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“Most Beautiful place to be married.”
Review of The Don CeSar

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The Don CeSar
Ranked #6 of 32 Hotels in St. Pete Beach
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
A TripAdvisor Member
Pittsburgh PA
112
Reviewed September 15, 2005

I got married in the gardens at the Don CeSar and it was the most beautiful wedding! My husband and I live in Pittsburgh PA and the wedding coordinator (Shelly) was absolutely wonderful helping us make the arrangements for 100 + guests to travel to Florida for our special day. We had surf and turf for my guests and the food was awesome. My husband and I had the Presidential suite and it was fabulous for entertaining our guests. Thanks for making our day soo special. Daria and Jeffrey Wasak

Stayed: July 2004
12  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,676 - 3,682 of 3,893 reviews

Reviewed September 14, 2005

Lowes has done a wonderful job of maintining and restoring this precious gem and they need to keep going. Stayed at this resort for 3 nights and loved the ambiance and decor. Lovely flowers thruout and we had above excellent service from the moment we arrived, everyone was kind and courteous. Although the rooms are small they are very well appointed, the bathroom had marble and granite, the bed was extremely comfortable with wonderful linens and a nice robe. I would have liked a coffee pot and the carpeting was worn. Dinner and service at the Maritana Grill was excellent with delicious fish and beef although a bit overpriced. The beach is impeccable w/soft clean sand and nice towels and the surf was slow and warm. The gardens are lush, beautiful and very well maintained and the Don retains that old timey feel which states majestic permanence. We were glad we were there off season and midweek since the pool deck area although very clean is on the small side and we felt crowded on Friday. Pool cleanliness and water temp was right on the mark and the pools are a nice size. Given the price of the resort stay, I felt the drinks were definitely overpriced and some bartenders held back on the liquor so we played bartender jockey and our bar bill was high. The bar snack is a wonderful mix of nuts and crisps which were given liberally. Felt like the only price break we had was free self parking, not even free coffee or tea in the lobby. The shops were very nice and a range of price categories. As a Spa goer, the spa prices were definitely too high and there again given the price of the resort, no break at all, did not use any of their services. The gym is small but well appointed and cool, the machines were all good quality. Only thing that desperately needed attention were the open towers with stairs which were filled with bird excrement and definitely discouraged their use especially since the elevator speeds need an overhaul. Overall had a great time for a getaway and plan to return. If service, cleanliness and beauty is important to you, you will not be dissappointed. Being at the Don makes you feel like you are part of history such as in Old Europe. We have stayed at a Lowes hotel in South Beach Miami
and they aim to please.

  • Stayed: September 2005
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2  Thank critiqueVirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2005

We stayed for 10 nights at the end of August 2005. The first thing that shocked me was the resort fee. They charge you $10 per adult per night. You don't have much choice in the matter. This covers a lot of things we didn't use, such as shoe shine and turn down services. It also covered things that a lot of other (lesser quality) hotels provide for free, such as parking and use of the in room safe. However, it did also cover a housekeeping gratuity which saved having to do that every day.

However, that said, we did have a lovely time. The hotel is positioned overlooking a long stretch of beautiful sandy beach and is very quiet and relaxing. You can see quite a way down the beach to where some of the other hotels are and the beach looks really crowded at the other end, but not at the Don Cesar. I've seen some reviews saying the pool area was crowded. We never found it so. In fact it was really nice to be able to come down to the pool at any time of day and find plenty of space without fighting for a sun lounger. There were two good sized pools. One shallower than the other. The pool bar served drinks, cocktails, snacks and hot food, and you didn't even have to leave your sun lounger if you didn't want to as a waiter would come and take your order and bring it right back to you.

We did find it expensive to eat in the restaurants, even the more casual ones. As an example, at restaurants elsewhere on Gulf Blvd we were normally spending around $50 to $60 per night on dinner for a family of two adults and two teenagers. We decided to eat one night at the Don Cesar in one of the less expensive restaurants and spent $140 ! So my advice is to eat out.

My one main criticism would be the size of the room. It was smaller than a lot of hotels we've stayed in, particularly the bathroom. And there weren't any tea and coffee making facilities in the room.

I couldn't fault the staff on their helpfulness and courtesy. From the front desk to the bell hops to the housekeeping staff. Nothing was too much trouble.

I would recommend anyone to stay here. Just watch what you're spending !

  • Stayed: August 2005
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7  Thank Karen_Wickham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
connecticut
11
Reviewed August 29, 2005

THis as a gorgeous hotel It truly is a "Pink Castle" & child friendly, !!

  • Stayed: June 2005
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1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2005

I booked one night at the Don to celebrate my boyfriends birthday as a surprise and what a surprise it was for both of us. After reading some of the reviews I was a little disappointed but the Don surpassed my expectations. The staff is friendly and very helpful. I requested champagne and strawberries in my room when we checked in, however the front desk upgraded my room without letting room service know, so there was a mix up, but within minutes room service arrived and it was still a great surprise to my boyfriend. The room was a nice size with two huge windows.. one facing the bay, the other the beach, it was on the sixth floor, the bed was really comfy and the vanity desk was a great touch. The bathroom was tiny and smelled musty, that's the only complaint with the room, but very clean. We ate dinner at the fine dining restaurant in the hotel and were so pleased.. the waiter was very nice and the service was top notch.. although it was pricey, I believe it was worth it.. two appetizers, two entrees, a bottle of wine, a dessert, and two after dinner drinks for $200 at the Don, that's what I expected to pay.. and they even put happy birthday and a candle in my boyfriends dessert. The lobby bar was full of nice people and it was nice to hang out in a beautiful lobby. A huge surprise came when I had no headache medicine and asked my boyfriend to go down to the front desk and get me some, he came back and told me they actually opened the gift shop at 2 in the morning so he can get some.
The breakfast buffet was great, we went on a Friday morning and it felt like a Sunday brunch.. there was an omlette station, fresh fruit, lox and bagaels, eggs, meats, and ect for $17 a person.
The beach was pretty, the pool is where the action is, music playing and lots of people around.. for some maybe too many but it was fine. The coolest thing is that there are speakers underneath the water so you can hear the music when you are swimming.
We asked for a late check up and was given one with no problem. I recommend the Don.. it might be expensive but worth every penny especially if you want to make a special memory.

  • Stayed: August 2005
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5  Thank sally19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2005

We were in St. Pete for the weekend to visit my fiancee's family, but this hotel was what made the extended weekend great. The Don is a lovely old hotel. Even though I had bought the room through a discount website, I still received excellent service at the desk. I carried our own weekend bags in, and they only politely asked at the door if we wanted help but didn't oI payed for a standard room, but what my fiancee and I received was well above standard. We received a corner room with a balcony facing back toward the bay and a partial view of the beach. The bed was extremely comfortable, the room was tastefully appointed, the housekeeping service was excellent, and even the soap and shampoo was better than what I brougt from home. The bathroom was a wee bit small, but that was manageable.
The two pools were great, as was the hot tub, but this is a very popular hotel, so if you swim in the middle of the day, the pool will be loaded with people. The best time I had using the pool or the beach was between 8:30 and 9:30 AM. We went in mid-July, and the sun had warmed both the pool and beach water to an uncomfortable level. It was always nicer in the morning.
The saturday night of our stay, we also had a very impressive fireworks display that really capped off a nice day. Drinks at the bar seemed a little steep, but this is the Don after all, I didn't expect it to be cheap. There are a few little shops where I bought a couple high quality golf shirts at a significant discount, a couple decent places to eat and an ice cream parlor
Unlike some places I have stayed with a resort fee, this place was actually worth it. The self-parking was more than adequate and attended around the clock, there were always plenty of towels, and the room was spotless when we returned in the afternoon.
We were visiting family, and may stay with them in the future, but if we don't, we would certainly stay there, and have considered it as a location for our wedding. I travel a great deal, at least twice a month. The Don is a high quality hotel. If you can afford it, you shouldn't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: July 2005
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1  Thank worldsuzandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
ireland
14
Reviewed August 21, 2005

my family booked into the doncesar for 6 nights at the end of july 2005. we had just stayed at the portofino bay hotel in orlando, a sister hotel, which was first class in every respect and which we recommend highly. what a let down when we checked into the doncesar, the place is old and needs to be modernised to even deserve a 3 star rating. The elevators are so slow and people disgruntled waiting for them. The room was small, and during the night, it was hard to sleep with flies buzzing round the room and the loud airconditioning system which did'nt work properly. We had a meal in the restaurant downstairs, service was dreadful and we got frozen bread after asking 3 times for some bread. The meal was a disaster, but we just paid and felt it would be a waste to complain. The pool area is comparable to sardines in a tin, the sun chairs are squezzed tightly together, absolutely no space to pass through. I got a paper cup of coffee at the pool in the afternoon, which came from a flask and cost 3.50 dollars, it was cold and terribly strong, when i asked the bar person if the could heat it, they said a new flask of coffee would be brought from the bar inside as the coffee i received had been sitting in the flask from early morning. There were all little insects crawling around the pool bar, which turned me off ordering a burger or hot dog which my little son kept asking for. thankfully, we rang the peabody hotel in orlando and got a room there after our second night in the doncesar. i stay regularly in hotels all over the world and have never been so dissapointed with accommodation as with the doncesar. however the staff overall are very friendly, helpful and courteous, but unfortunately i have nothing else positive to say about the doncesar. we were very happy that we found another hotel and did'nt have to stay for 6 nights as we had planned, even though it was dissapointing and an upheavel after driving from orlando to st. pete's. We definltley will not be returning to the doncesar.

  • Stayed: July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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

Address: 3400 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706-4015
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > St. Pete Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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
#2 Spa Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#3 Green Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#5 On the Beach Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#5 Family Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#8 Romantic Hotel in St. Pete Beach
Price Range: $258 - $555 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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