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Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach
Ranked #20 of 51 Hotels in Sarasota
Reviewed April 8, 2007

After staying in Palm Harbor for two days of golf for the hubby, he spoiled me to two days at the beach. We stopped by the Sarasota Convention Center ( I believe that's what it's called ) and they highly recommended the Sandcastle and made a call for us to see if they had any rooms left ( it was spring break time ).

The Sandcastle was a wonderful find! We had a king room on the first floor, in the courtyard area. Our room was very quiet - we didn't hear any of our neighbors and the hotel was plenty full. It appeared to have been recently remodeled.

The heated pools (2) were nice and warm. There are restaurants on site for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. There’s a nice shopping area with many restaurants just a quick drive away too.

We missed the luau that was scheduled the day we departed. But it appears they have some nice activities for the guests to partake in.

The ocean was just steps from the pool and courtyard. It's just lovely! And clean! The sand is white, white, white!

I am certain we'll be visiting the Sandcastle again, and I can't wait!

  • Stayed: March 2007
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4  Thank ATPitts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,120 - 1,126 of 1,472 reviews

Reviewed April 2, 2007

After reading the previous reviews I was very concerned about staying
here. However, what a pleasant surprise it was! I tried to check in early but the room was not ready so I waited at the pool bar until it was. The room itself was a bit outdated but very spacious. From the front desk staff to housekeeping, everyone was pleasant. The location was phenomenal. Literally, 15 steps and I was on the beach.
Unlike the other reviewers, I think the extra money for a gulf front room is a waste of money. I had a courtyard view and went out to the beach (again, 15 steps) and enjoyed sunset every night for $60 less a night. There is a great gift shop there that sells anything you might have forgotten at a very reasonable rate. There are even pails and shovels for the children. I was there during the busiest week of the year and was always able to get a chair on the beach. They are complimentary by the way. The pools do get very crowded (two heated pools) so I mainly stayed on the beach. My one complaint would be the on site restaurant. Although the breakfast buffet was a great value (at $8 pp) they had seated another party at our table while we went in to get food from the buffet. They laughed and said it happens
all the time. So, if you partake in the buffet, make sure one person from your party remains at the table. I was able to use the computer in the lobby free of charge to check in for my flight and the front desk staff made dining reservations for me at a restaurant at St. Armand's Circle. Please note that if you charge something to your room a 16% tip is automatically included. Try Kilwin's at St. Armand's Circle for THE BEST ice cream. The Lido Grille was a wonderful place for lunch (again at St. Armand's Circle). I travel often and have stayed in many hotels and really enjoyed this one. If you arrive knowing this is no Ritz Carlton you will not be disappointed. I will add photos at a later date.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Frequent_TravelerCC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2007

The hotel has the best kept part of the stunning long Lido Key Beach. Lido Key and Sarasota boast the best and longest stretches of beach anywhere.. yeah the Caribbean has lovely beaches but they are tiny but here bo way you can literally walk along the clean pristine white sands for miles and miles..
The hotel boasts a lovely cafe for brekkie and lunch where you can hear tropical birds and see the blue, calm Gulf ocean. It is about 10 mins by car to St Armands so a good location and the hotel staff are very friendly. Food is quite good although it is better in the Circle. Weather was disappointing whilst there 10 degrees below normal but hey thats not the Helmley's fault. The only DOWNER is that the walls of our room were PAPER thin and our bed was next to the next room we HEARD EVERYTHING .. and I mean everything from each conversation to their TV so this made a relaxing and lovely place and hotel very stressful as we couldnt relax or sleep due to some hard of hearing (very nice neighbours bu sadly deaf) neighbours - this is not on as our room had a gap in the floor behind the ed making it even easier to feel part of the room next door! Hmm for this reason and it is a damn shame I would not go back for fear of being in that room again.. they should reall build properly in a hotel as things like this spoil an otherwise lovely vacation spot.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank Christinap1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2007

What a wonderful place

We stayed there for 4 days 3/21 to 3/24 and enjoyed every second of our stay.

The staff was great, thanks Linda at the pool bar, Bart on the beach.

The beach was close (right out the door) and beautiful. The sunset's were awesome.

St Armands Circle was nice. We also took the sunset boat from town one night, the band was good and the sights were great along the way.

The mix of hotel guest was younger and older couples about 50% and young families with kids about 50%. We all got along just peachey.

The rooms were ok but when in paradise you don't spend much time in your room.

You won't regret your stay there

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JohnShelby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2007

Great place. We would definitely return. My first impression was excellent, and never changed. The staff was friendly and helpful, the place was clean well maintained; the pools were great; and the beach was beautiful.

The place is a little dated, but who cares? We opened the door and the Gulf of Mexico was right there, so who cares what the curtains looked like.

We didn't eat at the restaurant much, because we wanted to try different places in and around town but the restaurant was good when we were there.

They just installed wireless in the lobby before we left, but frankly we didn't want to be checking emails much while we were there. It was vacation, after all.

Overall, it was a terrific experience and we would definitely stay there again.

Stayed: March 2007
1  Thank Fungyrl_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2007

I guess the Helmsley name made me expect more from this hotel. Despite it's excellent location and nice public areas, the rooms are dark, dank, with all the charm of a highway Holiday Inn, complete with noisy air conditioning unit that goes on and off all night long. Bathroom tiny, towels thin, ragged and in short supply, and very inferior fixtures and bedding. If you want a glorified cheapy motel for a high price at a lovely location, this is your spot. The staff was very nice, but many of the areas looked in need of refurbishment. Just not what you would expect from a Helmsley property at all. We wouldn't come back here.

Stayed: February 2007
3  Thank YGG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2007

I have stayed on Lido Beach at least 25 times before in a timeshare condo, but for a 2 night stay with friends, I needed to find an actual hotel. I had seen this hotel countless times from the beach, and it always seemed to be busy, and received good reviews on Trip Advisor, so I booked it.

It is an older location, and could use some upgrades in minor details such as wallpaper & locks on the doors that were hard to turn at times, and free high speed internet would be nice, but that's the extent of the "negative" things I have to say. Everything was clean, which makes a big difference in an older property.

The property is right on the Gulf of Mexico, with great views from the Gulf Front rooms. It is very well maintained, and the grounds are in terrific condition. The beach is raked every morning by the staff to keep it as soft as possible. 2 big heated pools sit in the courtyard along with a pool bar. Beach chairs, cabanas & beach volleyball are all available free of charge. The staff was friendly, from the front desk, to the coffee shop/bar, to housekeeping and maintenance.

The beach is great for walking, and we had good views of dolphins one afternoon. The sun sets each evening right in front of the hotel. St. Armand's Circle, filled with shops & restaurants, is a 10-15 minute walk or a 2 minute drive.

It was a positive experience staying in a different place on a beach that I already know is fantastic, and is affordable for a beachfront location.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled on business
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10  Thank TrueLiz
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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