Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Time for Transition

We recently had two positions open up at the Residence Inn by Marriott Beverly Hills, and while it's always hard to say goodbye to quality employees, we are very happy to welcome a new Front Office Manager and Director of Sales. 

Mauricio Joya has worked at our hotel for almost 10 years, starting out as a valet parker, and now working his way all the way up to Front Office Manager.  Mauricio has always been a steadfast and hard-working individual, and we're thrilled to have him take over the front office reigns.

Mary Durham previously worked as a National Sales Manager at our sister property, the Embassy Suites LAX North, and has taken over here as the Director of Sales.  Mary brings a wealth of sales knowledge and expertise, having worked at the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach, and also as a Corporate Sales Manager for Marriott.

We're are excited about our new lineup, and look forward to providing excellent customer service to our guests.  We hope you'll come see us soon!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Marriott Operational Excellence Training

I have recently completed my brand required operational excellence training and I have once again been convinced (if there was any shred of doubt before) that I made the right choice by joining the Residence Inn team. The training we receive at Marriott is second to none in the hospitality industry and it shows in every aspect of their programs.

Each day I spend time in the morning working with our Gatehouse team on our breakfast service, assisting them in restocking food, cleaning tables and talking to our guests. I overwhelmingly hear positive comments about our hotel and even more importantly our Residence Inn brand and Marriott on a daily basis. Our employees feel proud to work here, our guests feel proud to stay here and I feel proud to be a part of it.

Marriott’s training resources run deep, as does their breadth of experience and talent base. All of this comes together to provide a great experience for our guests and employees, and a great investment for our owners which ultimately is a home run for everyone!

I am now effectively 9 months into my position and it’s exciting to see the growth as it relates to guest and employee satisfaction, along with my learning as a Marriott General Manager. I look forward to ushering in a busy summer season with the new skills I’ve learned and look forward to welcoming you home to the Residence Inn by Marriott in Beverly Hills should your travel plans bring you to the Los Angeles Westside area.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It's Marathon Time!

On March 17, 2013, thousands of long-distance runners will descend upon Los Angeles to take part in the annual tradition that is the Los Angeles marathon - a 26.2 mile race through the streets of LA, starting at Dodger Stadium and ending at the Santa Monica pier. Typically, an average runner will spend 4-6 months training for a marathon, a grueling experience in itself.

According to Greek legend, the messenger Pheidippides was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon. After reaching the assembly and announcing the victory, he collapsed and died. Of course, we hope this does not happen after this marathon!

The Residence Inn by Marriott Beverly Hills sits about 1 mile away from the race route, approximately halfway between the start and the finish line. We've had runners stay with us in the past, and look forward to welcoming more competitors this year.

To all the participants, we wish you good luck, happy running, and a speedy recovery!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ahhhh….the holidays

Somehow I felt I had to say this now that we’re between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.  Is it hard to believe 2013 is already staring at us?  Where did the year go?

I look back on 2012 and think about how exciting it’s been.  If the presidential election wasn’t enough to stir some emotion, good or bad, the passing of greats like Neil Armstrong, Etta James, Whitney Houston, Dick Clark, Phillis Diller, Sally Ride, Donna Summer and Andy Griffith (to name a few) was enough to stir some in me and remind me of my own mortality.  Thank goodness Betty White is still with us!

I took some time to travel home to Ann Arbor, Michigan for Thanksgiving, celebrate my birthday and to spend time with my family.  Traveling to Michigan during this time of year makes me thankful I live and work in such an amazing place, as I wrote below, but it also reminds me how thankful I am to have such a wonderful family and friends.  Accepting the passing of some of my childhood and adult idols makes me stop and think about how temporary life is.  When I was younger I would listen to people make statements like this and think “yeah sure, how boring” but now I realize just how true it is.  How lucky I feel to have finally had this epiphany.

The other day, 10 of us from the hotel attended the funeral of one of our long term guests, Jewel Price, who has stayed with us for 14 years.  Can you imagine?  Many things come to mind when you learn this, but more than anything I can’t help but to say “Thank you Mrs. Price for touching our lives” and being such an inspiration to so many people.  We will miss you but will always be grateful for your friendship and loyalty.

I always get a little melancholy at the end of the year, but underneath that feeling is an excitement about what the next year has in store.  Get out and travel, do what you’ve always wanted to do and make a difference.  If that happens to include a visit to Beverly Hills; we’ll be waiting for you.

To everyone; Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy New Year!

Oh, and December 17 is National Maple Syrup day which we’re happy to help you celebrate on your waffle at our Residence Inn breakfast!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Great Time to Visit Los Angeles

I celebrated my four month anniversary on November 2 and it’s been an amazing experience so far, getting to know our loyal guests and associates. I thank everyone for the warm welcome and for allowing me to be a part of such a great team!
We have now transitioned from the summer season and it’s interesting to see the change in our mix of guests. Nearly gone are the large families who traveled to Beverly Hills to enjoy all of the attractions Southern California has to offer, to be replaced with our loyal long term and short term travelers who are here for business. 

After living in California most of my life, I’ve never quite understood why more people don’t travel to our area in October, November and December for vacation, arguably the most beautiful months to be here. Gone is the typical morning coastal fog, only to be replaced with dry days, sunshine and temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s. It’s days like this that make us feel so lucky to live here. Most of my family still lives in Michigan so I always try to encourage them to visit during this time of year.

Many people say holiday time is more special in areas of the country where it snows and the leaves fall from the tree. I am from Michigan and while I have fond memories of waking up to falling snow on Christmas morning, I whole-heartily agree that now I’d rather deck the halls with some amazing shopping fare from Rodeo Drive than have to spend two hours shoveling myself out of the house so I can get to the grocery store!

The moral to my story…come and visit us during the most beautiful time of the year. It’s a very special place we call home here and we’d love to welcome you soon.

Monday, July 30, 2012

My first 30 days

What an amazing first 30 days at the Residence Inn by Marriott Beverly Hills!

I have lived and worked in Southern California for most of my life and I can't believe my lack of awareness of our truly unique and spellbinding neighborhood. Our hotel's proximity to all the best that Los Angeles has to offer is truly remarkable, which helps explain our friendly mix of guests. The cultural diversity present within walking distance keeps me up late searching Wikipedia, toggling from one new fascinating lesson to another.

I happen to be an American history buff and have been since my childhood years in Southwestern Michigan. All that I've learned, from the culture that built the Great Pyramids, to the religious struggles of history, to the colorful artistry of Latin America, to TV Land's I Love Lucy  can all be researched and experienced right in our own back yard. What a truly amazing city we live in where so many cultures can come together in peace, and prosper!

Some of the most progressive and important advances in medicine happen daily in one of our top-rated medical institutions, also within walking distance or a short drive. On top of all this, we have a hotel that is newly renovated with a team of employees who take pride in everything they do on a daily basis. Our hotel is beaming with pride and I can see why.

My first 30 days have been amazing and I am eternally grateful for the warm welcome by our employees, our regular guests and those who come just to have fun in one of the most exciting cities in the world.

Thanks to everyone and for those of you who are considering the trip, just do it! Welcome to Los Angeles!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Transition of Power

There comes a time in every person's career when a new opportunity must be pursued.  For me, that time has come.  After 7 wonderful years as the General Manager of the Residence Inn by Marriott BeverlyHills, I am passing the reigns over to our new GM, Tom Beedon.  I will continue as the Area GM over this hotel, but the majority of my time will be spent elsewhere. 

This hotel has experienced both good times and some challenges in the past 7 years; but through everything, the staff has remained steadfast in providing excellent service to our guests, and will continue to do so under Tom’s guidance.  Tom brings over 25 years of hotel management experience to the table, and is eager to leave his mark on this great property.

The name on this blog will soon change, but the top-notch service and quality product at the Residence Inn Beverly Hills never will.  We are still the best choice for travelers looking for extended stay accommodations in the Beverly Hills area of Los Angeles, and our staff will continue to welcome each guest with a warm smile.

Tom, best of luck for continued success!

Until we meet again, safe travels, and please be well.
Michael D’Amodio