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“Nice getaway, but problems” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Don CeSar

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The Don CeSar
Ranked #8 of 32 Hotels in St. Pete Beach
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Thonotosassa, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Nice getaway, but problems”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2011

Needing a well deserved break from the rat-races, my husband and I decided to stay at the Don Cesar for the weekend. This was our first time visiting the hotel and we were amazed by the stately design in the lobby and the exterior of the building. I did see some areas that needed a touch up; there were parts of the carpet that were all worn and faded, and paint on the walls was chipping away.
We had breakfast in the Sea Porch Cafe and Kyle our server was great and energetic; something that is not common with some people early in the morning. The pool was sort of crowded and did not maintain its cleanliness. The pool staff looked like they could not keep up with all the guests and they looked overworked. That night we went to the Maritana restaurant and our dinner was great. The next morning we had breakfast again at the Sea Porch Cafe and had Michelle as our server. She was just as great as Kyle as far as her attitude and performance. After a day lounging at the beach we returned to the Sea Porch Cafe for dinner and had Tom as our server. To no surprise, he was just as curteous and hospitable as the previous two servers. We had dessert at Uncle Andy's and the young man behind the counter Conner was very fun to be around.
The furniture inside the Sea Porch Cafe was sort of worn looking. There are wicker chais with white paint on them and the paint comes off on my clothes. There was a weird smell in the cocktail lounge adjacent from the Sea Porch Cafe that was a combination of bad fruit and spilled beer. Our air conditioner made a "clanging" noise and spit out little balls of dust or whatever is inside the vent. Check in and check out was normal with no issues.
Overall, the staff was nice and accomodating, but the hotel is definitely showing its age of over 80 years. With no upkeep inside, the beauty is only skin deep.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank QbertQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (685)
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English first
Illinois
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2011

We love to go to the St. Pete's beach area. We had a better experience this time. We spent the first night in a room that was cramped and you had to sit sides ways on the toilet because there was not enough room for your legs. We asked to me moved and were able to the next day.

We had a sliver view of the ocean which was alright with us. The hotel was quieter. We could still hear our neighbors through the walls.

We stayed some of the other hotels up the strip and they are worse.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kikikiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2011

My wife and love staying at the Don Cesar. We've stayed 4 times just this year. It's such a nice get away and we've never had a bad thing to say.

We come for the relaxing pool and beach. We spent almost all of our time down there so that's what I thought I should write about. Everyone we ran into that worked there were so friendly. We loved the pool staff(Adeev and Griffin) who work so hard just to make sure you are comfortable. We loved the servers we had(Jacob,Lucy and Justin) who are able to run back and forth to our table in 90 degree heat! We loved the musician by the pool while we were there Fri-Sun. He had a huge variety, took requests and I didn't hear the same song twice the whole weekend. My wife and I don't drink but the bartenders looked like they knew what they were doing under the pressure of a full bar plus making all the drinks for the tables! I used to work in the service industry so I notice those things and hard work when I see it. The pool also had tons of activities for kids, our 2 sons had a blast each day and they even had a dive in movie on Saturday night.

Yes, as said in other reviews the rooms are small but the hotel was built almost 90 years ago so its understandable. The staff was very nice to my family but I can see how they could be overwhelmed with a fully booked hotel. We love the Don Cesar and we will be back soon!

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank docbrown45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
82 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2011

We got a room as part of a package deal with Busch Gardens. We picked the hotel entirely due to the Loews Brand and a friends recommendation. The photographer should receive an award for such "trick" photography. It appears that the hotel is on an isolated area of the beach...not so.

My family's main complaint, is that we were treated horribly from the moment we checked in until we left by the front desk staff. They never tried to let us know about any restaurants available, a map of the premises, about the spa or about the kids club activities for the night.

We did eat lunch there once and the waitress was terrific. She let us know about some local activities to try that were fun!

The pool area looked so overcrowded that we were turned off. It looked like a pick-up joint for the young hardly dressed women hoping to attract one of the wealthier men swimming/sunbathing around the pool. Did not appear family friendly. The chairs were all occupied and we wondered if we wanted to swim...where would we sit? The beach looked nice, but once again most areas that did not cost money were full.

Our king sized room was so small. We also could hear every cough from the gentleman in the adjoining room. We did not know if he had bronchitis or emphysema...but we heard noise incessantly. The ice machine was located on another floor!! Elevators looked/felt old and a bit scary...the door nearly crashed on us while entering it.

We joked that we could not have ordered room service because one of us would have to be seated in the hallway, with the other one sitting in the bathroom. It was the only levity we had.

We had a three day stay, but left on the second day. The lady behind the desk did not even ask why we were cutting our visit short. Our family will never think of returning to that hotel. Historic or not, it looked run down and in a state of disrepair.

Loews should think of removing this from their company. It does not represent the Loews that myself and my family have come to enjoy in the past!

Room Tip: It appeared that the top floors had rooms spaced more apart. There were less rooms on the top floor...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Allioop123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2011

Loews Don CeSar Hotell is a breathtaking location for your Flordia wedding. Overlooking the dazzling Gulf of Mexico, where the ocean meets the sky, this is a sublime spot to begin your journey together. The hotel is a coastline resort in the trendy Beach section of St Petersburg Florida, only 35 minutes from Tampa International Airport and moments from Clearwater and downtown St Pete With dramatic coastal views and superb service, Loews Don CeSar Hotel St Pete Beach is an ideal Desination beach wedding location

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SkylineLImousinetpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
37 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2011

I went with my husband and 2 kids; it was our first time, and it was great. Can't wait to go back. The kids had a great time at the pool and at the beach. The room is very clean and confortable. The restaurants are expensive, but it is a resort, so... The food was great...
The beach is so clean and beautiful, not crowded. Umbrelas and chairs are complimentary and if you want a cabana is $25 per day (You won't need one, I rented one the first day, and I just use it for some hours).
There is a $25 resort fee and includes parking, Intenet, and 24 hours fitness center. They have several classes, my favorite was yoga at the beach. Beach and pool attendants were great, you ask for help and they will put a big umbrela and get you nice chairs...

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sofia850
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chincoteague Island, Virginia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Keegan4
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 Green Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#3 Spa Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#6 Family Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#6 On the Beach 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 Loews Don CeSar Hotel, 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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