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“Great beach hotel”

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Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach
Ranked #19 of 48 Hotels in Sarasota
A TripAdvisor Member
“Great beach hotel”
Reviewed April 7, 2005

We just returned from a stay at the sandcastle. It is not the most beautiful or updated hotel, but it is a great place to stay on a beautiful beach. The rooms are standard, but the food service in the hotel is easy and convenient. The service was good and the hotel as a whole was clean and well taken care of. We loved the ease of getting to the beach. We will be back.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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6 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 5, 2005

I can't wait to get back to the Helmsley ! 5 weeks and counting, it will be the 5th time I have stayed there I love everything about it. The Gulf front rooms are heaven to walk out in the morning onto the beach and to not even worry about putting shoes on. Itis safe clean comfortable the staff are lovely the food is wonderful. everyone there just wants you to have a good holiday. The whole point of the Helmsley is that it is a beach hotel hence no long corridors and closed in walkways as stated by Hotel/motel! It is so laid back there you can't fail to relax. If you want entertainment St Armands is great for strolling around there are Flea Markets near by a Dog Track many resturants. Shopping Malls night clubs downtown Sports BArs showing English football golf courses boat trips from the marina Mote Marine just up the road I could go on forever.................

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7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 16, 2005

I was not sure what to expect after seeing some lousy reviews. I found the hotel room to be clean and spacious. I guess I must not be able to tell if the hotel decor is updated because it didn't seem old or shabby to me. The staff we encountered was, without exception, friendly and helpful. We booked directly through the hotel website because it was the least expensive option we found. A Gulf side room was $199/ night. I didn't see anything close to that on the water in Sarasota. I may not stay here again because the nephew we visited is moving to Tampa but I would stay again without hesitation.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2005

Sarasota area was beautiful. Hotel was a little dated, however, the staff was very nice and helpful. We had breakfast in the dining area and it was pricey for what you got. However, the tikki hut restaurant in the pool area was priced okay. Lunch by the beach was a blast and the kids enjoyed it. Hotel room was just okay. Bell boy will give you rides back and forth to the Circle for shopping. We would stay again, knowing what to expect.

  • Stayed December 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank DebbieOreo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, VA
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2005

We stayed in the Helmsley in February, 2005. It had a beautiful layout with the pool and pool bar and the beach was beautiful. We ate at the restaurant twice for breakfast and thought it was a little pricy for what you got. The rooms were clean but really needs to be updated, the bathrooms too. But overall we enjoyed our stay at the Helmsley.

  • Stayed February 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Lisa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2005

We just spent a week at the Helmsley Sandcastle and there's some truth in all of these reviews. We asked for a room facing the courtyard because we wanted something quiet and we experienced no excess noise except for the occasional sound of someone using the shuffleboard court during the daytime hours and sometimes we could hear our next-door neighbours talking but nothing that disturbed our sleep. We didn't pay the extra for the Gulf view but our room was at the beach side of the hotel so we got the view anyway. The room was adequate -- two double beds (too soft for our comfort), moderately decorated, and yes, it could use significant redecorating but it was certainly clean enough and there was a nice little balcony with a table and two chairs. There was no bathtub but a nice big shower. The beach is gorgeous -- wide, white sand, cabanas and beach chairs available for a moderate cost. We walked on the beach but unfortunately found the Gulf too cold to swim in. The pool area (two pools) was great -- lovely warm water, lots of chairs and towels, umbrella tables and an outdoor 'cafe' under a big awning. There was also a nice beach bar that served lunch and drinks. We chose to have breakfasts and some lunches there (sandwiches, seafood baskets, hamburgers, etc.) and went out for dinner. I did look at their dinner menu and was surprised at the high prices. You can do much better with some careful menu-reading on the upscale, lively St. Armand Circle which is about a 10-minute drive away. Also, go into Sarasota proper for some good restaurants on Main Street. We found the service at the hotel pleasant and friendly and didn't have to wait for anything more than a few minutes. I do agree, though, that this wouldn't be a very interesting place for kids, especially teens -- not a lot of watersports or other amenities to keep them interested. I must say though that my first impression on entering from the car park was that I was going into a women's prison (pink building, no windows on that side of the building) but it was no problem -- it's just how we got into and out of our room. Let's face it, this is not the most glamorous hotel on the Key but it was just fine for our purposes. We had great weather and we really just wanted to laze by the pool, read, swim and go out in the evening and it was just fine for that.

  • Stayed February 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank HDM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 21, 2005

Long live Mrs Helmsley, and make the Helmsley Sandcastle go on and on and on ..... I am sure she receives offers daily from the big hotel chains who are keen to buy up her hotel on this wonderful prime spot, please don't ever sell ....

I was first taken to the Helmsley Sandcastle 25 years ago ago when it was the Harley, and have such fond childhood memories of happy holidays with my family when i was a young child. I have returned to share these
pleasures with my own children, and we will be going back again this year to unwind after a crazy week round the theme parks of Orlando.
Dont expect luxury, that can be found at other hotels up the beach if that is what you are looking for, and yes you will pay much more.

Book a gulf front view room at the Helmsley, enjoy the wonderful beach and sunsets, don't expect elaborate furnishings/bathrooms but you will get clean comfortable facilities, and you too, will have a fantastic time.
ON WITH THE HELMSLEY SANDCASTLE, will be back real soon ....

Helpful?
11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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:
#4 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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