History of the Ponce De León Hotel

ponce de leon hotel downtown st petersburg postcard 1922

Constructed by George Feltham at the start of the “Florida land Boom” in 1922, the Ponce De León Boutique Hotel was the first high-rise to sit beautifully along the St. Petersburg waterfront.

The Ponce De León Hotel architecture represents the transition from small-scale boarding houses seen during the WWI era, to large masonry hotels seen post-war. George Feltham, the local notable architect, was also responsible for the First Baptist Church and the Green-Richman Arcade.

This architecture type is inspired by the Spanish settlement driven by the explorer Juan Ponce De Leon. This shift in architecture was also a great reflection of the growing wealth of the American economy.

The Ponce De León hotel first opened its doors to many tourists, MLB baseball players in town for spring training (from teams such as the Yankees, Mets, Orioles, and Braves), and even soldiers needing accommodation while training for WWII. Over the years, the Ponce De León has even had the honor to welcome some celebrity guests such as Christopher Reeve, Tony Curtis, and even President Nixon during the Republican National Convention.

The hallways of the hotel feature paintings of the iconic Spanish flamenco dancers, and the connected restaurant, Ceviche, serves up delectable Spanish-style tapas and live music.

The Ponce De León hotel first opened its doors to many tourists, MLB baseball players in town for spring training (from teams such as the Yankees, Mets, Orioles, and Braves), and even soldiers needing accommodation while training for WWII. Over the years, the Ponce De León has even had the honor to welcome some celebrity guests such as Christopher Reeve, Tony Curtis, and even President Nixon during the Republican National Convention.

The hallways of the hotel feature paintings of the iconic Spanish flamenco dancers, and the connected restaurant, Ceviche, serves up delectable Spanish-style tapas and live music.

ponce de leon hotel downtown st petersburg 1950s

In 2007, the Ponce De León was given the title of “Ultimate Boutique Hotel” in the Tampa Bay area by the Tampa Bay Times. In 2008, the Ponce De León was positively noted in a story covered the New York Times Travel, “Revival beyond the Beach”.

Later in 2009, the Ponce De León was also featured on Boston.com as “Where to Stay” while visiting St. Petersburg.

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