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.

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.

Barrymore Hotel Hosts Jazz Night to Benefit Puerto Rico


We would like to commend our downtown Tampa hotel, The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk, for turning their once-monthly Art Meets Jazz into a special event to benefit Puerto Rico. Last night’s event will benefit the families and neighbors of the families at our at two of our properties in Ponce and Mayaguez. One hundred percent of net proceeds from the dinner will be used to purchase provisions which will be personally delivered to the island by members of the Barrymore’s staff.

Attendees of the event included H.I. Development‘s senior leadership and owners, University of Tampa administrators, and leadership from the Straz Center for the Performing Arts next door, among other local dignitaries.

We would like to graciously thank everyone who came to the event and enjoyed the live art demo by local Tampa artist, Francine J. Bauer. Francine auctioned off two pieces of art of which 50% of the proceeds will benefit this cause.

Waterworks Bar and Grill, located adjacent to the Barrymore Hotel, provided a full buffet of traditional Puerto Rican cuisine featuring arroz con gandules, tostones, fried sweet plantains, roast pork and chicken, and brandy cake.

A relaxing atmosphere filled the room courtesy of a smooth jazz saxophone performance by Johnny Magnuson, also know as Johnny Mag Sax, and talented vocalist Carmen Harrell. Johnny is a professional saxophone musician hailing from Orlando, Florida and has opened for many high profile acts, including Kenny G.

The Barrymore Hotel hosts “Art Meets Jazz” once a month from 6:00-9:00PM and features a full buffet plus drink specials. Guests enjoy a “chill” break from the hectic work week while listening to live music as someone else does the cooking (and cleaning!). The hotel is located in downtown Tampa along the scenic Riverwalk, features an art-gallery atmosphere and comfortable accommodations suitable for any traveler.

Waterworks Bar and Grill features a casual dining experience with American cuisine favorites. Guests enjoy a daily happy hour, plus a Late Night menu, also served daily. The restaurant keeps a rotating a variety of local craft beers on tap including Motorworks Brewing, Tampa Bay Brewing, Cigar City and many more for an experience that shows off Tampa Bay’s noteworthy microbrewery scene.

Regarding Hurricane Irma

Our thoughts and prayers have been with everyone affected by Hurricane Irma. Our hotels fared well through the storm. Things are still getting back to normal as we operate with limited staff and resources.

If you still need a place to stay after the storm, the following of our properties are OPEN, have power and are accepting guests: The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk in Tampa FL, Holiday Inn St. Petersburg North / Clearwater in Clearwater FL and Holiday Inn Gainesville – University Centerin Gainesville FL. The Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort is still currently without power and is currently closed, but luckily withstood very minimal damage.

The WaterWorks Bar & Grill in Tampa is open with full menu as well as Aviators Tavern at the Clearwater Holiday Inn.

Again we hope you an your loved ones are safe and we will get through this together.

Gainesville Holiday Inn Celebrates Conference Center Renovation and New Breakfast Cafe


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The Gainesville, FL Holiday Inn located directly across from the University of Florida campus celebrated the grand opening of their newly renovated meeting space and full-service breakfast cafe, both located on the second level of the “gator country” hotel. The Conference Center and Boardroom underwent a complete renovation from top to bottom and is now fashioned with not only modern amenities like eco-friendly NEST thermostats, but also a sleek, contemporary style to go along with the flexible event venue’s new look.

The inaugural celebration in the new meeting space last Wednesday featured a playful luau theme and catering by the Holiday Inn’s resident restaurant, Piesanos Stone Fired Pizza Pints and Pies. Wearing colorful leis and letting loose in the mobile photo booth  made it easy for the Sales Team and business partners in attendance to connect with each other. It was the perfect opportunity to network and showcase what the new meeting space could provide as a modern event venue in the Gainesville FL area.

_DSC2870.jpgThe Conference Center features over 4,100 square feet of flexible space that can be resized for any event, with a maximum capacity of 340 individuals. Use the entire venue for a large event, or flex it down to a smaller “room” for a size that meets your needs. The Boardroom is just as spacious, featuring an over-sized conference desk and plush seating.

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The new Breakfast Cafe, also located on the second level, is a much-anticipated amenity for hotel guests. The cafe offers everything a hungry early-riser could want – hot, fresh, made-to-order meals that even come with a guarantee. If breakfast isn’t served in 15 minutes, it’s free.

The menu consists of a variety of morning favorites like omelettes, a veggie skillet, biscuits and gravy, and much more. Piping hot coffee at your fingertips? It’s all yours. The cafe is open daily, Monday-Friday 6:00AM-10:00AM and Saturday & Sunday from 7:00AM-11:00AM.

To schedule a tour of the Gainesville Florida Holiday Inn’s brand new Conference Center and Boardroom, please contact Sales today at (352) 376-1661 ext 182. You may also visit the Meetings and Events page to learn more or request information. You will also find a meeting room diagram and capacities sheet for download.

The season of giving starts with Giving Tuesday


With Black Friday and Cyber Monday’s exorbitant consumerism behind us, it’s time to focus on what the holiday season should truly be about – giving. Giving Tuesday is a social media movement meant to foster collaboration and charity within our own communities. However, it’s much more than just a hashtag for two of our Tampa Bay hotels.

The Barrymore Hotel in downtown Tampa just received their donation drop-off boxes today to benefit Metropolitan Ministries and Holiday Inn Clearwater has been collecting donations to benefit The Kind Mouse, an organization that combats hunger in the Tampa Bay area, since before Thanksgiving.

The Barrymore is looking motivate guests and anyone in the Tampa Bay community to drop by with their non-perishable food items for Metro Min with a giveaway. The hotel is offering a chance to win a one-room one-night stay when you bring at least 3 non-perishable food items to the bins. But here’s the catch (and it’s a good one): The more you donate, the more chances you have to win – just fill out an entry form for every 3 items you bring and leave it with the Front Desk. Learn more about how the giveaway works. Donations/entries accepted 11/29/16 through 12/13/16.

Clearwater’s Holiday Inn located in the business district is once again a drop-off location for the Kind Mouse food drive. This charity does some incredible things within the Tampa Bay area to combat hunger. The organization provides programs to help those in need year round, not just during the holiday season. Their Family Assistance program is a 90 day program that offers food, housewares, pet food and career coaching to displaced career individuals while they get back on their feet. The “Mouse Nibbles” program feeds the “hungriest of hungry” children in Tampa Bay, delivering non-perishable food items to schools each week for children to bring home on the weekends. This program even provides school supplies twice a year to students. Donations accepted 11/21/16 through 12/12/16.

The Barrymore Hotel is located at 111 West Fortune St, Tampa FL 33602 and is situated directly across the street from the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa. If you’re in Pinellas County near St. Pete/Clearwater International Airport, drop your donations at Holiday Inn Clearwater, located at 3535 Ulmerton Road, near the Gold & Diamond Source.