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Legendary Hotel Profiles: Don Cesar

The Don Cesar is distinct in its appearance, between its pink, castle-like exterior and monolithic position of jutting above the adjacent seaside-it’s hard to miss the hotel which staff affectionately refer to as “The Pink Palace”. Find out how this historic jewel of Florida has made its way to becoming a modern legend below

Hospitality is an industry that prides itself on constantly exceeding expectations. As guest satisfaction is at the very centre of a hotel’s business model, the standards that they hold themselves to is the key to their success. As a result, we can see a huge number of properties (both hotels and restaurants) that hold significant prestige in the industry.

However, even in an industry as saturated with prestige as hospitality, there is still room for particularly bright stars to  shine through. Last time we spoke about Sea Island, the warmly hospitable Southern jewel: Sea Island, nestled in the coast of Georgia. Today I’m here to introduce you to…


Don Cesar 

The Don Cesar is a grand, beautifully designed hotel on Florida’s  Gulf Coast. With a state that includes the unforgettable, vibrant city of Miami and the family-friendly amusement park- laden city of Orland, it is easy to forget that other parts of the state exist. While it is easy to overlook it, disregarding the Gulf Coast of Florida would be a crime and part of that reason is Don Cesar.

The Don Cesar is distinct in its appearance, between its pink, castle-like exterior and monolithic position of jutting above the adjacent seaside it’s hard to miss the hotel which  staff affectionately refer to as “The Pink Palace”. The Hotel itself offers a gorgeous mix of both antique décor and modern amenities. Guests also have the option of spending their nights sleeping directly by the sea in one of the hotel's almost 300 luxury seafront guest rooms. In addition to its grand exterior and luxurious rooms/location,  The Don Cesar also attracts visitors through an impressive set of features,  such as:

  • An 11,000 square foot spa, complete with top of the line treatments
  • A fully stocked fitness centre
  • Top of the line pool, with concierge services and late night access 
  • Activity centre for kids and pets 

As a clientele, the Don Cesar is known for attracting the wealthy and famous due to the hotel’s prestige, appearance and luxurious amenities. However the Pink Palace is also known to attract history aficionados, and it's easy to  see why…


The History of the Don Cesar

The Don Cesar was opened in 1928 by real estate Tycoon, Thomas Rowe, as a tribute to his lost lover. The property opened within the height of the roaring 20’s. Due to it’s beautiful exterior and white sandy beaches, the hotel was known to be a playground for the rich, powerful and famous. This reputation meant that the hotel attracted many influential figures, including jazz stars of the decade and even some big name gangsters such as Al Capone. 

After Rowe abruptly died in 1940, the hotel was given to his estranged wife, Mary, who allowed the property to fall into disrepair. While this likely didn’t help with guest revenue, the existence of this large, coastal structure attracted the interest of the US military, who you may remember were in somewhat of a predicament in 1940 (RE: WW2, the largest global conflict of all time)

The US military temporarily purchased the Don Cesar to assist in the war effort. It’s prime function would be as a sub-base hospital and a care home for US airmen returning from their tour of service. As the war drew to a close in 1945, the US military would begin to vacate  the premises and it would seem that the now dishevelled, empty building would be destined for demolition upon the military’s exit in 1969.

However, when news of the demolition plans reached the surrounding community, the demolition project faced heavy resistance, as many saw it as an icon of the Gulf Coast and a historical landmark. Fortunately, these community heroes got their wish and the property was bought by businessman William Bowman in 1972, who invested 3.5 million dollars into restoring the hotel to its former glory.  The property would open its doors again in 1973 and gain historical site status in the following year.


Since its reopening, the Don Cesar has regained its reputation as a playground for those who can afford it, but through its historical journey, The Pink Palace has gained an air of significance and grandeur both among the local  community and the rest of the USA.


Interested in working at one of best hotels in the USA? We can assist you in getting a position in the Don Cesar, apply by sending your cv to info@placement-int.com or apply to our newest offers below:

Click here to apply to our Culinary training at Don Cesar

• Location: St Pete Beach, FL, United States 
• Duration: 12 months 
• Start Date: ASAP 
• Stipend: from $13.35 per hour
 • Hours: Average of 32 - 40 hours / week 
• Requirements: good English, previous experience preferable 
• Benefits: Meals on duty, Uniform provided
 

 

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