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As a GM there is always travel involved. So you get up and get on your way. This time however instead of working, it was for a bit of rest and relaxation. Out to Palm Springs I go. Where? To La Quinta Resort. Famous people have ventured here; my most favorite actress Joan Crawford being one. I was born on her birthday, so if she stayed here it was a must for me. Beautiful canyon scenery , pools, hiking and service, service, service! I wake up this morning workout, and a great breakfast. I decide to check my account. Come to find out that the hotel double billed me, wiping out my bank acct. As a single mom you know that money has to stretch and this stopped my tracks. The Front desk did all they could to get my bank to clear the extra charge, frustrated at first I sure I came across rude to the manager. But after I told him I'd call back I composed myself and realized mistakes happen and I'll do my best with what I have, and grateful that I was in a beautiful place. I called the Manager back and thanked him for his and the other agents efforts. I know they were trying their best and that's all I could ask for. You could hear on his voice his relief that I wasn't calling to yell. He mentioned times that people that have unlimited funds have ripped him a new one. He appreciated my understanding, so much so that when I arrived to the pool they had a chair and drinks waiting for me. When I got to my room a fruit tray arrived with wine with an apology note. How could I be upset at such effort? This is exactly what every GM should strive for as far as their employees going above and beyond. Not every guest will be understanding, but its the handling of the situation that counts. To being grateful and to those who continue to rise, strive and impact.
Hello world, I’m Claudia Ludlow born in Tijuana, MX raised in Barrio Logan San Diego, schooled in Coronado, Ca. Raised by a single mother of three I was taught early on about hard work and dedication to family. Although our father was in our lives, our mother was who taught us the most about being the best we could be. My school years ranged from high school to technical college. Do I have a college degree? No, but my experience and knowledge in the field I work in comes with years of hard work, dedication, schooling and some pretty fantastic people that have been willing to give me an opportunity.
Currently I’m the General Manager of a wonderful Boutique Hotel called Glorietta Bay Inn; it’s on the Island of Coronado right across what’s called the Big Bay of San Diego. The Hotel is about to celebrate its #109th year birthday and was built by Sugar Tycoon John Spreckels. I originally started my hotel career like so many others right out of high school. I joined the Hotel del Coronado and worked as a bell desk receptionist. Automatically I was in love. Talking to people during the day directing them to my favorite places in Coronado and San Diego. I knew this was for me. I joined later the Audio Visual Dept and this is where all my conference experience kicked in. Meeting corporate companies helping them produce shows for their attendees and working with some pretty amazing people.
From there U.S. Grant Hotel, build by Ulysses S. Grant son as a gift to his father. My second historic property, there has always been something about historic hotels that I’ve loved and somehow have always been connected to. My years here were learning about contracts, booking groups, bringing in business from all over the world. It was just my cup of tea. At one point I moved with the management team to re-open a hotel in Fallbrook called Pala Mesa Resort. Here we sold the experience of golf groups, although a great job and was learning so much the hour drive was taking a toll on me and my family, I ended up leaving and took a step back from Management to spend time with my family. I never did learn how to play golf and to this day still don’t.
Finding Glorietta Bay Inn was just up my alley to think I had grown up on the island of Coronado but never stepped foot in here, the moment I arrived I knew this is where I wanted to be. I decided to get in to Human Resources and make the staff my “Guests” for four years I flourished with employee celebrations, monthly events, helping the Hotel as a whole. Realizing I missed helping guests I asked to be moved to be the Reservations Manager, from there Assistant General Manager and now General Manager. I’ve managed the Hotel for the last four years and absolutely love what I do. I am also the Chairwoman for the City of Coronado’s Tourism district. This group is made up of me and three other major Hotels; we joined forces in helping support tourism to the City of Coronado and help businesses continue to thrive.
I’ve learned so much about the industry more so what our guests need and want to make their stay enjoyable. Guest change yearly and you have to keep up with what’s new and what’s up and coming. Biggest thing right now I would say, have complimentary amenities from continental breakfast to free Wi-Fi. A Guest doesn’t want to be hassled with extra fees, and they want to be impacted. Qualifying your guest and knowing what they are coming for will help any hotel make a guest stay more enjoyable. From turndown service, milk and cookies at bed time, to a simple welcome card with a bottle of wine. Or more so, if they are getting married and coming in for their honeymoon, rose-petals, champagne, a congratulations card will do the trick. Little things are what counts.As I start working on this blog, we’ll go over items that have impacted my guests in making our property their home away from home. Look forward to writing soon.
XO - Claudia
Claudia Ludlow was born in Tijuana, MX, raised in Barrio Logan San Diego and schooled in Coronado, California. Through hard work and dedication she became and is currently the General Manager of a wonderful Boutique Hotel, The Glorietta Bay Inn, that sits on the Island of Coronado right across what is called the Big Bay of San Diego. She is the Chairwoman for the City of Coronado’s Tourism district. Claudia has learned so much about the industry and more so what hotel guests need and want to make their stay enjoyable. Guest change yearly and you have to keep up with what’s new and what’s up and coming. From turndown service, milk and cookies at bed time, to a simple welcome card with a bottle of wine - Claudia has perfected the little things that count. She will blog about items that have impacted her guests and how she, as a GM, makes her guest feel like her hotel is their home away from home.