The Don CeSar
What We Love
- Cushy beach loungers on the powder-white sand and two pools
- Spanish Colonial-style architecture makes this hotel a landmark (the pink color is hard to miss)
- Fun activities for kids at Camp CeSar
- Massages in the three-story spa, which also has a rooftop garden
What To Know
- Multiple grand ballrooms make this a popular place for weddings and conferences
- Guestrooms and bathrooms are cozy by modern standards
- You can happily stay within the confines of the hotel, but otherwise you’ll need a car to explore
- Rooms on lower floors have views of the parking lot
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Driving over the Pinellas Bayway bridge, the spires of the Don CeSar Hotel rise in the distance like some fantastical sand castle. A paragon of roaring 20s elegance, the palatial property’s many tiers and icing-like architectural flourishes have earned it the affectionate nickname “the Pink Palace.” The service too is reminiscent of more genteel times. But the place isn’t stuffy. A relaxed, beachy vibe reigns in the colonnaded lobby, where guests walk past the baby grand piano in flip-flops and bathing suit coverups.
Bed & Bath
At 250 square feet, the guestrooms may not be as big as in more modern hotels, but the decor is charming, with an airy beach-toned palette of blue and sandy hues and cozy touches like upholstered headboards, super soft throws and high thread count linens. Plantation-style shutters and ceiling fans remind you that this is the South, and gulf views set the mood.
Just beyond the lobby is some of the world’s softest, whitest sand and the tranquil, always warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Beach attendants will set you up with a shaded lounge chair, from which you can watch dolphins finning in and out of the shallows. Or roll out your towel on a chaise next to one of the two pools. Thoughtful touches include free sunscreen, chilled fruit-infused water and an underwater sound system. Head to the poolside bar for a Bloody Mary, or check out the three-story spa. Catch the sunset on the beach, before heading to Maritana Grille for New American fare prepared from local seafood and organic produce. Think Gulf snapper with red quinoa, summer squash and compressed tomato vinaigrette or black grouper with potato confit, chorizo and kale in a lobster-saffron emulsion.
In the Area
Take in surrealist canvases at the Salvador Dalí museum; you can buy melting clock cookies in the café. Try the grouper at the Wharf restaurant, a real local hangout with an overwater dining deck and boat slips out back. Take a lesson and learn stand-up paddleboarding; the Water Monkey Shop will teach you the basics and even deliver your board to the beach. Take a sunset excursion on a 50-foot ketch; you can spot dolphins and tropical birds in the evening glow.
How to Get There
Amazing day thanks to the asking staff at the Don! We rented a Cabana and Nico was so helpful. He made sure we had everything we needed and even made a cute little "towel octopus" that my kids loved. The guys at BooYah sports, Josh and Jesse, were phenomenal as well. They were very attentive to us during the banana boat ride, making sure we had a great ride while maintaining our safety. They were both so polite and kind! I can't say enough about the stellar service we received all around! They made this a day we will not forget.
Gibson was wonderful!! Top service from him
Very polite !! Gibson stop by several times to check on us
Made my time on the beach very enjoyable and we will back tomorrow for another stay on the beach
Thank you Gibson for being awesome
We came to the Don Cesar for a last trip before we have our baby boy. The hotel was wonderful with beautiful grounds and beach area. Pros: clean, well kept beach, loungers/umbrella included with stay, not too crowded when we were there, great service, gorgeous balcony view, great restaurants with gluten free options at all of them, good central location to get everywhere pretty quickly, spa was great. We walked a long way from the Spinner restaurant and the beach area is much nicer in front of our resort than all other areas we walked. Cons: small bathroom, everything is expensive and an up charge, the resort didn’t do anything special for it being our babymoon, the refrigerator in the room wasn’t working so they brought up another one taking up even more space since they didn’t take the old one out, no microwave. Go to Middle ground grill and spinner revolving bistro for a meal!
Took a nice stay at home vacation to the Don Cesar and I felt the need to comment on the best service I’ve received anywhere on St. Pete Beach... the pool boys and The Beach Boys were all immediately attentive and kind upon our arrival. Two men named Andrew and Brett got us situated right away with chairs on the white sand with a great view. Tyler set us up with an umbrella and even moved it so my brother could be in the sun. Great service and I know their smiling faces are a great addition to the team!
My family lovingly refers to this hotel as the Pink Palace! It is an old hotel with so much charm and comfort. The customer service is outstanding, the rooms are small but comfortable, and the location is outstanding! The white sand is absolutely beautiful. I would not call it a true luxury hotel, but it definitely deserves a 5-star rating!