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“The most romantic hotel EVER!”
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
Reviewed July 18, 2007

First let me start by saying...this is going to be long, but very detailed...i am a HOTEL LOVER!! I am active duty in the military but also work in a hotel part time while I pursue my Masters degree in Hospitality Mgmt...so needless to say once again I am a HOTEL LOVER!! I love luxury and picked this hotel for a one night stay on July 17 because despite the reviews here (which I will admit I got a little worried about after booking my reservation) I knew that the luxury Don Cesar would provide me would be worth EVERY penny. Me and my boyfriend are both in the military and we are both deploying for 6 months to Iraq, it was also his birthday so I wanted to plan something EXTRA special and romantic and the Don Cesar staff went ABOVE and BEYOND EVERYTIME!! I'll start off by telling you my plan for events...I booked us originally a standard room but after reading the NUMEROUS reviews about how small the rooms are, I upgraded to a bayside Junior Suite ( well worth it!), I also scheduled us for a couples instructional massage ( yes they teach you how to massage each other it was phenomenal) at the spa. I planned for us to have a private dinner with a table set for two at a secluded location and a birthday cake I had made at cakesbycarolynn delivered to our room after dinner. So I will start off with what made this HOTEL and this STAFF the most romantic day of my life HANDS DOWN! Reminder everything was a surprise for my boyfriend.

Pulling in to the Don Cesar visually is overwhelming beautiful, we got there at 11:45 for a 12:00 Spa appt and valet greeted us with a big smile and options for parking. He said we could either valet for $20 or self park which is included in our rate ( we selfed parked) but I thought it was great he gave us the option.

I walked to the most smilest ( is that a word..lol) front desk of ANY hotel I have ever visited. Laketa and Jon ( i think he was the front desk supervisor) were so nice and we had small talk for a bit while that checked me in. I had coordinated my stay and private dinner with the Guest Services Coordinater Ron and they called him and he greeted me and my boyfriend at the front desk. Ron is the GREATEST, very busy man and I was grateful that he took time out to personally greet me and my man. Our room wasnt ready that early of course, but I knew it wouldnt be thats why I made the spa appt for the time I did. Ron walked us down to the Spa where we were greeted by Yet ANOTHER welcoming staff member who told us, he has a "better room ready for us, while they get everything ready upstairs". Me and my love changed into our spa robes and were introduced to the lady with the MAGIC hands MARY! She was wonderful, and took her sweet time showing us how to massage each other, I got aromatherapy with lavender and my man got massaged with sports heating oil. The best massage I have EVER received, imagine getting rubbed down by two people for 30 mintues!! Cant get no better than that! After sitting in the Sauna we finally left the Spa at 3pm...and guess who was waiting for us to show us to our room RON! Ron escorted us to our suite and first impression HEAVENLY!!! I actually thought they upgraded us after reading all the reviews here I was expecting some tiny cramped room, but no...the music was playing, the ceilings were blue, the bathroom had TWO...yes TWO sinks and the bed looked, felt heavenly...he gave us a quick run down of the room and told us that he had two chairs reserved for us at the swimming pool if we wanted them...Ron sure does know how to think of the little things!! He gave us two coupons for the ice cream parlor and we decided to grab something light to eat at the Sea Porch Cafe. Which of course was great!! I had a Margerita Pizza and my boyfriend also had some type of meat lovers Pizza, it was delicious...we then went to the Ice cream parlor and spoke to another great staff member who let us pick ANYTHING we wanted from the menu...I know this might seem like a great contrast from others reviews, but people Im telling you I got nothing but great SERVICE...and there is EVEN more. We went down to the pool and Heather our waitress was very attentive, my goal was to sit at the pool, soaking up the sun and drink some "fufu" drinks and that is what she did for us. All you had to do was stick up a white flag and she came with a smile waiting to take our order.
I had the private dinner scheduled for 8pm on a terrace overlooking the beach so that we could view the sunset, and Ron had a coincerge Jeremy greet us at our our room and escort us to our dinner. I think my man almost cried it was sooo beautiful...imagine stepping on a terrace, sun setting, a personal waiter, music playing, dinner set for two, with rose petals EVERYWHERE, candles and champagne! GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS!! We went down to the lounge with the piano bar afterwards and had drinks, then went up to the room, where his birthday cake awaited us!! Not only that, but I had a romance package so we had wine, chocolate, cookies, milk and they even threw in some white chocolate covered strawberries!!! All this was waiting for us when we got into our room!! The romance package came with Breakfast in Bed in the morning, I ordered it around 8am and we got it about 20 minutes later...so the point of this wonderful story is the staff at Don Cesar make it wonderful. Every staff member that passed us greeted us and asked us how our stay was going and this hotel is VERY military friendly as you can see. This is officially our spot and I wouldnt be surprised if my man didnt try to pull a slick one and ask me to marry him here next year..The Don and its Staff will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart and I wil think of that day for the next 6 months while I am away in the middle east fighting for my country...thanks Ron, Mary, Laketa, Jeremy, Heather, and every member of the staff..

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank anuday05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,627 - 3,633 of 3,938 reviews

Reviewed July 14, 2007

We had rented 3 (extremely tiny) rooms through hotels.com at a very expensive rate, thinking that the convenience of staying in the same hotel as a special family event would outweigh the cost. Not so! It began with the long line of cars at registration - valet parking was full. We couldn't get near the pool bar, which was the only place (until 5:00) to get any food. I had requested our rooms be near each other - they were as far apart as possible, though on the same floor,
and as far from an elevator as possible. The hotel put us on the 2nd floor...convenient for getting out to the (very crowded) pool and beach, since waiting for the elevators took forever. The real trouble
started at 11:00 p.m. when we arrived back in our room. A huge wedding reception was taking place in a ballroom right under our bedroom. The walls were shaking and vibrating from the extremely loud music. A call downstairs to the front desk only assured us that it should be over by 12:30. No apology! The music didn't stop until after 1:00 a.m. We will never stay at this overpriced, overcrowded hotel again. Other members of our family stayed down the beach at the Tradewinds Resort and had only wonderful things to report!

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled on business
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4  Thank lene17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2007

We stayed here on a very busy weekend -- there were 7 weddings and rooms were booked solid. However, for the amount of money they charge...the rooms were VERY small; the pool area was extremely crowded with not enough chairs; only the pool bar was serving food when we arrived at 4pm but we couldn't even get a seat there (and ended up ordering a very expensive salad through room service); each person was charged a $10 resort fee on top on the hefty room price; we were told that all rooms were close to the elevator however most were quite a hike (my elderly grandmother had to walk down two hallways and take breaks on the way!); and the list goes on. While the hotel itself is very impressive looking and the beach is nice....it's just not worth the money.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank ftlgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2007

Our family stayed here May 31 to June 3 2007. we had 3 rooms and a ton of problems. i cant even begin to explain how much of a frustrating trip this one. from the very start we had to argue with the hotel staff. they're service is terrible and is not worth the 5 stars. We have stayed in many 4 and 5 star hotels over the years and a large percentage of these were in south florida. This is one of the worse. The moment we arrived they didnt have our rooms. we had to spend 5 hours fighting with them to get everything settled. And progressively the staff got stupider and stupider, the smartest, nicest and most helpful people at this resort were the guys who carried the bags to the room and the shuttle driver. Everything the hotel told us before we arrived was a lie. we had one room in the main tower and our other two in the extra beach resort. the extra beach resort had barely anything. all the services were at the main hotel. The maids did a very poor job and had a hard time grasping normal concepts. they say they are pet friendly but they are not we've stayed at pet friendly hotels before this place you couldnt let your dog out of the cage. even if the dog was in the cage you had to have a person stay in the room while the maids cleaned. so someone had to wait around all day until a maid came. we have a tiny little shi tzu and she doesnt bark and is perfectly fine sitting in her little container. but one person every day had to waste a big chunk sitting around for service. pretty much this place had the worse service ever and the hotel wasnt that spectacular. the beach was ok and at high tide 90% of the beach disappears. one of the best things about the hotel was the main lobby where you can sit and at night a great trio plays music, some people even dance in the lobby that was the best part of the trip. would not recommend wouldnt even give it 5 stars


oh and the check in and parking is ridiculous

Stayed: May 2007
3  Thank crazysfool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2007

Room was clean and comfortable. The staff was professional, however the mgt hadn't arranged for nearly enough support around the pool and on the beach so there were long waits at times. We walked out of one of the resturants after about a 15min wait for drinks and menus.

The Resort seems to have an arrangement with the locals that allowed for a very crowded pool and beach. On each of the three days we were at the pool and beach we were sitting with locals and their extended families on at least one side of us. There is also an odd custom at this resort of coming out to the pool or beach very eairly in the morning and putting some trivial personal object on the chairs to "claim" them for the day and the Resort staff doesn't seem to do anything to discourage this. Most of the seating around both pools was "claimed" by 7:30 AM each day. I agree with other reviewers that this is clearly not a place for anyone looking for peace-and-quiet. The pool and beach were over run by children, the ratio was easily 3:1 at times. The live music around the pools was good each day.

Be prepared for the "dry" beach at this resort. I'm sure this is a St Pete regulation, none of the patrons seemed to comply and the hotel staff did not discourage patrons carrying their own alcohol to the beach. Just be prepared for a ticket, the beach is patroled ocationally by the local police.

The food was the normal run of the mill hotel food with the typical high price, I would suggest eating off property if possible. We ate on property (Pool Bar and Sea Porch Cafe') for B'fast and dinner twice, none of the meals were bad, just not memorable in any way.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank ShadowAddr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2007

Although we were allowed to check-in one hour early, things went downhill from there. The toilet in our room was stopped up, the door of the room did not close all the way without being pulled closed and housekeeping would leave to door open after cleaning the room. Many of the scheduled activities changed or were canceled completely. The Don Cesar advertised fireworks for the fourth of July that they did not give; we watched fireworks given by other hotels. They promised refreshments but only gave us water. Advertised Wi-Fi cost $11 per day.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank ksingleton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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3  Thank scottpeth
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: $277 - $652 (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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