By Kara Franker

Situated on the sugary white sands of the Gulf of Mexico, the Loews Don CeSar Hotel was built in the Great Gatsby era of the 1920s.

Today the Mediterranean-style castle by the sea, also known as the Pink Palace, is a luxurious landmark on St. Pete Beach.

The resort was the dream of Thomas Rowe, who opened the hotel in 1928. Construction costs totaled $1.2 million, which may not sound like much today, but it certainly was a boatload of cash for the Roaring Twenties.

Listed among the Historic Hotels of North America and the National Register of Historic Places, the resort features 277 luxurious rooms, including 40 spacious suites.

The Don CeSar has been hosting families from around the world for decades. Notable guests throughout history have included American author F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, baseball great Lou Gehrig and mafia gangster Al Capone.

Ready to plan your own family vacation? Here are eight ways to have the most relaxing vacation you can imagine at the Pink Palace:

1. White Sand Beach

Toast to a little romance while you’re on vacation and kick back in one of the lounge chairs on the white sand beach.

Loews Don CeSar Hotel in St. Petersburg

Before it was the Pink Palace, Loews Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach was used as a hospital for wounded soldiers during World War II.

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2. Oceanfront Pools

Go for a swim in one of the sparkling oceanfront pools. Or book a spa treatment at Spa Oceana.

Oceanfront Pool at Loews Don CeSar Hotel in St. Petersburg

The pools overlook the ocean.

3. Views of the Gulf of Mexico

Enjoy the year-round perfect weather that Florida is famous for and soak up those spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico.

Sea Dunes Penthouse 604 View

A penthouse with an Ocean view is the ultimate indulgence.

4. Don CeSar Penthouse

Book the recently renovated penthouse. Check out this timelapse-styled video for an overview of the makeover and a little history lesson, too:

 

5. Beachside Hammock

Grab a good book and lounge around in one of the beachside hammocks.

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Kick back in a hammock on the beach at the Pink Palace.

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6. Old-Fashioned Ice Cream

Indulge your sweet tooth at Uncle Andy’s Ice Cream Parlor. This old-fashioned ice cream shop offers yummy banana splits and strawberry shakes that are homemade and deliciously authentic.

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Satisfy your sweet tooth at the ice cream shop.

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7. Maritana Grille

Dine at the award-winning Maritana Grille, which features an array of gourmet choices, including delicious local seafood dishes.

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- - Courtesty Maritana Grill.

8. Gulf Coast Sunset

Watch one of Florida's beautiful Gulf Coast sunsets.

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Sunset at the Loews Don CeSar Hotel is not to be missed.

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Insider Tip: For more help planning your vacation to Florida's Gulf Coast, check out VisitStPeteClearwater.com.

When you go...

The Don CeSar Hotel is located at 3400 Gulf Blvd. on St. Pete Beach. For more info, call 727-360-1881 or check out the hotel online.

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