The Don CeSar Hotel is located in St. Pete Beach, Florida.
The Hotel Don Cesar or ‘Pink Palace’ as it’s more commonly known, has been a staple on the shoreline of St. Pete Beach since its completion in 1928. The hotel is not only known for its decadence, but it’s also well known for its ghostly goings-on too.
The grand opening was an extravagant affair attended by the elite of Sait Pete at the time. The hotel soon became a popular destination for the rich and famous, with the likes of Al Capone, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Franklin D. Roosevelt being frequent guests.
While many hotels and businesses floundered and failed during the Great Depression, Don CeSar continued to flourish, in large part due to a partnership formed with the New York Yankees to house players in the spring.
It was bought in 1942 by the US military and converted into a military hospital for the next two years before being used as an administrative space by the United States Army.
By 1969, the Don CeSar was once again vacant. Local residents spoke out against plans to raze the building, it was purchased and updated in the early ’70s.
One would expect a building this old and with this romantic and varied history would have its share of ghost stories, and the Don CeSar does not disappoint. There is no sad tale of death or vengeful spirits to be found here.
One may hear an odd sound, feel a ghostly presence, or see a door open on its own, with any luck, even see a ghost. Don CeSar is the perfect spot to enjoy some ghostly happenings without risk of harm.
The Don CeSar reopened to the public in 1973, almost immediately staff of the hotel began reporting ghostly sightings. A gentleman in a white summer suit, wearing a Panama was the first and most common ghost spotted. The spirit is believed to be that of the late Thomas Rowe, wandering the grounds of his hotel.
Guests and staff alike have reported seeing Rowe, sometimes with Lucinda at the fountain, and on the fifth floor where Rowe resided. At times Rowe will greet hotel guests with a friendly smile as they enter, only to disappear when approached.
Strange sounds and knocking have been heard, doors will graciously open to assist staff carrying trays or luggage. By all accounts, a friendly and helpful spirit, Thomas Rowe, even in death remains a dedicated hotelier.
Thomas Rowe may be the most famous ghost at Don CeSar but legend says that he is not the only one. Many guests have reported an eerie feeling in some rooms, sightings of spirits and ghosts dressed well past the days of Thomas and Lucinda.