Davidson Hotels & Resorts has taken over management of The Don CeSar, an iconic 277-room resort in St. Pete Beach, Fla., to its growing portfolio.
Located on Florida's Gulf Coast, the property is managed under Pivot Hotels & Resorts, Davidson's lifestyle and luxury division, and owned by Host Hotels & Resorts – the largest lodging real estate investment trust and one of the largest owners of luxury and upper-upscale hotels.
"We are excited for the opportunity to work with Davidson again, and for Pivot Hotels & Resorts to manage The Don CeSar," remarked James F. Risoleo, chief executive officer of Host. "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 easygoing, less formal sister of The Don CeSar is the perfect beach vacation hotel for friends and families, and offers gulf-view, apartment-style suites, a relaxed atmosphere 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," said John Belden, president and chief executive officer of Davidson. "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," said Albert Smith, senior vice president of Pivot. "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 brand new beachside restaurant and bar on the Gulf of Mexico. The resort features 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 features the award-winning Maritana Grille, featuring food sourced from local farms, dairies and fisherman; The Rowe Bar, offering local beers and craft cocktails; and an old-fashioned ice cream parlor.
Davidson Hotels & Resorts is a full-service hotel management company providing management, development/renovation, acquisition, consulting and accounting expertise for the hospitality industry. Davidson, along with its lifestyle and luxury operating division, Pivot Hotels & Resorts, specializes in independent and branded assets in the upper-upscale to luxury segments including 42 hotels, nearly 13,000 rooms and 1.4 million square feet of meeting space across the United States.