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“Elegant historical property, great location and service”
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
Montclair, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Elegant historical property, great location and service”
Reviewed 13 June 2014

I'm a fan of the era, so I loved the idea that I was walking the same slice of beach where F. Scott Fitzgerald played. I also have a 1929 home, so I appreciate how well preserved the hotel is and liked the interplay of modern accents with classic decor. My only wish is that they designate one pool for adults and one for kids only. It kind of occurs organically as one goes up to 7 ft. in depth but adults were in the deep end relaxing and/or having a romantic moment and then someone would show up with a toddler in swimmies and the quiet evaporated and splashing/jumping commenced. Also, there was live music most of the day which was great but loud enough that it was hard to tune out and read/sleep. I would say the pool scene is lively but not relaxing. In order to achieve quiet, you had to lounge on the beach and, even though it was Loews property and furnishings, there was an additional charge (NOT included in the Resort Fee added on top of your room rate)! This really turned me off. $12 for a Painkiller at the Beach Bar is not a surprise but petty stuff like that annoys me. Aside from this issue, it was a great stay.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LAH55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LoewsDonCeSar_1928, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this review, 19 June 2014
It is pretty awesome to walk the same beach where F. Scott Fitzgerald once played. I'm glad that you were able to make that connection and that you appreciate what we have done to preserve the hotel and combine our classic decor with modern accents!

I do apologize about the loud music on the pool deck. We do our best to alter the sound levels depending on the time of day and our audience at the pool. If you ever find it too loud, please let a server know and we will do what we can to bring it down a notch or two to better accommodate you.

Lastly, regarding the chairs and umbrellas on the beach. We actually have created a great vacation package called "Park & Beach" that includes your room, valet parking, beach chairs and umbrella, and more. Next time you come visit, that might be a good option for you.

We appreciate the feedback and hope to welcome you back soon.

Best,

Jeff Abbaticchio
Loews Don CeSar Hotel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,566 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (740)
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English first
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2014

We stayed for a 3 day conference. Beach and pool are great! Service from poolside to room service also great; quick, friendly and efficient. The room we had was very small and really needs updating. Hallways are too hot and humid. Sitting on the toilet, your knees may hit the tub. View out my window was a 60 foot dead palm tree. Having said that, the place has a unique history and we weren't in the room a lot.

Room Tip: Our friends stayed in a penthouse suite, and their 2 story suite was fabulous!
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wendyaaronson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LoewsDonCeSar_1928, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this review, 14 June 2014
Thanks for taking the time to share your comments about your recent visit to Loews Don CeSar. I'm happy to hear you found our service great, quick, friendly and efficient!

Sorry that the size of your room was not up to your expectations, but I'm glad that you found yourself spending less time in your room and more time enjoying the hotel and its amenities.

We hope to welcome you back soon.

Best,

Jeff Abbaticchio
Loews Don CeSar Hotel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2014 via mobile

I like this hotel, but probably will try some place different if I ever return to St Pete. The price was ok, but nothing to write home about... However dinner, cocktails and chairs for the beach were extremely expensive. Think $15 margaritas, and then they add tax and gratuity. So a drink is about $20. Dinner would end up aroun $75 per person, and beach loungers weren't all that affordable either, but I don't remember the price.

The front desk was blah! No personality.

Housekeeping was great. Left extra toiletries for our party so no one ha to share, extra bottles of water at night- totally anticipated and requests an deserving of great gratuities!

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Daniel R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LoewsDonCeSar_1928, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this review, 14 June 2014
Thanks for sharing your comments about your stay with us here at Loews Don CeSar. I'm disappointed that we did not completely meet your expectations, and that you were disappointed with our Front Desk staff.

I am pleased to hear that you found our housekeeping staff great! They are a dynamic group of very hard working professionals. I'll be certain to let them know you appreciated them.

Best,

Jeff Abbaticchio
Loews DonCeSat
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, IL
Level 6 Contributor
214 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2014

Stayed at the hotel during a meeting and was pleasantly surprised.... very beautiful hotel outside and inside. I arrived early and was able to check in right away which was a plus. I entered the room and it was nicely appointed. My only hesitation was there was no soap, shampoo or conditioner in the room. Housekeeping was down the hall so I walked over and they apologized and handed me soon for the room. Had a view overlooking the parking lot which was just ok and a tad noisy due to a noisy vent. But in the AM's had the most amazing sunrise views. We enjoyed the facilities while attending our meeting. Loved the staff at the lobby bar so gracious and nice. The beach was beautiful with soft white sand. Perfect to sit on the chairs at night with the moon glow and waves in the background. The front desk, concierge and bell stand were all wonderful and so friendly.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hms16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LoewsDonCeSar_1928, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this review, 14 June 2014
Thanks for your kind words about our "pretty hotel!"

Sorry to hear about your challenges with not having the appropriate toiletries in your room when you arrived, but I'm happy to hear that issue was resolved immediately!

I loved your comments about the amazing sunrise views in the morning from the east side of the hotel! They are incredible, and those eastern views are just as amazing at night as you see the lights from downtown St. Pete and Tampa.

We hope to welcome you back again soon to enjoy the moon glow and listen to the waves on the beach.

Best,

Jeff Abbaticchio
Loews Don CeSar Hotel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Addison, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2014

The hotel delivers great service in a first class beach setting. The pools and restaurants are first class and a pristine silver sand beach is just steps away. Our room was small but clean, bright and cheerful. Area is very much laid back beach town. Ultra casual and geared around sun and beach worshippers. Negatives-- small room and bathroom; add-on fees e.g. Resort fees & daily parking
The location is a 2o + minute car ride fm St Petersburg and a car enables you to visit other beaches & restaurants too. There is a beach trolley and cabs if you don't have transport

Room Tip: Higher floors are quieter.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sheilaDallas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LoewsDonCeSar_1928, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this review, 14 June 2014
Thanks for the "first class" comments!

We strive to provide our guests with not just a first class physical environment, but first class service as well. It appears that we were able to do both when you were here, and I'm delighted to hear that! Our staff is very passionate about providing the best experience possible for guests, and obviously it shows!

I'm also happy you found your room to be clean, bright and cheerful!

We hope to see you back soon!

Best,

Jeff Abbaticchio
Loews Don CeSar Hotel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Port Perry, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2014

My family and I stayed for several nights at the Don Cesar for a summer vacation in 2013. Though a bit pricey and idiosyncratic, all of us really loved this place with its awesome pink architecture, lovely pools, and beautiful, quiet, private beach area that's nestled up against some low dunes and sandy areas (which, when we were there, were filled with little roped-off sections where sea turtles had laid their eggs). While much of this stretch of beach is commercialized, deafening, and a bit tacky, the natural spaces behind this hotel were wonderfully peaceful. The rooms are clean and bright, though a bit on the small side. Restaurants and cafes are a bit overpriced for what you get, but it is lovely to stay put poolside and be served rather than venturing down the road if you're on holiday in order to kick back. If possible, try to get a room that faces the water and look for deals, as upgrades are fairly easy to find. Staff is generally very helpful (and one gentleman found our family some board games one night when a storm blew in, going above and beyond). The place's compelling history - home to fancy celebs in the early 20th century, destination for Al Capone and the New York Yankees, etc. - makes its current refurbishment extra fun.

Room Tip: Try to get a room facing the gulf, and look for online deals to upgrade to one of these. Our impress...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rob W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LoewsDonCeSar_1928, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this review, 14 June 2014
Thanks for your kind remarks on Tripadvisor!

We're excited that you appreciated our beautiful, quiet beach area, and made reference to the sea turtles. We just completed a new St. Pete Sea Life Experience here at the hotel. This series of "education stations" are located around the property and inform guests all about sea turtle nesting, sea plants, oyster domes and even the famous "Stingray Shuffle." You'll have to come back and see it!

Glad you also appreciated our poolside food & beverage service, it sure does make the vacation experience much more enjoyable.

We hope to welcome you back soon.

Best,

Jeff Abbaticchio
Loews Don CeSar Hotel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami Beach, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Just got back from a 3-night stay at this lovely resort. I was there for a conference, but I also brought my husband and young daughter for a quick getaway. St. Pete is a chill beach town with adorable mom-and-pop restaurants, tiki bars, and little shops. If you're looking for exposure to refined culture (think Dali museum) or an active nightlife scene (think singles bar hopping and dance clubs), then drive over to St. Petersburg or Tampa.

PROS:
-It's truly a beautiful historic building - lives up to its nickname. You won't see anything else like it, except maybe in Europe.

-The service at this resort is excellent. From the front desk people to the janitorial staff and everyone in between, folks are friendly, if not downright warm, and attentive. Loews hires and trains good people and seems to have some kind of magic touch.

-The resort is self-contained and on-site entertainment abounds - complimentary kayaking, live nightly band in the lobby, live band at the pools at all hours, movies for kids at the pool, ice cream parlor on the property and it also serves Starbucks coffee, little stores with items that you may have forgotten. There's really no need to leave the resort.

-The soft sand at the beach is divine. Fantastic beach overall with a stunning sunset! Pelicans flying all about, manatees swimming next to you in the green water. Plus, unlike Miami Beach, it feels as though you don't have to worry about being robbed as you go for an evening stroll (sorry, MB, you know I love you to pieces as I've been calling MB home for 12 years, but safety at night on the beach can be an issue).

-The resort is nicely decorated and so are the rooms. The rooms come equipped with Keurig coffee machines, which are all the rage these days, and each day we had two fresh bottles of water (included in the resort fee). Beds fairly comfortable. The robe (only one came with the room) was super super soft. The bathroom was small but that didn't bother me and neither did our crappy view (we had a reasonable rate for this resort considering its usual rates, so it's not as though we were paying extra for a room or anything). Nice water pressure. Daily newspaper at the door. Oh, and our room was peaceful and quiet, couldn't hear our neighbors. Must have thick walls, kind of like the door (see below).

-I forgot a few items - the front desk gave me a full-size toothbrush, shaving cream, and a razor.

-Didn't have time to check out the 24-hour gym but I was impressed with the schedule of free fitness classes: water yoga, sunset yoga, water aerobics, you name it...

-We took a side trip to the Dali Museum and Beach Drive area of St. Petersburg and had a great time. The Dali Museum is expensive ($21/person), but worth the $ if you're already a fan of his art.

CONS:
-Not sure how, if at all, this resort is ADA-compliant. If you're physically challenged (wheelchair, walker, crutches, pregnant), then you're going to have problems getting in and out of the building to/from the self-parking or even if you're staying on the first floor. From the parking lot, your options are to either trudge up a long, slightly steep hill that doubles as the one and only driveway to the main entrance or to walk a block to the next crosswalk, cross the street, walk back toward the hotel, and then climb up some stairs to enter the property. If your room is on the first floor (where they seem to put people with pets and small kids), there's no way to access the level (that I could see) without climbing up six stairs. Also, the door to the room was very thick and heavy to open - it sounds ridiculous to say, but it was so heavy that it's worth mentioning. I am 6 months pregnant and it was hard for me to open the door while dragging luggage behind me, etc.

-Without question, the resort caters to families and older couples (unless you're getting married here, in which case you'd probably stay for a night or two). If you're part of a young trendy couple, then this is probably the nicest resort in sleepy St. Pete Beach, but be prepared for a lot of noisy kids running amok around you as you try to relax by the pool.

-There was no hand/body lotion in the room, only shampoo and conditioner. The first time I asked for lotion, I was given hair conditioner. On the second try I got it delivered to the room on the second night after a 15-minute wait.

-We asked three different times for a late checkout (on a Sunday, no less), but to no avail. Checkout is at a firm 11:00 am, no exceptions.

-The first bill overcharged us for parking (we had a discounted rate) and we had to call and speak with a few people to get it corrected.

-Although the service was excellent, the Sea Porch Cafe is overpriced and the food is merely passable. The Key West Conch Chowder did not taste right; there's something off about the recipe. Been to Key West too many times to count and I've been living in FL for almost 12 years, so I know how conch chowder is supposed to taste and this was far from it. The shrimp and grits gave my husband indigestion.

-Nothing stays on the little towel/robe knob in the bathroom, and we couldn't figure out how to turn on the bathroom fan. Towels were rough.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay and we would stay here again, without question. My daughter didn't want to leave the "Pink Palace," but alas, we had to get back home to our cats and the daily grind of work.

Room Tip: Avoid a room on the first floor if you have a disability (wheelchair, crutches, etc.)
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Green Features: Don't recall seeing recycling bins next to the trash cans at the resort itself. St. Petersburg and St. Pete Beach appear to be relatively sustainable, though, by the looks of the orderly recycling receptacles on every corner.
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sarah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LoewsDonCeSar_1928, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this review, 16 June 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to share the pros and cons about your recent experience here at Loews Don CeSar! We appreciate your comments and are glad you brought them to our attention.

We're as passionate about our Pink Palace as you appear to be and are delighted you found our service to be excellent, our beaches divine and our rooms comfortable and well decorated.

We are compliant with ADA regulations and do have reserved parking spaces located on the south side of the building so guests do not need to cross Gulf Boulevard. We also have specific rooms which are ADA compliant. This special parking provides guests with quick and safe access to the property and its facilities.

I do apologize for the challenges you had with your hand and body lotions, your final bill and your dining experience in the Sea Porch. It sounds like everything was eventually worked out to your satisfaction. I do hope you'll give the Sea Porch another try. It is truly a wonderful dining experience.

We are happy to hear that you will come back (if your cat allows you!) and greatly appreciate you staying with us!

Best,

Jeff Abbaticchio
Loews Don CeSar
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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