A few weekends back, Loews Don Cesar Hotel on St. Pete beach invited Ryan and I out for a “Staycation”. We were super excited when we got the invite and what made it even better was the fact that the hotel is dog friendly and Dex could join us! We already had birthday plans for a close friend on Friday night, so we made our way over on Saturday afternoon. Our plan was to lay out in the beautiful weather, enjoy some sun, and take in all of the #DonFun!
We were greeted upon our arrival with open arms and happy smiles from all of the employees and were escorted out to the pool while our room was being prepared. After grabbing a cocktail and soaking up some sun, our wonderful concierge led us to our suite. We walked into our room which was ready to go with samplings of a few bites to eat and a delicious chocolate presentation of macaroons. Two Ybor City Gold beers were chilling on ice and Dex’s dog bowl and treats were ready to go! We were super impressed just walking into the room and knew that the weekend would be a relaxing one!
We dropped our bags off, fed Dex a treat (which he scarfed right down), and headed back to the pool for more cocktails and sun. The atmosphere was perfect for a staycation. It was relaxing, the weather couldn’t have been better and the service was on point! The drinks were flowing, the food was fresh and it was easy to get service. The Don had so many staff members walking around that we never felt left out.
After a few hours of sun, we headed back to our room to get refreshed for our night. On the way, we ran into our concierge and she helped us nail down dinner reservations at Maritana Grille. It was perfect; we were able to kill two birds with one stone. We made 8pm reservations that night and also set up our couples massage appointment at Spa Oceana for Sunday morning. We were super excited as we got ready for dinner.
Maritana Grille had a really nice atmosphere. It was definitely an upscale place as it was super quiet and serene when we walked in. We were greeted with an amuse bouche from the chef to begin. We ordered a bottle of wine and began scouring the menu for a dish that piqued our interest. We had heard from our favorite wino, Megan at I Run For Wine, that Maritana was running a Savor September special tasting menu.
Although we didn’t end up opting for that option because we had snacked in the room before dinner, the assortment sounded amazing. While chowing down on some delicious bread and butter, I ordered a Faithful Farm Hearts of Romaine Salad, the Maritana’s version of a Cesar and Ryan opted for a Roasted Zucchini Soup complete with Poached Egg, Hazelnuts, and Forest Mushrooms. They both were delicious!
As for dinner, Ryan went for the Johnston Farms Filet Mignon and I chose the Joyce Farm Chicken dish. The food was cooked to perfection with sides and sauces that complemented the dishes perfectly! We enjoyed a really relaxing dinner free from distracting noise and loud music (something we don’t do often enough).
After dinner, we were pretty full, but knew we had to find room for a little something to complete the meal. Ryan was pretty stuffed, but when our server mentioned the bread pudding with ice cream, he was easily swayed. We enjoyed the dessert in just a few bites and then called in a night. Our check came with some espresso chocolate made in house (melts in your mouth), grabbed a glass of wine for the road and headed to the room for an early night in.
The next morning, we woke up for our spa appointment and couldn’t wait for the relaxing time ahead. We opted for the couples swedish massage and foot refresher. The staff greeted us as soon as we walked in, showed us the way and the rest was bliss. Everything was perfect, all the way down to the room we were in. After our massages, we grabbed a mimosa and brunch at Sea Porch Cafe. The food was AMAZING! Ryan went for the Bacon, Egg and Cheeseburger and I chose the Steak and Eggs. Both came out fast and tasted amazing ! We ended up swapping our dishes around midmeal just so we could both try a taste! For a little dessert, we opted for the Cinnamon Monkey Bread. Holy cow was it good?! It was warm and gooey, dripping with tons of cinnamon and sugar!
Afterwards brunch, we headed over to the pool for a few more hours of sun! Unfortunately, with my work/school schedule, we had planned to sty Sunday night, but my workload was so crazy that weekend, that I had to head back to Tampa to get work done. The hotel had too many amenities that I couldn’t pass up, so I was relatively unmotivated to do any of my work. I mean, that’s the point of a “STAYCATION”, right?
All in all, the time we spent was perfect. It was everything the two of us needed to reenergize us for the busy lives we live and we couldn’t have asked for a better stay with our friends from The Don Cesar! We definitely enjoyed the weekend and hope to spend some more of our time relaxing with all the #donfun as we #travelforreal again soon!