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“Fantastic location - pity about the room”

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Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach
Ranked #17 of 48 Hotels in Sarasota
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Fantastic location - pity about the room”
Reviewed 19 April 2012

The hotel is situated on a fabulous sandy beach. There are two very nice heated swimming pools. The bar staff were very friendly and the pianist/singer in the bar was an excellent musician. That's where the positives end.
We were allocated a room with a view of the concrete car park . It was accessed by a walkway. One night were woken at 1am by an argument taking place outside our bedroom window. The room itself was clean but the furniture was from circa 1980. The TV and the fridge were not much newer, though both worked. The sink was in the room. The bathroom contained a bath and a lavatory. There was mould growing in the bathroom on the wall and under the overflow in the bath. If you can afford it (our 'no view' room cost £122.77 without breakfast) the sea view rooms looked like they might have been renovated more recently and had bathrooms facing the walkway, and bedrooms on the back, so less chance of being disturbed. They also boast a fantastic sea view. We didn't eat at the restaurant so we can't comment on that except to say that it looked expensive. We did have a drink in the bar ($8 dollars for a Bourbon) .
When we arrived we asked if it was possible to move to a room without the concrete outlook, we were told the hotel was full when clearly it was not. Had we not booked and paid in advance we would not have stayed here. There are a lot of good hotels in this area, this is not one of them!

Room Tip: If you want early nights or late mornings don't go for the pool view rooms either. The pool is o...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank fbis
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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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (400)
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CoastalMaine
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2012

We stayed here for the first time over Easter week. The location is wonderful. The help was very friendly. The food was good and compared to other restaurants in the area, it is better and more affordable.The rooms are in very good condition and kept very clean. We loved the older facility. We plan on returning someday.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank TimD53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uk
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 April 2012

Lets start with the positive! The location of the hotel was awesome, right on the beautiful Lido Beach with excellent views and two good sized clean pools. The maid service was great, considering what they had to work with! Our wallpaper was stained and peeling off the wall in places. shower curtain had slight mold and the air conditioning vents and ceiling looked liked they hadn't been cleaned for ages . The matresses were hard and lumpy even with their mattress topppers on. The food in the restaurant was expensive and extremely poor that we had no choice but to eat outside of the hotel.The fitness room is a joke the machines were at least 20 years old and had no sign of any maintenance. Great location but would recommend picking another hotel .

Room Tip: Sea View and one thats been refurbished (have been told there are a few)
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank oosarah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Sarasota hotels

Woodbridge, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 2012

We had read mixed reviews before booking the hotel and were not sure that we were making the right choice. All the other hotels that we called were sold out and we took comfort in the reviews with positive feedback and went ahead. I am glad that we did. The rooms are not as bright and upscale as the professional photographs make them out to be, but we found our room good enough. We had a first floor room and could walk right out to the beach. When you tire out you can rent cabanas and umbrellas and relax in the shade. The beach is great and less crowded than the Siesta Key, but the sand and the sea is just as good. The hotel has a pool. The restaurant is reasonably good, and if you want to try something else you can always go to the St Armands Circle for the food or the shopping. If you have some time and want a break from the water then you can drive towards Ana Maria, and stop by the Mote Aquarium on the way.

So even if the rooms in itself would perhaps merit a 3 on 5, I would give the complete hotel experience a 4 on 5.

Room Tip: As long as you have a room with a good Gulf view, you need not target a first floor room.
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Shoumo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore, Maryland
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 April 2012

Just returned from our first trip to Sarasota, Florida . . . a friend had recommended the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel in Lido Beach. IT WAS PERFECT. The location, room and service was beyond our expectation.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Dawn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Monica, California
Level 6 Contributor
147 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2012

I disagree with some of the reviewers who felt this had a "motel" like feel - there is nothing wrong with outside corridors. The room I had (357) was huge with a gulf view and a (shared) balcony. I heard that 75% of the guests are Europeans, and I did see lots of English, German and Dutch guests. They tend to be very well-mannered and quiet , so I didn't mind sharing a balcony. There are three sitting areas in the room: two armchairs with a round table; then a work desk with free internet (but annoyingly you have to log in almost every time you use it - not just once per 24 hours); and then a long dresser with a chair and mirror. Lots of options for getting things done, and lots of lamps and good lighting. But the main thing is the beach: white sand, no rocks, no abrupt changes in the ocean floor, no waves to speak of, brilliantly clear green and blue waters, and while I wouldn't say the water was warm, it felt refreshingly cool initially and then was suddently unbelievably comfortable, calm and clean. I love this beach. The beach attendants are helpful, and for $10 a day, you can have an umbrella or a cabana all day long. The restaurant on site is mediocre at best, and I would not eat there unless I had to (which I did a lot because of no car). But the hotel's driver will take you to the Circle and pick you up for no charge (just tips), and you can get good meals at the Circle. The service inside the restaurant is rushed, unfriendly and they don't know food or wine. My waiter didn't even notice that I could not touch the shrimp sliders because they were not hot, and while the plate sat there untouched, he came up to ask if I wanted dessert or coffee! Asparagus soup was watery and overcooked. Just don't bother with this restaurant if you can help it. Coffee is tasteless. But go for the view, the really comfortable room and the incredible beach.

Room Tip: You must choose a gulf front room.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank JulieJ8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2012

What attracted me to the hotel was the location. The location IS great, but make sure you have an ocean view. If not, you will see a beautiful view of the hotel's multi-level parking garage. During the day, the room was pretty dark. The kicker is the continuous melody of cars driving near your front door. During my three-night stay, I inquired about a room change. The front desk didn't even attempt to accommodate the request.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sandisjeans
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)
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:
#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
Sandcastle Resort At Lido Beach Sarasota, Florida

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