Our family of four (kids 11 and 9) had a very nice stay for 4 night over the holidays at the Don CeSar. We had a "Grand" room, which had a full ocean view. We found the room very comfortable and not too small. The room had a small couch and a desk area, in addition to the beds. We were rarely in the room, but when we were, it was fine - so room size was ok for us. The pools were very nice and not overly crowded, even during the holidays. There were plenty of times that we were the only ones swimming in the pool. Outdoor game area with ping-pong, foosball, etc. for the kids. The wide white sandy beaches were great. Service was uniformly very good.
Based on a long walk North on the beach, the Don certainly seems to be at the upper tier of St. Pete Beach hotels, particularly for families. The other hotels appeared to be more run-down, or certainly more for an adult boozy crowd (not that there's anything wrong with that of course). The Don does stand a fair walking distance away from the large group of other St. Pete Beach hotels - so if you're looking for a bar-to-bar beach crawl hotel, the Don is probably not the spot.
We stayed at The Breakers last Christmas - so I thought some people might like a direct comparison. We liked both hotels. Overall, we'd probably pick the Don over the Breakers if we went with our family again -- in part because our similar ocean view room at the Breakers cost over twice our room at the Don. The Breakers is on a grander scale, "fancier" and more opulent if that's what you're looking for. There's something about the Breakers that feels more like a cruise ship, while the Don feels more like a beach vacation. Along with that comes stuff like having all the chairs claimed by 9am at the Breakers - which we did not find to be a problem at the Don. The pool service at the Don was quicker and more attentive. The beach at the Don is much larger and much more usable for lounging, playing in the sand, beachwalks, etc. The town-areas directly adjacent would lean toward the Breakers - short walk into town to nice restaurants, shopping etc -- most restaurants or shopping from the Don were short drives. Also, the ocean itself and climate would probably favor the Breakers. Overall - two great spots - probably depends on what you're looking for and what you're willing to pay.
- 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