Business & Finance

Key International Tops Off Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort

MIAMI, FL. July 20, 2017 ─ Key International – a prominent real estate investment and development company specializing in hospitality – announced today that it has topped off Phase I of construction of its highly-anticipated Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort in Florida. The resort, which will serve as a preeminent business, leisure and event destination, is scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2018.

“We are thrilled to see this St. Augustine Beach resort come to life,” said Diego Ardid, co-president of Key International. “Reaching this monumental construction milestone brings us one step closer to filling the need for a family-friendly resort product in this market, an unmatched beachfront location that couples an extensive collection of active and leisure amenities with modern finishes and dependable guest services.”

Set adjacent to scenic Anastasia State Park and steps from the sand, the property will be one of the only upscale beach resorts in the St. Augustine market and one of only five beach-front properties with a resort designation under the Embassy Suites by Hilton flag. Boasting 535 feet of ocean frontage, it is poised to be a leading wedding, vacation and business destination, seamlessly integrating the natural beauty and sweeping ocean views of surrounding St. Augustine Beach, with the world-class comforts of Embassy Suites by Hilton.

“Adapted to blend seamlessly into St. Augustine’s majestic coastal skyline, this resort is a testament to both the rising demand for suite-style hotels in prominent leisure and business event destinations, and the overall flexibility of Embassy Suites’ prototype,” said Alan Roberts, global head, Embassy Suites by Hilton. “We are proud to add this oceanfront property to our growing portfolio of All Suites by Hilton hotels, and look forward to delighting guests with our modern value-added amenities and one of a kind upscale all-suite experience.”

The resort will have 175 keys, including king, studio king, two-bedroom, and queen-queen suites, and several picturesque outdoor venues with ocean views. Each suite is equipped with a separate living area, private bedroom and wet bar. In-room entertainment will be provided by two high-definition, flat-screen TV’s. A subsequent Phase II of construction will add an additional 90 to 100 accommodations to the resort.

Guests will enjoy a wide selection of offerings and lifestyle amenities, including 7,500 square feet of indoor meeting and social gathering space, an oceanfront pool bar, an expansive resort pool, direct beach access, multiple dining options, a fitness center, and the award-winning service synonymous with Embassy Suites by Hilton. The hotel will also offer guests Embassy Suites’ signature amenities, including free made-to-order breakfast each morning and a complimentary two-hour Evening Reception* with drinks and snacks.

As a licensed Starbucks® franchise, the resort will also include a full-service coffee experience, serving as a gathering place for guests and locals seeking a caffeine fix, cold-pressed juice, pastry or on-the-go snack. The property will further the Starbucks® mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.

To be a leading destination in the Florida wedding market, the resort offers an intimate outdoor dedicated wedding lawn, complete with a romantic pergola framing the St. Augustine Beach pier as it extends into the stunning backdrop of the sea, as well as an expertly-designed indoor ballroom. The site will feature a simplistic, flexible design that complements the region’s natural beauty and can be altered to fit any style or occasion.

The property occupies a 6.5-acre enclave stretching from A1A Beach Boulevard to the Atlantic Ocean, allowing for maximum ocean-view accommodations. It’s unmatched location next to Anastasia State Park prevents any development to the north, preserving the wondrous vistas of St. Augustine Beach from the lobby, outdoor terrace, ballroom windows and pre-function terrace.

Key International has partnered with hotel operator Hospitality Ventures Management Group – an Atlanta based, fully-integrated hotel management and ownership company and industry leader for Embassy Suites by Hilton operation – to manage the resort.

The new property, which Key International acquired for $4 million in 2015, joins the firm’s impressive portfolio of hospitality, commercial and residential real estate projects throughout the Southeast U.S. and in Spain. Key International owns and manages a diverse collection of hotels, several of which are under the Marriott, Hilton and IHG flags.

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 high-end commercial and luxury 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 Eden Roc Resort Miami Beach. For more information, visit

About HVMG

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 31 hotels in 16 states totaling 5,754 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, Starwood and IHG brands. Visit for more information.

About Embassy Suites by Hilton

Embassy Suites by Hilton, one of Hilton’s 14 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 more than 230 hotels with 49 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 Wi-Fi and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (select locations) available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. For more information, visit or

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Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings: Blue Skies Ahead
After a decade of sacrifice and struggle, it seems that hotels and meeting planners have every reason to be optimistic about the group meeting business going forward. By every industry benchmark and measure, 2017 is shaping up to be a record year, which means more meetings in more locations for more attendees. And though no one in the industry is complaining about this rosy outlook, the strong demand is increasing competition among meeting planners across the board – for the most desirable locations, for the best hotels, for the most creative experiences, for the most talented chefs, and for the best technology available. Because of this robust demand, hotels are in the driver’s seat and they are flexing their collective muscles. Even though over 100,000 new rooms were added last year, hotel rates are expected to rise by a minimum of 4.0%, and they are also charging fees on amenities that were often gratis in the past. In addition, hotels are offering shorter lead times on booking commitments, forcing planners to sign contracts earlier than in past years. Planners are having to work more quickly and to commit farther in advance to secure key properties. Planners are also having to meet increased attendee expectations. They no longer are content with a trade show and a few dinners; they want an experience. Planners need to find ways to create a meaningful experience to ensure that attendees walk away with an impactful memory. This kind of experiential learning can generate a deeper emotional connection, which can ultimately result in increased brand recognition, client retention, and incremental sales. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.