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“Wonderful Beach Getaway at the Don”
Review of The Don CeSar

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The Don CeSar
Ranked #7 of 32 Hotels in St. Pete Beach
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Chincoteague Island, Virginia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Wonderful Beach Getaway at the Don”
Reviewed 6 July 2011

My husband and I spent four nights at the Don CeSar from June 29th through July 3rd. Our stay wasn't perfect, but it was certainly a lot of fun.

When making our reservation, I was able to find a military rate for half of our stay and a Loews' summer promotion for the other half. I called the hotel directly and was assured by a helpful young man that he could link the reservations without any glitches. At check in, we reminded the desk attendant about our two reservations and shared both confirmation numbers. In the middle of our stay, we returned from the beach to a (polite) phone message from the office manager requesting that we vacate the room immediately since the resort was sold out for the night! I trudged to the front desk covered in sand and more than a little irritable with confirmation numbers in hand. A staff member named Anthony fixed the problem, apologized profusely, and charged us the military rate for the third night as well, much to our satisfaction.

Our room was on the second floor overlooking the parking lot (we did not pay for a balcony or water view). The room and bathroom were pretty, but tiny. Our king size bed was very comfortable, and we did not hear any noise to keep us awake. I recommend adjusting the a/c so that the fan blows constantly instead of cycling on and off. The chair in the room was stained, the caulk around the tub was cracked, and there were two spots of black mold on the floor. I chose to attribute these faults to the fact that the hotel is a historic property! Even though we were on a dog-friendly floor, we only heard barking once. The lobby and public areas were well maintained and beautiful. Lemonade and salt water taffy were small treats available in the lobby (plus morning pastries for a fee).

The real reason to choose this hotel is the beach. The complimentary chairs and umbrellas were perfect (just be sure to tip the young men who set them up). You may also choose a beach cabana ($25 a day) or a beach bed ($100). Free ice water, magazines, and sunscreen were offered at the outdoor towel stand. There was a wiffle ball tournament during the Fourth of July weekend, blocking off half of the beach. Chairs were packed pretty tightly into the available space, but we were still comfortable. The water was calm and warm, with a little more seagrass than I expected. We didn't spend much time by the pools, but there were plenty of chairs if you got there reasonable early (by 10 a.m.). The staff of the kids club did their best to keep their youngest guests entertained with games, face painting, tie-dye t-shirts, and lots of other activities. A schedule of exercise classes is available at the Beach Club, starting with Beach Yoga at 9 a.m. and continuing all day. There is a small indoor hot tub, steam room, and sauna in the Beach Club as well. My husband ran on the treadmill in the Fitness Center and said the room was very well equipped.

I called the concierge desk to ask about the historic tour around the hotel which was mentioned in their activities brochure. She told me that the tour is not offered when the hotel is sold out, since we can't visit the presidential suite. She suggested I walk around the hotel on my own and visit the desk so she could share some history with me. We wandered up to the fifth floor and were rewarded with an incredible view of the shoreline from the terrace.

The only meal we ate at the resort was at the pool bar. Prices were consistent with a resort of this type, although I have had much better $12 burgers. We did enjoy our ice cream from Uncle Andy's.

We visited the Pier, the Dali Museum, and Muvico Theater in St. Petersburg (with a delicious meal at Bella Brava). We headed over to Fort DeSoto to see the “Best Beach in America (2009)” and found that the beach in front of the hotel is so much better! We also drove the length of the island, starting at Clearwater Beach and ending at Pass-A-Grille. We had a surprisingly delicious dinner at Bubba Gump's at St. John's Pass in Madeira Beach and wonderful BBQ at the restaurant in the Postcard Inn just up the road. I hated my meal and the atmosphere at Gigi's.

I would recommend the Don CeSar for both couples and families if you’re looking for a luxurious, relaxing vacation and room size isn’t an issue for you.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank Keegan4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level Contributor
54 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 July 2011

Our first experience with a Loews hotel, and certainly not our last. We saw the promo Lowes loves children and thought it might be a cute gimmick, but this chain is true to their word, and the service from the moment we arrived was outstanding, something that in this day and age, isn't seen much! Friendly, professional, polite, and accomodating, from the bell man, to the pool staff, and their was weekend entertainment for the kiddies all day - facepainting, games, arts and crafts, it was outstanding! The hotel rooms were a little smaller than we're used to, and the bathroom was tiny, but all is overlooked in the attention to a great experience from this staff. It's a beautiful, historic property that envokes a nostalgic feel of what family vacations are all about. They even accomodated a 5 pm checkout (for a fee) so that we could have naptime for the 13month old. Excellence!

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank middyj2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Covington, Tennessee
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2011

The Don CeSar never fails to please. Room was clean and nice, Sea Porch Cafe was great, pool area was pleasant (watch out for snakes!!), and the beach was lovely. The Don is truly my favorite place in the world. There were only a few things that were less than excellent, but in no way diminished my satisfaction with this stay. Housekeeping was a bit slow. It was just inconvenient at worst. But, our room was not serviced before 4pm on any day. After a long day in the sun, all you want to do is take a nice nap in your room...not hang out waiting for housekeeping to finish up. The pool area was awesome as usual, with the exception of the snakes. The kitchen staff took care of the snake issues swiftly, even providing entertainment as they did! Finally, despite what the in room check out says, check out time is 11am, not 12 noon. The front desk staff was more than gracious when we stumbled down there still sandy and wet to check out. All in all, I would never consider another hotel in St Pete Beach. It's the Don CeSar or NYC (my 2nd favorite place!)

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kellysocialworker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frankfort, Kentucky
Level Contributor
37 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2011

I spent 3 nights at the Don Ce Sar on business. The hotel is nice and clean. Not a place I would stay if I had not had a rental car. This is an old hotwl but well maintained. Lots of service staff that were always friendly.

The good....the AC was kicking and kept my room cool in a hot humid environment...big plus for me.

The bad...the room was small small small...it reminded me of some of the Washington DC rooms I have stayed in. The bathroom was especially small with NO counterspace. The room I stayed in had the TV in a cabinet that did not allow for viewing from the bed or any other comfortable spot...you could sit on the very corner of the bed at the bottom and see most of the screen. You also have to park across the street from the hotel and climb up and down a big set of steps to get in and out of the place...not fun with luggage...OR you can pay 20 dollars a day for valet service.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mcftlf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cumming, Georgia
1 review
Reviewed 29 June 2011

My boyfriend made a last minute weekend getaway trip to the Don Cesar and couldn't have been more pleased. We arrived at 4 am...yep, late flight...totally exhausted but were welcomed by the front desk with a smile. The crystal chandeliers were beautiful! The beach itself is beautiful and we found a perfect sand dollar in the surf as we strolled hand in hand. One night was kids night at the pool and they showed "Finding Nemo"--very appropriate for the location! My boyfriend curled up on a lounge chair enjoying our martinis and the movie along with everyone else! The room was large enough for the two of us and the view...though partial ocean also included part of the roof view as well. That's ok--we were here for the relaxation of the pool and the beach. One of the best vacations we've ever had--we will both be back for sure!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank skharris67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
collierville, tn
Level Contributor
46 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2011

Recently had a wonderful long weekend trip to St Pete Beach with my daughter as a graduation trip with just us - mother/daughter trip! Stayed at Don Cesar Beach Resort location great! Nice beach area for guest no extra charge for chairs or umbrella. Rentals avialable at beach for water sports. We intended to do the spa, but extremely expensive and I'm not a buget shopper so it was high even for me. One night we stayed in and they had an outdoor movie by the pool, Gnomeo and Juliet. Tip for dinner, we ordered pizza delivered to poolside from Bruno's and it was quick, and tasty! Other restaurants we enjoyed first night, Skidders (Greek food). Good salads, but thier pizzas looked good also. Dockside Daves....OMG! Awesome scallops, calamari, blackened grouper sandwich. My daughter had scallops pasta dish and served with 8- 2" diameter scallops! We had so much leftovers, but couldnt bring back to hotel. I would honestly have to say this place should by far should be rated much higher then #6. I enjoyed every place, but for seafood, and cost and casual vacation dining it's the best! They were on listed in Southern Living Magazine for Key Lime Pie, and the artilcle is framed on the wall to review. The other places we ate, Basil Leaf Thai and Sushi - fabulous sushi rolls! We also ate at Gigis - good Itallian dishes, big portions. We took one day and went to the Pier in St Petersburg, ate at Cha Cha Coconuts on top floor of the Pier - chain restaraunt with great view. We also drove to Ellenton Outlet Mall not too far away, but worth the time. Shopping great sales as usual outlet malls, not quite as big as the one in Destin, but still a great day! I hope all the details give you much to go on! One extra thing, I have to say regarding the Resort, although very nice and I probably wouldnt stay at any other location in St Pete Beach, other then maybe Tradewinds (I did hear good things about that) this is by far not any resort I'm use to and as far as being a Lowes Hotel - which I always look for first when vacationing, this resort was not up to the Lowes standard. I recenlty stayed at Lowes in LA - Santa Monica, and Don Cesar didnt even come close. I really think it should'nt be referrenced as part of the Lowes family. Rooms were the SMALLEST, and least desirable I've ever stayed, by far not any RESORT. Keep in mind it is a 95 year old hotel. Oh, NEWSPAPER TO ROOM IS NOT COMPLIMENTARY!

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank uptown63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 June 2011

My new husband and I stayed at the Don Cesar for two nights and had our private wedding ceremony conducted on the beach. The hotel is beautiful and a great place to stay. What made our visit so special were the staff, we did find the reception staff a little snooty but everyone else was amazing. The staff in the Maritana Grill were excellent, very welcoming and extremely efficient and the food was scrumptious, the guys on the beach were great fun and very friendly and the chambermaids were so friendly and helpful too. The hotel had a great atmosphere throughout - we'll definitely go back next time we're in Florida

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SUKEY71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Don CeSar

Property: The Don CeSar
Address: 3400 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706-4015
Region: United States > Florida > St. Pete Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#3 Spa Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#3 Green Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#6 On the Beach Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#6 Family Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#8 Romantic Hotel in St. Pete Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Don CeSar 4*
Number of rooms: 277
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Known as Florida's "Pink Palace," The Don CeSar, facing the white sands of the Gulf of Mexico, was built in 1928 to resemble a Mediterranean-style castle. Born in the Great Gatsby era as a playground for the rich and famous, the iconic "Pink Palace" has been revitalized and refreshed within, ensuring a future as rich and storied as its history. Enjoy newly redesigned 277 luxurious rooms including 36 suites, many with spectacular views of the pristine Gulf beaches or Boca Ciega Bay. Relax and indulge at Spa Oceana, featuring over 11,000 square feet of spa facilities, luxurious spa treatments, full service salon, and a stunning rooftop garden overlooking the azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Don Cesar Beach Hotel
Don Cesar Beach Resort
Don Cesar Hotel Florida
Don Cesar Florida
Hotel Don Cesar Beach
Don Cesar Resort
The Don CeSar St. Pete Beach, Florida

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