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“Castle by the Sea”
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
Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Castle by the Sea”
Reviewed 12 January 2010

It was our first winter away from the snow. Imagine how amazed we were to see this beautiful pink castle directly on the beach. It was very well decorated for the Holidays, the staff were extremely kind and dedicated. We enjoyed the pools, the food and the over-all charm of the place.
However, we must agree with the fact that the room was a bit small.
We would love te return.
M&L Dubois

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FirstTimer55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Washington DC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2010

My partner and I visited the Don Cesar for three days in December 2009. We travel frequently to the St. Petersburg Beach area but this was our first stay at the Don. In general, we were pleased with the experience.

The hotel is old, and we were a bit concerned it would feel that way, but for the most part we were pleased with the quality of the rooms and premises. We also found the staff to be helpful and friendly. And of course the beach was terrific.

Criticisms:

The Don is run by Loews, and at times the hotel really feels like it's run by MBAs. Beware of supplemental charges and fees. For example, a $22 fee is added each night for wifi access, housecleaning gratuities, parking, and a few other items. (This is in addition to the regular hotel price.) And the Don also has the distinction of being the first hotel I've ever stayed at that phone spams its guests: I received two automated messages on my answering machine notifying me of a children's yoga class.

Also, note that the Don caters to children and families, particularly at this time of year: There were a lot of kids at the pools and on the beach - some travelers may not like this.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank j_heart57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta Georgia
Level Contributor
84 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2010

I have stayed at the Don Cesar many times over the past 30 years and have seen this hotel have some ups and downs. Right now, the hotel is really in a down slump. The hotel is in total disrepair. The rooms are dirty, paint falling off the ceiling, stains on the carpet and walls, tattered furniture. Because the hotel is so old, the rooms have always been small, but because they have been negelected for so long, the hotel has a very dingy feel. We booked a room classified as “Luxury King with Partial Gulf View and Captivating Diagonal View of Beach.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The view was of a pink wall, and there was nothing luxury about the room. The room was very dusty. There was a dead bug and a very curly hair stuck to the wall. The ventilation system is noisy. The safe was broken. The bathroom is tiny and noisy pipes. There was dust all over the room, it had not been dusted in days. The pool area was very dirty too. There was a layer of scum at the tile line of the pool and the jacuzzi that looked like it has not been cleaned in weeks. There were old cigarette butts floating in pool that were there for several days.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank TAReviewer01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
loewsdoncesar, Management Response at The Don CeSar, responded to this review, 28 January 2010
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and concerns regarding your recent visit to our hotel. We strive to offer the best service possible and to exceed our guest’s expectations and are disappointed that our hotel did not meet your needs. We take pride in our hotel, the Don CeSar Beach Resort, and each and every team member pays close attention to the cleanliness, look and feel of our property. We apologize that you felt that the hotel was less than satisfactory. Please know that this is not a standard practice here at the hotel and our executive management team pays close attention to comments and concerns such as this. Please feel free to share any additional thoughts, concerns or questions with us by contacting doncesarcustomerservice@loewshotels.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gotha, FL
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 December 2009

we spent Thanksgiving in St Pete. They location of this hotel on the beach is breath taking. Make sure you get a beach view room. The hotel itself is good but it is all about the location.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank funandgames08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 December 2009

The hotel itself looks like on the picture, nice location and enterior look.
The receptionsts were rude, food prices out the roof. We only had a Thansgiving dinner there, but the food for the price was less then average. We also had a problem with the bathtub, you have to wait a really long time for the water to go down the drain.
One night I woke up and could not go back to sleep, there was a dog barking in the room above ours. I would no go there again, they only take good care of rich people. This was my impresion.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Beata37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cincinnati, OH
Level Contributor
18 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 December 2009

As a beach resort, this hotel has great access to the beach. But for $260 a night, I expected better. The bathroom was smaller than the bathroom on my cruise ship last year. The drain was extremely slow and I was standing in water in the $260/night bath tub. Also, when I was checking out I was waiting behind one person for 15 minutes and no one apologized or offered to help me at another desk. The room and hotel were clean.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lisa091
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northampton, MA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2009

What is the Don Cesar like? Well, the TV in the bathroom didn't work well. That about captures it. The beach is glorious but no different from the beach a few hotels north or the beach a few steps south. The Don itself is a magnificent sight in its castle pinkness. It is unambiguously the grandest most elaborate, most ambitious hotel in St Pete Beach. But, it doesn't always work. The rooms are charming and varied. (My daughter goes to college about three miles away so I've stayed at the Don at least three times,) But the front desk often seems confused about reservations. I asked the concierge to check on something for me (where I could find snorkeling gear). She did not know the answer but carefully wrote down my name, my room number and my request, all very reassuring except that she never got back in touch with me. Still, I wouldn't stay anyplace else: I tried the Tradewinds once but the comparison is strained. The Don self-consciously evokes a grand hotel from the 1920's. The Tradewinds feels like a roadside motel that happens to be on the beach. I tried staying a mile or so south once, in Passe a Grille. But, much as I like Passe a Grille, a walkable little area with restaurants, stores and low rise cottages and one of the few charming areas on the whole stretch of beaches from St Pete to Clearwater, the couple of small hotels there run minimalist. So, if you are worried that the TV in the bathroom doesn't work well, it's probably not for you. If you're more impressed that it's there at all (as I am) it's a great place.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank RLZ
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 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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