This past spring I decided that I needed to plan a mother-daughter getaway with my older daughter, Katie. She has been in university the last few years and working hard during school breaks so hasn’t been able to travel with us much. It was a stressful time and we both needed some rest and relaxation!
We both enjoy warm weather getaways so I started researching the best resorts in Florida to find a luxury beach resort that would be fun for a short mother-daughter trip.
It didn’t take long to narrow down the results and decide on The Don CeSar Hotel on St. Pete Beach for our 3 night getaway – quite possibly because of the fact that the hotel is pink! The last time that we had visited St. Petersburg, Florida was the year that Katie was a baby – so 22 years earlier!
The hotel was the perfect choice for us – from the welcome champagne (pink!) upon arrival until our departure – we loved every minute of our stay at The Don CeSar Hotel!
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About The Don CeSar Hotel
The Don CeSar Hotel is a legendary Florida beach resort that first opened in 1928 in St. Pete Beach near St. Petersburg, Florida.
The luxury Moorish-style resort known as the Pink Palace is a Gulf Coast landmark that has a glamorous history of welcoming high society and celebrity guests (including F. Scott Fitzgerald and Al Capone) and has served as the stunning setting of a few Hollywood movies.
The Don CeSar was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and is a founding member of the National Trust of Historic Hotels of America.
Located at 3400 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach, Florida.
Accommodations at The Don CeSar
Today The Don CeSar has 277 renovated guest rooms (including 36 suites) decorated in soft blue and sand tones to give you that beachy vibe.
We booked an ocean view room with two double beds and it was worth the extra cost for the incredible view of the ocean from our room.
All rooms are equipped with flat screen TVs, 100% cotton sheets, embroidered cotton robes and luxury bath amenities.
The view from our room of the Gulf of Mexico, the beach and the pool was spectacular!Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor
Amenities at The Don CeSar
The Don CeSar has a daily resort fee which includes a number of amenities and activities including premium plus wifi, complimentary bicycle rental, 24-hour fitness center access, daily yoga and aerobics classes, non-motorized water sport rentals (kayaks and paddleboards) at certain times, pool and beach games and more.
The resort also has a kid’s camp for ages 4-12 and half-day access is covered by the resort fee. The kid’s camp offers organized activities in morning or afternoon sessions and also Friday and Saturday evening events.
Dining at The Don CeSar
Dining options at The Don CeSar include the award-winning Maritana Grille, Sea Porch Cafe, The Beachcomber Bar & Grill, Uncle Andy’s Ice Cream Parlor, The Rowe Bar and the Lobby Bar as well as in-room dining.
We didn’t leave the resort during our 2.5 day getaway so were able to try in-room dining, Sea Porch Cafe, The Beachcomber Bar & Grill, and also Uncle Andy’s Ice Cream Parlor where we were able to get our Starbucks and a pastry for breakfast in the morning.
Everything that we ate while at the resort was delicious and we particularly enjoyed dining outside by the pool and the beach.
- Maritana Grill – features food sustainably sourced from local farms and fishermen and includes traditional contemporary favorites prepared with a creative twist
- Sea Porch Cafe – fresh Gulf catch and local comfort food infused with coastal flavors at a seaside dining spot with indoor and outdoor seating
- The Beachcomber Bar & Grill – beverages and casual food such as tasty sandwiches, wraps and juicy burgers
- Uncle Andy’s Ice Cream Parlor – an old-fashioned ice cream parlor that also serves Starbucks coffee and breakfast items including bagels, pastries, fresh fruit and healthy yogurt
- The Rowe Bar – a gulf-front bar with a fire-pit serving drinks and light meals
- Lobby Bar – sophisticated bar with live music and also serving meals
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Activities at The Don CeSar
There’s no chance of getting bored while staying at The Don CeSar whether you prefer an active vacation or just some rest and relaxation.
Beach Time at The Don CeSar
We spent much of our time at the resort on the beach which is considered to be one of the best beaches in the U.S.
The resort fee includes daily rental of up to three beach loungers plus an umbrella so we headed out in the morning with books, got set up with our chairs and an umbrella for shade and then basked in the warmth of the Florida sun.
The white sand beach is gorgeous and perfect for walking as well as lounging!
If you tire of the beach then you can head to one of the two outdoor heated pools where a pool concierge will bring you chilled hand towels while you lounge poolside without a care in the world.
Spa Oceana at The Don CeSar
We intended to partake of some spa treatments while at The Don CeSar but were so content laying on the beach after a long Canadian winter that we ran out of time and missed the opportunity.
The 11,000 square foot salon and spa offers a variety of signature treatments, soothing whirlpool baths, aroma-infused steam rooms and includes a peaceful rooftop terrace with views of the beach and the Gulf of Mexico. Definitely on our must-do list for the next time we visit!
Sunset on the Beach
Be sure to take a walk along the beach when the sun is setting over the Gulf of Mexico – it is incredibly beautiful!
Pose for Photos
This is a gorgeous resort and you will want to take a lot of photos – the entire resort is Instagram-worthy! 🙂
The Don CeSar Hotel is located a 15-20 minute drive from downtown St. Petersburg so you can enjoy many activities there if you’re able to tear yourself away from the resort.
We had planned to do more exploring but once we settled in at the resort we were inclined to just stay put and enjoy the facilities since our stay was so brief.
Nearby activities that we had planned to visit include:
- John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk on Madeira Beach (accessible via the Suncoast Beach Trolley)
- The Chihuly Collection at the Morean Arts Centre
- Salvador Dali Museum
- Urban murals in downtown St. Petersburg
The next time that I visit I will definitely be spending a day exploring the area and visit each of these.
For more information about nearby activities check out the Visit St. Petersburg Clearwater Florida website.
Katie and I had an amazing time at The Don CeSar for our first mother-daughter getaway – and can’t wait to plan a return trip!!
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We were just in St. Petes and kept seeing this beautiful hotel. I really enjoyed reading your article to give an inside look at this historic place. Not to mention now I want to stay here next time!