After unveiling a multimillion-dollar renovation, The Don CeSar maintains its royal stature as one of Florida’s most iconic beachfront resorts.
Entrance to the resort
Newly renovated rooms
It’s literally the “donning” of a new era for The Don CeSar in St. Pete Beach, also known affectionately as Florida’s historic pink palace. For my family, The Don has been a gathering place for celebrations for the past 15 years. My husband and I celebrated our big move to Florida at the resort in 2007, our 10th wedding anniversary in 2015 and, most recently, my husband’s milestone 40th birthday in the fall. And while the new multimillion-dollar renovations are stunning, the property seamlessly maintains that incredible Great Gatsby-era character that first made it famous.
Managed by Davidson Hotels & Resorts, the property’s top-to-bottom renovation embraces its 93-year history, while fusing modern amenities and sleek design across the resort’s six restaurants, 277 guest rooms and suites, two-story luxury penthouse, boutique shops, two pools, spa and public spaces. The redesign began in 2018, when Florida-based design studio Edge of Architecture brought a fresh look to meeting spaces, guest corridors, exteriors and the 71 suites at Beach House Suites by The Don CeSar. In 2019, The Don partnered with Boston-based Parker-Torres Design to transform the retail shops, the Lobby Bar, Uncle Andy’s Market and Maritana, the property’s fine dining restaurant helmed by executive chef Emily Ferrari. The final phase introduces a new pool bar with a rooftop deck, new full-service restaurant and a complete restoration of the front drive.
“We’re excited to usher in The Don of a new era while maintaining our resilient legacy as a global hospitality leader,” says Thomas Fraher, The Don CeSar’s general manager. “Through the decades, the resort has been a luxurious respite from life’s many challenges. We’re thrilled to revive and honor this prestigious landmark.”
For the penthouse renovation, the Parker-Tores Design team drew inspiration from The Don CeSar’s Gatsby-era origins with soft, rounded curves and corners, while tying back to the property’s beachfront surroundings with coastal-inspired elements in the artwork and decor. Th e living room features Charter Furniture sofa and dining chairs, with a spacious abstract palm leaf-patterned area rug by Nourison. Th e Montague millwork at the end of the dining table is an enlarged tortoise shell pattern, tying in Florida’s turtle population. A nod to the 1920s, the Soho Myriad wallpaper features a bit of beach whimsy with a Florida fl oral vibe. Th e terrace complements the hotel’s iconic pink facade with its Janus Et Cie high-top dining furniture, Dedon curved chairs, decorative pillows and neutral tones.
Th e Don CeSar sits on a wide stretch of beach on the Gulf of Mexico.
The updated lobby bar.
Inspired by Th e Don CeSar’s legendary status as a nautical marker for ships, the new Beacon Pool Bar & Lookout offers poolside bites like the grilled mahi sandwich and pulled chicken tostadas, an extensive selection of beach-inspired cocktails and a rooftop lounge boasting panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico. Society Table serves all-day Florida Gulf fare in a sophisticated setting, offering delectable fresh coastal filets and inland ranch chops. Within Society Table, Th e Demonstration Room hosts regular chef-led activations and tastings, such as how to make your own truffles. Additional hotel amenities include two palm tree-lined heated pools, the 11,000-square-foot full-service Spa Oceana, fitness center, Th e Don Boutiques retail experience and access to beach rentals and water sports on the hotel’s private stretch of beach. With all the changes, one aspect remains constant: Th e pink palace offers a royal experience for all. 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, 844.338.1501
Photography by: PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DON CESAR