In 1925, a heartbroken young man from the East Coast made his way to Florida and began what would be an eternal testament to love. Thomas Rowe spent three years building a tribute to his long-lost love, a Spanish opera star named Lucinda. He met the raven-haired beauty while studying in England when he attended the opera “Maritana.”
The pair quickly fell in love and affectionately referred to one another as Maritana and Don CeSar during clandestine meetings by a secluded fountain. But Lucinda’s parents forbid the relationship, and quickly whisked Lucinda back to Spain. Thomas returned to America heartbroken, and spent years trying to reunite with Lucinda. Countless love letters were returned unopened. In the end the only communication he ever received was a news clipping of her death accompanied by a note addressed to “My beloved Don Cesar.”
The Don CeSar, whose lobby courtyard and fountain are an exact replica of the one where Thomas and Lucinda rendezvoused in London, is Thomas’ tribute to lost love. Since his passing, staff and guests report otherworldy sightings of a gentleman sporting an old-fashioned Panama hat and white summer suit strolling the grounds and even greeting guests. Yet when approached, he disappears.
Hotel staffers report strange happenings throughout the hotel and especially on floor five where Thomas lived. Housekeepers hear mysterious knocking at doors while cleaning rooms, yet find no one there. Swinging doors open by themselves to accommodate staffers laden with trays, perhaps Thomas still helping his team as the gracious hotelier he was. To this day, sightings continue of a young couple strolling the grounds, wearing a white suit and traditional Spanish peasant dress.
Could this be Thomas and Lucinda reunited for eternity? Come stay at The Don CeSar and find out for yourself.