Oceana at Don CeSar Beach Resort, A Loews Hotel in
St. Pete's Beach, Florida
Register visited this resort spa in Florida in June 2008
been seven years since I last visited the Don CeSar Beach Resort in St. Pete's
Beach, Florida (you can read about that visit HERE).
They had just completed a $20 million renovation that included upgrades to the
entryway, elevators and lobby and rebuilding all the guest rooms from the studs
out and adding granite and marble bathrooms, custom furniture, upgraded beds and
high-end linens. At the time, there were plans for the following year to double
the size of the 4,000 square-foot spa that had been there since 1994.
came and went and no new spa appeared at The Don. In fact, six more years would
pass until the new spa was unveiled in 2008, the 80th anniversary of the "Pink
Lady." I think Spa Oceana was worth the wait.
on the photos to see larger images and go to the photo gallery)
$11 million, 11,000 square-foot, 16 treatment-room, Spa Oceana is actually a free-standing
building. Since The Don is listed on the National Register of Historic Places,
the building couldn't be altered. They built the spa so only about a half inch
separates it from the original structure. The result is that the spa looks like
it's always been there but still meets the historic listing requirements. At the
time of my visit, Spa Oceana was the largest spa on the Gulf of Mexico.
in 2001, I offered my own "wish list" of six things I would like to
see in the new spa. Just for fun, let's see if I got my wish ...
2001, I asked for the "Addition of a comfortable relaxation/waiting room
playing soft music - a place to wait for treatments and "recover" after
them. Chairs should facilitate relaxation. DON'T include a TV."
Oceana has two comfortable co-ed waiting areas. The first is located on the main
level convenient to the locker rooms and the salon and offers elixirs to drink.
The second, the Whisper Room, is located on the second level convenient to the
treatment rooms and offers snacks, tea and infused water to drink while you complete
your Personal Care Questionnaire and wait for your treatment or relax afterwards.
Neither has a television.
2001, I asked for "an additional private area outdoors with lounge chairs
accessible only from and convenient to the spa."
Spa Oceana has a
fabulous co-ed Rooftop Lounge with lots of comfortable seating, a fountain, a
fire pit, outdoor treatment tents and a stunning beach view. This versatile space
is the perfect place to enjoy a meal from the spa menu.
2001, I asked for "A Vichy shower so you don't have to hop on and off the
table to clean off after a wet treatment."
While I didn't see a free-standing
Vichy shower at Spa Oceana, there was one integrated into the Thermal Capsule
. Nine treatment rooms have showers.
Capsule in Spa Oceana
- In 2001, I asked for "Lockers big
enough to hang clothes in."
Spa Oceana's lockers are still half length,
the same as they were in the original spa. However, they offered sufficient room
for my belongings.
Locker Room at Spa Oceana
In 2001, I asked for "Facials
performed at the spa (then only offered in the separate salon) so there can be
facial/body treatment combinations in the same location."
the 16 treatment rooms in Spa Oceana, three of them are equipped for facials.
Each treatment room has its own climate control and four channels of music to
choose from. The salon is also located in the new building and is equipped with
hair, manicure and pedicure stations. You can enjoy a full spa day in the same
More separation of men's
and women's areas.
Spa Oceana has a very large women's
changing area that includes lockers, a private changing room, vanities, showers,
a chromatherapy steam room and a whirlpool overlooking the beach.
The men's area is reported to have similar facilities.
I think the Don CeSar Beach Resort did a spectacular
job of making my spa wishes come true. Additionally, Spa Oceana also has a lovely
Reception Area and nicely-stocked Retail Boutique where I purchased a couple of
very comfortable Oka B sandals.
offers two Couples' Suites, one with a balcony overlooking the beach.
enjoyed two treatments at Spa Oceana. The first was the Spa Oceana Signature Spice
Island Massage Ritual. In this 90-minutes treatment, my therapist, Natalie, asked
me to select a fragrance from two blends of exotic spices: Cinnamon and Vanilla
to induce relaxation or Cardamom and Nutmeg to stimulate and invigorate. I selected
the first. She added this to oil and massaged it into my skin with warm stones.
It was very relaxing. The following day I had a Back to the Basics Facial. Debra
started by offering me a relatively long list of add-on treatments (for an additional
charge). I declined, and Debra started my facial with a deep skin cleansing and
exfoliation She then massaged my face and applied a masque. A second masque followed.
Debra selected this masque to rebalance my individual skin which needed help with
breakouts on my chin. While this masque worked, Debra massaged my neck and scalp.
The last step was a nourishing moisturizer which imparted a silky softness. Other
treatments on the 2008 Spa Menu include:
- Spa Oceana Signature Body Ritual
- Island Escape
- 24K Golden Mineral Glow
- Fountain of Youth
- Oceanic Cellulite Relief
- Coastal Garden
- Balneo Botanica
- The Royal Bride
- Gentleman's Retreat
Your Own" Retreat
- Spa Oceana Signature Vie Ritual
- OceaRepair Age Prevention
to the Basics
and Lip Treatment
- Self-Healing Therapy
- Spa Oceana Signature Spice
- Aromatherapy Massage
- Dual Massage
- Mommy-To-Be Massage
- Soothing Scalp Massage
Traditional Massage Therapy
- Deep Tissue / Therapeutic Massage
- Couple's Massage
- Bubbly Sea Sand
- Coastal Treasures
Make Up Services
Hair & Scalp Treatments
The Fitness Center is still located in the same place
as it was during my 2001 visit - next to the original spa. It offers state-of-the-art
Precor Cardio equipment, Cybex strength training and free weights. All Precor
stations are outfitted with individual flat screens and cardio theater for personal
viewing and feature: 2 Precor Treadmills, 2 Precor Ellipticals, 1 Precor Cross
Trainer, 1 Precor Stair Stepper and, 1 Precor Recumbent Cycle. Personal Training
Health & Fitness classes include Body Sculpting,
Water Aerobics and Yoga. I participated in the Yoga class on the beach. It was
lovely hearing the waves while we held our poses.
It was the
second yoga session for me. The previous day, The Don had arranged a group KaYoga
session. We kayaked for about 45 minutes, had a yoga session on the beach and
kayaked back. It was a great experience.
The Don also offers
catamarans, aquabikes, kayaks, paddle cats and parasailing and runs sailing and
waverunner clinics. If that's not enough, golf, tennis, fishing, snorkeling and
scuba diving are nearby.
Don CeSar Beach Resort offers a large
selection of accommodations - 277 Seaside Rooms including 40 Suites and 2 penthouses.
The last time I stayed in #215, a roomy suite. This time I stayed in #610, a cozy
room that was much smaller but still had all the amenities I needed.
The Don CeSar Beach Resort has three restaurants. I tried
two of them - The Maritana Grille and the Sea Porch Cafe - as well as the room
service spa menu and the King Charles Brunch on Sunday. All the food was delicious.
The Don CeSar Beach Resort also offers four lounges, two pools
(with underwater speakers), The Shoppes at The Don, Camp CeSar Children's Program
and conference and meeting space.
During my visit in 2001, I noticed "Come all
ye who seek health and rest, for here they are abundant" written on the entrance
arch of the historic Don CeSar Beach Resort and Spa. I noted, "It's as relevant today
as it was in the 1920's when Thomas Rowe built the resort on what is now known
as St. Pete Beach, Florida - perhaps even more since the addition of the spa in
1994." I now must update it to say, "It's as relevant today as
it was in the 1920's when Thomas Rowe built the resort - even more since the addition
of Spa Oceana in 2008."
Cesar Beach Resort & Spa
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
• Hotel: 727-360-1881
Toll Free: 866-728-2206
• Spa: 727-363-5029
• Web Site: http://www.doncesar.com
Hours of Operation
Monday through Saturday, 8am
Sundays and Holidays, 8:30am to 6pm
Fitness center is open to guests
Please check in at Spa reception at least 30-minutes prior to your first
scheduled appointment to avoid compromising the duration of your services. Smoking
and alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the spa.
The Spa is an adult-oriented
atmosphere. Guests must be 16 years old for fitness facilities only. Guests must
be at least 18 years old to use steam, sauna, Jacuzzi and and spa services.
For your convenience a 20% service
charge is automatically added to all Spa services. Our listed prices include this
service charge. Any additional gratuity is at your discretion.
Your spa appointments are
reserved exclusively for you. As a courtesy to our therapists and other guests,
we require a 4-hour notice if you must cancel or reschedule an appointment. Failure
to do this will result in a 50% charge of your scheduled service.
If it is
necessary to reschedule an appointment within the four hour period, a $35 fee
will be assessed. All "NO SHOWS" will be billed 100% for their scheduled
leave all jewelry and other valuables at home. If you are a guest in the hotel
please leave all valuables in the safe located in your guest room. The Don CeSar
is not responsible for lost or stolen property.
Cell Phones and Pagers
Cell Phones and Pagers
are prohibited in the Spa and Fitness area.
Gift certificates are available
for all of our treatments. You may custom design your spa package to suit a special
occasion. To purchase a gift certificate online, please visit the Don CeSar Shop
Cesar Beach Resort & Spa DiscoverSpas. com Listing page
Register's 2001 Review of the Don Cesar Beach Resort & Spa
Discover More Spas in Florida
Salvador Dali Museum
Cream to Caviar: Don Cesar Beach Resort, a Loews Hotel, St. Pete Beach
Don Cesar Story
Don Cesar Beach Resort & Spa:
A History of The Pink Lady
The Don CeSar was built
in 1928 by Thomas Rowe to resemble the Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki Beach for $1.2
million, was nearly 300 percent over budget.
Don CeSar gets its name from the opera "Meritana."
resort, The Don reigned as the hot spot for high society from F. Scott Fitzgerald,
Clarence Darrow, Lou Gehrig and Al Capone until a fatal combination occurred --
the Depression, World War II and Rowe's death.
became a convalescent center in World War II, a VA office building, and seriously
considered for the wrecking ball.
1973, the resort re-opened as a luxury resort with major renovations in 1994,
2001 and 2008. Find
Palace has an exclusive shade of rouge made for it -- created by DuPont -- which
takes 12,000 gallons and nine months to spread over the exterior.
Copyright Julie Register 2008
except that marked * which are courtesy of
Don Cesar Beach Resort
Lantana Spa at JW Marriott San Antonio
Farm to Treatment Table Lavender Experience
This package is available Saturdays only, May 12 – July 14 (excluding June 8), must be booked one week in advance and requires 48 hours notice for cancellation.
Hill Country Lavender Farm tour,
a bottle of organic lavender massage oil made at the farm,
lunch at Replenish Spa Café with items featuring lavender, and a lavender-based spa treatment featuring the organic lavender massage oil from the Hill Country Lavender farm.
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I'm a believer.
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