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“A beautiful pink palace” 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
Clark, New Jersey
Level Contributor
92 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“A beautiful pink palace”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2007

After returning from the Don, I felt compelled to add my two cents.
So here goes: The hotel and property are magnificent. From the moment you reach the hotel, you are transported to another era. Very F.Scott Fitzgerald. The lobby is opulent and to our surprise, our room was ready for us, hours ahead of check-in. While it is true that the rooms are small, they are lovely, immaculate and very well appointed. The beach is great and has the softest sand I've ever felt. Like baby powder. The pool area is gorgeous and because there are two pools, it never feels over-crowded. People do seem to grab all the chairs and lounges right after breakfast, so it's best to be on your toes and do the same.
The restaurants were fantastic. We had all our breakfasts and several lunches and dinners at the Sea Porch Cafe. It was so good that my 9 year old son was annoyed when we ate anywhere off the property. The Maritana Grill was fabulous. Pricey but worth it and both restaurants have fantastic children's menus. The staff at the Sea Porch Cafe and at the pool bar/ restaurant were definitely a negative. All but one during our entire stay, seemed annoyed and abrupt. My husband and I have both formerly been restaurant workers, so we know how to behave and how to tip. All of this seemed irrelevant to them. No smiles, slow service and plenty of attitude. What a shame at such a toney place. Another fact (that I read in reviews before our arrival) is that you are nickel and dimed for everything. Even when ordering the $17.00 breakfast buffet, coffee and juice are not included. Wooden lounge chairs for the beach are $25.00 a day. It's a bit much. But not enough to hamper my opinion of this beautiful resort. I will close by saying that if I return to Saint Pete Beach, (and I hope to) The Don CeSar is the only place I would stay.

  • Liked — The beach, the pools, the restaurants, and Dee in the gift shop.
  • Disliked — The restaurant staff.
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NJBrooklynborn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,318 reviews from our community

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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 (684)
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English first
Michigan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2007

My girlfriend and I spend five fantastic days at this great resort. It was highly recommended to us by my travel agent. We were so appreciative of her suggestion, we bought her dinner when we returned!
The staff of this hotel are some of the most professional and most friendly ones we have ever met. We had a slight problem with room reservation mixed-up and was promptly remedied by an ungrade -- to the presidential suite!
The ladies at the concierge desk were more than helpful. They always call me by my name and were almost magical in their ability to grant your requests -- one even obtained a rental Porsche from Miami for me at the last minute!
The dinner and the Sunday brunch at the hotel are not to be missed! Don't forget to save room for the dessert -- the dessert chef is an absolute wizard with crepes!
The beach is absolute gorgeous. Make every effort to wake up early especially on weekends if you want a prime cabana location.
Don Cesar maybe expensive to some. If you want to be pampered and if you believe in the romance of traveling, this is the place. We will absolutley go back and stay in a second!

  • Liked — The romantic setting
  • Disliked — Average rooms are somewhat small compared to other locations
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank xraymin1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2007

Not what you'd expect for or hope for in a hotel so highly rated and at this price. Much more emphasis placed on meetings and weddings than on guest comfort and enjoyment. Check-in is a train wreck!! Some front desk staff okay and others inexcusably rude. Small rooms (understandable in a hotel built in this era) not comfortably laid out. $20 per day resort fee which bought us nothing but the tip for our housekeepers (which was deserved). $11 per day for wireless internet. We've found it free everywhere else. Jackhammers and bulldozers all day every day for the great new addition near the pool and not so much as a "sorry for our dust" sign or indication that this might be an inconvenience for people paying nearly $1000 a day when it's all said and done.

  • Liked — the beach and gulf
  • Disliked — shabbiness of the management
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank chicag0gl0betr0tter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sartell, MN
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2007

Absolutely perfect. The staff were incredible and gracious. They went out of their way to make you want to come again. Cater to families and couples. There is something for everyone! The beach is gorgeous, and the hotel is grand. Will definitely be back!

  • Liked — The beach and Pool activities
  • Disliked — Room was very comfortable but smaller than expected
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank FreqMNTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, FL
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2007

We stayed at the Don in November, and we cannot wait to go back. After traveling throughout the United States and Europe, we have decided that this is our favorite place to stay. They go out of their way to make you feel like royalty. The property itself is immaculate...from the rooms to the common areas no detail is overlooked. From the time you enter into the main lobby until the time you finally reach the beach, you feel like you are a 1920's movie star. The thing that truely sets the Don apart in our eyes is the service. The valets and bellmen do everything in their power to make sure your stay is a leisurly as possible. I would encourage everyone I know to stay at the Don when they are on the West Coast of Florida.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — There is nothing not to like
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Clydesdle1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2007

We just returned from a long weekend at the Don and the hotel definitely exceeded my expectations. The hotel has somewhat of an old Hollywood feel to it. We arrived early in the morning but were immediately given our room. The room itself was pretty small but comfortable nonetheless. We had been chatting with the gentleman who brought up our luggage about the yankee's spring training and not five minutes after he left our room, he called with the weekend's schedule! The staff at this hotel is what makes it more than it is. Every person you encounter is absolutely wonderful and ready to help.

The beach there is gorgeous, with soft sand and gentle waves -perfect for long walks. The food at the main restaurant, The Maritana Grill, is excellent and the lobby bar is a great place to end the night. But be prepared - it is a wedding factory so it can get crowded. We never had any problems getting chairs at the pool or beach though. The weekend we were there, it was mostly wedding guests and families with young children.

Aside from the hotel, we also ate at Snappers - a recommendation from the concierge. Food was pretty good, must be a local favorite because it was very crowded. Another tip, if you fly into Tampa let the hotel arrange a car to pick you up and bring you back - it's actually cheaper than taking a cab. Overall, the Don is a good place to relax on the beach for a long weekend. Anything over 3 or 4 days though and I think you'd be a little bored.

  • Liked — The beach
  • Disliked — Not much to do in the surrounding area
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 1Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
23 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2007

Just came back from the Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training weekend in Dunedin, Florida (March 2-5). We stayed for 3 nights at the Don Cesar. This was our second visit to the hotel. It looks like a pink castle on the outside and has been beautifully restored on the inside. We stayed in a bayside deluxe suite (slightly larger than the oceanside suites). It had a master bedroom with a king bed as well as a seperate makeup area and seperate ensuite. The living room had a pull out double bed and a wet bar with a large counter top. We had a bar fridge delivered upon our arrival and stocked it with juice, pop, etc. We asked for a roll away bed and received it right away. The service was excellent throughout the hotel. We ate at the Sea Porch Cafe for dinner upon our arrival and it was great. The food was yummy and well priced. We lounged at the pool and found it to be very clean and the poolside service was readily available for lunch and drinks. The concierge was very helpful with suggesting other dining options around the area. We ate at Cafe Luna and enjoyed our meal very much (on Gulf Blvd. 5 min drive from hotel). Overall, we enjoyed out stay and would not hesitate to return or recommend this hotel to friends and family. It was well worth the price and the location is perfect.

  • Liked — Room layout, cleanliness of room, closeness to beach
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank RHimelfarb
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 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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