For today's post, I wanted to share with you some of our favourite spots in St Pete, as well as a few more bits and bobs that The Don has to offer that I may not have touched on before! :)
Driving up to The Don Cesar in the evening, it's a beautiful view and really looks like it hits the sky. :) Along this stretch (Gulf Blvd) there are hotels a plenty, all with different beachy styles, Walgreens, Ihop, beach shops, liquor stores, everything for your convenience with the beach right opposite the road.
Our first port of call is usually the pool. The Don has two pools separated by an outdoor bar area. They have plenty of lounge chairs and seating and it's always a mixture of fun, with kids running around having a blast, and relaxation as you zone out peacefully into your own little world. Chris loves being in the water, whereas you can usually find me like this...
They do the most scrumptious cocktails by the pool, which you must try!! My favourite is the Mango Tango one, delicious. :) The food by the pool is awesome too, our favourite thing to get is the BBQ Wings. The service is wonderful also, this time we got to talk to a lovely lady called Laura, who was beautiful and so happy and sweet to talk too, she made my day! :) They stop serving food in this area, I want to say around 5pm. The pool officially closes around 10pm but Chris and I do love to sit in the Jacuzzi late at night when it's all peaceful and calm and all you can hear is people having fun in the hotel bars and the waves across the beach! :)
One thing Chris and I love about The Don Cesar is the history behind it. Each time we go we try and learn a little more about the place. On this visit we purchased a copy of The Don Cesar Story and were fascinated with the work that went into making this hotel a reality. It went through so many ups and downs but that just makes what it stands for today all the more spectacular. Through this book, the man who thought up this amazing structure, Thomas J Rowe, truly sounds like an inspiring man, with an incredible sense of dreaming that anything is possible and stopping at nothing till your vision is achieved. I'm very interested to read on from what happened once the Loews hotels took over it and how they got it to be like it is today, though I'm not sure if they have a book for that yet. The steps above are a popular place for wedding ceremonies. I think every time Chris and I have been, we have witnessed a wedding take place here. It gives such a beautiful backdrop, though we opted for the beach, this Pink Castle is simply perfect for a fairytale wedding! :)
The Don Cesar houses many a restaurant/lounge. One I would love to try is the Maritana Grille, a seafood restaurant that is rated one of the top 10 in the USA. I love fish and the décor looks stunning. The Sea Porch would have to be my favourite currently, as this was where we had our rehearsal dinner and also where we had breakfast this past visit. The food here is incredible, to die for. I can't exactly remember what we ate at our rehearsal dinner but I know that I most likely ate every bite of it! Chris and I laugh when we reminisce, as I often hear stories about brides not eating much on their wedding day, due to fitting in their dresses comfortably, I however ate every bit of food available and it was my husband that didn't really have an appetite...naturally I ate what was left on his plate too! :p This delicious treat below is the Monkey bread they have a la carte for breakfast, I simply had to try it, as I had heard of the name before. It was absolutely scrumptious, sweet but actually not too sweet that it was overpowering, soft and melt in your mouth, cinnamony, syrupy goodness, that had a slight crunch to the outside. So, so good! If you are a big foodie like me, you will love what The Don Cesar has to offer. :)
As mentioned above, I love food and one of mine and Chris's must haves when we visit St Pete is Gigi's pizza. It's a little walk/drive from the Don, along Gulf Blvd and it's the cutest little Italian joint. I, of course, adore all things Italian and am therefore always in the mood for pizza when in search of food. If I remember correctly we first had Gigi's pizza the night all our family arrived in town for our wedding and they were hungry. Gigi's delivered and so pizza is what we were having before anyone got too hangry!!! :p Chris and I love to order it, have a nice evening drive down the Blvd and then head back to the hotel and enjoy it while just hanging out on our big cozy Don bed! :)
The view from our room!!!! :) Such and inspiring bright and beautiful view to wake up too! :) The Don Cesar has its own beach area. They have beds, chairs, umbrellas and there's always tons of activities to undertake and things going on, such as, beach yoga, volley ball, jet skits, corn hole, body boarding etc. They also have a Kids club for the young'uns.
Though on this visit we didn't venture far from The Don, we do love walking around in Pass a Grille. The area is so pretty and the beach simply breathtaking. There's plenty of food spots that we have yet to try but we do recommend a place called The Brass Monkey, it's a fun hang out spot and we always enjoy the food. Around it too, you can find ice cream parlors and unique little shops to nosy in. In the opposite direction from the Don, you will find slightly more hustle and bustle with shops, restaurants and the likes of Treasure Island. :) There is so much to do in St Pete and around the area, yet at the same time all you really need is the beach. My husband has indeed spoilt me rotten and The Don Cesar is ultimately my favourite spot there. You feel like you get to do so much but in a very relaxing way and I love that. :)
I hope you enjoyed this little insight into The Don Cesar hotel and the odd (foodie) spot in St Pete. (It's always about food, I can't help it. :p ) The place is fantastic and the people there even more so. I love when we bump into the staff that looked after us and organized everything on our wedding day, because they are lovely and so accommodating and kind. If you ever think of booking it for your wedding or event, speak to Heather Satterfield, she is amazing! :)
Have a great day! :)
Love Lucy. xx