St. Augustine Beach Resort Named One of Best Beachfront Hotels

The Guy Harvey Oceanfront Resort was recently named one of the top beachfront hotels in St. Augustine Beach by Trips to Discover: Florida, an online travel discovery website with over 800,000 followers on social media and 14M annual website visitors.

Trips to Discover applauds the hotel for the “relaxing ocean tones” adorning the guest rooms, direct location on St. Augustine Beach and convenient pet-friendly rooms that allow every member of the family to enjoy a beach vacation.

Full Article on Trips to Discover


New Santiago’s Florida Kitchen at St. Augustine Resort Wins Fifth Award Since October 2018 Opening

_DSC9011_2_3_4_5_Natural-webSantiago’s Florida Kitchen & Craft Bar, the newest restaurant concept from H.I. Development, resides at the recently remodeled Guy Harvey Oceanfront Resort in St. Augustine Beach. The “contemporary casual” restaurant showcases an eclectic Floridian-style menu and handcrafted cocktails and has earned its fifth award since its debut in October 2018.

Executive Chef Joe Ronan and his culinary team certainly know how to prepare a meal – but great customer service, pure talent and creativity in the kitchen have played a major role in the restaurant’s the ability to win multiple awards, earn steady positive reviews across multiple online review sites and social media including the popular Auggie’s Fresh or Frightening Food Reviews (a Facebook group of St. Augustine foodies with over 27,000 members), as well as gain a following among locals and hotel visitors alike.


Executive Chef Joe Ronan with Great Chowder Debate Trophy

First, not long after opening, Santiago’s won 2nd place for Best Non-Seafood Chowder in The Conch House’s Great Chowder Debate to benefit Big Brothers and Big Sisters of St. John’s County in November 2018. The Great Chowder Debate has been held in St. Augustine since 1984 and is one of the longest-running chowder championships in the country.  Over 30 restaurants from the St. Augustine area come out every November to donate their chowders and their time in hope of winning first place.

Santiago’s Florida Kitchen next earned multiple awards in Jacksonville’s Folio Weekly Magazine’s Best of St. Augustine 2019 in January of this year. Santiago’s took home the 3rd place spot for Best New Restaurant, 3rd place for Best New Bar and 2nd place for Best Server (Jeremy Cain). Folio Weekly’s Best of St. Augustine is a reader’s choice award in which winners are selected through online voting.


Chef Joe Ronan (second from far right) with TOSTA Award 2019. Photo by Taste of St. Augustine.

Next, Chef Joe and team recently won the People’s Choice Award at the Taste of St. Augustine to benefit EPIC Behavioral Healthcare on April 28, 2019. At “TOSTA,” guests purchase $1 “tasting tickets” plus a $5 entry fee to sample some of St. Augustine’s local culinary scene for a good cause. Chef Joe’s culinary concoction is a mouthful to pronounce, but was so heavenly to eat. The “Bahamian Conch and Ciderhouse Bacon Crusted Gulf Shrimp with Datil Pepper Orange Blossom Honey” was a hit with event attendees, allowing Santiago’s to “bring home the bacon” with their fifth award in a mere 8 months.

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Santiago’s Bahamian Conch & Shrimp from Taste of St. Augustine. Photo by Tommy McDonough.


social-media-ad-video-thumbnail“Think of what you can do with what there is”
– Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea

Santiago’s Florida Kitchen and Craft Bar’s menu features an eclectic blend of all the culinary influences that have made St. Augustine the destination it is today  – from local Florida seafood, Spanish and Latin American cuisine with nods to traditional Southern foods. As an eclectic Floridian dining experience, Santiago’s “makes the most of what there is” – as the story of The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway says.

View Santiago’s Florida Kitchen’s Menus


“The Old Man and the Sea” pencil sketch by Guy Harvey

Clearwater Holiday Inn Earns IHG’s “5 Out of 5” Winning Metrics Award

5 for 5 2018 clwapHoliday Inn St. Petersburg N-Clearwater’s outstanding customer service and dedication to guests’ satisfaction has paid off for them once again. The hotel located less than 2 miles from St. Petersburg Clearwater International Airport has taken home IHG’s “5 Out of 5” Winning Metrics Award for the year 2018.

General Manager Richard Markko and the entire staff have been working diligently to provide the best possible guest experience by setting goals and expectations that in turn helped the property achieve the award.

IHG’s winning’s metrics include:

  • Guest Love/Overall Guest Experience
  • Breakfast Heartbeat
  • Loyalty Recognition
  • Loyalty Enrollments
  • Carbon Reduction

Tails Wag at St. Augustine Resort’s “Santa Paws” Holiday Party to Benefit Local No-Kill Rescue

Dog lovers from all around the St. Augustine area gathered at Guy Harvey Oceanfront Resort for the “Santa Paws Holidog Party” to benefit Ayla’s Acres No-Kill Animal Rescue. The event ended up with a total of 64 “Santa dogs” in attendance and will be applying to the Guinness World Records in hopes of setting the record for most dogs at one event dressed as Old Saint Nick – and trying for even more at next year’s event.

Pets and their humans had the opportunity for photo-ops with Santa Claus himself and photos taken by the event photographers. All attendees enjoyed a complimentary cocktail featuring Papa’s Pilar Rum mixed up by Santiago’s Florida Kitchen and Craft Bar, the new on-site restaurant at the Guy Harvey Oceanfront Resort. Furry guests also received a complimentary Santa hat as a welcome gift. The $10 entry fee was donated to Ayla’s Acres and in-kind donations of food and pet supplies were actively being taken in during the event.

Like any good costume event, there was a contest for best dressed and 3 pooches and their humans took home the prize. The winners included a basket full of chihuahuas known as the Therapy Dogs all donning their holiday best, an adorable white lab covered in a tinsel-trimmed Santa costume and shih-tzu with an elf riding on her back. The resort also held a Facebook photo contest preceding the event in which followers submitted photos of their pets in holiday costumes and a winner was selected at random.

Special thanks to the sponsors, Papa’s Pilar Rum and local Faux Paws on St. George Street in historic St. Augustine.

See the full photo album on Facebook


St. Augustine Resort Makes a Splash to Benefit Give Kids the World at Annual Fundraiser

_DSC8259webEvery August, the weather is nothing but balmy and hot but the new Guy Harvey Oceanfront Resort St. Augustine Beach knows how to beat the heat – and support local charities at the same time. The long-standing fundraising event is open to the public as well as hotel guests, offering an opportunity to enjoy a pool party and some beachside family fun for a great cause.

postimg32At the 21st Annual Give Kids the World Fundraiser Beach Party and Poolside BBQ, guests made a splash in the pool with live music setting the ambiance alongside some special guests that included mermaids, pirates, and of course, Mayor Clayton from Give Kids the World. Attendees also participated in silent auctions and raffles for prizes donated by local businesses as well as the resort’s corporate office. 100% of the proceeds raised at this yearly event benefit Give Kids the World.


Give Kids the World is a non-profit organization in Central Florida that provides week-long cost-free vacations to children with critical illnesses and their families. GKTW is where happiness inspires hope! The resort’s fundraiser is typically held at the end of August each year.

Celebrating 49 1/2 Years with H.I. Development, Jackie Holcom Retires

January 5, 2018 TAMPA, FL: For nearly half of one whole century, Jackie Holcom dedicated herself to H.I. Development Corp, headquartered in Tampa, FL. Jackie began working at the company at the tender age of 19. Throughout her life, she held numerous positions within the H.I. Development family of hotels and at the corporate level, a true sign of her unwavering devotion that was reciprocated up until retirement day.

A celebration of Jackie’s loyalty was held at The Hall on Franklin in Tampa Heights on January 3. Many tears of joy were shed as glasses clinked and cake was cut. We at H.I. Development graciously and whole-heartedly thank you for your service. We wish you many years of enjoyment that you’ve truly earned!


Meet the 2017 Employee of the Year at the MIA Hotel, also a Miracle Worker

Meet the 2017 MIA Employee of the Year, Jose Consuegra – HI Development employee, MIA hotel desk clerk and miracle worker. In May of 2017, Jose was on duty and received a call at the front desk from a frantic mother whose baby girl had stopped breathing. The mother rushed down to the hotel lobby with her baby and Jose jumped into action providing CPR. By the time the paramedics arrived, the baby was breathing on her own. As the ambulance was leaving the airport, Jose learned that incredibly the baby’s name was Mia. Watch the touching video of Jose and Mia, reunited at last.