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“Nice place, just not my type of place”
Review of The Don CeSar

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The Don CeSar
Ranked #7 of 32 Hotels in St. Pete Beach
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
atlanta
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Nice place, just not my type of place”
Reviewed July 4, 2007

The Don Cesar is a nice place, the staff was great, the beach was great, etc. I would prefer a Marriott, Hyatt, or Embassy Suites, though because of the style of the hotel. I prefer a more modern hotel. And of course, as with just about EVERY higher end hotel, they charge for internet. Hotels charging more than 75% less per night provide internet at no charge! The hotel industry needs to wake up in this respect. Oh yeah, and watch out for the $7 bottled water in the room...

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank scottpeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cental Florida
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2007

We did have to wait until 4 pm to check in. We did not warn the hotel we would show up at noon, just went there. We ended up walking around and then going to Hurricane's for lunch a little south of there (best grouper sandwiches I have ever had, and I've sampled a few).
Our rooms were ready at 4 pm and they were the same clean, nicely appointed rooms I remember from years ago. Check-out was noon, so maybe that has something to do with it.......housekeeping was great.
We stayed mid-week, which I recommend. It was not overcrowded and we didn't have any weddings to put up with.
No warning about the construction on the south wing, but we got used to it as background music after a while.
I used the Hair salon for waxing and the aesthetician was very skilled.
For a small room, king-sized bed mid-week, we paid $170 per night plus tax and resort fee. For the next couple of days, we did a tour of south florida and paid 200 some nights for some real dives.
I like the fact that the Don Cesar is pretty and well-kept-up without being a glass and neon palace of glitter. It is elegant.
There were some seams in the hallway carpets that could use some stretching. That was the only maintenance complaint I could find.
I wish we had splurged and paid for valet parking--the self park entrance was hard to negotiate with luggage. I think valeting the car would have been well worth the fee.
Next time, I will try the afternoon tea--looks good.
We only tried the Sea Porch Cafe and the poolside bar food--both had excellent food. I highly recommend Hurricanes for seafood and the Greek restaurant on Gulfport Blvd.

  • Liked — Old fashioned elegance and no neon......
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank jaersmur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2007

So it was my first time playing on Priceline.com-and my price got accepted for the Don Cesar..
I read the reviews, most were great-some a bit off...
My experience was AWESOME! Check in was great-front desk people were warm and friendly, they managed to switch it around so I got an ocean view at no charge..
Room was small-but comfortable.
I ate at the Sunset Grille on site-it took a bit for someone to come to my table, but afterwards I must of had at least 6 people check to make sure i was ok.
Very cute little shops on ground level-
the only thing that was off was the woman in the spa (massage and treatment part) was a bit snotty-
I would like to stress that this little trip was really just spur of the moment- like I threw on some clothes and went-
Didnt do make-up-wasnot dressed up and I was still treated to a FABULOUS time and wonderful service!
Had to say as I pulled up I was a bit worried..
Otherwise-from the point of check-in to check out I loved it!

  • Liked — Loved all
  • Disliked — No balcony
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank hhess407
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jupiter,fl
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 25, 2007

I booked this hotel to celebrate my husband's b-day and I am so happy
I did. The grounds are beautiful and the hotel is breathtaking. We were upgraded and had a beautiful view of the gulf. We slept with the
doors open to the balcony and the breeze made it all the more romantic and special. We were given complimentary champagne and strawberries and it was all delicious! My husband absolutely loved this hotel and is ready to back. Thank you (Jaclyn Ruffino) and all those who made our stay all the more special and memorable. Special thanks to a lovely lady working in the gift shop who even gave my husband a b-day present. It is people making other people feel special that just create wonderful memories. My only regret is not staying longer to to take more pictures of this wonderful hotel. Loved the energy of this place. Can't wait to go back and create more memories.

  • Liked — The hotel
  • Disliked — Loved everything
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank adia08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2007

My husband and I were so thrilled when we booked our honeymoon....looking so forward to a week of sun and relaxation. My husband chose Luxury Link to book our hotel reservations at the Don Cesar Resort and Spa, Saint Pete Beach, Florida. With this option, (to book online through a third party vendor) you pay up front and everything is taken care of when you arrive, except for incidentals, of course. Our flight was great, our convertible car was ready when we arrived at the airport..everything was happening beautifully. We pulled into the Don Cesar early...around 12:00 noon on Friday, June 15th. Realizing we were very early, we checked our baggage with the front staff and checked to see if our room would be available anytime soon. Parker, the front desk clerk assured me that if we would go out to the beachside bar, our room would be available "shortly". It sounded like positive information and since we had let the Parker (the front desk clerk) know that we were several hours early and that we were on our honeymoon AND that we were very anxious to check in and get our suits on to go out and enjoy the ocean.......he may possibly find it within himself to periodically check on the availability of our room and give us a reasonable time frame of when our room may be ready. So, here we go: 12:00 noon- check in, check baggage and agreeably head out to the beach bar to have a few cocktails and lunch (per the front desk clerk's suggestion). 2:00 pm- We thought by now, our room is probably ready....the front desk clerk assured us at 12:00 noon that the room was being cleaned and it would be ready "shortly". We had spent 2 hours in our travel clothes (from our flight) outside in the heat spending well over $200 on overpriced appetizers and cocktails at the poolside bar/restaurant. We were dying from the heat and anxious to get our honeymoon started. My husband went in to check only to return and let me know that the front desk clerk said that the room was still being cleaned and would be ready "shortly". I am starting to get frustrated. I start thinking to myself "If the room is not ready and will not be ready anytime soon....just tell me the truth so I don't get my hopes up". My anxiousness is getting elevated, nonetheless, we opt to spend another hour outside in the heat.....waiting for the word on our hotel room that we booked months ago. 3:00 pm.- I can no longer stand the heat so we head inside. I thought to myself if we sit at the chairs directly in front of Parker and the other front desk clerks, they will remember that we have already been waiting for three hours and let us check into our room already....what a mistake! While we sat and waited...thirty more minutes pass...I make repeated requests to get into our hotel room...only to watch other guests receive their hotel room cards and be escorted off to the elevators to be let into THEIR hotel rooms. Keep in mind, our room wasn't anything special...we didn't have any special requests...a King Bed, a partial ocean view, blah, blah, blah......Why were the other guests being given their rooms and we were going on FOUR HOURS OF WAITING?? Finally, around 3:45 pm, 15 minutes short of when our room was contractually supposed to be ready, we ask to speak to the manager. We get a blank stare from Parker and are yet again reassured that the room is still being CLEANED? I think to myself...this must be the CLEANEST HOTEL ROOM EVER!!!! We are going to be eating off the floor...after all...the housekeeping crew has been cleaning OUR room for four hours according to Parker and the other front desk staff!! At 4pm, I ask ONE MORE time if my room is ready......and the answer now from the female African American desk clerk is simply....NO.
I, by this time, am livid. I also note, at this time, that there are other folks waiting for their rooms. There must have been twenty people waiting for their rooms...the only difference is they just got there....we have been waiting for over four hours. Long story short, I call Luxury Link to explain the problem. They tell me that the Don Cesar will cancel the reservation with a penalty of one night's stay. Are they CRAZY?? One night's stay....we can't even get into our room. I give the Luxury Link rep the opportunity to call the Don Cesar front desk and if my room is ready now (4:30 pm) then I will not only be happy to pay for one night...but the other seven that I have already paid for up front. The room is not ready...our honeymoon falling apart...with not such much as an apology from the Don Cesar Staff....no manager ever showed up...I think they were relieved when we left to go find another resort to stay at during our honeymoon...because this meant one less family to worry about finding a room for and one less person staring at them wondering where their room was. The staff was rude. The whole system was ridiculously uncoordinated. I would recommend anyone contemplating staying at the Don Cesar....you should call before you arrive and get a staff member to sign a contract stating when your room is guaranteed to be ready...if not, be prepared to wait and wait and wait......with nothing but a bunch of lies heading your way from people that could care less why you are there...why you spent thousands of dollars to get there and really don't care if you leave.
Horrible experience. I wouldn't let my worst enemy stay at the Don Cesar.

  • Liked — Worst experience of my life...they ruined my one and only honeymoon
  • Disliked — everything.
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank pkrprncess74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2007

I feel compelled to write this review after reading reviews from guests who stayed at the Don the same time as I did and were not happy. My husband and I booked an oceanfront room with a balcony for 2 nights beginning 6/15. It is true that when we tried to check-in at around 1 PM our room was not ready. We did have to wait approx 1 1/2 hours for the room to be ready. Keep in mind that the hotel was sold out for that weekend. Lots of people checking in. We had lunch at the Sea Porch Cafe which was lovely and reasonably priced. When we got to our room we were stunned and thrilled to see that we had been upgraded to a 1 bedroom suite. It was absolutely beautiful and the bathroom was the largest we have ever seen. Almost as big as the bedroom. We never heard any noise from other rooms.
We went to the beach Saturday morning at around 10 AM and there were plenty of chairs to be had. I don't know what other people are talking about when they say there were no chairs at 10 AM. Granted, the pool was definitely crowded and there were no chairs there, but there was no shortage of chairs at the beach. And they are complimentary to hotel guests. I thought the Maritana Restaurant was overpriced and pretentious. It was all about presentation. But you can choose not to eat there. The staff from bellboys (thank you, Todd), checkin (hello Parker) to the waitstaff at the Restaurants were all excellent.
Don't miss the ice cream parlor, it was great. Another reviewer mentioned Carlino's Italian restaurant near the Don and we tried that and it was very, very good. I did not want to leave our beautiful suite. I miss the Don every day since we have been home and I will certainly go back again.

  • Liked — we were upgraded to a 1 bedroom suite!
  • Disliked — Waiting for our room to be ready
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank flamingolover_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
orlando
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2007

My husband surprised me with two nights at the Don Cesar. First impression was good - the view coming over the bridge was stunning; the bell staff pleasant. then we ran into the front-desk staff - rude, unresponsive and not helpful. We waited an hour for a room and all attempts to speak to a manager were rebuffed. And front desk staff never followed through on promise to contact housekeeping for estimate of room availability. When we finally got to the room I was surprised at the lack of luxury - my bedroom at home is more luxurious. Double bed was uncomfortable, there were just two pillows, one phone was broken, the balcony chair rocked, the safety chain was broken, hairdryer was broken. And we could hear word for word what are next-door neighbors were saying through the paper-thin walls. On the plus side, hotel was immaculate; the food was good; the pool area nice, but getting a pool or beach chair was impossible. Massage was the best I had ever had, but i had to walk through the don, ride the public elevator in my spa bathrobe and spa slippers. Quite embarassing and uncomfortable. Bottom line: I paid luxury prices at a luxury hotel, but didn't get luxury in return. I won't go back and can't recommend.

  • Liked — Beautiful, clean hotel
  • Disliked — my room was not luxurious
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mrsroboto
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
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
#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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