets, etc ) to be enjoyed, which also attracts a busy beach traffic.

Breakfast is excellent ( buffet or a la carte ) and the staff are genuinely helpful and friendly. The on-site bar is generally busy and a good place to socialise. The busy St. Armands Circle, with a good selection of quality restuarants and shops is only a mile away.

Overall, a slightly dared property, but in terms of value for money, rates very highly.

Room Tip: Ideally try to get a direct sea view.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank helensburgh77
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
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: $174 - $332 (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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