We stayed here for 10 days in April, our first holiday together so it was very special to us anyway. As other reviews have commented, the rooms definitely need a refit although they are very clean, they are dated and we were a little disappointed when we opened the door to our room. The view from the room was wonderful, just about on the sand with great view of the sunsets.
The bathroom was very clean with a walk-in shower and the extra sink in the dressing area was very handy although both sinks had an unfortunate aroma of sewage wafting up now and again, probably due to old plumbing rather than cleanliness. I found the reception staff to be a little stiff and not particularly friendly (as was Missy in the bar). However the restaurant staff were happy and helpful and Kelly at the pool bar was friendly and knowledgeable. There seems to be TV's on EVERYWHERE, in the bar when there is live entertainment, at the pool bar competing again with music when you're trying to relax with a drink.
The beach was cleaned every day but it wasn't the most appealing beach (I've been spoilt by the Caribbean I expect) with white sand (which was a concretey grey on some of the beach). I thought the sea would be blue and inviting but we weren't tempted in (in fact we never saw anyone venturing in). Right next to the hotel is an unsightly high rise apartment block which was a blot on the landscape.
St Armand's Circle was great for bars and restaurants especially fish at the Crab & Fin. The shuttle service from the hotel was good.
Overall we would return but make sure we had a sea view and hope that the hotel is renovated. I'd hate to see a high rise there in place of the current hotel. It's a quiet location and we enjoyed our trip.
- 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