Culinary Team Prepping for Outstanding Oceanfront Offerings at New Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort
Director of Food & Beverage and Executive Chef Recently Appointed
ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. - In preparation for its upcoming opening, Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort has appointed Director of Food & Beverage Robert Ivey and Executive Chef John Botkin, who are busily engaged in menu selection, banquet positioning and overall planning for the culinary offerings at the new oceanfront resort. The property is being developed by prominent real estate investment and development company Key International.
“In addition to unparalleled ocean views and exceptional amenities, we want to be known for our all-encompassing culinary experiences,” said Jason Kern, general manager, Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort. “With Robert and John leading the charge, I have no doubt we will quickly become a preferred choice for outstanding oceanfront cuisine in St. Augustine Beach.”
Having worked for some of the top hospitality companies in the industry, Director of Food & Beverage Robert Ivey recently led the culinary direction for the opening of several large, full-service resorts for megabrand Landry’s Inc. Most recently Ivey was on the opening team of the 1,000-room Golden Nugget Lake Charles Hotel & Casino, overseeing all food and beverage operations at its seven culinary offerings. Prior to that, he was Director of Catering and Convention Services for more than two decades at Universal Orlando Resort, assisting with the opening of the worldwide phenomenon of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Having been recognized in several publications and winning national and regional awards, he is also a Certified Meeting Planner and a Certified Professional Catering Executive.
With a desire to help guests expand their culinary horizons, Executive Chef John Botkin brings an extensive background in the restaurant industry to the Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of New England, he has held many impressive positions, including Executive Chef at both the Bellagio of Las Vegas and Casa Monica Resort & Spa. From his time spent along the Outer Banks, Coastal Carolinas and the Caribbean, Chef Botkin has developed a unique flair for preparing sustainable seafood and southern cuisine.
Directing the culinary team, Chef Botkin’s skills will be on display at Harvest & Reel, the resort’s signature restaurant, which will feature locally-sourced and specialty seafood for dinner, served from an open-show kitchen. In the restaurant’s coastal modern setting, guests will experience noteworthy dishes such as Pan-Seared Jumbo Crab Cakes with a lime mustard aioli, a traditional Bouillabaisse, Diver Scallops Corn Maux Choux with smoked bacon lardons, as well as daily fresh catch specials.
At poolside, the resort’s Castaway Cantina will offer Latin-inspired dishes for lunch and early evenings, and in the main lobby, the upscale Rhum Bar will feature specialty cocktails paired with house-prepared items such as flash-fried calamari with pickled shrimp, and steamed PEI mussels with applewood smoked bacon and garlic shallots, and – of course – spectacular Atlantic views.
With more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 5,200-square-foot, oceanfront ballroom with outdoor terraces, and expansive waterfront lawns for events, Botkin will provide exceptional selections for receptions, buffets and plated functions, complete with breathtaking beachfront views. Local fare such as She Crab Bisque and Mayport Low-Country Shrimp Boil, to signature action stations, will provide a personalized culinary experience for each event.
Situated just 10 minutes from historic downtown St. Augustine and adjacent to the iconic St. Augustine Pier, the Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort will offer 175 suites providing spacious accommodations and a zero-entry oceanfront pool. With Pier Park to the south and Anastasia State Park to the north, resort guests will also find plenty of off-property opportunities to relax, bike ride, surf, fish, paddleboard and more.
Embassy Suites offer free made-to-order breakfast each morning, a nightly complimentary Evening Reception and two-room suites with a separate living area, private bedroom, two flat-screen high-definition televisions and wet bar fitted with a microwave, and mini-fridge, as well as complimentary 24-hour fitness and business centers.
For reservations, visit www.embassystaugustine.com or call 904-461-9004.
About Hospitality Ventures Management Group
Hospitality Ventures Management Group is a privately owned, fully-integrated hotel investment and management group that specializes in turning around and repositioning underperforming hotels, as well as maximizing the performance of stabilized hotels. It currently operates 40 hotels in 18 states totaling 6,896 guest rooms. HVMG operates independent and boutique hotels and resorts, as well as full-service, select service and extended stay hotels under the Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, and IHG brands. Visit www.hvmg.com for more information.
About Key International
Key International is a world-class real estate investment and development company with offices in Miami, Florida and Madrid, Spain. The company focuses primarily on luxury commercial and residential sectors, including condominiums, hotels & resorts, residential rentals, offices, and retail properties. Key International’s high-profile projects include the development of such sought-after addresses as 400 Sunny Isles, 1010 Brickell, and the landmark Mint and The Ivy towers in Downtown Miami, along with the master development of the Riverfront Community section of Miami and the $250 million expansion and restoration of the world-famous Nobu Eden Roc Resort Miami Beach. Key International also owns and manages a diverse collection of hotels under the Marriott, Hilton and InterContinental Hotels Group flags. For more information, visit www.key-international.com.
About Embassy Suites by Hilton
Embassy Suites by Hilton, one of Hilton’s 17 market-leading brands, is dedicated to delivering what matters most to travelers. The full-service, upscale brand offers two-room suites, free made-to-order breakfast and a nightly two-hour reception with complimentary drinks and snacks. Both leisure and business travelers looking for a relaxed, yet sophisticated experience will feel right at home with brand-standard amenities like inviting atriums and complimentary 24-hour business and fitness centers. Embassy Suites by Hilton has 253 hotels with 43 in the pipeline. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard WiFi, and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (select locations), available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors mobile app. For more information, visit www.embassysuites.com or newsroom.hilton.com/embassysuites, and connect with Embassy Suites by Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.