The Don Cesar Lodge – the Pink Palace


On a the latest December take a look at to the Don Cesar Hotel and Resort, our group achieved with Resort Host and Licensed Concierge, Ronald MacDougall. As concierge, Mr. MacDougall assures that each and every guest has the best experience throughout their keep at the Don Cesar. In his situation as concierge, he has assisted numerous of the VIPs that have visited the historic pink hotel on the Gulf of Mexico in St. Petersburg, Florida. Those friends have integrated Mariah Have, Carole King, Mick Jagger and Jimmy Buffet, as effectively as quite a few of the browsing Presidents.

Our personal tour began in the principal bar and lounge, which at this time of the year is fantastically embellished for the holiday getaway year. The majestic darkish wooden bar, couches and significant leather-based chairs make this the excellent location to sit back, rest and consider oneself in a different period, the early glory times of the Pink Palace.

The tale of the Don Cesar Lodge or Pink Lady, as Thomas Rowe liked to get in touch with the resort, starts at the commencing as all superior stories do. It was a vision of Thomas J. Rowe to generate a monument to a dropped really like.

This aspect of the tale starts in London wherever rumor would have it that the youthful Thomas Rowe, although attending a university, attended the opera “Maritana” where he became infatuated with the woman escort in Washington DC guide, Lucinda, a gorgeous Spanish opera singer.They fulfilled just about every night immediately after her overall performance beside a fountain in London.

Strategies have been designed to elope. On the night time that they were being to go away, Lucinda did not show and Rowe was remaining ready by the fountain. Her mom and dad have been manufactured aware of the pending marriage and forced Lucinda to return house to Spain. Lucinda was reported to have died at a young age, but despatched this letter to Thomas containing this passage. “Time is infinite, I hold out for you by the fountain to share our timeless really like,…our destiny is time. ” Effectively, if it failed to transpire that way, it ought to have.

Returning to the United States, Thomas Rowe created professional properties in New York. He later moved to Norfolk, Virginia Escorts, there he fulfilled Mary Lucille, the daughter of a wealthy landowner. Thomas married Mary and commenced the everyday living of a socialite.

At the age of 47 with his well being declining, Thomas Rowe elected to relocate to a additional hospitable weather. Leaving his wife in Virginia Escorts, he made a decision on Florida and in unique St Petersburg, Florida, which was encountering a true estate growth. Arriving with $21,000.00, Rowe began acquiring house.

Genuine Estate development was hot in the early 1920’s and Thomas Rowe partnered with an additional previous Norfolk socialite and land developer, a Mr. Site. He and Page shaped the Boca Ciega Land Company for the acquire of land.

Mr. Website page formulated the land on the north facet of Johns Pass and the family however life in Madeira Seashore.

Rowe amassed a small fortune and even though checking out an isolated extend of undeveloped beach in the space known as Go-A-Grille. Pass-A-Grille was named for the 18 century “grilleurs” who dried fish on the white seashores. This was a extremely distant and rugged landscape. Entry from the mainland was by a wood bridge. On these white sands beside the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico, Thomas Rowe envisioned his aspiration resort. Against the guidance of a lot of in his circle, Thomas Rowe obtained 80 acres on these shores. Quickly a residential subdivision was designed and every single street was named for a character from the opera Maritana.

In 1926 construction commenced on his desire vacation resort. Rowe hired architect Henry DuPont to design the venture. A person obstacle that had to be triumph over was the huge framework would be sitting down on sand. A floating foundation was devised and its achievements is mirrored in the point that the basis has not shifted in the earlier 82 several years.

Yet another obstacle was transporting development product. The bridge as before pointed out was more mature and manned by an older bridge keeper who was not constantly dependable, opening the bridge when he was in the temper. Development substance was positioned on a barge and introduced to the web-site bypassing the bridge.

A railroad strike that calendar year drove up prices of development and immediately after ending the exterior and inside of the resort, Thomas Rowe ran out of revenue to furnish the lodge. A backer was essential to conserve the venture. H.P. Churchill would present the cash, but he experienced a stipulation. He would name the manager. It was agreed and the Don Cesar experienced its Grand Opening in 1927, with the some of the wealthiest persons in America attending.

It was lavish and plush in the Grand Foyer. Thomas Rowe experienced manufactured a reproduction of the fountain similar to the 1 the place he,as a student, would rendezvous with the beautiful Lucinda. The fountain would be the 1st factor that attendees would see after climbing the entry stairway into the foyer and was the centre- piece of the vacation resort. Modeled right after the Royal Hawaiian on Waikiki Seashore, the Don Cesar Vacation resort was a eyesight, standing on the sands of Move-A-Grille. Thomas Rowe liked to contact the resort the Pink Lady.

The most important entrance into the vacation resort was on Gulf Blvd. with two lion statues and a indicator stating “Appear All Ye Who Seek out Wellness and Relaxation. For Right here They Are Considerable.” The initial staircase is concealed, but is situated in which the Ice Cream Shop is now situated on the initial ground.

As luck would have it, the timing could not have been even worse the financial system entered what became identified as the Great Melancholy. Luckily for the lodge, an settlement with the New York Yankees baseball group was secured for housing the players for the duration of spring coaching which served the vacation resort keep solvent.

Thomas Rowe moved into a person of the two penthouses in the Don Cesar. Daily Rowe would station himself in a chair in the lobby, talking with guests and team and taking inventory of the company. Visitors who did not fulfill a sure conventional of dress or manners and speech ended up questioned to leave the lodge. It was not an era of political correctness.

Then in 1940, Thomas Rowe collapsed in the lobby. He refused to be taken to the clinic, so he was moved into adjoining rooms 101 and 102. There he stayed till his dying. Rowe attempted to get a will witnessed by his attended nurses, but they refused. This described Will would have still left the Pink Girl in the fingers of the personnel. As it happened, Thomas Rowe’s spouse, Mary, received management of the Don Cesar. The vacation resort fell on challenging times. Then in 1941 right after the assault on Pearl Harbor, a trip at the seashore was not as appealing. Folks turned frightened of assault from the ocean and shortly the friends stopped arriving. The U.S. government procured the Don Cesar and transformed the resort for use as a convalescent centre for customers of the US Army Air Corp. suffering from shell shock and accidents from the war.

One casualty of the transfer of ownership was the fountain in the primary lobby. The manager of the transformed developing was concerned that 1 of the website visitors would trip around the fountain and requested it taken out.

Later the Don Cesar was utilised for government workplaces and was lastly left deserted and fell into disrepair. A motion began to have the vacation resort leveled and taken out. A counter movement direct by area resident and activist June Hardy Youthful commenced to restore the Don Cesar. The later on motion was profitable and a new operator for the resort was situated. William Bowman bought the vacation resort and in 1973, the vacation resort was reopened. In the course of the transforming, a duplicate of the initial fountain was placed on the fifth floor.

Our tour involved the penthouses, which ended up vacant at the time of our go to, and the Presidential Suite where by just about every President has stayed considering that 1940. The penthouses have a breathtaking view of St. Petersburg, the gulf shorelines and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Of class if you make your mind up to continue to be in a single these penthouses, it will established you again about $3500.00 a evening.

The Don Cesar is a beautiful resort with two swimming pools, physical exercise room and a new spa. Opened just a short while ago, the 11,000 sq ft Spa Oceana is a condition of the artwork spa. Visitors can have a massage, get in the whirlpool and sauna, and then have a lunch on the roof of the spa creating overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

If you go, request the reservationist if there are any specials. On our pay a visit to, we obtained a preseason fee and had been extremely satisfied with our continue to be.

The resort is co-owned and operated by the Loews Accommodations chain.


Resource by Gregory L Colvin