The Don CeSar Hotel Review:
I have been seeing photos of The Don CeSar Hotel forever. But, I just didn’t know where this magical place was. I mean, a pink castle-like hotel surrounded by palm trees had to be somewhere in Florida, but where was it? Finally, I got a little resourceful and found it. Only a short 38-minute flight from Miami, or about a 3.5-hour drive from Delray Beach, I put it on my list.
Recently, I booked a collaboration with Perrier Jouet at Miami Airport Pop-Up. I had to choose a destination to fly out of MIA in December for the collaboration, so this ended up being the perfect opportunity to go on a little staycation. Since the Don CeSar is only a 40-minute drive from Tampa Airport it is super convenient for a little winter getaway. (Not to mention even the drive there was gorgeous.)
*This collaboration was in partnership with The Don CeSar but as always, I share only my honest opinions. Also, I only work with brands, events and properties I am obsessed with and can recommend to you knowing you’ll without a doubt love them. I reached out to The Don CeSar because I knew you’d want to hear about this magical place and I was not disappointed! HUGE Thank you to The Don CeSar and their entire staff for making us feel like royalty.
The Legendary Pink Palace of St. Pete Beach:
“Opened in the heyday of the Gatsby Era in 1928, The Don CeSar has been welcoming travelers for nearly a century. From high society’s playground to starring on the silver screen to being a Gulf Coast icon, The Don CeSar boasts a rich and glamorous history. Distinguished celebrities such as Clarence Darrow and F. Scott Fitzgerald have stayed at the Pink Palace on St. Pete Beach. We even served in the Great War. With a sugar-fine beach, radiant sunsets, a world-class spa, and a vibrant food scene, you really can have it all. More than a landmark, The Don is epic style. Timeless. Majestic. Cool.” -via The Don CeSar
I have to mention, we were only at The Don CeSar for 24 hours and this was not enough time! Upon our arrival, we headed to the Beachcomber bar to get the lay of the land and a cocktail. I tried the Frosé (Amazing) and ordered the Iguana Smash (a little sweet but good) for Jacques. I wish they weren’t in single-use plastic cups but they definitely hit the spot and I saved our cups to reuse. (I know, I’m crazy but whatever).
As the Don CeSar is a historic hotel the room definitely has a vintage feel but everything is updated and modern. The bathroom, sink, shower, and toilet were all newly updated and worked perfectly. The TV was a flat screen and the outlets were on the base of the night table lamps which made for easy access and phone charging. We had a gorgeous view of the beach and sunset and the bed was one of the only beds that Jacques and I have both found comfortable! (He likes firm, I like soft.)
That evening after exploring and shooting a little bit we got dinner at The Rowe Bar. I loved the ambiance of a sunset view which faded into the moonlight. The glass firepits helped us keep warm on an unusually chilly night and the flames danced beautifully adding to the ambiance. Our server Christie was so lovely and the calamari was seriously the best I’ve ever had. The batter was light, fluffy and so flavorful, and the marinara it was served with was AMAZING. (It also came with a cream sauce but I was too obsessed with the marinara to try it.)
Since I am me, and completely high maintenance I asked for my burger wrapped in lettuce. Christie didn’t bat an eye or make me feel like a pain and the burger was SO GOOD. I am not easy to please honestly and I devoured that burger. PS. It paired perfectly with some Artemis Hands of Time rosé.
In the morning we woke up super early to shoot and scheduled our breakfast room service for 9 AM. We arrived back at our room at 8:55 starving and ready to eat! Our breakfast arrived at 9:02 which I think is pretty impressive! Can I just say, I know it sounds like everything was perfect because honestly, it was. The pancakes were the best pancakes I’ve had since… I can remember. OMG like, for real. Usually, I just order them for the pics but I scarfed those down so fast! (They were worth the calories and carbs!) They also came with warm REAL maple syrup! So Good! Jacques got the Bagle and Lox and from what he said, it was delightful!
After Breakfast, we headed to the beach for a few hours. For lunch, we ate at The Rowe again and I ordered a salad with several modifications. I am seriously a pain in the butt, I know, and I am so grateful when restaurants can accommodate and adapt. So, thank you Don CeSar Staff!
The Beach and Pools:
So, The Don CeSar has two sparkling pools, a hot tub with fountains arching over it, and of course is located on the beach. There is something for anyone. You can go fishing, rent jet skis, lounge poolside, or beachside, collect shells, play beach games, (hello jumbo chess set!) or other outdoor games like foosball or connect four. They also had sand-castle building supplies to borrow! Speaking of sand, the sand was amazing… it was like powdered sugar. It was so soft and luxurious, I’ve honestly never experienced sand so white and fine.
We rented a cabana and umbrella and rested since we had had such an early morning. The rentals were managed by an outside company but you could still charge it to your room. The prices were a little steep honestly ($125 for the beach rental!) but you could order drinks right to your cabana without getting up at all which was so nice!
Like I said, we were only there for 24 hours so we didn’t have time to explore all The Don CeSar has to offer. They have two more restaurants The Maritana Grille and The Sea Porch Café plus a lobby bar and an ice cream parlor! They also have a pretty expansive gym (Plus yoga!) as well as an award-winning spa! (“Best of 2016” by Visit St. Pete Beach/Clearwater.) I really want to come back with a girlfriend and stay longer. I feel like this would be the perfect getaway for a bachelorette week since there is so much to do and it’s so instagrammable!
I would highly recommend The Don CeSar, the only improvements I could say would be to:
- Eliminate their single-use plastic cups at the beach and pool and replace with reusable cups (which look nicer and are better for the environment.)
- Only offer straws if a guest asks, (again to reduce their environmental impact).
- Work with the beach rental company to lower prices, as very few people were utilizing the beach, I think due to the high rental fee.
That’s it! Honestly, this place is a dream. The Don CeSar is the perfect place to escape the cold and relax or play! I can’t wait to go back, I will absolutely make time to go again, maybe with my mom or sister!
Thank you for reading! If you go, please tag me in a photo so I can see!
Photos thanks to Jacques Theraube