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“A great getaway from the snow” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach

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Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach
Ranked #16 of 47 Hotels in Sarasota
Millstadt
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A great getaway from the snow”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014

We stayed 4 nights. We enjoyed the breakfast buffet and a walk on the beach every morning. The room may have been a little less than expected, but we didn't spend much time there. Clean showers.The beds were like sleeping on the floor. We left single-digit temperatures with sleet and snow; walking barefoot on the beach was a delight. Close to shopping at St. Armand's Circle, and a great Aquarium. Lots of great restaurants, and some located on beach.

Room Tip: We had a nice room facing the courtyard and swimming pool.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sis B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eddie S, General Manager at Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach, responded to this review, April 4, 2014
We are happy you chose the Sandcastle Resort for your getaway from the snow and cold weather. We also hope that, in the future, you choose to visit the Sarasota area and stay with us again.

Thank you for the business.

Regards,
Eddie Sipple
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,273 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (357)
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Milton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014

Spent several days at the Sandcastle. First the best- the beach!!! Magnificent! Other beaches near by looked like "beach toupes" The breakfast buffet was wonderful and the staff worked very hard. Our room overlooked the pool, but the inside were really dated with chipped furniture, mold on the bathroom tiles and blankets that weren't fit for a hotel guests. Let's hope with a new buyer this older hotel will get a much needed update. We would return if the place gets an overhaul.

Room Tip: Choose a room overlooking the pool area or the beach.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jane B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eddie S, General Manager at Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach, responded to this review, April 4, 2014
Thank you for staying with us at the Sandcastle Resort. We appreciate the comments and will work to fix the issues you had with your room.

We are working hard daily to make improvements to the property.

Regards,
Eddie Sipple
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014

We stayed here for 7 nights 2nd week in March 2014, this was our 4th stay, already looking forward to our next one.
Firstly people say that the rooms are rundown or outdated, the rooms are fine. The furniture may not be brand new but in our room it was all in good condition. The room was always clean and had everything in it we needed. We asked and got a court yard room. Our personal favorite. Great for our 2 year old to play outside. Not that we spent too much time in the room as there is a very lovely beech just steps away, which is more important than the state of the room furniture.
The staff are all great nothing was too much, especially Chris the housekeeper and the 2 men with gray t-shirts on that were always around to help people. Sorry don't know their names, 1 I asked about the dog that used to live in the hotel, hope they get the praise they deserve.
St Armands is nearby and well worth a visit, nice shops and places to eat.
The overall feel of the hotel is very relaxed and we felt happy and secure here. Even the other guests were all very friendly. I would defiantly recommend this hotel to anyone.
You get what you pay for and I was very happy with what i paid.

Room Tip: The courtyard rooms are very nice.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nigel A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eddie S, General Manager at Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach, responded to this review, April 4, 2014
We appreciate your comments regarding your stay with us here at the Sandcastle Resort. We are glad you enjoyed your stay and do hope you bring your family back for a fifth time.

Again, thank you for the business.

Regards,
Eddie Sipple
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
31 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014

You cannot beat the location of this resort. The beach is literally steps away and not super crowded. St. Armand's Circle is not too far away and the free Lido shuttle is quick and easy. Glenda in the dining room is a fabulous server. The beach crew is great. The pools are nice. Not so great - if one more person asked me for a tip, I would have screamed. That, and the phrase 'Not any more,' about old offerings vs. current offerings - take your pick of start time and free appetizers at the pool (started at 5 not 4 pm and NOT free), Luau's, house salad with entrees, paying entree prices for appetizers at dinner, gift shop closed for first 2 days, parking, etc. Apparently nothing is the same, but some staff don't know it and tell you the wrong information, or voice an opinion about how it hurts their tips. What was really NOT cool was the indoor water feature in our room when it rained, and hearing how old the hotel was and nothing could be done but offer some towels and an extra ice bucket to empty when the water fills up. Then having one person at the front desk telling us we'd get compensation, and upon check out hearing that the person who told us had no authority to give it to us. At least every guest we met was nice - whether family, couple, group attendee, return guest. Note about taxis - VERY expensive in Sarasota. If you can't find what you are looking for grocery wise in St. Armand and don't have a car, the Route 4 SCAT bus picks you up across from the hotel and drops you off there. If you take to 1st & Lemon, there is a Whole Foods right there. With traffic and neighborhood, best to go in the morning or early afternoon.

Room Tip: Definitely get an ocean view room. Ask for one toward the middle of the resort - the rooms on each...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank citysprout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eddie S, General Manager at Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach, responded to this review, April 4, 2014
I am sorry to hear of your experience while staying here at the Sandcastle Resort and want to apologize for our lapses in service. The resort is addressing the items you mentioned and will continue to work at upgrading our property as well as our service levels.

Again, I do apologize and hope you will give us another try.


Regards,
Eddie Sipple
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Sarasota hotels

Isle of Man, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014

We checked in middle of the evening, it was dark, having just flown over from Dublin, via Newark. If we had stayed here 20 years ago it would have been fantastic. Have they spent any money on it since then, I doubt it. It is a run down property that we think was going to be sold to be developed or rebuilt into apartments. Staff were at their best - average, food from the bar or in the restaurant again - average, Pool Bar - not even average! However its position on the beach - wonderful ! Our room, at the back overlooking the car park. Could have done with a room overlooking the beach and maybe one with a balcony, had it been offered. Would have gladly paid the difference. Upon enquiring the following morning, told 'we are full' what a load of Bull. Thankfully we were only there for 5 nights, before heading down to Miami and a cruise on Ncl through the Panama. There are many restaurants nearby, not within walking distance though, thankfully we had a car. Would we stay there again? I don't think so. However would we stay in the same area again, a big definite Yes!

Room Tip: Check out the rates for a front, upstairs, balcony rooms. They are the best.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Robin767
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eddie S, General Manager at Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach, responded to this review, April 4, 2014
I am sorry to hear of your disappointment in our property and I do apologize for that. We are working on upgrading the property, as well a the service levels; so we may have a product you can be happy with and would consider visiting us again.

Thank you for the business and again I do apologize.

Regards,
Eddie Sipple
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellicott City, Maryland
Level Contributor
151 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

OK, look, this property is old, but its not run down. My mom is old, and she's not run down either.....just old. My kids say I'm old, I am....I'm not run down tho.

Here is what you get, a clean property, decent staff who seemed to care, on the beach, like right on the beach, two heated pools, lots of chairs, a restaurant, a bar, a small basic out door bar, clean rooms, a basic lobby, free wifi everywhere.

Here is what you don't get. You don't get fancy, you don't get wow, except the beach view, you don't get over priced drinks or food, you don't get wild night life....oh and you don't get great access to the one computer in the lobby. My only complaint. The one computer to print out boarding passed has full internet access, so guests will sit there forever looking at the internet. I would suggest they put the software on there that only gives you access to airline check in sites. This was annoying and no one from the hotel monitored this. I finally gave up and set my alarm for midnight and went over then to print my boarding pass.

And someone said no shopping? Well that's correct because this place is on the beach, and shopping is just down the street at St Armand's. Yes they are quaint, boutique shops...I sure don't want all the chain stores I can get back home. And the "traffic problem", well coming into Lido Beach there was never a problem, only on Saturday between 4 and 7 was it packed trying to get out of Lido Beach.

There are not many options here, oh someone said Holiday Inn. Its not on the beach. I paid $215 a night, which included taxes at the Sandcastle.

Room Tip: A pool view room is nice.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SigEpGov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eddie S, General Manager at Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach, responded to this review, March 24, 2014
Thank you for the comments regarding our resort. I will share them with the staff so they can see how you rated your stay with us. We do appreciate you taking the time to write a review.

Again, thank you, and we hope you will visit us again.

Regards,
Eddie S.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

The Sandcastle Resort is a quite modest place in a fancy neighborhood....and much preferable to some of the fancy places nearby. We wanted to stay on Longboat, and this was one of the few places on the beach with rooms in March at less than $300/night. We spent five days at the Sandcastle, and had a great getaway. The beach is heads and tails above the Ritz Carlton's beach next door, which is so small the beach chairs with their white towels are crammed in. Lots of space and some nice shady thatched huts on the Sandcastle beach, with eager attendant to get you chairs and towels. Two large pools nicely heated also available if you don't want to swim in the cold (in March) Gulf waters.

We stayed in a poolside room, which actually afforded a partial ocean view. The best part of the room was that it had a good size fridge, since we like to keep fruit, yogurt, cheese, and other snack items. It was okay size, but had two double beds sted of a queen or king. The thing we missed most was some kind of balcony to sit and have snacks and drinks.

We were pleasantly surprised by the hotel restaurant. Modest, but always very nice food. And you can sit outside with a view of the beach and ocean. Breakfast was the best--a small buffet for $12. I loved the scrambled eggs (never over done) and there was always a nice sweet item or two, either waffles or blintzes, along with excellent muffins. The restaurant is important because, during the busy season, you don't want to venture out if you can avoid it since traffic is so heavy and backed up. We had dinner at the Sandcastle a couple nights and, once again, food very good. I had an excellent grouper sandwich one night. And the small poolside bar was okay--they had happy hour with 29 cent chicken wings a few times.

My main complaints were with the wifi--it was terrible. When I mentioned it to the hotel clerks, they just kind of nodded, as if they had heard it before.

Overall, though, a very nice, well maintained, modest hotel.

Room Tip: I'd opt for at least a poolside room, on higher floors, to avoid the noise around pool. Ocean fr...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank davidgBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eddie S, General Manager at Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach, responded to this review, March 24, 2014
Thank you for the comments regarding your stay at the resort. I will share your thoughts with our staff and we will look at the wifi situation.

We do hope you will visit us again.

Regards,
Eddie S.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
#3 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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