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Meet Sandra Vivas of Shade Hotel Redondo Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sandra Vivas.

Sandra, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In the early 90’s, I moved to New York City from Nicaragua in pursuit of the American Dream, I was always passionate about helping and working closely with people, which led me to explore a career in the hospitality industry. I had the amazing opportunity of working for Ian Schrager hotels, who is often referred to as the creator of the lifestyle hotel concept. However, it wasn’t until I worked for Starwood Hotel, W brand that I was able to find my true purpose and passion for the industry. In the boutique hotel world, it is important to offer more than the cool lifestyle factor, service should always the essence. This is why I work for Shade Hotels. We are all about essence and style.

Has it been a smooth road?
Smooth roads are not terms used often in the hospitality industry. Most of my experience have been with new hotel opening or renovations. There are always challenges, and over the years we learn to handle them better. I missed the pre-opening of Shade Hotel, but stories tell that it took over 8 years to open the hotel. One of the main challenges of this hotel opening, was the great flood that put back the project few years back. Over the years, I have learned that I cannot control outcomes, all I can do is always be prepared for best or worst scenarios. I try to keep my team motivated, positive, and always stay calm (or pretend that I have everything under control).

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Shade Hotel Redondo Beach story. Tell us more about the business.
I’m the General Manager of a true luxury boutique hotel in Redondo beach, California. The first Shade Hotel is just a few miles north in Manhattan Beach, California. My company is in the “people” business. The brand is known for its excellent customer service, cool hotel concepts, and mainly because it’s a company that is very focused on people. Our hotel and restaurant guests, and team members are considered equally important. I’m proud that my company has a “culture director” who dedicates most of her time to employee development and training. We also have owners who value profit as much as each one of his employees.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The industry has been shifting with the merging and purchasing of large brands. All these changes can possible create a brand identity crisis. Many travelers choose to stay at brand hotels because of their loyalty programs. In the independent boutique industry, we keep our guest loyalty always creating a unique and personalized experience.

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