How The Women Of Westlake Village Inn Came Together To Keep The Property Alive During The Pandemic

How The Women Of Westlake Village Inn Came Together To Keep The Property Alive During The Pandemic

The hospitality and hotel industry has been one of the hardest-hit industries affected by the pandemic. With an average loss of 60% in revenue, many properties were forced to close. Not to mention the yo-yoing of closures mandated by the states. One Southern California property found itself amidst shut down after shut down right after a multi-million dollar property renovation. The Westlake Village Inn had just completed the renovation of Spa Realis, a 25,000-square-foot luxury spa, a fully equipped gym, a resort-style pool with two lounge areas, a health-conscious café, and a 14-suite boutique hotel, days before the nation went on lockdown. 

The executive team made up of more than 50% women came together to keep the property running in a year full of uncertainties. In addition to Spa Realis, the 17-acre resort offers so lush European-like gardens and three dining options including Stonehaus Winery, Vista Terrace Lounge and Zagat rated restaurant, Mediterraneo. “Right before the world shut down, we were in the middle of launching our new Spa Relais, plus 14 hotel bungalows to the Westlake Village Inn. Spa Relais is the latest splendid addition and the perfect piece to round out our beautiful property. As we continue to adapt, my hope would be that our boutique hotel becomes THE Southern California destination that people want to visit when they need a relaxing getaway. We are a gem and a bit of a hidden secret; I am ready for our insta-worthy property to be leaked out as the place to go,” stated Maria Solarzano, Director of Sales and Marketing.

The women of Westlake Village Inn share how they came together to support each other to keep the property alive during the pandemic. 

Maria Solarzano

Director of Sales and Marketing

Due to the low levels in business, we had to eliminate our entire teams in our respective departments, and we were left with skeleton crews to run the property. We all pitched in working in each other’s departments. Supporting each other in every way needed to ensure that we were all successful in meeting our respective goals and ensuring all of our guest’s needs were met and that the hotel’s level of service remained intact. Failure was not an option; we worked together to ensure that Inn would continue to succeed when we came out on the other end. We had some difficult moments, and I am grateful that I had a shoulder to lean on with the women on our team. There weren’t many of us; we banded together through the thick of it all and successfully pulled the property through because we shared a common goal,” said Solarzano.


“The Westlake Village Inn is an extraordinary place. When communicating with our customers through our social media and email marketing, we focused on the beautiful moments that have been shared at the resort and the hope that one day we would be able to welcome them back to continue in those traditions,” she added. “Once that moment came, we created unique experiences that were COVID safe to help people reconnect, relax, and truly take a breath of fresh air without worrying. We are fortunate that the resort is situated on 17 acres, and our guests can experience everything we offer in the open air. I like to say that our property, in many ways was built for this pandemic.” 

Alex Cuilty

Director of Spa & Wellness

“At the Westlake Village Inn, I am lucky enough to work with incredibly intelligent, driven, and capable women. We value each other’s strengths and complement each other’s differences. When the Pandemic hit, we went into survival mode. The Inn, Spa and restaurants are “our village” and the employees who work here are “our family.” It was imperative as women and mothers to protect what we had built and ensure its survival. We thought outside of the traditional norms and got very creative with our to-go food and beverage service, spa treatments outside in private courtyards, and sidewalk boutique sales, to name a few,” explained Cuilty. We made it through and have come out the other side with a stronger following and a heartfelt appreciation for any future success we share. At the Westlake Inn and Spa Relais, we believe when women support each other ……incredible things can happen.”

Tenley Fabian

Founder of Starr Med Spa

“Starr MedSpa and Spa Relais offer something unique. The entire Westlake Village Inn property (of which Spa Relais is a part) is a 17 acre compound in the heart of Westlake Village, and offers a hotel, winery, Italian restaurants, pools, and bar. The property is a hidden gem tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, yet only a short drive into the city. I wanted my patients to have an immersive experience at their appointment. Starr MedSpa patients check in at a gorgeous spa for the day, and spend their time testing out amazing amenities like snow showers and a Himalayan salt sauna. They are able to fully relax and refresh in the Murano Lounge or sit poolside with a fresh juice or cocktail,” shared Fabian.

“Opening my practice during a pandemic was definitely strenuous. Our main goal was to stay open while keeping our patients’ safety as our top priority. We have a wonderful partnership with Spa Relais so fortunately this made the adjustment manageable. . While the main spa amenities were halted due to state and federal restrictions, Starr MedSpa remained open and operational As a medical facility overseen by our wonderful medical director, Dr. Jonathan Sykes, we were exempt from full closure mandates as long as we followed proper federal and state guidelines,” she added. “We reduced the number of patients we saw per day to account for the sanitizing and sterilization we performed between each service Due to the amazing relationship we have with Spa Relais, we were able to stay open and offer our patients our services at reduced cost. We’re truly grateful for the opportunity to have such a cornerstone business as our partner as we move forward out of the pandemic and into some normalcy this year!”

Lisa Biondi

Executive Chef

We all had to very quickly adapt and take on changing roles. As Executive Chef I moved over to The Stonehaus, the one outlet that remained open during the entire pandemic and reworked our menu and to go offerings.  On top of being the head chef, I also became a dishwasher and a food runner to help keep costs at a minimum.  All the managers worked closely to support each other and promote our offerings and most importantly to ensure that employee and customer safety was a priority.

Brianna Foss

Director of Catering 

“During a global pandemic that separated us physically, the women of the Westlake Village Inn Catering department remained unified. Our team made the conscious decision very early on that we would continue to support one another professionally and emotionally, regardless of any major changes or persistent uncertainty. The experience required trust, compassion, and strength. The resilience of our team will forever inspire me,” she said.

Published at Fri, 07 May 2021 15:20:00 +0000

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