Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel, Sarasota
Reviews - Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel
- Age Group: 41 - 50
- From: United States
- Traveller type: Adventurer
Read 434 additional reviews of Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel at TripAdvisor.
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Historical Traveller Reviews of Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel
Superb!from A TripAdvisor Member
Great Stayfrom watchamush
Almand circle, a 20 minute walk away has lots of restaurants and bars. If you want a good cheap breakfast without the frills I recommend the Deli next the Irish bar.
A bus service from outside the hotel takes you to the Circle or downtown Sarasota but a taxi is needed to return later in the evening. Prices similar to the UK. (almost everything else in Florida is much cheaper than UK)
A must is Ben and Jerry's ice cream parlour.
Great site shame about the roomsfrom A TripAdvisor Member
The staff were fine (good job otherwise it would be Fawlty Towers) but the decor is so tired, sometimes you would think that the last storm surge ran straight through the ground floor rooms in view of the amount of rot setting in. Pink does not wear well.
A great location nice people but overpriced.
Great Beach!from A TripAdvisor Member
The live entertainment at poolside left something to be desired, maybe consider hiring someone else for that job. Overall good experience and I will be back very soon.
Thanks for a great job!
What a wonderful findfrom A TripAdvisor Member
Shabby Accommodation - not up to standardfrom TinaandColin
Great Value Hotelfrom A TripAdvisor Member
the Sandcastle because it seems to be very different from many other reviewers. We just spent
seven wonderful nights there during April school
vacation and we would return there again. I think
it's probably one of the BEST values for a beach-
front property anywhere (especially on the Gulf
Coast of FL). Where else can you have an unob-
structed oceanfront room with fabulous sunsets
every night for only $199.00? When I say "ocean-
front", I mean the sand and beach is literally right
below you! Yes, sharing the balcony with another
hotel guest is not ideal (our neighbors were rarely
there); however, there is no other hotel on Lido
Beach with rooms this close to the beach. I'd much
rather be closer to the beach on the 3rd floor at the
Sandcastle, than way up on the 10th floor in the
tower at the Radisson. As far as the quality of the
rooms goes, I have to disagree with some of the
reviewers. Perhaps we were lucky enough to stay
in one of the more recently decorated rooms because our carpet was clean with no stains and
there was no mildew or cobwebs...lucky us! There
are definitely some poorly located rooms at this
hotel, but you get what you pay for something. I
wouldn't consider staying here unless I got an oceanfront room in the big section of the hotel (the
wing areas with the courtyard look like they need
updating). The pool area is gorgeous and plenty
large enough (we stayed there during a kids' school
vacation week and we always got chairs by the pool
and on the beach). We found the staff in all depart-
ments to be very helpful and friendly! We ate a few
breakfasts at the poolside patio (enjoyed the con-
venience of not having to leave the hotel); and we
had several lunches for takeout to enjoy on the deck by the beach. The food was very good with
generous portions for the money. All in all it was a
great week for our family of four where we could
really relax at a beachfront hotel which offered just
about everything we needed. For all you critical
people out there, if you EXPECT a larger and more luxurious room then you should know that you will
have to spend more than $300/night to get it. As I
said at the beginning, the Sandcastle is probably
one of the few great values in all of Florida, con-
sidering its location and pool and beach areas. We
do hope to return someday (maybe without the
kiddos next time!!!!!).
In desperate need of a makeoverfrom SanibelBean
The pool area is ok, overcrowded with not enough lounges. People get out at 9 am to put a towel to reserve a seat. Even the lounges for the beach were completely gone by noon. There were 2 families at the pool that admitted that they were not even hotel guests!!!! They came to the pool bar with their kids and used the pool. No wonder it was crowded!
Avoid this one, we checked out and decided not to stay to use the pool, but continue on our way to Sanibel. Too bad we didn't read the posts here. Shame on this hotel chain. Buyer beware.
Way Over Pricedfrom A TripAdvisor Member
The room looked like it hadn't been updated since the 60's. It was dreary and even dirty. The bathroom was tiny. The pool area and the beach were the high points. The beach is very nice. I really enjoyed the pool area, which is also very nice and clean.
I was sorry that I had decided to rent a room with an oceanfront balcony. I wished I had rented a cheaper room. I would have felt like I was getting what I paid for. I couldn't help but feel cheated. I would stay here again, in a cheaper room and only for the beach/pool area and because the area around it is very nice. But in any other surrounding, I would have left this hotel and went somewhere else. The room was just disappointing and a big rip off.
Never again!!from A TripAdvisor Member
Top Local Tips for Sarasota
Wonderful food Eat at Cafe L'Europe in the circle - amazing AND Cafe on the Bay in Longboat Key seriously the best grouper I have had anywhere. Also for great cheap pizza and bruchetta visit Ciou Italia in Longboat Key also enjoy!
St. Armand's Circle St. Armands Circle is packed at night. If you can, take the first space you see rather than driving all the way through. Pedestrian's are everywhere. Don't bother with the Colonnade restaurant. It was awful!! It's an Italian place and the service was totally unacceptable.
Culture If you're a culture vulture then Sarasota has an abundance of museums and art events.
Other names for Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel
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- Address: 1540 Ben Franklin Drive - Sarasota - Florida - 34236 - United States
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