Pink Palace Paradise: The Don CeSar

Lifestyle

Boasting alluring charm and an intriguing history, The Don CeSar is a timeless landmark resort in St. Pete Beach, Florida.

Built as a token for his lost love, The Don CeSar was opened by Thomas Rowe in 1928 on 80 acres of shoreline. The opulence of the hotel itself, paired with the lively ambiance and beautiful beaches, attracted some of the Roaring 20’s most prestigious members of high-society. Serving as a jungle gym where the rich and famous could mingle, The Don CeSar became an icon of style and glamour, and is even believed to have inspired some of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s stories during his stays. Through the years, The Don CeSar gained recognition on the silver screen after it was featured in Once Upon a Time in America and when Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers performed on the rooftop of the hotel for an MTV documentary. 

Today, The Don CeSar radiates a sense of nostalgia, while continuing to embrace the grand richness of the hotel. In January of 2021, The Don went through a full renovation to restore the building’s elegant beauty, while maintaining Rowe’s dream and legacy. The eight-story hotel, coined the “Pink Palace”, is engulfed in affluence and leisure, making it a must-visit for beach lovers and history junkies. 

Beachside luxury casts you under a spell the moment you lay eyes on the incredibly vibrant hotel. Each of the spacious 241 rooms and 36 suites offers a stunning display of Florida’s Gulf Coast. Modern decor and luxurious amenities dress each of the individually unique rooms, while still paying homage to the history of the hotel. With versatile lodging arrangements, The Don CeSar can accommodate any type of stay. Beach-inspired tones and textures welcome you as you enter your room, setting the tone for the delightful stay ahead of you. Once you have taken in the astonishing ocean views and plush conveniences, it’s time to explore the myriad of possibilities around you. 

Exiting the hotel, you are greeted by silky white sand, sensationally warm ocean water and out-of-this-world sunsets and sunrises. A day on The Don’s private beach is the ultimate relaxation experience with daybeds available and a full-service restaurant, serving right to your chair. The thrill-seekers will be fulfilled with a variety of water excursions offered by the resort. The resort includes two impressive pools with a rooftop viewing deck and a poolside bar to satisfy any of your midday cravings. Frozen cocktails, tasty drink pitchers and perfect poolside snacks are available in addition to two new concepts that double the fun at The Don Cesar. The poolside Beacon Bar & Lookout offers incredible views and is the perfect location to enjoy a poolside snack. The new full-service restaurant, Society Table, hosts chef-led classes and tastings in a prime setting for enjoying your surroundings. 

 

Spa Oceana, a full-service spa, is featured in the hotel. This seaside retreat was designed to induce complete relaxation and rejuvenation. With 16 treatment rooms, a full-service salon, and a terrace view overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, the blissful healing is endless. Spa guests also have access to aroma-infused steam rooms, whirlpool baths, and access to the private Whisper Lounge. Couples treatments are also available for those coming for a romantic getaway.  

The fun does not end when the sun goes down at The Don CeSar. We enjoyed a delicious dinner at the on-site, award-winning restaurant, Maritana. The chef creates special menus that include hand-crafted dishes and locally sourced products to deliver a delectable coastal Meditteranean meal, every time. We were especially impressed by the grilled octopus, the exquisite black bass, and the heavenly dessert selection. An extensive choice of wines and a brilliant atmosphere enhanced our memorable dinner. 

 

If you are looking to enjoy a dinner outside of the hotel’s premises, the nearby Rumfish Grill is a quiet, under-the-sea themed restaurant with deliciously innovative seafood dishes. The dining room features a stunning aquarium and the seafood is absolutely amazing, notably the ceviche. The hotel offers bike rentals so guests can get to the downtown area without having to sacrifice their time in the sun. The remarkable proximity of things to do while staying at The Don includes sporting events, golf courses and even Busch Gardens, an amusement park suitable for all ages. 

Downtown St. Pete embraces a hip nightlife with countless coastal eateries, lively bars, museums and theaters. For a nightcap, head to The Don’s Lobby Bar and feel the chicness of the roaring 20’s. Seasonal cocktails crafted by mixologists and the sophisticated vibrance of the bar makes for a perfect gathering point. Indulge in a sweet treat at Uncle Andy’s market, a nostalgic, homemade ice cream parlor. In the morning, you can start your day with one of Uncle Andy’s delightful coffee and breakfast options. The Don CeSar hosts multiple boutiques and specialty shops. Whether you are seeking sunscreen, a souvenir or a shopping spree, The Don has it all, right on-site. 

 

If you are craving a vacation, this pink paradise has everything you could ever ask for. From the nostalgic charm of the building, to the boundless excursions and amenities offered, The Don CeSar is a must-visit Floridian gem. 

By Brianna Robertiello

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