Men and women have been searching for an earthly paradise since before they invented the wheel or the written word. There have been countless names for it: Atlantis. The Garden of Eden. El Dorado. Today, we just call it Santa Monica.
With its spectacular beaches and an average of more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Santa Monica certainly fits the bill for heaven-on-earth. But beyond the city’s natural beauty, there are a number of landmarks, like the Pier or the Aero Theater—not to mention the Shore Hotel!—that have sealed SaMo’s status as a global destination. So whether you’re taking the legendary Route 66 to its Western endpoint in the heart of the city or flying into LA County’s oldest operating airfield, take a look at the best attractions Santa Monica has to offer!
No list of Santa Monica hotspots would be complete without the Pier. More than 100 years old, the Pier is a Southern California icon that sits atop the beach and hangs above the Pacific Ocean. When you visit, you can get your thrills at Pacific Park, an amusement park that includes a state-of-the-art solar-powered ferris wheel, or check out the fascinating aquarium operated by Heal the Bay, which Shore Hotel is a proud sponsor of. One of the most magical attractions is the Camera Obscura, which uses nothing but natural light to project a live view of the beach.
We couldn’t call ourselves the Shore Hotel without the help of Santa Monica State Beach, which is located right across the street from us. This stretch of sand and sea runs the entire length of the city, so there’s plenty of beach to enjoy. Plus, if you’re hoping to enjoy an oceanside workout on your vacation, Santa Monica is also home to the original Muscle Beach and is complete with parallel bars, ring swings, and more!
This theater, which dates back to the 1940s, is a cinephile’s dream. It regularly offers special screenings and shows classic movies as well as contemporary independent films. When you’re tired after a day in the sun, sit back and enjoy a movie, old-Hollywood style!
You’ll find Palisades Park along the city’s northern coastline. It sits atop gorgeous bluffs and offers stunning views of the ocean. Nature lovers will enjoy the wide variety of trees and other exotic plants on display in the park. There’s also a bevy of public art, from sculptures to Native American totem poles.
Steve Farzam is the COO of Shore Hotel that’s based in Santa Monica. His success as a COO is evident in the fact that Shore Hotel currently enjoys one of the top spots when it comes to the hospitality industry in Santa Monica.
However, that doesn’t really comes off as a surprise, especially given Steve’s interest in the hospitality industry from a very young age and his experience in assisting his family in managing their family-owned business, Ocean View Hotel. These both factors have probably what made Steve reach where he is today.
And while that may define his career success, his success as an individual is believed to be far greater by some. Despite his family business and interest in the hospitality industry, Steve decided to go for a paramedic certification. This decision may have been inspired by his strong desire to give it back to the community, which he definitely did in more ways than one can imagine of someone at his level.
After becoming a paramedic, Steve decided that he wants to do something for the community. He ended up joining the Disaster Animal Response Team, a team that consisted of very trained professional tasked with rescuing animals from disaster-hit areas. He brought a lot of value to the team thanks to the professional services he could offer.
His experience working with the team was great, and it’s probably at this time that Steve realized that he doesn’t want to stop there.
This led to Steve joining another team of volunteers that believed in helping the community, after which he is believed to have worked on quite a few things that made the world a better place to live for some people. One of his most noteworthy contributions included spending a lot of time to travel to Louisiana to help people affected by Hurricane Katrina.
However, before joining the new team to help the community in another way, he donated a vehicle to spcaLA – the first community organization he had joined that worked to prevent cruelty against animals. It must have really been a great help to many poor animals whose lives would have been saved using the vehicle.
But then Steve did something that really helped him gain quite a bit of respect from the community as well as some local authorities. He saved a driver’s life stuck in a vehicle following a dangerous accident. And he did so by taking a great risk on his own life.
The driver was in a critical condition when Steve Farzam found him stuck in the vehicle when passing by in his own vehicle. There was probably no one around at that time, and Steve didn’t have much time or things could get worse. So he probably didn’t think much and ended up getting into some level of danger himself, especially given that the vehicle had already started catching fire at this point.
He later found someone luckily that helped made the job a lot easier, but it was Steve’s paramedic skills that came in really handy. He was able to deal with the situation in a professional manner and helped the man prevent succumbing to the critical injuries he faced till help arrived.
This brave effort of Steve was widely appreciated by the community, and even got him the attention of the Burn Institute. He was awarded the Medal of Valor by the Supervisors of San Diego County Board of the Burn Institute, perhaps an extremely rare achievement for a COO.
Then there have also been times when Steve would personally fly to places to feed the poor and hungry people. He has also made generous donations to community organizations in different places that distribute food packets among the less fortunate people.
And apparently, Steve doesn’t hesitate helping the community even if that comes at the cost of a part of his company’s profitability. Shore Hotel is apparently believed to have been the first in Santa Monica to make an effort to adapt and promote eco-friendly initiatives, which can obviously be a brave move to make for a company in a very competitive industry.
Finally, Steve Farzam apparently hasn’t failed to be a great employer as well. His employees are glad to be working for someone that really cares for them and their future.
Steve finds it an important objective of his company to invest in his employees’ education and provide them with regular training, something that would help them advance in their career.
Steve Farzam, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Ocean View Hotel, has changed many people’s lives with his unique sense of generosity and his overall goodness.
Firstly, let’s start with where this all started—Farzam’s childhood.
Farzam grew up in Los Angeles, California, and enjoyed helping his family with the family-owned business, Ocean View Hotel, specifically with operating and decision-making. He knew early on that he wanted to give back to the community, and he decided to enter the hospitality industry.
This desire was probably inspired by his experience of assisting his family in their family business. Perhaps the reason he was able to advance at such a pace in his career is his passion for the hospitality industry, and giving back to the community.
After getting a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the California State University, Farzam went on to get a paramedic certification at Southwestern College. His education background—especially his Sociology degree, which may have served as inspiration for Farzam to help the community—seemed to enable him to leap into charity work.
Farzam started with offering his professional services while volunteering with spcaLA as an EMT with the Disaster Animal Response Team, which rescues animals in major disaster evacuations. Farzam, who cherishes his two dogs, strongly believes in the prevention of animal cruelty, and he hurried to help out spcaLA. Later, he generously donated a vehicle, the Ford Crown Victoria, to the spcaLA; the donation was strongly appreciated by the spcaLA.
Something that is very unique and noble of Farzam is that he immediately went into charity work. Rather than joining his family business or accepting a professional career, Farzam instead straightaway began to volunteer in places of need, like the spcaLA and Louisiana.
After Hurricane Katrina hit, Farzam rushed to Louisiana’s aid; he visited the site as a volunteer and put a lot of time and effort into helping the victims of the disaster.
However, though Farzam had a lot of experience with saving, protecting, and improving the lives of thousands of innocents, he soon went a step further; Farzam actually risked his life to save another man. The man had been involved in a freeway accident, and his car had caught on fire with him trapped inside, so Farzam bravely helped him escape at great personal risk. Farzam was later awarded the Medal of Valor from the Burn Institute by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. When awarded with his metal, Farzam talked to the wife of the victim, who expressed her deep gratitude for Farzam’s quick action and thanked Farzam for saving her husband’s life.
Steve making generous donations to organizations that work for the betterment of the community is nothing new, too. Many people who know Steve personally know that if there’s one thing Steve is probably sure to do with full enthusiasm and passion in the next few years, it’s giving back to the community in many different ways.
Besides for going out and doing lots of good things, Farzam is also able to help the world even from home; something unique about Farzam and his sense of morality is his eco-friendliness. He continually pushes for environment sustainability, and Shore Hotel still wins awards for his eco-friendly policies, years after its establishment.
Another way in which Farzam improves people’s lives in his job is the support he offers to his personnel. Farzam continues to invest in the education of his 115 employees at the only new LEED Gold certified Shore Hotel, Santa Monica.
You would probably also be able to find videos of Steve’s employees sharing their experience working at Shore Hotel, under his leadership. They talk about how they find their job to be a little unique and challenging in a healthy way, something that helps them grow as an employee.
They are also pleased with the fact that they are provided regular training, with the costs being taken care of the employer, which really helps them advance in their career. This is probably something no other employer does, which is likely the reason Steve’s employees really seem to enjoy working under him.
And this certainly also seems to be one of the key factors Shore Hotel enjoys the topmost position in the hospitality industry of Santa Monica. When they employees are happy with their job, they make sure the guests are happy too, and it creates a healthy win-win situation for everyone.
The hotel and hospitality industry is one of the few industries in the world that are seemingly outperforming the other ones, as well as the overall GDP as a whole. What we mean is, this particular industry has been showing a more impressive growth than the GDP in most countries, especially some of the developed ones.
How is the industry doing?
As far as the figures are concerned, the global hotel industry alone is expected to generate a staggering $550 billion in revenue in the coming year. This is saying something, given the economic slowdown heat most of the other industries are deal with.
However, the British company, InterContinental Hotels Group having hotel chains in different parts of the world, seems to be contributing the most to these huge revenue figures. In fact, in 2013, it achieved surprising revenue figures of around $21.6 billion, and had more than 4,600 hotels worldwide at that time.
Some of the other major industry giants include Hilton Worldwide and Marriott International, boasting of owning around 4,000 and 3,700 hotels respectively, which are spread throughout the world.
Measuring the performance
As far as measuring the performance of the industry is concerned, there are three major indicators. They are:
In last year, an analysis of the global hotel industry was done on the basis of these three indicators. The results revealed that the Asia Pacific region boasts of the highest occupancy rate of around 69 percent, while the Middle East and Africa top the charts when it comes to the ADR and RevPAR, respectively.
Hotel industry in the US
Coming to the US, despite having a surprisingly low occupancy rate of just around 50.5 percent in 2013, the hotel industry in the country posted impressive revenue figures of around $163 billion. It seemingly showed further improvement in the following year, when the ADR estimates were raised to a staggering $115.
Santa Monica being a major contributor
One of the major contributors to such surprising figures seem to be Santa Monica, which attracted around 7.3 million tourists in the last year, with the average daily spent of the hotel visitors being around $350 a day. Hotels in the city also generated a combined $45.5 million in Transient Occupancy Taxes (TOT), helping the city improve its General Fund status last year.
The city was also voted as one of the top ten beach cities of the world, thus attracting way more visitors than it used to. The hotel and hospitality industry in the city obviously turned out to one of the biggest gainers.
A final word
The industry overall has also been performing pretty well, not only in the United States, but throughout the world. Currently, the global hotel industry posts revenue of around $400 to $500 billion every year, with one third of the figure coming only from the US.
SANTA MONICA, CALIF.—Shore Hotel was honored at the 1st annual Best of the Best Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) awards ceremony last month, winning the Los Angeles Best Green Hotel award for 2015. This award coincides with the hotel’s fourth anniversary and recent technology enhancement, reinforcing its commitment to the environment, guests, employees, and community.
“Despite being open for four years now, the Shore Hotel continues to garner awards and recognition commending our sustainability efforts,” says COO Steve Farzam. “We will not stop here and will continue to further our mission to create a better future by being responsible stewards of the environment and a positive contributor to our community.”
Last month the hotel installed an AquaRecycle Laundry Water Recycle System, which will reduce carbon emissions and its laundry water usage by 85 percent. The new system will allow the hotel to reclaim and reuse its laundry wastewater, conserving precious resources all while offering its guests premium eco-conscious accommodations.
“With our new AquaRecycle System, our water usage has been drastically reduced by reclaiming and treating 100 percent of the laundry wastewater,” says COO Steve Farzam. “We have saved over 34,000 gallons of water in less than seven days of operation, which equates to nearly four swimming pools. Not only will the AquaRecycle System save millions of gallons of water each year, we will also reduce the amount of natural gas we consume as the recycled water is already pre-heated.”
The oceanfront hotel is a leader in sustainability among Santa Monica’s luxury hotels and the only newly-built LEED Gold certified hotel in the city, which also received the City’s prestigious 2015 Sustainable Quality Awards (SQA) Grand Prize, which recognizes businesses that make significant achievements in the categories of sustainable economic development, social responsibility, and stewardship of the environment.
If you are not involved in the hospitality industry, odds are you are not aware that it has been going through a lot of changes lately. It is a lot more behind the scenes stuff, so the average consumer is not very aware of what is going on. Not only is it ever changing, there are a lot of new requirements for hotels to operate and be successful.
One of the most visible changes is the way customers are treated. In recent years, a lot more emphasis has been placed on appreciating the customer. This is especially true in the luxury hotel industry like Steve Farzam does.
With the rise of the luxury hotel industry, a lot more has been expected by the guests saysSteve Farzam. By this we mean that guests are now expecting to get a lot more bang for their buck. The hotels know this, therefore the industry has become very cut throat.
For example, each hotel has to compete with each other in the steps they take to make the guests happy. Some luxury hotels will go as far as offering the guests complimentary steak dinners and other very expensive outings. This leads to hotels trying to compete and one up each other.
This means it is harder for the little dog to survive. No longer can the little bed and breakfast survive against the big name hotels that go these extra steps to ensure their guests are happy. This means that the bigger name hotels are taking over.
The other thing that is changing within the industry is that more and more guests are coming from online. They are able to stay at these luxury hotels for a fraction of the rate they would usually pay. This is good for them, but is not that good for the hotel business says Steve Farzam.
The hotel employees who work at these luxurious hotels are used to working with people who can pay full price to stay at the hotel. Usually, the people who are willing to pay full price to stay at these hotels, are much more willing to tip and tip big. That is the problem with the new customers, usually they do not have as much money they are willing to tip, which means less money for the workers.
This in return means the staff is performing less than they really can. They are starting to realize that more and more guests are coming from the cheap online websites which means they are paying less and also tipping less.
Therefore a lot of the staff members are not giving their all anymore. They know they are not going to get tipped that much regardless of how hard they work, so they are not giving their all. This means that customers are getting more mad and requesting more refunds due to the hostility from the staff.
Shore Hotel celebrates four successful years with Steve Farzam at the helm as COO! Watch the video below for more.
Ahh, Santa Monica. One of the leading tourist destinations in California. This is for good reason. The city has so much to offer and is even more beautiful. Choosing a hotel can be tough, that is why we have made a list of our favorite hotels in Santa Monica.
The shore easily tops the list in my opinion. This hotel is a classic and is loved by tourists and locals alike. The Shore is a very sleek and modern hotel right on the Santa Monica beach. It has 164 Guest Rooms and 20 suites.
It has one of the best locations in terms of things to do. One could easily walk downtown or to the beach, which are both favorites among toursits.
For those who love going green, this hotel is very eco friendly. They have recently made the switch to going green, and have set the standard for hotels to follow in the coming years.
Viceroy is a very modern hotel located in Santa Monica. It provides a very luxurious experience for those who wish to visit this wonderful city. It right on the beach and is an easy walk to everything you could want to do in this city.
They have excellent amenities and are is very upscale. If you are looking for a very modern experience and a great vacation, you can not go wrong with Viceroy.
The Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica is another favorite among tourists. For those looking for a more vintage experience, then the Georgian is for you.
The Georgian is situated on the Santa Monica coastline and has been for the last 80 years. There is a ton of history in this hotel, and one could feel it when walking in.
If you are looking to see Hollywood’s most famous, then look no further. There are frequent celebrity spottings at this hotel, and this is a tourist attraction in itself. This is a truly a perfect getaway.
If you are looking for a getaway and a beach experience then you should consider Casa Del Mar. It provides an excellent experience for those looking for the classic beach getaway. It is situated on the beach and provides ton of fun for the whole family.
You can easily walk to the beach or downtown, which ever you desire. You will surely have a good time at this hotel.
If you are lucky enough to make it out to Santa Monica, you will have a great time. The hotel you choose will only make it better. There are so many different hotels to choose from, it can be tough at times. However, if you follow our easy guide, you will surely find the best hotel in no time.
Odds are you have been to a hotel where you received less than satisfactory service. Not only did it make you angry, it possibly could have ruined your trip. A lot hotel owners (myself, Steve Farzam, included) do not teach their workers how to treat hotel guests properly, and this is very unfortunate.
Whether you are an owner (Steve Farzam) or a worker, the following guide will show you how you can treat your hotel guests better. If done right, it can have a very positive impact on your business. If done wrong, you can kiss goodbye to your hotel, as the talk will spread fast that you do not treat guests right.
This is something that I (Steve Farzam) think everyone forgets to do it at times. While it is not always needed when working, it defiantly is in the prescene of guests. A simple smile and hello can go a long way towards hotel guests.
Think about it from the customers standpoint. They just paid a couple of thousands of dollars and flew half way across the country, and the first thing they see when they arrive at the hotel is a clerk who does not smile when greeting them.
This is more of a psychological thing than anything else. It might not make the guest mad, but it just sets the tone for the rest of the stay. A smile can result in a lot of positive things. A guest could leave a nice tip, a good review, or even book another stay for the next year before they even leave.
When I (Steve Farzam) teach owners how to treat hotel guests properly, this is one of the main things I tell them that they can start doing today to help their business. Make sure employees are always smiling.
By this I (Steve Farzam) do not mean upgrade them to the master suite for free. That would just be silly, this is more of the little things. If they booked a room that is facing the back alley and you have a beach view room available, offer them the upgrade for free or for a discount. You would be amazed what this does to customers. They will not only have a better vacation, but if they do come back, they will stay with you again.
Imagine the business you would get if someone left a Yelp review saying that you upgraded their room for free upon checkin. You would be the number one pick for anyone coming into town. Little things like this go a long way.
The Customer is Always Right, Most of the Time
To be honest, I dislike the quote “the customer is always right”. Why? Because it is not true.
Customers understand that staff is trained to treat them like this, and sometimes tend to take advantage of this. Teach your staff when the customer is right, and when they are just trying to get something free.
Learning how to treat hotel guests properly can go a long way. It is a good practice to have and will help your business grow and prosper.