My wife and I (late 20's) stayed at this hotel for a week in mid February (2014) while she was attending a conference in the area. We read all the negative reviews about the property being outdated so we went in with tempered expectations. We concluded that the majority of people who have reviewed this place must live the good life and demand only "the finest things" in their travels...because personally we found it to be just fine. Sure, the rooms aren't chic, stylish or modern the way some 4/5 star hotels are. But let's keep it real, you're not paying those prices either. Our room had two double beds, an arm chair with a sliding foot rest, a mini fridge, coffee maker, flat screen tv and free wi-fi. Yea, the furniture is on the traditional side and the bed skirts/curtains have old school floral patterns on them...but otherwise the room was just fine. We weren't there for the room, but rather for the weather and beach, being from NYC. We had plenty of towels and their maid/room services were on point, so no complaints there either. We did not eat at the restaurant but elected to buy groceries in town, making our own lunch each day and venturing out for dinner each night (we recommend trying the restaurant called Columbia). The beach was indeed nice, but people seem to glorify it above what it deserves. It's no Aruba or even Mexico for that matter, but nonetheless enjoyable. Water was freezing during out stay...we still went in.
- Located right on the beach.
- Plenty of beach chairs available for free and you can rent umbrellas for additional shade.
- 2 pools on premise that are heated.
- Right next door to a public tiki bar that many people flock to (even locals).
- Small business section in lobby where you can print boarding passes for free.
- Free parking in their garage which conveniently connects to every floor of the hotel.
- Great sunset spot.
- Minutes away from a shopping area/food area.
- Free shuttle to and from this area (St. Armands circle)
- Old fashion look to decorations.
- If you're looking for lots of amenities like game rooms, gym, water sports, mini-golf, etc...look elsewhere.
- They charged for any beach related items they had (cornhole, boogie boards, etc.)
- Couldn't get the temperature of the room right...seemed to be a bit too hot, or a bit too cold at all times.
- No hot tub.
- Definitely not a place conducive for a younger crowd.
- 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