Located on the pristine shores of St. Pete Beach, the Don CeSar Hotel is a true icon of Florida’s hospitality industry. Since its opening in 1928, the “Pink Palace” has symbolized elegance, luxury, and exceptional service.
Over the years, the Don CeSar has welcomed numerous celebrities, dignitaries, and discerning travelers worldwide. Its distinctive pink façade and Mediterranean-style architecture make it a beloved landmark of the Gulf Coast.
As the Don CeSar celebrates its 95th anniversary in 2023, we take a closer look at the history and allure of this legendary hotel.
A Rich History is well-documented at the Don CeSar Paradise.
The Don CeSar was built by Thomas Rowe, a visionary entrepreneur who fell in love with the St. Pete Beach area during his travels. Inspired by the grandeur and romance of European castles, Rowe envisioned a hotel that would capture the essence of Old World charm and sophistication.
The hotel’s name was inspired by the hero of a famous opera, “Maritana,” which Rowe had seen during his travels in London. The character Don CeSar was a nobleman who risked everything for love, and Rowe felt that this name perfectly captured the hotel’s spirit of passion and adventure.
Construction of the Don CeSar began in 1926 and was completed two years later for $1.25 million. The hotel featured 277 guest rooms, each with its private bath and telephone – a true luxury at the time.
The Don CeSar quickly became popular for the rich and famous, attracting luminaries such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Al Capone, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. During World War II, the hotel was used as a convalescent center for wounded soldiers, and in the 1960s and 70s, it was a favorite spot for Spring Break revelers.
In 1974, the Don CeSar was added to the National Register of Historic Places, recognizing its architectural and cultural significance.
Today, the hotel is a member of the Historic Hotels of America and remains a beloved destination for travelers seeking a taste of old-world glamour.
Don CeSar Luxury Accommodations and Amenities
You’re transported to a world of luxury and refinement when you step into the Don CeSar’s grand lobby. The hotel’s 277 guest rooms and suites are elegantly appointed, with plush bedding, marble bathrooms, and views of the Gulf of Mexico or the Intracoastal Waterway.
The Don CeSar offers several specialty suites for the ultimate indulgence, including the luxurious Presidential Suite and the opulent Royal Suite. These spacious accommodations feature separate living and dining areas, wet bars, and private balconies with breathtaking views.
Guests can enjoy a wide range of amenities at the Don CeSar, including two beachfront pools, a full-service spa, and a fitness center. The hotel also features several dining options, including the award-winning Maritana Grille, which serves fresh seafood and innovative cuisine.
Memorable Weddings and Events at the Don CeSar
The Don CeSar is a popular destination for weddings and other special events, with its elegant ballrooms and stunning beachfront setting. The hotel’s wedding specialists can help couples plan every detail of their big day, from the ceremony to the reception to the honeymoon.
The Don CeSar offers a range of wedding packages to suit every budget and style, from intimate elopements to lavish affairs. Couples can exchange vows on the beach or in one of the hotel’s elegant ballrooms, then celebrate with a reception featuring gourmet cuisine and stunning décor.
The Don CeSar Hotel is more than just a hotel – it’s a living piece of Florida history and a symbol of the state’s hospitality industry. From its founding by Thomas Rowe in the 1920s to its current status as a world-renowned luxury hotel, the Don CeSar has captured the hearts of travelers worldwide.
Whether seeking a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a destination wedding, the Don CeSar offers an unforgettable experience. With its rich history, elegant accommodations, and stunning beachfront location, it’s no wonder that the Pink Palace remains one of Florida’s most beloved landmarks.