DESTIN, FL--(Marketwire - Jan 2, 2013) - It's a first and it looks to be a triumphant success! That is the take on the first ever "Pet of the Year" award set to be announced on January 7, 2013 at the Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard hotel.

A grand culmination of an ongoing search for the coveted 2012 award winner at this distinctive Destin pet-friendly hotel, the contest will take place on the Residence Inn Sandestin hotel's Facebook page January 2-6, 2013 with the winner to receive a two-night stay with VIP welcome, professional pet/owner beach photograph, personal 15 minute dog walker session, $100 gift card from PetSmart and a $50 gift card from Great Southern Café, a local pet-friendly restaurant.

"We were looking for a unique social media campaign to enhance awareness on our Facebook page," says Ron Couget, Director of Sales & Marketing at this remarkable choice among hotels near south Walton Beaches. "So, we focused on another valued guest, our pets. We love them and they are part of our family."

During the first launch in July 2012, 19 pet photos were collected by the hotel's front desk agents, who also enjoyed a little monthly competition as to who collected the most photos. "We were thrilled to see the first day of voting bring in 3237 reaches -- the most the Residence Inn Sandestin Facebook page has ever had on any posting since its inception," says Oris Rintala, Communications Manager.

Since then, photos have been taken of special guests -- pets, throughout each month and posted on the Residence Inn's Facebook page for two days of voting. The pet with the most LIKES each month has been honored with the distinguished "Pet of the Month" award and received an official certificate with title and gift card from PetSmart. Each winner has also been entered into the 2012 "Pet of the Year" Contest for the opportunity to win the Grand Prize.

To date, the contest has received over 100 photos of pet guests, included among them a parakeet, cat and a fish. Facebook fans are encouraged to visit Residence Inn Sandestin's Facebook page and cast their ballot in this exciting contest:

Florida travelers will see new enhancements to the contest and the overall pet experience at the Residence Inn Sandestin in 2013 as it looks forward to accumulating a full year of candidates for the 2013 "Pet of the Year" contest.

Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard Hotel
Retreat to the Residence Inn by Marriott Sandestin at Grand Boulevard with the most welcoming Destin, FL suites you will find in this area. Whether you're looking for business travel accommodations in Destin or those on leisure travel, one can feel the comforts of home with our full kitchens and well-designed living spaces that include complimentary WIFI. Guests will enjoy a variety of leisure activities on their time in our game room, library, outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, fitness center and sport court.

When looking for places to eat in Destin, Florida, you can take a break and let us cook for you with our daily complimentary hot breakfast buffets and social hours on two select evenings during the week. Allow your entire family to enjoy this Destin pet friendly hotel, your home away from home.

Contact Information:

Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard
300 Grand Boulevard, Destin, Florida 32550