General manager of the charming boutique hotel La Casa del Camino.
TASK IN HAND
But Tak Miyamoto can often be seen carrying a guest’s luggage up
the stairs to their room, or changing a light bulb in the lobby.
Being a general manager at La Casa is a full and difficult job, and
one that evidently does not leave any chore out of its description.
Although Miyamoto has been managing the hotel for only three
months, La Casa has been welcoming guests in Laguna Beach since 1927.
“People fall in love with the building when they come to stay
here,” said Miyamoto of the historical landmark that is the second
oldest building in Laguna.
La Casa del Camino houses 39 recently renovated rooms, more than
half with ocean views. Its proximity to Cress Street Beach and the
updated room decor are a couple of the hotel’s most alluring aspects
that Miyamoto works to make available to any weary traveler.
The staff at La Casa work differently together than that of
perhaps a larger hotel or corporation, “where you only see your boss
once a week,” said Miyamoto.
“I get along very well with the staff,” he said. “We try to offer
personal service to our guests as much as possible, almost treating
them like family.”
HISTORY OF HELPING
Miyamoto had worked in hospitality before, most recently at the
Laguna Beach Surf and Sand Hotel, and at the Irvine Hilton, which
prepared him for his work at La Casa del Camino.
“I enjoy establishing relationships with the guests because they
are all so different,” Miyamoto said, “It’s fun to talk to them and
learn about their part of the world.”
TIME FOR A CHANGE
Miyamoto began helping renovate the hotel shortly after he started
“We re-decorated the rooms and lobby, keeping in mind that we
wanted to maintain the historic feel of the hotel, while also adding
an updated boutique look,” said Miyamoto. “The first thing we added
when we began renovating was high-speed internet access in every
room. We are beginning to accommodate corporate guests, and making
room for business meetings and wedding parties.”
While a guest at La Casa del Camino in 1930 might have been a long
way from checking his e-mail in his room or watching HBO on his bed,
Miyamoto works to make sure that the charm and comfort of the hotel
-- Story by Heather Struck; photo by Kent Treptow