History of The Loews Don CeSar Hotel
Once a playground for distinguished celebrities such as Clarence Darrow and F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Loews Don CeSar Hotel continues to charm and impress guests including today’s Elton John and Justin Timberlake with service preserved from the Great Gatsby era of pampering. Blending European grandeur, seaside elegance and sweet sunsets with the enchantment of yesteryear, the romantic legend exemplifies the grandness of America’s traditional beach hotels and is the only historic resort on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Thomas Rowe opens the iconic Don CeSar right on the Gulf in St. Pete Beach, Florida. The “Pink Palace” became the pampered playground for high society – the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Clarence Darrow.
Thomas Rowe dies and his estranged wife, Mary, inherits the hotel.
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.
The hotel became the VA Regional Office and recreation center.
A small group of citizens formed a “Save the Don” committee and began to search every avenue to establish a reputable group of investor to refurbish the Don for some use.
William Bowman became the new owner and began the 3.5 million-restoration project – While Thomas Rowe built the Don, Mr. Bowman saved it.
The Don CeSar reopened as a hotel.
The Don CeSar added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Movie “Once Upon a Time in America” filmed featuring Robert Di Nero, James Woods and Tuesday Weld features scenes on the beach and the majestic Don CeSar in the background.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers film MTV video special.
Don CeSar is founding member of Nation Trust of Historic Hotels of America.
Filmed “Thunder In Paradise” Hulk Hogan pilot vehicle.
Filmed – “Forever Mine” featuring Ray Liotta, Gretchen Mol and Ralph Fiennes. (filmed almost entirely at the Don).
Don CeSar becomes a Loews Hotel.
The Loews Don CeSar celebrates it’s 80th Anniversary on January 16th – in March of that same year Spa Oceana opens to rave reviews.
Million-Dollar Meeting space renovations completed and John Marks named Loews Hotels’ General Manager of the year.
Maritana Grille Renovation.
Lobby, Lobby Bar, Sea Porch Restaurant Renovations.
Multi-Million Guestroom renovations completed and we launch the next phase of the “New” Legendary Pink Palace!!!