Press Releases

Chef Alberto Avila Joins The Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village As The Restaurant Chef For 500 South Restaurant

ST. AUGUSTINE, FL (February 2011) – The Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village in St. Augustine has named Chef Alberto Avila as the new Restaurant Chef for its 500 South Restaurant & Lounge. In his new position, Avila is responsible for overseeing the culinary offerings in the casually-elegant 500 South Restaurant, the contemporary 500 South Lounge, and in-room dining at the 301-room resort. The announcement was made by Jeffrey Oliasami, general manager of the resort, which together with the adjoining St. Johns County Convention Center and the adjacent World Golf Hall of Fame is the largest combination hotel and conference center between Atlanta and Orlando, with 86,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

Noted for his creativity and flare, Avila comes to The Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village from its sister hotel, The Renaissance Oklahoma City Convention Center Hotel and Spa in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He served for two years as Restaurant Chef and Restaurant Manager for the AAA Four-Diamond hotel, which is known for its exceptional cuisine. Prior to that, he was the Chef and Owner of Santioni’s in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Previous positions include serving as Restaurant Chef at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort for four years, and as Chef and Owner of Antony’s Ristorante in Haledo, New Jersey.

Specializing in New American Regional Cuisine that uses the freshest ingredients in the region, 500 South is located just off of the resort’s beautifully-remodeled lobby. 500 South boasts striking architecture, a picturesque full-length wine wall, colorful new furniture, chic hardwood floors, warm wood tones, and dramatic lighting. Adjacent to the restaurant is the 500 South Lounge, which boasts an impressive 50-inch television as the centerpiece, as well as beautiful hardwood floors, colorful carpeting, furniture in vibrant reds and oranges, several additional flat-screen televisions, and many conversational seating areas.

Open to the public, the 500 South Restaurant is open nightly for dinner from 5 p.m.-10 p.m., with a diverse menu, comprehensive cocktail list, and extensive wine list with offerings from Chile, Spain, South Africa and Italy. The restaurant is also open for breakfast from 6:30 – 11:30 a.m. Monday-Friday, and from 7 a.m.-noon on Saturday and Sunday. In addition, the restaurant is open for lunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday, and from noon-3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

“I am so very pleased that we now have Chef Alberto at The Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village,” said Oliasami. “I worked with Chef Alberto at The Renaissance Oklahoma City, and at Sawgrass Marriott, when I was the general manager of each resort. He is a very, very talented chef who creates absolutely delicious cuisine that is also beautifully presented. He will make the already-popular 500 South Restaurant even better, and in-room dining at the resort truly first-class.”

Located within the lush 6,300-acre World Golf Village right next to the World Golf Hall of Fame, the resort is a consistent recipient of many of the meeting industry’s highest honors. This includes: Meetings & Conventions magazine’s “2010 Gold Key Award,” which recognizes the world’s finest meeting facilities; Medical Meetings magazine’s “2010 M&D Award”; and Meetings & Conventions magazine’s “Gold Tee Award,” which recognizes the country’s top golf resorts. In addition, the resort was named one of the “Top 80 Golf Resorts” in the world in a readers’ poll in Condé Nast Traveler magazine.

Not resting on its laurels, the resort completed an impressive $10 million property-wide renovation in 2008. The comprehensive renovation project included the remodeling of all guest rooms and suites, a dramatically-renovated lobby, newly-remodeled guest room corridors, an expanded fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment, enhanced meeting space, and the opening of 500 South.

Guest rooms and suites feature new furniture, soft goods, window treatments, lighting, 37”flat-panel screen LCD HDTV televisions, and the Marriott JackPack, which provides complete connectivity to the guests for laptops, MP3 players, digital cameras, and video game players. The rooms and suites feature a contemporary design with an Asian feel, which includes rich red bed coverings, crisp white linens, along with a color scheme of warm neutral gold. In-room offerings also include high-speed Internet access, two telephones with data ports, a wet bar and refrigerator, an in-room safe, and in-room coffee.

The resort also boasts a dramatically remodeled 10-story atrium lobby, which now has a Colonial/Asian theme with lush foliage and a colorful 7-story modern hanging sculpture that captures the wind and air elements, reminiscent of open Florida skies.

Recreational offerings at the resort include two championship golf courses, the popular Slammer & Squire (just steps from The Renaissance Resort), and the renowned King & Bear (co-designed by Arnold “The King” Palmer and Jack “The Bear” Nicklaus). Guests also have access to four additional golf courses within 15 minutes of the resort, for a total of 108 holes of golf.

Additional offerings at the resort include a sauna, pool, hot tub, and full-service concierge.

Guests also are an easy walk to The World Golf Hall of Fame’s 18-hole putting course, a 132-yard Island Challenge Hole, an IMAX® Theater, and the Walk of Champions. In addition, guests can take golf lessons at the renowned PGA TOUR Golf Academy.

When visiting the resort, guests and groups have the opportunity to visit nearby pristine Atlantic beaches, as well as explore historic St. Augustine. Founded in 1565, the area is rich with Spanish architecture, with charming cobblestone streets and many fascinating historical sites such as the historic Castillo de San Marcos fortress, and The Fountain of Youth.

For more information, call 888-740-7020 or 904-940-8000, or visit .

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PR Contact: Karen Lamonica at (407) 788-7070, ext. 207, or

NOTE: High-resolution photos of the resort may be downloaded from . Or, photos of the resort, and a photo of Chef Alberto Avila, are available by contacting Karen Lamonica.