His Casa is your casa

HE IS

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

working there.

"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

never changes.

-- Story by Heather Struck; photo by Kent Treptow

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