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“Grand Hotel”
4 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
Sandy, Utah
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Grand Hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2014

Stayed there in early June for a conference. It is a great property overall with many amenities and it is literally right on the Gulf of Mexico and the powder-sugar sand beaches of western Florida. Staff there is very friendly and helpful. The only downside (and it is minor) is the hallways to the sleeping rooms are a little tired and in need of a face lift. I would stay there again without hesitation.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kevin S
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, 27 June 2014
I'm glad that you had the opportunity to enjoy the many amenities we have to offer while you were here during your recent conference. We do have a terrific staff and I'm pleased that you found them friendly and helpful.

As for the hotel looking a little tired, you'll be happy to know that we are in the process of "refreshing" many areas including our hallways, elevator landings, elevator cabs, signage and more!

We appreciate your honest feedback and look forward to welcoming 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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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 (700)
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2014

Recently my Mom, sister, and I traveled to 'the Don' for a 3 night, 4 day getaway. You should expect to pay for the location, service (side note typically 18% gratuity is included in everything!)- but it was all well worth it!! We ate well, we used the spa facilities, and we enjoyed the rest of our relaxing girls getaway at the pool and the beach.

The room itself offered a partial ocean view- but we didn't spend much time in our room except to shower or sleep!

We participated in the hotel's history tour and it was very interesting to learn the history of the hotel- and imagine what things were like in the 1920's when it was built. It is a free tour- so if you have an hour to spare- I would recommend it! We did the 9:30 tour and the tour guide has worked at the hotel since 1986- very knowledge and passionate about her job!

We ate at both of the restaurants, but I cannot say enough about the food and service at the Maritana Grill. This is 5 star service and exceptional food! Our waiter Josh was amazing and they accomodated a special request for us. My Mom had been looking forward to conch fritters before we arrived and it wasn't currently on the menu. The Executive Chef made them especially for us from scratch and they were exceptional!

We all received a foot massage at the Oceana Spa and that was very nice and relaxing. Afterwards we went out to the private spa deck to enjoy the views and private lounge chairs. That was nice after our spa service was completed to relax up there and overlook the entire beach.

We spent the rest of our day(s) lounging by the pool and enjoying the live guitar player (he was awesome- great musical selection!!). The water temperature of the pool was just perfect and refreshing to dip into when we were hot. We ate outside poolside both days and enjoyed some tropical drinks, light cuisine, and live entertainment.. just perfect!

We did decide on the last night to take a cab down the street to a restaurant called Spinners (rotates and provides a full view of the beach sunset). I would only suggest going there for a drink and to watch the sunset- we only ate an appetizer and had drinks- we actually ended up leaving before our food arrived- the manager comped our entire drinks and apps- the service was AWFUL! We went back to the Maritana Grill and totally redeemed the night. Again though it is definitely worth it to see the view of the beach and the bay- beautiful!

I would definitely recommend this trip for a girls getaway and I think it would be great for couples or families too. They had plenty of activities to keep kids entertained and b/c there are 2 pools at the hotel it was never overcrowded with kids.

All and all I can't say enough about what a great, relaxing, and memorable trip we had! I am looking forward to returning- it was truly relaxing and it was so nice to get away. I would recommend this resort to anyone who wants to unwind and forget about the stresses or life and work for the weekend. Can't wait to return!!

Room Tip: We had a 'partial' ocean view. If you plan on spending more time in your room I would sugge...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Heather M
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, 27 June 2014
I'm feeling fabulous and relaxed just reading your review!

Thanks so much for offering such great feedback about your recent Girl's Getaway here at the Pink Palace. It sounds like you covered everything we have to offer from incredible dining in Maritana Grille to the history tours, and more importantly, Spa Oceana! I did not read about beachfront yoga, but you can check that out on your next visit!

Glad your stay was so memorable and we're looking forward to the privilege of welcoming you and your family back soon.

Best,

Jeff Abbaticchio
Loews Don CeSar
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boca raton
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2014 via mobile

Very pretty hotel on a beautiful beach with a great pool... Unfortunately the service was horrible: 2 hours to get a cold food by the pool, most staff had a put out attitude, roll away bed for our 5 year wasn't delivered until 10:30 pm after numerous requests and 6 hours of waiting. Expects LOTS of extra charges.

Stayed June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Mommyinc
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, 25 June 2014
We appreciate you taking the time to bring the challenges you encountered to our attention. I do apologize for any inconveniences.

I am happy to hear that you found our hotel "pretty" and enjoyed our beach and pool. Certainly some of our best assets!

Thank you for your feedback.

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
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
161 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2014 via mobile

While I gave this hotel four stars, it's really more of a three-and-a-half property, IMHO.

The pool and beach areas are great fun with nice service. Splurge for a covered beach lounger and make it your day's center of activity! The poolside bar is especially convivial, and there's a nice poolside menu with service to match.

BUT... beware the tiny, tiny rooms and airline-sized bathrooms here! You will need two rooms if you are traveling with a family and want to enjoy your stay. There's just not enough room in a double-double for more than two people, IMHO.

This hotel is not quite a luxury property. They could use spiffier staff uniforms, fresh flowers in the lobby and elevator areas, more inviting lobby furnishings (you should want to hang out in a hotel lobby and read the paper, or people-watch!), some colorful art, and more pizazz. Display some old photos of great parties and goings-on at the hotel! Give us some music (recorded is ok) in the lobby! The hotel lacks the personality on the inside that it has on the outside.

Perhaps when the economy picks up, the investors will put a little more elegance ($$$) into this grande dame. Til then, with the very-small-rooms caveat, I'd call it a pleasant place for a weekend.

Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank SacAnnie
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, 24 June 2014
We appreciate your "humble opinion!" Thanks for sharing your feedback.

I'm happy to hear that you found our pool and beach areas fun and that you enjoyed great service. The Beachcomber pool bar is quite the spot for a good laugh and a fun way to meet new friends.

I am happy read your comments about how we could make things better! Some of what you mentioned is already in the works including new uniforms, new elevator cabs and some overall "Pizazz" in the lobby. I hope that you'll come back int he near future and experience some of our changes and let us know what you think.

In the meantime, we're happy to hear that you feel we're a pleasant place for a weekend and hope to see you and your family again 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
St Pete Beach
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 June 2014

My husband and I came here ten years ago on our honeymoon. Ten years later, we have brought our two boys back for the last two summers. My husband grew up coming to The Don with his family. He learned how to swim in the pool 35 years ago. This year our 5 year old son learned at the pink palace as well! It has become a tradition for us. The staff is friendly and helpful and we have noticed some of the same faces over the years. That says a lot for a company. This is the perfect beach vacation and I always leave wanting to come back!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Dale K
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, 24 June 2014
We love traditions!

It's so wonderful to hear your story about your son learning to swim at the same place his Dad did some 35 years ago! I'm glad we were able to be a part of making that experience a memorable one.

Thanks for the comments about out staff. They are genuinely friendly, and you're right, many have been with us for years. It's always welcoming to come back to familiar faces.

We hope to see you back at the Pink Palace in the near future!

Best,

Jeff Abbaticchio
Loews Don CeSar
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
va
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 June 2014

Very nice, old hotel. Shows its age in alot of places but overall a nice hotel. Staff extremely nice and always a smile on their faces. Room was small but very nice. Only gripe was I paid extra for a beach-view room. Got a corner room that overlooked the restaurant and maintenance building.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank made2930
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, 24 June 2014
Thank you for your comments regarding our extremely nice staff! The smiles you saw on their faces are truly genuine, as they are so passionate about what they do. And with an environment like St. Pete Beach to work in, how can you not smile!

I do apologize that your accommodations did not meet your expectations and appreciate you bringing that to our attention.

We hope to welcome you back int he future.

Best,

Jeff Abbaticchio
Loews Don CeSar Hotel
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kingston-upon-Hull, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2014

After spending my childhood holidays in St Pete’s Beach and ogling the ‘Pink Palace’ from afar, it was the natural choice to spend our honeymoon there when my wife said she wanted to go to Florida. Upon check-in you are greeted with very friendly staff that are even happy to help while on a break. (Had some first timer American car trouble)

Although I had opted for the cheapest room as it was a very expensive, 5* 4 diamond hotel I expected something extra even from the basic rooms. We got to our room were we was slightly disappointed. The room was clean, tidy and comfortable but for a pre-arranged honeymoon couple lacked that extra spark. The fact it was a twin room didn't help. We had been in our room less than 5 minutes when there was a knock on the door. We had been sent 3 (very large) strawberry chocolate, covered strawberry’s which were very nice and a personal welcome card which was a great touch.

The first couple of days went by fine; everything was fantastic until we found a small card in our room near the mini bar, which we made a very clear point of avoiding as it was unbelievably expensive. The card stated that we was been charged $25 per day ‘resort fee’ for ‘complimentary’ items and services. For example, bottled water, turn-down service, access to the gym, shower gel, shampoo and shoe shine. It also highlighted that car parking was $10 per day! $15 for valet parking.

After a couple of days in our very un-romantic room we decided to see if we could get an upgrade. The reception staff was once again polite and helpful even though they were tremendously busy with a wedding party. They obliged for the second half of our trip as they were fully booked. Fair enough. She said the words, ‘there will be a $50 charge’. Now maybe I am just been stupid or naive but that to me would indicate a one-off payment. No, that was per night. (We only found this out at check-out) I accept I maybe should have asked or taken up in the moment of moving rooms; however to me it wasn't clear altogether I was paying almost $300 extra for our stay. Once again service was fantastic, we packed our bags on the Sunday, went out for the day, came back and we checked into our new room.

Our new room was exactly the same size (as all rooms are 250 Sq foot) but now we had a king-size bed and a balcony overlooking the front. This had the extra spark we were looking for without re-mortgaging our house and we finished our honeymoon out in style.
The pool side and the beach are immaculate and comfortable. Pool side service gets drinks from the same bar as if you were sat there but runs two different tabs. Just a point to be aware of as you can run up quite a bill. And there is 18% service charge already added and drinks can be very expensive. Service there is still excellent.
While we were checking out the valet got our car, loaded our bags, put the AC on full blast and gave us a couple of bottles of water for our journey to the air post. Great little final touch to our stay!
Our final bill was $616. Not including approx. $200 for items we actually charged to the room drinks etc. it was still a hefty bill for parking, resort fee and an upgrade.
All-in-all, the staff was tremendous (especially Martin at the casual bar. An absolute gent!!) The rooms were clean tidy and comfortable and the second room was exactly what we needed. Pool was a great relaxing, fun place were the food and drink was great. Will definitely going back. If you are watching your money just be aware, bills can rise pretty quickly!

Watch the sunset on the beach. Beautiful!!

Room Tip: Romatic couples should ensure that they get a delux room and try and get a balcony. There are some r...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank James H
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, 23 June 2014
First of all, a belated Happy Anniversary!

We appreciate you spending your special day with us and I'm glad to hear that things were finally worked out with finding you a special room with that extra spark you were looking for. I do apologize that there was some misunderstanding with the billing and room charge.

I'm happy your found our staff tremendous and our rooms clean, tidy and comfortable. I'm even more excited to hear that you'll be back! We appreciate your business and you making us your choice for your stay in the States!

The sunset will be waiting for you!

Best,

Jeff Abbaticchio
Loews Don CeSar Hotel
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 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 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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