Don Cesar
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ChapterhouseInc
N 27° 42.580 W 082° 44.219
17R E 328744 N 3066248
Quick Description: The Don Cesar is a Loews hotel located in St. Pete Beach, Florida, in the United States. The hotel was built by Thomas Rowe at a cost of $1.2 million. Construction began in 1925, and the hotel opened on January 16, 1928.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 6/29/2007 1:05:29 PM
Waymark Code: WM1R6W
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Black Dog Trackers
Views: 79

Long Description:
It is nicknamed the Pink Lady or the Pink Palace.

Indianapolis architect Henry Dupont was hired to design the hotel; Carlton Beard was contractor. To ensure the stability of the hotel on the shifting sand and avoid the high cost of sinking so many pilings, Beard devised a floating concrete pad and pyramid footings. To this day there is no sign of evident settling of the hotel. The architecture is a blend of Mediterranean and Moorish themes modeled after different hotels and developments that Rowe and Beard saw in Palm Beach, Coral Gables and Boca FlRaton. Arched openings, red clay tile roofs, balconies, stucco over hollow tile and tower like upper stories were some of the elements that they borrowed. The original design called for a $450,000.00 6 story hotel with 110 rooms and baths. It was later expanded to 220 rooms and 220 baths and the costs soared to $1,250,000.00. Rowe named it Don Ce-Sar after Don Caesar DeBazan, the hero of William Vincent Wallace's opera Maritana.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, The "Don" suffered from cancellations, employees being drafted and rationing. Hotel management looked into finding a wartime use for the hotel and the Army ended up buying the property for $450,000.00. It was converted into a military hospital and reopened in December 1942. In February 1944 the Don Cesar became a U.S. Air Force convalescent center. In June 1945 the Don Cesar was ordered closed and was vacant by September of that year. It was converted into a Veterans Administration Regional Office by the end of 1945.

In November 1967 the Veterans Administration began moving out of the Don Cesar. By Spring 1969 the once grand hotel was vacant. The General Services Administration tried to raze the hotel but was met with fierce opposition from local residents. In March 1972 the Don Cesar was sold to William Bowman Jr., a Holiday Inn franchise owner. The Don Cesar reopened on November 23, 1973.

The Maritana Grille
The Maritana Grille is the Don Cesar's signature, four diamond restaurant. It is surrounded by 1,500 gallons of salt water aquariums and indigenous Florida fish. Offers over 140 selections of fine wines. The Maritana Grille was selected by Epicurean Magazine as "One of the Top 100 Restaurants in Florida."

[edit] The Chef's Table
Offers a unique variety of courses prepared by the Maritana Grille's Executive Chef. Two to eight guests sit at a triangular table separated from the preparation area by a glass window, allowing diners to view their food as it is cooked.

[edit] King Charles Brunch
This Sunday brunch is served in the King Charles Ballroom of the hotel, with over 180 different selections offered. Seating is available from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm.

[edit] Sea Porch Cafe
The Cafe is located on the beach front, and offers both indoor and al fresco seating.

[edit] Beachcomber Grill
Located on the pool deck, the Beachcomber Grill offers full-service dining.
Wikipedia Url: [Web Link]

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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
elyob visited Don Cesar 10/11/2012 elyob visited it
debbado visited Don Cesar 1/25/2009 debbado visited it
ChapterhouseInc visited Don Cesar 6/17/2007 ChapterhouseInc visited it

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