Hotel Announcements
Pipeline 2 August 2019

Hotel Effie Sandestin

The First Full-Service Hotel Owned and Developed by Sandestin Investments Opening Summer 2020

Scheduled for Summer 2020 – 250 Rooms

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Ushering in a new era in aspirational vacationing to Northwest Florida's Emerald Coast, Sandestin Investments, LLC announces the name and launch of its exquisite family-owned hotel, set to debut in early summer of 2020. Hotel Effie Sandestin is now accepting leisure and group reservations. The hotel features 250 guest rooms with multiple room types, a delectable three-meal restaurant, craft cocktail lobb y bar, and in-room dining all curated by celebrity Chef Hugh Acheson. It also boasts a luxury spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, the only rooftop pool on Florida's Emerald Coast and 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting space including a 13,000-sq. ft. ballroom.

Named after owner Tom Becnel's grandmother, Hotel Effie exemplifies all the charm and personality of its namesake. Best described as the ultimate hostess, Hotel Effie creates a personalized experience that surrounds each guest with a welcoming environment and authentic style of service that defines genuine southern hospitality. Hotel Effie welcomes guests as part of the family and looks forward to fostering that relationship for years to come.

Tom and his daughter, Sara Becnel, vice president of development for Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, worked closely on this project together. Sara's high attention to detail and experience in luxury business development, construction management and interior de sign fused with her father's grace, humility and real estate proficiency has set the tone for the relaxing, yet fiercely modernized ambiance that the hotel will exemplify. As such, the name, branding and website preview were designed to mirror Hotel Effie's sense of refined southern taste, feminine charm, savvy social grace and authenticity, which resonates with the family's core hospitality values.

Celebrity Chef Hugh Acheson is developing the food and beverage outlets throughout the hotel including a three-meal restaurant, coffee bar and market, lobby bar, rooftop pool bar and in-room dining. Chef Acheson, a Georgia chef and owner of nationally-celebrated eateries including Five & Ten, Empire State South and the National, is a James Beard award winner who has competed on "Top Chef Masters" and served as a judge on "Top Chef."

Hotel Effie's design is a fresh take on a coastal Florida hotel. Design Continuum, Inc., an interior design firm w ith over 40-years of experience in the hospitality industry, worked closely with Sara to conceive the thoughtful interiors for Hotel Effie featuring smart solutions for the modern traveler. Taking inspiration from the locale, sandy limestone floors and a palette of natural textures form the neutral envelope while bold chartreuse highlights interior features. Linear grained grey wood is utilized as a contemporary framework throughout and is paired with classic linen and mixed maritime metals, as displayed in the lobby pilasters with large-scale sconces. Movement in the floor patterning echoes dunes and water upon shore grounded by substantial cleft-face stone slab walls. Light fixtures are inspired by naval lamps and will be elevated with crystal and glass accents.

Highgate, a premier real estate investment and hospitality management company, will manage the newly developed hotel. Hotel Effie is being constructed by Batson-Cook, a company that builds a wide range of commercial projects for multi-family residential, office and private development clients throughout the Southeast. Internationally recognized design firm, Cooper Carry, which specializes in the design of hospitality, residential and restaurant projects, is the architect for the hotel project.

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Management Company

Highgate Hotels, L.P.

Highgate is a premier real estate investment and hospitality management company widely recognized as an innovator in the industry. Highgate is the dominant player in U.S. gateway markets including New York, Boston, Miami, San Francisco and Honolulu.
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