South Florida Hospitality Leader Eduardo Fernandez Awarded Hotelier of the Year, Inducted into FRLA Hall of Fame

~Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort GM Honored at FRLA Stars of the Industry Gala~

(L-R: FRLA Chairman of the Board John Horne, Hall of Fame Winner/ Hotelier of the Year Eduardo Fernandez, FRLA President & CEO Carol Dover)

 TALLAHASSEE, FL – At the 2023 Hospitality Stars of the Industry Gala, the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) awarded the coveted Hotelier of the Year award to South Florida hospitality leader Eduardo Fernandez. With his illustrious win, Fernandez was also inducted into the FRLA Hall of Fame in a ceremony held last week at the Opal Grand Resort in Delray Beach.

“What fun we had honoring Eduardo for his lifetime of commitment to hospitality, including more than two decades as a leader in the great state of Florida,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “Eduardo’s energy, leadership style, and commitment to his team and his guests are what make such great experiences that keep guests coming back. Congratulations to Eduardo, we are so proud of you!”

The Hospitality Stars of the Industry Gala pays tribute to men and women from across the Sunshine State for their remarkable work in hospitality. The Hall of Fame distinction is reserved for those who have dedicated decades to providing excellent service and leadership in hospitality.

“I am humbled, honored, and surprised to be inducted into the FRLA Hall of Fame as the 2023 Hotelier of the Year,” said Eduardo Fernandez, General Manager of Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort. “We have so many great hoteliers in Florida that are deserving of such recognition, so it makes it even more special to me. I have spent over 20 years in Florida doing what I love in an industry that contributes so much to our state’s economy and offers great career opportunities. I am extremely lucky and thankful to have such a great team at Margaritaville and to work in a fabulous resort that offers such a unique experience full of fun and escapism. I am also beyond grateful and forever indebted to my wife Paula and my family for all the support and sacrifices they have made over the years to allow me the opportunity to do what I enjoy for all these years. I look forward to many more years in this rewarding business, working closely with the FRLA organization to ensure our industry continues to thrive in Florida. As Jimmy Buffet always said…’I love my job!’”

Fernandez currently serves as General Manager of Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, a destination resort and entertainment complex located on the legendary Hollywood Beach Boardwalk. He has more than 25 years of proven leadership skills as general manager and in corporate roles across many brands and management companies, including Davidson Hospitality Group, Sonesta Hotels & Resorts, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Eduardo has held many board positions with prestigious organizations such as the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, FRLA, and the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Alliance. He currently serves as a board member for the Greater Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Hollywood Beach Business Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree in professional studies from Barry University and a degree in Hotel Management from the Institut de Tourisme et d’Hotellerie du Quebec in Canada. Eduardo has received many recognitions and accolades over the years, including the 2016 General Manager of the Year from FRLA, the 2001 Hotelier of the Year from the Delaware Hotel & Lodging Association, and ITT Sheraton’s President’s Award in 1991. Eduardo is fluent in English, Spanish, and French.

To learn more about Eduardo, please watch his FRLA Hall of Fame Video here.

About FRLA: The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association. Founded in 1946 as the Florida Restaurant Association, FRLA merged with the Florida Hotel and Motel Association in 2006. FRLA’s more than 10,000 members include independent hoteliers and restaurateurs, household name franchises, theme parks and suppliers. The association’s mission is to protect, educate and promote Florida’s nearly $112 billion hospitality industry which represents 1.5 million employees. Dedicated to safeguarding the needs of the membership, FRLA provides legislative advocacy to ensure the voices of its members are heard and their interests are protected. The association offers regulatory compliance and food safety training through Safe Staff® and FRLA’s subsidiary, RCS Training. The FRLA Educational Foundation provides industry-developed, career-building high school programs throughout the state.