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“Two star experience at a "4 star" hotel”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of The Don CeSar

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The Don CeSar
Ranked #7 of 32 Hotels in St. Pete Beach
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
New York, New York, United States
Level Contributor
33 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Two star experience at a "4 star" hotel”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2012

My two sons and I spent a long weekend at the Loews St. Pete Hotel. We realized it could be crowded because Sunday was Easter. But that was an understatement
We went to the beach on Saturday and Sunday midday. On both occasions we were told there no beach or pool chairs or even towels. I'm not sure what the $22 daily resort fee covered.
On Sunday morning, we went to breakfast at 10:20 am and told there would be a 15 minute wait. That would have been fine if the restaurant hadn't closed promptly at 10:30. The hostess didn't even tell us there was a 12 pm Easter brunch (either because we are Jewish or more like the brunch was sold out).
We were unable to secure dinner reservations in the hotel for any night (even the one day we inquired at 10 am)
On Monday morning, we woke up early to our alarm clocks and hurried straight to the pool. We found a couple of chairs but were stunned to find there were no towels for the 3rd straight day.
The one plus was the staff. They were courteous and visibly embarrassed at the guests' predicament.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank JLBlez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manager D, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this review, 15 April 2012
We would really love to speak with you further regarding issues from your previous stay. Could you please email us at doncesarcustomerservice@loewshotels.com? Thank you
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2012

Before I begin my review, I want to let people know that I won a "Visit Florida" sweepstakes and part of the prize was a four day, three night stay at the Don Cesar. My children (14 & 15 yrs.old) and I stayed at the Don Cesar during spring break and we just got back a couple of days ago. What a beautiful and majestic hotel and it couldn't be located on a more gorgeous beach. We had a room on the first floor (room 104) and we had requested two double beds. The room was smaller than I expected, but who am I too complain, I didn't pay for the room and we were gone most of the day. Because it is a luxury hotel, there weren't hordes of high school/college kids staying at the Don Cesar, so at night it was very quiet, almost to quiet for my kids. We loved the pool and the beach, the pool is heated and the beach is just beautiful and you have to experience the sunset from the beach.
I know they have a high end restaurant in the hotel, but my children and I didn't eat there, so I can't comment on the quality of the restaurant. We did go to the ice cream shop and I have to say they went out of their way for my son who has a peanut allergy.My son wanted to get some vanilla ice cream, but because of his allergy, he usually isn't able to get ice cream, but at this ice cream shop, they opened up a brand new container of vanilla ice cream and they used a new ice cream scooper, just to insure that there would be no possibility of cross-contamination. Wow! As a mother of a son with a peanut allergy, I was very impressed.
This hotel is so different from hotels I have stayed in the past and I would love to stay here again. Everyone was friendly, from the valets to the concierge.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Hanna D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manager D, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this review, 15 April 2012
We were thrilled to see you enjoy your recent stay. Thank you for taking the time to post, we really appreciate it and hope to welcome you back in the very near future.
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Hamilton va
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2012

This well run luxury hotel offers total relaxation, offering a beautiful view of the Gulf of Mexico. Enjoy walking on the soft white sandy beach with crystal blue turquoise warm water. You can relax all day in your cabana or grab lunch by the pool. Plenty of fun for the children with two pools. There are wonderful luxurious spa amenities, excellent restaurants and great customer service. Exceptional friendly staff awaits you, and wonderful ambience!

Room Tip: Choose a suite with the view of the Gulf of Mexico.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shabella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manager D, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this review, 7 April 2012
Thank you for your positive review of the Loews Don CeSar Hotel! We are always happy to hear about our luxurious spa, excellent restaurants, and exceptionally friendly staff! We look forward to welcoming you back to St. Pete Beach.
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2012

We stayed at the Don three nights for a wedding (wedding was in the hotel courtyard and reception was also on the property). The lobby, piano bar and beach are very nice...but our room was tiny and the hallways were very worn down (not what you would expect for these prices). When we first arrived the room had a strong, artificial perfume smell. This was noted on other reviews and it was definitely off putting. I was able to open the window and after the first day the smell was gone. The bed was uncomfortable and the sheets scratchy--we had a hard time getting comfortable the first two nights. Again, when you're paying $300+ per night you expect a great bed and this was far from the case. The pool is also pretty small with limited lounge chairs, so you have to arrive early during busy seasons to get a spot. Even on the beach they were running out of lounge chairs. Frozen cocktails at the pool bar were nearly $20 a piece. I can say that the hotel staff was incredibly accommodating and friendly, so that helped make up for some of the shortcomings. I'm glad we stayed here for the wedding, but wouldn't go back on my own.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank mjgtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Urbandale, Iowa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2012

We just came back from a long weekend trip to The Don. We were hoping for long walks on the beach, good food, and deluxe acommodations. We got 1 out of 3, but it was still a great weekend. The beach is beautiful, fine, white sand and a shell collector's dream. The high end restaurant and the everyday restaurant were upstaged by the poolside food. The musician, Colt Clark, was fantastic. We loved his music, bought his CD and would love to hear him play again soon. This place is family friendly and a bit overly crowded for us. We thought spring break crowds would've thinned out, but it was packed with guests and non guests with day passes. Our favorite day was the day it rained and the beach cleared out and we had the place to ourselves. The 3 elevators were always packed, and we were always waiting for one. On one day, only 1 elevator was in service. The rooms are as small as everything we had read. Our first night was in a room so small we were falling over each other and the bags. The mattress wasn't quality at all and we slept terribly. But we were upgraded the next day and were very pleased with the quick service. Overall, this will be remembered as a wonderful trip and we will go again. However, I hope the hotel invests in some quality mattresses and bedding by then.

Room Tip: Avoid the smaller rooms that were once considered "changing rooms."
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank T K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2012

OK, the staff are friendly, but the hotel is dated and needs a serious makeover. I guess it rates 4 stars by AAA, but that's likely because other hotels are so bad, not because this one is good. Clearly, they do not have the management staff or enough of anyone to handle being fully booked. For example, I called and spoke to them about checking in so my wife and I could get to a 4:30 spa appt. Well, the room wasn't ready and they didn't even offer a glass of water on a hot day. The front desk was understaffed (one person, 6 people on line). I asked about roses and chocolates before arrival but asked for a price before ordering. When we finally got to the room, there were roses and chocolate. However, I never got a price. So I have no idea what they think I am willing to pay. They asked if I wanted champagne. I said NO...twice. Well, they gave us some anyway, even though sparkling wine with their brand is not my idea of champagne. we don't drink and won't pay for it. We tried to order room service...we got put on hold. We tried to get dinner at the time we reserved a table...they were late...and understaffed. The bathrooms in the common area clearly need more regular cleaning...and some paint...They try, but even though the management has good material, they just don't know how to do it...or they are not being given resources by corporate. At any rate, if you are looking for a "great" hotel, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. This one is merely good...and expensive...too expensive for what you get. Oh, the one bedroom suite...well, just an idea...the BATHROOM is like a motel 6 made over to look fancy. I'm 6' and the water only hits my chest. Again, the regular staff are great. Management needs to go to training, meet with corporate and decide a simple question...do they want to be the best or merely better than most in a place with little competition. BTW- The hotel owes us breakfast...and a glass of cold water...

Room Tip: go somewhere else.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BRobStan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level Contributor
47 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2012

My husband and I took our four month old son to the Don Cesar for 3 nights for our first family vacation. The hotel is beautiful, clean, and very welcoming to families. The service at the hotel was truly outstanding. We had two very minor maintenance issues with our room which were resolved within an hour of calling. We arrived at the hotel in the late morning - hours ahead of check in. We were told our room was not ready but they put a rush on it and within the hour, our room was ready. Poolside the service was excellent. We had a strong thunderstorm with high winds rip through one of the days we were there and we had to abandon our lunches which had just been delivered. When the storm was over, our server promptly replaced our lost lunches. The staff certainly put in the extra effort to make our stay more enjoyable.

The rooms were very clean and functional. While I agree with some of the reviews that the rooms are on the small side, we had a standard sized room which was large enough to accommodate the three of us, our luggage, plus the crib that was brought into the room for the baby. With a beautiful beach and pool area we didn't spend a lot of time in the room!!!


There are only a few negatives. If you want to reserve an umbrella by the pool you have to do it by 7 am. I got there at 7:30 on a Monday and claimed the last umbrella. Further, while the hotel is very welcoming to families, there is one area where I do think there could be improvement. Changing tables should be installed in the restrooms on every floor. There is no changing table on the main floor. When I asked at the front desk when we arrived, I was told to go downstairs to find a restroom with a changing table. I did not see any changing tables by the pool area either. We wound up changing our baby on our lounge chairs rather than go inside every time he needed a change.

Overall, we had a wonderful stay and will definitely return - hopefully for a longer stay!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank tyny77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manager D, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this review, 7 April 2012
We were thrilled to see you enjoy your recent stay. Our staff is our secret weapon and along with the perfect location, we are able to offer families like you an ideal hotel when visiting St. Pete Beach. Thank you for taking the time to post, we really appreciate it and hope to welcome you back in the very near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Don CeSar

Property: The Don CeSar
Address: 3400 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706-4015
Region: United States > Florida > St. Pete Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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
#3 Green Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#3 Spa Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#6 On the Beach Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#6 Family Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#8 Romantic Hotel in St. Pete Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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