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“I'd stay here for the pool alone!”
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
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
54 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“I'd stay here for the pool alone!”
Reviewed 13 August 2014

My husband & I stayed here for 4 nights in May. I'd actually give this hotel 3.5 stars, but since that's not possible I gave them 4. Overall, the Don CeSar is a very nice hotel but it falls short of a "luxury" hotel that we are used to. While EVERYONE who works at the Don was extremely nice & helpful, we just didn't feel like anyone went above & beyond. The concierge we found to be extremely disappointing in terms of her suggestions for food (the only recommendations she had were the restaurants at the hotel). The hotel isn't cheap & to some extent, they do make you feel nickled & dimed (resort fee, parking fee, charge to use a beach chair, etc) - we'd rather just pay a higher room rate & be done w/ it! And yes, the rooms are small but it is an old hotel - you're coming to enjoy the sunshine, not sit in your room! The room was clean

That being said, we'd stay there again. The pool area is absolutely amazing & we could have easily spent our whole trip there. Very clean. Everyone who worked in that area was helpful & prompt with our orders. Except for Saturday, there was barely anyone at the pool so it felt like an oasis. We didn't realize until we were checking out that the paddle boards were free to use in the morning, otherwise we would have taken advantage of that.

And if you stay at the Don CeSar, make sure to go have breakfast at Beverly's. Great little breakfast spot!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lauracg524
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jeffabba, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this review, 15 August 2014
Thanks for your comments regarding our pools and our nice and helpful staff! I apologize that you felt that our level of service did not quite go above and beyond, but happy that we made up for it with the pool - it is a great place to spend your vacation.

And, I'm glad to hear you found Beverly's for breakfast! It's a really great local spot!

We hope to welcome you back soon. Don't forget to make it out for some stand up paddle boarding next visit!

Best,

Jeff Abbaticchio
Loews Don CeSar Hotel
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English first
Cincinnati, Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2014

Second year in a row we came back. Property is incredibly well kept for its age. Restaurants and food are excellent. Valet and Bell Services were perfect (Michael and Josh) and cleaning staff was also very polite and friendly to our girls. (Sierra). We had two issues with the stay.

The hotel had booked a convention for a legal service association to those who do not receive legal justice...at least that is what the brochures said. People looked like those that protested the world bank more than corporate. During check in, one women was so drunk at 3 in the afternoon she had to be helped out of the lobby bar and the pool bar that day looked like a scene out of a Halloween dressup exhibit with tattoos covering complete bodies and multiple piercings. Not what we came to expect. What made matters worse was when I confronted the front desk about the matter, all the staff was friendly but one individual. She did not smile and then when I turned my back my wife saw her say to an associate..."who asks that?" We saw this employee again that evening and she could not even break a smile to us. She had no business being at a customer point of contact. After the first day these folks were mostly hidden in their conference and did not see them again.

The second instance was at the beach. My wife and I noticed a individual in black gym shoes, long black shorts and a black wife beater covered in tattoos on his arm with a bottle of grape soda sleeping face down in a cabana with no towel. We walked back to the beach shack thinking they want to know when people stroll in off of the beach and use the facility and they responded appropriately but with the man staring my wife down because we called him out. Only problem was, they said it was one of their employees! First, the fact an employee looks like they came in as a straggler not on property is one issue, the second is that he is using guest's services?

We hate to be picky, but we have stayed the spectrum of hotels over our 10 years from Red Roof Inns to this, and when we spend this money, we expect the highest service, not something I would find where my expectations would be lower. I would definitely recommend the hotel and 90% of its staff. However I am not going to rush to go back next year. We have used Waldorf and Ritz properties and never have seen anything like this out of their employees. I have also attended the Disney Institute and cannot imagine a hospitality name of LOWES accepting anything less then the customer is right. Definitely give the Don a shot....but do not be surprised if something like this pops up with your family there. They need to do a better job of realizing who their target market is, what they expect, and how 1 or 2 things can cause them to try somewhere else next year.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ajkspaam
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, 15 August 2014
We truly appreciate your feedback. I'm happy you feel that our hotel in well kept and enjoyed our restaurants and food. It's also great to hear such good comments about Michael and Josh as well as our Housekeeping staff.

Thank you for your business, and for your honest comments.

Regards,

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
Ballwin, Missouri
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2014

We booked another hotel for our vacation and had to leave because the room was so small and dirty. I called Loews and they put us in a guestroom that was absolutely beautiful. The beds were so comfortable! But what really made this an exceptional experience for us was the service and the grounds. The pools (2) were surrounded by lush plants with a hot tub and bar in the middle. They overlooked the ocean. We can only get away for a few days a year so it's important that we enjoy the place we stay. I can't say enough about the staff. They are there to get you a drink or food, cover your beach lounge with towels, help you find something on the property etc... They are all SO NICE. The fitness room offers classes each day. Yoga, weights, dance etc... All are free. The facility itself is updated and very clean.
If you want to get away and do the "beach thing", this is the place to go.

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

Helpful?
Thank BRizzo2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jeffabba, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this review, 15 August 2014
I'm sorry to hear that your original "other" hotel choice was not up to your expectations, but very happy to hear that found us here at Loews Don CeSar. It's great to hear that our service, and our grounds, contributed to you having an exceptional experience.

We appreciate the feedback on our staff. They are genuinely "SO NICE" and we're glad that they made your visit so memorable.

I hope you'll make it back again soon for your next "beach thing!"

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
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 13 August 2014

Perfect hotel for a St. Pete beach trip! Great renovations! Great service! Great breakfast buffet! Great for kids too! Lots of things to do on property for families. Awesome beach access and pool entertainment. Pools open late.

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

Helpful?
Thank Kevin M. S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jeffabba, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this review, 15 August 2014
We're glad that you and your family found us to be a great hotel for a trip to St. Pete Beach!

I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed our breakfast buffet, and the myriad of activities to do on property for both adults and kids too!

Thanks for staying with us and we hope to welcome you back soon.

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
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2014 via mobile

Just returned from a week at the Don Cesar where we had booked a Deluxe suite.
On the positive, this is a beautiful hotel on a lovely beach. The public areas of the hotel are very well maintained and the poolside service was excellent with friendly and attentive staff. Rooms are very comfortable and clean, as you would expect for a hotel of this class.
On the negative; the deluxe room we booked is described on the hotel website as "a breathtaking view of the city or inter coastal waterway and Boca Ciega Bay". Admittedly you can sit on the balcony if you can overlook the immediate neighbourhood then you can enjoy the distant view of the city and the bay. However, the dominant view from our top floor balcony was that of the main Gulf Boulevard road and a large car park. So if you enjoy paying $400 for a view of a car park and the sounds of passing vehicles punctuated by the occasional car alarm and the gentle hum of the hotel aircon machines, then this is the room for you. Frankly is absurd that the hotel can market these as premium rooms.

The food was excellent although somewhat limited in choice (too much focussed on seafood) and overpriced. There is limited alternative choice within walking distance so expect a drive or taxi for dinner.

Resort fee is also somewhat of a mystery to me. When you are paying these kind of prices, to be charged an extra $25 a day feels like a rip off. Why not be open and put this in the room fee rather than this deceitful tactic.

In summary, a lovely hotel but overpriced and some dubious marketing tactics.

Stayed August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Ray 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, 13 August 2014
We appreciate your honest feedback. I'm happy to hear that you found our beach lovely and our public areas well maintained. It's also great that you found our poolside service attentive and attentive.

I do apologize that your accommodations were not up to your expectations.

Thank you for your comments and we hope we'll have the privilege to welcome you back in the future.

Regards,

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
Telford
Level Contributor
60 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2014

This was our 3rd visit to "The Don" over the last 5 years or so, and i love the place.

From the minute you walk through the doors and get the smell of the place, you know you will be looked after.

OK it's not cheap, but if you can afford it, then pamper yourself a little, you will be looked after well.

Thanks to the poolside guys, including Ernie, Farage, Michael, Jacob to name a few, and thanks to Agita in the Hotel Lounge, all of whom are a credit to the Don, in the way they look after the guests.

The only complaint i have, and i have said this before, is please make the checkout bill simpler to understand.

We had a $25 dollar a day "credit", when charging meals, drinks etc to the room. When we received the final checkout "bill" trying to understand how the $ credit had been calculated, would have tested Einstein himself.
After much discussion with reception, i did kind of understand the calculations, but it could be done much more simply, surely????

It won't stop us visiting again, as it has become my favourite Hotel of all..

Thanks to all the staff

Room Tip: We always go for a Junior Suite, as this has a separate "lounge room", with TV and a foldi...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank davewill33
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, 13 August 2014
They say the third time is a charm, and it sounds like "they" were right! I'm glad you had an "excellent as ever" visit.

I'll be sure to pass your comments on our pool and lounge staff along to them. They work hard to be certain our guests have a great and memorable stay and will appreciate the feedback.

Thanks for the comments on your checkout as well, we always appreciate the feedback.

We hope to have the privilege to welcome you back soon.

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
St Pete Beach
1 review
Reviewed 11 August 2014

Every single staff member at the Don Cesar was truly impressive!! They are all very hard working, eager to please and amazingly friendly! The hotel is extremely clean and comfortable! Pricey but you get what you pay for.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Steven D
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, 13 August 2014
We could not agree more!

We feel our staff is truly impressive and we are lucky to have them with us! Each of our Team Members are genuinely passionate about making sure all our guests have an incredible and memorable stay, and it sounds like they did in your case.

Glad you had an "amazing experience" and we hope to see you again soon.

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 Spa Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#3 Green 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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