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“On the beach, friendly staff”

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Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach
Ranked #20 of 51 Hotels in Sarasota
Reviewed 28 December 2013

I had a very comfortable 2 night stay in room 130 which is tucked in a corner, considered courtyard but really a beach front room. This hotel is not fancy nor very modern but it's location, very friendly/accommodating staff, two pools, nice dining, and room service are far more important to many travelers than ultra modern furnishings and/or linens.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
1  Thank MassachusettsMaureen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 December 2013

If you want to stay on Lido Beach, this place is a reasonable place to stay. You could probably do much better by staying at The Ritz Carlton right next door, but you'll need to make sure the credit limit in your credit card can accommodate it. We would probably stay here again, but here are a few things to note - plusses and minuses:
+ Located right on a beautiful beach
+ Week before Christmas only 20 of 130 rooms occupied
+ About one mile from St. Armand's Circle - a beautiful area with many shops and restaurants
- Hotel not as clean as other reviews would have you believe as I can attest from the Queen's white glove inspection (I.e. cobwebs, stained carpets, trash just outside front door, etc.)
- Wait until you see the draperies - very much from the 60's
- Wait until you need the maintenance guy - he's older than the hotel. (We needed him because upon arrival, the Queen heard a leak in the toilet which could only be heard by the Queen. The maintenance guy showed up promptly with his trusted plunger. Even I knew that a plunger was not the solution. After he left, the Queen tested the toilet and same bad result. Little did I know after 36 years of marriage that the Queen could fix a leaking toilet. She lifted the tank lid, made some kind of adjustment, and it was all fixed.)
- Ceilings and walls are very thin. Why they needed to occupy rooms next door and just above does not make sense given the occupancy rate.
- Upon check in, our card key did not work on the door facing the parking lot, which is the most obvious of the two doors to use. I went back to the front desk and the clerk said that we would have to enter by the court yard and then unlock the bolt on the other door. It would have been easier if she said that when we checked in.
+ Saved a few bucks on having to tip the beach chair guy since he was never around to assist in getting us beach chairs.
- The beach chair guy was around to enforce the hotel's rule for not moving the beach chairs from under the dozen or so beach canopies, none of which were occupied during any of our four days on the beach. By the way, they get $10 for renting those canopies, but none were rented during our stay.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
7  Thank KingAtlanticCity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 December 2013

This is the second time that I have stayed at the Helmsley. The first being in March 2012 and the second just last week December 2013. Don't let the slightly outdated appearance of the hotel fool you. This place is spectacular. I highly recommend spending a little extra to get the gulf front room. The views of the beach and sunset are SPECTACULAR. What could be better than waking up in the morning to sounds of the waves? Nothing!!! The location and atmosphere of this hotel is so ideal. It is right on Lido Beach and the hotel has two pools that are very warm. Every afternoon there is also appitizer type food provided at the pool for guests for free. The hotel staff is extremely friendly and welcoming. Our room was clean and spacious. There is nothing bad that I can say. I loved each stay at the Helmsley and HIGHLY recommend it to anyone, even families with small children.

Room Tip: Gulf front views are spectacular.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Amy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2013

This hotel was wonderful, beautiful view of the beach, free parking. Matt checked us in and he was Wonderful ,knowledgeable and friendly. Made us feel at home. The room was clean and nice, bed was comfortable. We had a 1st floor ocean view so I slept with the curtain open and would wake up several times just to look at the view. We paid the $9.50 for the breakfast buffet. That was the best I ever had.. Not a quiche fan but Andy made a quiche that was out of this world!!! I highly recommend this hotel safe area beautiful pools very clean place. I will return again!

Room Tip: We had room 101 loved the patio and the view
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MICHELLE F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2013

This hotel is more like a resort without the meals and the free alcohol. But the whole atmosphere is just so perfect. The staff is experienced and super friendly. The location is just spectacular, with the pools and the beach adjacent to each other. There just isnt anything bad I can say about the Helmsley. We will definitely be back!

Room Tip: Oceanfront is obviously more expensive but well worth it.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank freebob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2013

Had a 2nd floor room over looking the beach, room was a bit dated as was areas of the hotel. staff very helpful. seems a popular hotel in a good location. car is a must. Saga are starting to use this hotel for uk guests. ate in the dining room twice, good but not cheap. good pool bar which is yards from the beach. would try another hotel if we visited this area again.

Room Tip: go for a beach view
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank strogoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2013

Lovely beach within a 100 ft. Free parking. Enjoyable patio next to pool where a nice breakfast can be had. Pool is clean and good size. The restaurant looks a few decades old, but service is decent and so is food. The same can be said of the rooms we have had, clean and somewhat dated. But the geography is well placed. Not 10 minutes from Armand Circle where everything is available, from great shops to a variety of good restaurants.

Room Tip: Pool Side doesn't always mean actually beside the pool......Insist if that's what you want...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Bob S
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)
Region: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sarasota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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: £130 - £250 (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
Sandcastle Resort At Lido Beach Sarasota, Florida

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