Thursday, May 8, 2014

Loews Don Cesar St Petersburg, The Pink Palace Part 1

My life consists of a pretty heavy schedule and there are many times I don't take the time to appreciate my local surroundings. We've lived in Tampa for 3 years now and we rarely make it over to the St. Pete / Clearwater beaches. After a quick stay at Loews Don Cesar in St. Petersburg, I quickly realized that I need to make it over to the beaches more often.
I arrived to the Loews Don Cesar Hotel on Tuesday night to have a girls trip staycation with my friend Amanda. Loews Don Cesar is a property which is rich in history with one of the most beautiful jaw dropping backdrops, famous St. Pete Beach.
Don Cesar has been a playground for celebrities from the beginning of it's time - from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Elton John to Justin Timberlake, plus many many more. It's no wonder the celebs flock this resort.
Amanda and I went on a history tour of the Don Cesar, free for guests staying at the resort. In 1928 the Don was opened by developer Thomas Rowe. At the time, the only bridge was a wooden bridge which was closed often due to fishermen. Many of the hotels furnishings were brought over by ships. Mr. Rowe passed away in 1940 and his estranged wife was willed the property. The US Army purchased the hotel to be used as a sub bas hospital, then a convalescent center for airmen returning from their tour WWII. In 1945 the hotel became the VA Regional Office and recreation center.
In 1971 a small group of locals started a group called "Save the Don" and William Bowman became the new owner. He started a 3.5 million-restoration project – Thomas Rowe built the Don, Mr. Bowman saved it. The Don Cesar became a Loews brand in 2003.
The architecture inside of the hotel is stunning and you will find plenty of photos from the early days on the hotels history wall. Another fun fact about the hotel is that it served as a camp for the NY Yankees - for only $8 a day including unlimited milk!
photo from Loews Hotels website
The room Amanda and I shared was a double Queen room with one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in. I usually do not sleep well in hotels and that was not the case at the Don. We had a beautiful 6th floor view of the ocean.
Loews Don Cesar offers way more than an amazing view and history. They also have multiple restaurants on site including the award winning Maritana Grille. I am saving our dining experiences for another post but wanted to leave you with a sneak peek of a few delicious entrees we tried over the trip.
And to top off the trip, I was introduced to the best Moscow Mule on earth. I am close to being an expert on Moscow Mules so this is the real deal. The Lobby Bar at Don Cesar has a craft cocktail menu which would make any drink snob a happy person. Their take on a Moscow Mule is called the St. Pete Steed, with Russian Standard vodka, domaine canton ginger liqueur, ginger beer, fresh lime juice AND ginger-lime foam. I have never had a Moscow Mule with ginger foam before - heck, I have never heard of ginger foam before. I will tell you, it is an amazing cocktail and I will be back for more.
photo from Loews Hotels website
I do have to give a shout-out to the amazing hospitality we received on this short trip. Every person we were in contact with made sure our visit was spectacular. My trip concluded with some car issues and the Valet made sure I was going to make it home, including offering to rent me a car so I could make it to Orlando for a meeting. Talk about above and beyond. (I did not have to rent a car as the issue ended up being my battery).

Now is the best time to experience the beauty of Don Cesar for yourself with an amazing promotion called #DonDeals. Room rates on select nights starting at just $139 with dates including Sunday, May 11 (Mother’s Day); Monday, May 26 (Memorial Day); Wednesday, May 7; Wednesday, May 14; Sunday, May 18, Wednesday, May 21 and June 1-4, 2014. Click here for more information.
Photo: Justin DeMutiis Photography
I am ending this with a photo from a shoot I found on Brides.comAs you all know, I am a bride to be. What you may not know is that I am an overly preppy bride to be with one of my favorite designers being Lilly Pulitzer. A bride had her bacherlorette party at Don Cesar with a Lilly Pulitzer theme. Talk about my dream bacherlorette weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely breath taking place to be. Past history of the Pink Palace is very interesting. Love this place.

    ReplyDelete