The 277-room Don CeSar hotel is a luxury property located on a white-sand beach on the Gulf of Mexico in St. Pete Beach. Its combination of family-friendly amenities (with activity options for kids and teens), opulent Gatsby-era vibe, lushly landscaped grounds, and excellent service set it apart from the majority of hotels in the area. Rooms are modern and bright, with elegant beach-style decor, and there are various suite options -- some with pool and beach views. Room rates are expectedly higher at this property than other nearby resorts.
Historic beachfront hotel, with elegant decor and lush grounds
Known as Florida’s legendary “Pink Palace” for its pastel exterior, the Don CeSar looks like a grand birthday cake on the sand. Built in 1928 to resemble a Mediterranean-style castle, it's listed in Historic Hotels of America and has drawn notable personalities for decades. On entrance, there are two lavishly decorated lounges, including an elegant lobby with a bar and plush living room-style seating areas. The property is full of areas to sit and relax, from public balconies with white rocking chairs to cozy nooks with love-seats. Outdoors, guests unwind in aqua-colored sectional sofas and hammocks between palm trees. The grounds have tropical-style landscaping, fountains, and lounge chairs beside two beachfront pools. The hotel caters to all kinds of travelers, including families and couples, as well as groups and weddings (with 38,000 square-feet of event space).
On a seven-mile stretch of white-sand beach in St. Pete Beach
Set on a wide expanse of white-sand beaches stretching for seven miles, the Don CeSar is the epitome of an upscale beach hotel -- so much so that many guests choose not to leave the property. Travelers wanting to explore have access to a handful of beachfront bars and restaurants within walking distance. About two miles down the beach, there are a notable restaurants with rooftop bars, sunset views, and brunch. The city of St. Petersburg, home to the Dali Museum and loads of art galleries and restaurants, is 10 miles from the resort.
The best rooms and suites at the hotel have private terraces and panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico. Rooms are elegantly decorated in tropical-tinged decor, with details like plantation-style shutters, crown molding, custom wrought-iron beds with triple sheeting, sky-blue ceilings, and bathrooms with granite vanities. All rooms include free Wi-Fi access and flat-screen TVs.
Variety of amenities make leaving the grounds unnecessary
The Don CeSar features a luxury spa, fitness center, two beachfront swimming pools, and beach volleyball. Yoga on the beach with personal trainers, and cabana rentals are available for a fee. Spa Oceana features 16 full-service treatment rooms, salon, and rooftop lounge overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Maritana Grille, the resort’s fine-dining option, serves delicious seafood dishes. The fresh-feeling Sea Porch restaurant serves Floribbean cuisine. Uncle Andy’s Ice Cream Parlor scoops up homemade ice cream. On-site boutiques offer everything from sundries to designer swim wear. For families, the hotel offers a library of games, kids' menus, and even camp for children, while teens have access to music download cards. "Dive-In" movies at the pool are another family-friendly option.