Rate based on Check-in: May 3, 2014 Check-out: May 5, 2014

Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel

3 stars
1540 Ben Franklin Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236
Hotel Overview
Reviewer score
3.6
out of 5
169 reviews
Gorgeous Get-away

Stayed in the poolside room with a gorgeous view of the pools and ocean. Just seconds away from the... See full review

  • NurseJess14
  • Apr 6, 2014
Hotel booking sarasota, Flo.

Beautiful hotel!!!!! Great dining, feel like being in the Bahamas!!!! See full review

  • Leylla
  • Dec 6, 2013
Lido Key hotel with great views and a private beach

With 600 feet of white sandy beaches on Lido Key, the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel has lots to offer those looking for fun and relaxation in Sarasota, Florida. This 3-star hotel overlooks the Gulf of Mexico and guests can grab a free lounger or rent a cabana to enjoy the surf, the amazing sunsets, or rent a bike and head up to St. Armand's Circle for fine dining and shopping. Business travelers will appreciate the hotel's meeting rooms, business center and free Wi-Fi Internet access. After a busy day, unwind with a game of shuffleboard on the deck.

Highlights
  • Private beach, complimentary beach loungers
  • Located next to Sarasota's popular South Lido Park
  • 2 heated pools, bike and cabana rentals
  • Shuffleboard, volleyball and Ping Pong
  • Free Wi-Fi Internet access
Rooms

The 179 guest rooms at the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel are decorated in the colors of Florida: bright neutral tones, splashes of key lime and salmon pink, and floral accents. The spacious rooms all have a mini fridge, safe, TV, tea- and coffee-making facilities and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access. Some rooms feature stunning views over the Gulf of Mexico.

Features

Located on the white sandy beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel offers resort-like accommodations and an ideal spot to enjoy the sun. Guests enjoy fabulous recreation opportunities with shuffleboard, bike rentals and two heated pools. Head to the private beach out front, where guests can rent a cabana or soak up the sun with complimentary loungers. Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel offers meeting facilities, a business center and free Wi-Fi Internet access.

Dining

Sandcastle Coffee Shop serves breakfast and lunch both indoors and outdoors. Candlelight Restaurant and Lounge features cocktails and dinner. Enjoy a drink and snack by the pool at the Sandcastle Pool Bar, open daily from 11:30 a.m. until dusk.

Transportation
  • Sarasota bus service (SCAT) (Outside hotel)
  • Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (7.5 mi/12 km)
Attractions
  • South Lido Park (Adjacent)
  • St. Armand's Circle (1.2 mi/1.9 km)
  • Mote Marine Laboratory (2.5 mi/4 km)
  • Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (4.2 mi/6.7 km)
  • Sarasota Jungle Gardens (6 mi/9.7 km)
  • John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art (6.9 mi/11.1 km)
  • Siesta Key Beach (9.5 mi/15.3 km)
  • Myakka River State Park (23 mi/37 km)
Business
  • Meeting facilities for up to 225 guests, banquet space for up to 160
  • Audiovisual and conference equipment available
  • Business center
  • Free Wi-Fi Internet access
  • Complimentary daily morning newspaper

Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel Rooms

Standard View Room
This room does not offer a view of the gulf of mexico or the pool. Complimentary wireless Internet access. Direct-dial phone with voice mail. TV with complimentary HBO. Compact refrigerator and coffee/tea maker. Complimentary newspaper. Two upholstered chairs. Bathroom with shower/tub combination, interior and/or exterior vanity, and makeup/shaving mirror.
Gulf View Room
Two double beds. Gulf of Mexico view. In two- or four-story building. 324 square feet. Complimentary wireless Internet access. Direct-dial phone with voice mail. TV with complimentary HBO. Compact refrigerator and coffee/tea maker. Complimentary newspaper. Two upholstered chairs. Bathroom with shower/tub combination, interior and/or exterior vanity, and makeup/shaving mirror.
Poolside Room
Two double beds. Pool view. In one- or three-story building. 288 square feet. Complimentary wireless Internet access. Direct-dial phone with voice mail. TV with complimentary HBO. Compact refrigerator and coffee/tea maker. Complimentary newspaper. Two upholstered chairs. Bathroom with shower/tub combination, interior and/or exterior vanity, and makeup/shaving mirror.

Amenities

  • Free internet
  • Free parking
  • Outdoor pool
  • No smoking rooms/facilities
General
No smoking rooms/facilities
Elevators
Activities
Outdoor pool
Fitness center or spa
Dining
Bar/Lounge
Restaurant
Room service
Services
Business center
Laundry service
In-Room Safe
Meeting/Banquet facilities
Conference facilities
Gift shop
Internet
Free internet
Parking
Free parking
Accessibility
Handicapped rooms/facilities
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant
Accessible facilities
Wheel chair access
Service dogs allowed
Service animals allowed
Accessible parking
Public areas wheelchair accessible for disabled
Handicapped parking
Audible emergency alarm for sight impaired guest
Wheelchair accessible elevators
Ramp access to buildings
Brailled elevators

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Hotel Map

27.3051 -82.5714
Area served
Sarasota
Nearby airports
Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport - 8 miles, Tampa International Airport - 60 miles.
Area description
Corporations/Industries, Electro Corporation - 9 miles, Hi-Stat Manufacturing - 10 miles, Klockner-Bartelt Manufacturing - 10 miles, Sun Hydraulics - 9 miles, Tropicana Beverages - 20 miles.

Dining

Cafe
Open 7am-5pm, casual, Breakfast /buffet.
Candlelight Restaurant
Open 5pm-10pm, casual, innovative menu/salads.
Lounge Bar
Open 5pm-midnight, casual, drinks.
Pool Bar
Open noon-dusk, casual, drinks/hors d'ouvres.

Meeting facilities

Meeting Info
Meeting facilities for groups to 225, banquets to 160, audio-Visual equipment.

Hotel Policies

Check-in:
1500
Check-out:
1100

Terms and conditions

Rates quoted in currencies other than the hotel's base currency are subject to the rate of the international exchange. Rate may change throughout stay. Rate may reflect average nightly rate. Extra charges may apply. Incidental charges, such as room service, are not included in the rate.

The amenities and/or facilities may not be located at the hotel, but within a reasonable distance, and additional charges may apply for use.

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Guest Reviews (169)

Ratings and reviews for Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel

Overall score

3.5 / 5
72 out of 169
Amenities:
3.5
Room cleanliness:
3.9
Hotel staff:
4.1
Room comfort:
3.4
Location:
4.5
Value:
3.6

79% would recommend to a friend.

Sort by:
Review of Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel

Reviewer score

5
NurseJess14
Venice, Florida
Apr 6, 2014

Gorgeous Get-away

Stayed in the poolside room with a gorgeous view of the pools and ocean. Just seconds away from the beach, this resort is a gem on Lido Key. I would strongly recommend as a vacation get-away!

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
5
Room cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
5
Room comfort:
5
Location:
5
Value:
5
Shopping tip: Short walk from hotel

Great shopping on St. Armand's circle with nice eateries!

Review of Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel

Reviewer score

3
ambidexerous
Minnesota
Mar 29, 2014

Accomatations wern't the highlight of our vacation.

Great location. House keeping needs attention. Has all the comforts of home. Staff needs training or better supervision.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
3
Room cleanliness:
2
Hotel staff:
2
Room comfort:
2
Location:
5
Value:
3
Shopping tip: Short drive from hotel

Great shopping and dining area 5 minutes away. Excellent private beach.

Review of Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel

Reviewer score

4
Sus Hai
Michigan
Feb 23, 2014

Changes are coming

This small-town-feeling gulf resort was purchased during our stay by a large real estate company who plans to redo the property. Changes were being made while we were there to the landscaping and menus. Rumor has it the entire property will be razed and condos built as well as rental property. It will be sad to see this place go.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
3
Room cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
5
Room comfort:
5
Location:
5
Value:
3
Review of Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel

Reviewer score

4
rcwash
Poughkeepsie, NY, USA
Feb 15, 2014

Loved the Helmsley

Loved the location. The beach. Generally the hotel is very nice. But the rooms do need updating! The hotel is an excellent value. The only thing that bothered us to any extent was the bite of mole in the bathroom shower. But again, we loved the hotel and would return. The location is just fantastic...Regards, Richard

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
3
Room cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
5
Room comfort:
3
Location:
5
Value:
5
Dining tip: Short drive from hotel

Lazy Lobster Restaurant on LongBoat key. It is excellent!!!

Review of Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel

Reviewer score

4
Grandpappy
Madison, WI, USA
Jan 23, 2014

Nice Stay

Although this is an older property the staff and management work hard to help you have a nice stay and it is a great value and a beautiful beach and pools. We had a delay in check in because of a glitch in the reservation system but it was resolved and they gave us a slight room upgrade as an apology. Our door lock did not work but was replaced in minutes and then was fine. View from the room was fantastic and walking/runnng Lido was relaxing. Room was clean and quiet.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
3
Room cleanliness:
4
Hotel staff:
4
Room comfort:
4
Location:
5
Value:
4
Review of Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel

Reviewer score

4
Just Joan2
Spencer, Ohio
Jan 19, 2014

Great Hotel

We have stayed at the Helmsley Sandcastle twice now and plan to return. Nice, quiet, clean, older hotel on Lido Beach. Staff is very kind and helpful. Room clean and the beds are comfortable. It would be nice if they had Queen sized beds and the bathroom counter was larger. However, it was still a very nice stay.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
3
Room cleanliness:
4
Hotel staff:
5
Room comfort:
4
Location:
5
Value:
4
Sightseeing tip: Short drive from hotel

Nice quiet area still close to the happenings in Sarasota.

Review of Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel

Reviewer score

2
noelalexis
Saluda, North Carolina
Jan 16, 2014

Leaves a lot to be desired!

The rooms are old and smell of mildew. We felt the price for the room was high since we weren't near the pool and on the third floor. Not enough covers on the bed. We were cold. The maids were the only thing about this hotel that was outstanding. Won't be returning to this hotel next year!

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
1
Room cleanliness:
3
Hotel staff:
4
Room comfort:
2
Location:
1
Value:
1
Dining tip: Short drive from hotel

Had lunch at Smell The Bread in Sarasota several days! The restaurant is outstanding and better than anything on St. Armands Circle. This is a vegan/vegetarian restaurant but they also serve humanely raised Chicken!

Review of Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel

Reviewer score

1
Aj1066
Nd
Jan 5, 2014

Old out dated

Shabby, over a mile to restaurants bars etc. not good if raining. They do have a car that will take you, but waiting in rain no fun. Very shabby and outdated. Would not go back. Found out is on the market and will be knocked down to make condos.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
2
Room cleanliness:
1
Hotel staff:
4
Room comfort:
1
Location:
3
Value:
3
Dining tip: Short drive from hotel

The crab and fin restaurant. Outstanding!!

Review of Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel

Reviewer score

4
Cubanosensation
Tampa Florida
Sep 9, 2013

Worth it!

Great time relaxing great location and good value. Wish they had a king bed beachfront avail.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
4
Room cleanliness:
4
Hotel staff:
4
Room comfort:
5
Location:
5
Value:
4
Review of Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel

Reviewer score

4
Dr Nick
Lido Beach, Gulf of Mexico, Florida
Sep 1, 2013

lovely location for a great getaway from it all

we had a lovely time at Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel. Siesta Key takes the headlines but we went to visit that beach one day and it wasn't as nice as Lido Key Beach which is immediately next to Helmsley Sandcastle. The beach is lovely, quiet, clean and full of fascinating and entertaining wildlife - you can spend lots of time just watching the young sandpipers running backwards and forwards to get food from the surf but always avoiding the waves - lol. The rooms were very clean, provided coffee and clean towels every day and had free wifi. I had only one criticism - the hotel did not allow us to place towels on the balcony outside the room to dry and asked us to use the drying line provided in the room. However, nothing dried properly that way. Overall a great place to stay, location next to the beach was perfect and it was only a short 5 min drive to the shops and restaurants. I would recommend to anyone.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
4
Room cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
5
Room comfort:
4
Location:
5
Value:
4
Sightseeing tip: Short drive from hotel

don't spend half an hour driving to Siesta Key Beach - Lido Beach has just as nice water and sand and the wild life is better (the busy little sandpipers are very funny to watch as they run around avoiding the water while feeding!)

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