Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel

3 out of 5 stars3 Stars

1540 Ben Franklin Dr., Sarasota, Florida, 34236, United States

1 Review

Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach
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Satisfaction Very Good
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 128% more than similarly rated 3 star hotels

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Good For Families
  • Families75
  • Couples72
  • Solo68
  • Business47
  • Dutchnatasja's Profile Photo

    Perfect hotel on the beach!


    Sarasota is one of my favourite spots. Not to much people, that's how I love to spending time on the beach! This photo is taken at Lido Beach. Lido Beach is south of Longboat Key, past St. Armand’s Circle. The perfect place for me is the Helmsley Sandcastle. We've stayed at the Sandcastle for the last 10 years and it's always a nice place. It is an older hotel, but kept nice. The location is excellent right on the beach. We had a Gulf view room, definitely the best at the hotel and worth the extra money. Waking up hearing the sea, which is very relaxing and stepping on your balcony and looking out to sea was superb! Those rooms have also a refrigerator and lots of space and they all are gulf front rooms. One time we had the suite, with the jacuzzi and steam cabin, that was great. This room has a view over the pool and the beach. It was the 10th time we’ve stayed at the Helmsley Sandcastle, so got a present from the manager. When we got back from the beach, we found the present on our room, with a card that says that they appreciated that we’ve been there for the 10th time. We received lots of goodies like a bottle of wine, cheese, fruit and much more. That was really nice of him!
    The beach is also great! The water is beautiful emerald green. The water on the gulf coast is generally warmer and much calmer than the east coast. If you are early in the mornings, you can find some beautiful shells, there are so many on the beach. Everyday you’ll see sandpipers and pelicans fishing. A must in the evening is to grab a deckchair and witness the sunset. There are plenty of restaurants and shopping boutiques within walking and boating distance.
    I recommend this area of Florida to anyone looking for a beautiful and quiet place to vacation.

    Unique Quality: Pool, lots of facilities on the beach, beach chairs and cabans, live music by the pool during the weekend, rooms with a balcony.

    Directions: Lido beach, close to St. Armands Circle

More about Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel

Sarasota, Lido Key

by RobMorgan about Helmsley Sandcastle Resort

A two-storey hotel, based right on the beach.
Rooms are very comfortable with a tv, fridge, etc & ours had a terrific sea view, the Gulf of Mexico, white sand, pelicans waddling past & glorious sunsets.
I think it`s important to ask for a sea view on the upper floor (one or two of the other rooms I would have been disappointed with). It`s on the quieter, south end of Lido Key.
Based right on the beach.
Two swimming pools.
Buffet breakfast is great, about $18 for both of us, help yourself to anything.......

Respect nature; especially the animal's habitat!

by Dutchnatasja

Beach for us means sand, sea, sunshine and relaxing. The beach is also a habitat for many animals; we must respect the beach and protect the animals. We saw this Yellow Crab at the beach of the Helmsley Sandcastle in Sarasota (Lido Beach). During the day, when the sun is too hot, a crab hides itself in the sand or shadow. If a crab is in the sun, too long he won’t survive and die. When you see a crab or other animal; don’t touch it and leave the crab alone!

We must keep the beach clean. So many people enjoy a day at the beach. At the end of the day, they leave their trash behind. Is it too much to ask to clean up? It’s a shame to see all the trash, like plastic cups, newspapers, food, on the beach. The animals didn’t ask for it. They do nothing wrong to us, so why should we do it to them and mess up there environment.

Not only birds and crabs are frequent visitors of the beach; turtles use Lido beach (and other areas) as a nesting habitat. Sea turtles come to the shoreline, make a nest and lay their eggs. After two months (this is the time the eggs incubate,) the newborn turtle wants to go to the waters. They wait instinctively when the sand is cooled off before leaving the nest. That’s why the sea turtles scramble to the water at night. Only a few will survive this journey. Luckily, there are many volunteers to help this process a little bit to give all the baby turtle a change.

The Helmsley Sandcastle in Sarasota has yellow-orange light at the main building that faces the beach. This is just for the sea turtles. If the lights are too strong, they won’t leave the nest. With the special lights, they will try to make their way to the water.

A Sea Turtle nesting area is marked. It is illegal to disturb the nests!

It’s important to respect the beautiful flora and fauna that Florida has to offer.

For the sea turtles, sometimes a helping hand from a human is making a difference!
For the best interest of the animals; do something if you see that they need some help, otherwise leave the animals alone!

A Haven for relaxing!

by A TripAdvisor Member

We have just returned from 14 days in Florida( narrowly missing Hurricane Charley!) spending the first 7 days at Helmsley Sandcastle.
We had a wonderful week. The room was on the 2nd floor, facing the pool on one side and with a balcony with glorious beach and Gulf views on the other.
The air-conditioning was very effective, the fridge a very useful bonus and the room was clean and well equipped.
We had breakfast every morning in the restaurant(outside poolside most days!) and the "Buffet" option was more than adequate with a varied selection of choices that even my two teenagers enjoyed!
The staff were friendly and helpful, some had suffered at the hands of Hurricane Charley but were still courteous and professional despite that.
We arrived feeling stressed and tired after 11 hours at Orlando Airport(Hurricane Charley again!) but I can honestly say that after only a few hours at the Helmsley, we already felt de-stressed.
There were six of us in our party and none of us felt that we had any cause for complaint.
The only minus point for people with smaller children may be the lack of things for them to do.
But if you want a peaceful beach holiday, reasonably priced food, a lovely pool area and wonderful sunsets, then the Helmsley Sandcastle is the place for you.
We would definately go back there again.

Fantastic Experience

by A TripAdvisor Member

We have just returned from a 10 day break staying at the Helmsley Sandcastle. Well what can we say, the location is excellent right on the beach with really friendly beach staff. The rooms are adequate, somewhat dated but neverless clean. We had clean bedding and towels every day which is a plus. On our arrival we were welcomed by very polite staff and given a room which overlooked the courtyard area with a balcony and a view of the sea and beach. A minor problem with the room was sorted out promptly and we were given an exchange room the following day. Our stay was magical, the other plus was that the hotel provides transportation to and from the local shopping center/restaurant area at no cost it's a courtesy service. Breakfast by the pool every morning was a joy, served by very friendly staff at a very resonable price. Overall an enjoyable holiday very relaxing and quiet, rest assured we shall be going back.

Not really a place to bring kids

by TripAdvisor Member hubbjay

We have just returned from 8 days in Sarasota staying at the Helmsley Sandcastle hotel
The outside of the hotel is not impressive as it looks dated but, once you get inside it is a different story the reception rest, pool area & rooms were beautiful.
We upgraded to a seafront room paying an extra $30 per night but it was worth it for the views. The balcony however was small & shared with next door.
The staff were very friendly & couldn't have been more helpful.
the only downside was there wasn't enough to do with our children we were unfortunate that the weather was bad when we were there so we did spend a lot of time in our room, but we coped there was a tv & fridge so we stocked up and watched films.
I think Sarasota is more suited to art lovers & maybe people without kids.

Not-so-friendly beach staff

by A TripAdvisor Member

My husband and I have spent two vacations at the Helmsley Sandcastle, and have had a pleasant experience in most areas except for one -- the beach staff. During each stay, I had an unpleasant encounter with what I call the "beach nazis." During the first encounter, a beach chair attendant began picking up the chairs at what I considered to be an early time, forcing everyone out of their chairs, even if they were still using them. At other beachfront hotels I've stayed at, the beach attendants wait until the patron is finished with the chair and then pick it up. My second encounter, however, was still more unreasonable. In the afternoon, I was on the beach and I noticed that a couple had packed up their things and left their chairs. Since all the chairs had been gone earlier in the day, and I was not able to rent one, I figured it would be OK to take the now-abandoned chairs as I had done in the past. Upon seeing my actions, the beach attendant came up to me and said something like, "Hi. How are you? Is this your chair?" I said that I had tried to rent some chairs, couldn't, and then had seen some people pack up and leave, so I figured it would be OK to take the chair. Then he said, "These are all-day rentals." Thinking he hadn't understood me, I again explained that I had seen the people PACK UP AND LEAVE. He then restated that the chairs are all-day rentals, regardless. I then said, "Fine. I'll take it back," and proceeded to start dragging the chair back to its original location. I spent the rest of my beach time sitting on my towel while sand was blowing around me while a perfectly good chair was going unused only feet away. The people never did come back (of course, if they had, I would have gladly given their chair back). In my opinion, the beach nazis take their perceived power a little too seriously. After this experience, I decided to give up on the Helmsley, and I have rented a private condo for next year (at a much reduced price, I might add).

lovely beach hotel not so good.

by A TripAdvisor Member

The Sandcastle reception area is lovely but we were very disappointed with our room.In booking a beach holiday we were expecting a light airy room with a balcony, instead we were given a dark dingy damp room with a window facing the carparks concrete wall, people were walking past all the time so we had to keep the curtains closed all day. Unfortunately we couldn't be moved until half way through our stay when we had to pay more for a room with a balcony. The restaurant is ok but closes at 10pm as does the bar. The beach and pool area are lovely but if you are staying here I would make sure you get an upstairs room facing the sea!


by Dutchnatasja

These pictures were taken at Lido Beach, Sarasota. We've stayed in the Helmsley Sandcastle. A very nice hotel with a great view. Many people walking along the coast, while viewing the amazing sunset, day after day.

This is a useful link if you want to know the times of the sunrise and sunset in Sarasota.

sunsets Sarsota 2005

I love to end my day at the beach with a beautiful sunset. After that go can to St. Armands Circle for a nice diner. Your day will be perfect, don't you think?


by Dutchnatasja

"Beach Sarasota"

Sarasota, on the Gulf of Mexico. White sand, sun and the sea. This is vacation for me. Our favourite place to stay is the Helmsley Sandcastle, on Lido Beach. Perfect rooms with a view on the beach, and a balcony. At daytime you can relax on the beach. You can swim or when it’s get to hot, you can relax under the cabana and read a book or take a nap. Look at the picture and you know what I mean.

"Beach at Sarasota"

After a satisfying day at the beach, you can go to St. Armands Circle, for dinner. There are lots of shops and restaurants to fill your evening.


Sarasota has, besides beautiful beaches, much to offer. You can visit the Ringling museum, the Pelican Man, shopping in St. Armands Circle, and do a lot of outdoor activities.


Helmsley SandcastleHelmsley Sandcastle


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 Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Sarasota Helmsley Sandcastle
Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel Sarasota
Helmsley Sandcastle Sarasota

Address: 1540 Ben Franklin Dr., Sarasota, Florida, 34236, United States