At 90, St. Pete's Don CeSar is aging gracefully

On a recent visit to stay at the hotel during this landmark anniversary year, I was struck by how "The Don" stays true to its roots while remaining at the top of everyone's St. Pete Beach stay wishlist. While parts of the hotel are showing their age and are due for renovations, which are currently underway, other areas have maintained their grand dame birthright, with some unexpected surprises along the way.

Architect and land developer Thomas Rowe designed and built the Don CeSar as a tribute to the opera singer Lucinda, with whom he started a courtship after seeing her in a production of the opera "Maritana." The hotel's name, Don CeSar, comes from the name of the main character in that production.