Davidson adds Florida's Don CeSar resort to its portfolio

(The 277-room hotel opened in 1928 and is nicknamed the "Pink Palace" for its exterior stylings.)

Davidson Hotels & Resorts added The Don CeSar resort on St. Pete Beach, Fla., to its portfolio. The 277-room resort is located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, and is managed by Pivot Hotels & Resorts, Davidson’s lifestyle and luxury division, and owned by Host Hotels & Resorts.

“We are excited for the opportunity to work with Davidson again, and for Pivot Hotels & Resorts to manage The Don CeSar,” James F. Risoleo, CEO Host Hotels & Resorts, said in a statement. “We have confidence that the Pivot team’s creativity and passion will enhance this storied resort, while driving improved operational performance.”

Affectionately known as the "Pink Palace," the resort opened in 1928 at the height of the Gatsby era and quickly became the exclusive playground for the elite of the day. Over time, the hotel became a founding member of the National Trust for Historic Hotels of America and has since gained many notable accolades, including “2015 Best Historic Hotel” in its size category by Historic Hotels of America.

In addition to The Don CeSar, Pivot is managing Beach House Suites by The Don CeSar, a 70-room, all-suite beachfront hotel a half-mile north on St. Pete Beach. This less formal sister of The Don CeSar is designed for friends and families, and offers gulf-view, apartment-style suites and resort privileges at both Beach House Suites and The Don CeSar.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to manage a resort with such a rich historical background and to once again partner with Host,” John Belden, president and CEO of Davidson, said in a statement. “We look forward to having a hand in creating unforgettable touch points for all of The Don CeSar’s guests, and our Pivot team will honor the tradition, mystique and charm of the resort, by accentuating its storied history.”

“We’re proud to be adding this beloved St. Pete Beach icon to the Pivot portfolio,” Albert Smith, SVP of Pivot, said in a statement. “Our mission is to drive unique guest experiences, thus maximizing enjoyment, while providing intuitive, heartfelt service, and this property will be no exception. We'll preserve the resort's glamor and historic charm, while delivering the experiences today’s resort guests desire."

The Don CeSar received a $10-million upgrade to its amenities in the last year, including a new beachside restaurant and bar on the Gulf of Mexico. The resort offers two heated pools, a fitness center, business center, 38,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space and an 11,000-square-foot spa. Offering seven food and beverage options, the resort includes the Maritana Grille, offering food sourced from local farms, dairies and fisherman; The Rowe Bar, offering local beers and craft cocktails; and an old-fashioned ice cream parlor.