Report: Host Hotels Acquires Loews Don CeSar

Davidson to manage 1920s “Pink Palace” in Florida

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Host Hotels & Resorts is the new owner the Loews Don CeSar Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The local news source says Davidson Hotels & Resorts has been tapped to manage the historic 277-key property on St. Pete Beach, which also includes the 70-key Beach House Suites, which was bought by the Don CeSar and renamed in 1997.

The hotel was majority owned by Prudential Insurance and managed by Loews Hotels & Resorts, which owned a 20 percent stake, for more than 12 years prior to the transaction, according to the newspaper. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The famed property, also known as the Pink Palace, was originally built in 1928. In the 1940s it served as a hospital for the U.S. Army during World War II and was turned into a regional office for the Veteran's Administration shortly thereafter, according to the Times.

In the last year, the hotel invested $10 million in enhancements, including building a new restaurant and bar that faces the Gulf of Mexico, the Times reports.

Host owns 89 hotels in the U.S., including Florida properties such as the YVE Hotel in Miami, the Orlando World Center Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton resorts in Amelia Island and Naples, as well as seven international hotels. Davidson Hotels & Resorts manages 43 properties, including the Hilton Key Largo Resort and Hotel Colonnade Coral Gables in Florida.

The Loews Don CeSar Hotel marks the first property in the Tampa Bay area for both hoteliers, according to the Tampa Bay Times.