Hotel Effie

Hotel Effie at the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort with Culinary by James Beard winner Hugh Acheson


Located between the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Choctawhatchee Bay, Hotel Effie was designed to welcome all guests of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort to an experience that exemplifies genuine southern hospitality and exceptional service wrapped in comfortable luxury. The 250-room hotel features multiple room configurations with thoughtful design and exquisite detail. Taking inspiration from the locale, the fully appointed rooms and suites welcome guests with a complement of amenities, including an upscale spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, and the only rooftop pool on Florida’s Emerald Coast. Add 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, to include a 13,000 sq. ft. ballroom, plus all of the unique offerings of the hotel and resort, and Hotel Effie is the perfect setting for a dream wedding, corporate meetings, memorable events and unforgettable vacations.



Hugh Acheson is the chef and owner of Five & Ten and The National located in Athens, Georgia, as well as Empire State South and Spiller Park Coffee in Atlanta. He is also the founder of Seed Life Skills, a living, multimedia curriculum built to serve the needs of the modern Family & Consumer Sciences (founded as Home Economics) classroom, empowering youth to be sustainable stewards of food and financial resources. Adding to his list of dining establishments, Acheson opened Atlanta restaurant Empire State South in the summer of 2010 and coffee shop Spiller Park Coffee in November of 2015. Most recently, he opened By George in Atlanta’s historic Candler Hotel in 2019.

A six-time James Beard nominee and 2012 winner for Best Chef Southeast, Acheson’s fresh approach to Southern food has earned him a great deal of recognition including Food & Wine’s Best New Chef and the Atlanta Journal Constitution Restaurant of the Year. In 2010, Acheson competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters: Season 3.” He returned to the hit series as a judge on “Top Chef” as well as “Top Chef: Duels.” He also hosted Bravo’s online complement to “Top Chef Masters” Season 5, “Battle of the Sous Chefs.” Acheson’s cookbook titled “A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen” won the award for Best Cookbook in the category of “American Cooking” by the James Beard Foundation in 2012.

Hugh Acheson


Ovide, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, embraces the fresh, forward flavors and local seafood of the Gulf Coast. The menu showcases Acheson’s creativity and passion for distinctive ingredients and cooking techniques by fusing coastal cuisine with a sophisticated French influence. 

Ovide has an identity and atmosphere yet feels at home within the ground floor’s open format. Here, darker wood tones and deeper colors are offset by the unexpected ceiling murals with flourishes of gold, coral, and verdant greens. At the bar, there is a nod to traditional elements: the extensive millwork, antiqued mirror and brass accents. The black and tan upholstery with brass details and beautifully finished wood seating are luxuriously comfortable.

Menu highlights include a 63C Farm Egg, served on a bed of crispy rice, collard stem kimchi, peas spring onion and oyster mushrooms, a Smoked Mackerel Toast with super 100 tomatoes, dill, pickled shallot and bay leaves. Entrees include the Pan-Roasted Red Snapper with a Thai chili emulsion, pigeon peace, rice and charred escarole and the Strike chicken and add Mahi or pork chop. Additionally, the Grilled Prime USDA Beef Filet is served with whipped potato, shiitake mushroom jus, maitre d’hotel butter. A meal at Ovide wouldn’t be complete without Effie’s Biscuits, which are a nod to the hotel’s namesake.

Ovide is known for its robust cocktail program by mixologist Kellie Thorn. Thorn has received considerable critical recognition for craft cocktails and specialty libations. Thorn joined forces with star chef Hugh Acheson to create the full cocktail program at Hotel Effie.

Hotel Effie’s signature rooftop is home to Ara Rooftop Pool & Lounge, which has a full menu of wine, craft cocktails and bottle service served daily. The rooftop pool has a stylish vibe, and amazing views of the resort, Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. As Northwest Florida’s only rooftop pool, Ara’s open-air event environment provides an ideal location for a poolside DJ to provide chill music by day and up-tempo beats by night. Interactive game space allows for competitive fun and creates a vibrancy for the overall experience. Highlights include luxury cabanas (By reservation + additional fee) and chaise Loungers on pool perimeter.

The Lobby Bar (TLB) is an ideal gathering place and social hub where guests can unwind over a menu of creative libations and signature small plates. The bar overlooks the hotel’s expansive lobby which features several original art pieces, including a custom dimensional ceramic art installation by Alabama ceramist Deb Paradise and two custom resin originals by local mixed-media artist Brendan Parker, all of which were created specifically for the property.

Sweetbay Coffee, a coffee marketplace curated by Acheson, offering a menu of gourmet, grab-and-go selections. Sweetbay’s offerings include specialty coffee drinks by Lavazza, in addition to a selection of teas, pastries and sweet treats.



Share this article: