PENSACOLA, FLA. – Oct. 5, 2015 – Innisfree Hotels was recognized with a 2015 Newcomer Award from InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) for the Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach.

The Newcomer Award is presented only to the best hotels to enter the IHG family each year, recognizing the tremendous effort of Innisfree Hotels and the dedicated team at the Holiday Inn Resort. In addition to other requirements, the new development must maintain a high 12-month rolling Overall Satisfaction score and be in compliance with all brand standards.

The Holiday Inn Resort opened in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., in May 2014 and has exceeded expectations as the best new family resort on the Gulf Coast.

At the time of the beachfront hotel’s opening, Innisfree Director of Development Rich Chism said, “We strive to deliver a ‘wow’ factor and help families create memories together.” In response to the win, he stated, “This resort was designed with its specific Gulf Front location in mind, focusing on the guest experience and incorporating operational requirements into the design.”

The Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach was honored with the Newcomer Award during the annual IHG Americas Owners Conference, held Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 2015 at Moscone Convention Center West in San Francisco, Calif.

“The team that operates the resort was carefully selected to be hospitable first and administrative second,” said Vice President of Hotel Operations Jason Nicholson. “They operate by the mantra, ‘Service leads and success follows.’”

He adds that the property is and always will be in a constant state of evolution to remain on trend with expectations, ensuring guests never look elsewhere for an authentic Florida beach experience.

Located at 1299 Miracle Strip Parkway SE in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., the Holiday Inn Resort offers beachfront event space and the finest pool in the area, just minutes from local restaurants, attractions and upscale shopping. Amenities include family suites; seasonal supervised children’s activities, ‘Dive-Inn’ movies; interactive pirate and mermaid shows; Riptides Grill & Beachfront Tiki Bar; and 24-hour fitness and business centers.

The only resort of its kind between Pensacola and Panama City, Fla., the new property was developed by Innisfree Hotels, and made possible via the United States Air Force Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) program, which provides funds through the lease of government land to improve morale of local airmen.

“Our focus on developing hotels that meet and exceed current guests satisfiers are primary to our operating model. Once that is created, we become highly focused on building person-to-person relationships, such that our guests become friends,” Nicholson says. “At the end of the day, our job is to make friends and build lifelong, positive experiences in which we can share and celebrate with those friends.”


Since 1952, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts have provided the services business travelers need, while also offering leisure travelers a comfortable, casual atmosphere where they can relax and enjoy amenities such as restaurants, room service, swimming pools, fitness centers and comfortable lounges.


For more than three decades, Innisfree Hotels has expertly managed and developed dozens of hotels in partnership with many of the world’s most recognized hotel brands. Today Innisfree owns or manages over 2000 hotel rooms, and has approximately 1,500 employees.

Innisfree is a triple bottom line company, which means we measure our success not only in profits, but also through our impact on people and the planet. To these ends, Innisfree strives to promote a culture of responsibility and service to humanity. Our value-driven corporate culture enables us to have a deeper understanding of the needs of our guests, partners and clients, and thus deliver service that is synonymous with creating fun and memorable experiences.

For more information contact Jill Thomas, Chief Marketing Officer, Innisfree Hotels, (850) 393-8150,