Don Cesar tops list of Florida’s best-designed historic hotels

Pinellas County
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WFLA photo

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – With its striking pink façade and oceanfront grandeur, The Don Cesar the hotel of choice when it comes to architecture and design.

The Great Gatsby-era hotel known as the “Pink Castle” was voted No. 1 People’s Choice for Architecture in 2020, according to the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects.

“A panel of Florida architects identified significant designs among the state’s historic hotels and inns. These represent pivotal features of Florida’s history, including its Spanish and British colonial influences, its exuberant extravagance in the Roaring ’20s, and its development as a world-renowned tourist destination,” an AIA representative explained in a press release.

In 1924, Thomas Rowe migrated to Florida and purchased 80 acres on St. Pete Beach. He began construction on the hotel one year later. It opened doors on January 10, 1928.

The hotel’s design was inspired by the architecture of the Mediterranean, particularly Moorish designs.

Four other Tampa Bay hotels, The Vinoy, The Birchwood, Postcard Inn and Le Meridian were also honored for their “distinctive, enduring designs.”

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