The Don CeSar: A Historic Hotel with a Star-Studded Guest List
The Don CeSar, also known as the Pink Palace, is a luxurious beachfront hotel located in St. Pete Beach, Florida. The hotel has been a landmark on the Gulf of Mexico since 1928 and has welcomed numerous famous guests over the years. Let’s take a closer look at the history and charm of The Don CeSar.
History of The Don CeSar
The hotel was originally built by Thomas Rowe, who was inspired by his travels in Spain and wanted to create a unique hotel that would rival any European palace. The resulting architecture is an impressive mix of Mediterranean Revival style with Spanish Baroque elements. However, opening the hotel during the Great Depression proved to be challenging and it went bankrupt in 1930.
In 1940, the U.S Army Air Corps leased The Don CeSar as an R&R center for military personnel during World War II. Afterward, it served as a veterans’ hospital from 1944 until 1969 before reopening as a luxury resort in 1973.
Star-Studded Guest List
Over its long history, The Don CeSar has attracted many famous guests including author F. Scott Fitzgerald, singer Frank Sinatra, and actress Marilyn Monroe. Even today, celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Taylor Swift are rumored to stay there when visiting Florida.
Notably, President Dwight D. Eisenhower spent several winters at The Don CeSar from 1955 to 1960 while completing his memoirs after leaving office. He also held conferences with other world leaders there including Winston Churchill.
Charm of The Don CeSar
One thing that sets The Don CeSar apart is its old-world charm mixed with modern conveniences; all rooms feature flat-screen TVs but also have original Art Deco furniture reminiscent of its early days.
Another standout feature of The Don CeSar is its proximity to the beach. The hotel sits on a private stretch of sugar-white sand, providing guests with access to some of the best sunsets and water activities Florida has to offer.
The Don CeSar is not just a hotel but also a piece of history. Its unique architecture and star-studded guest list make it a popular destination for travelers looking for both luxury and nostalgia. As Tom Garthwaite, General Manager of The Don CeSar puts it, “Each guest who walks through our doors becomes part of a legacy that stretches back nearly 100 years”.