Best of the Beach 2022: Hotel
Shade, Manhattan Beach
When Shade Hotel opened in downtown Manhattan Beach a dozen years ago, it did more than provide the area the first truly boutique hotel for visitors. Shade was the anchor for the Metlox project, a development 20 years in the making, and the hotel quickly became a gathering point for the entire community. Shade has remained the go-to place for non-profit fundraisers, various farm-to-table celebrations, and beer and wine festivals, as well as a late night place to meet friends for a drink and a meal.
Together with its sister Shade Redondo, it has managed to pull off something fairly unique in the hospitality industry: the hotels are a draw to both travelers and locals. There’s a lot of reasons why this is so, from the Zinc bar to the thoughtful architecture, but owner Mike Zislis says there’s one overarching thing that sets Shade apart.
“I’m very proud of my staff,” Zislis said. “It’s really just the team that makes it so great. I can design the menus and rooms and colors and name, but at the end of the day it’s the staff that makes me win.”
Each employee abides by an ethos that Zislis thinks has grown rare in customer service: Shade employees say yes. Zislis said Shade hires what are known in the industry as “51 percenters,” people with a high “hospitality quotient” (HQ) whose skills are 49 percent technical and 51 percent emotional. These are folks whose greatest pleasure in life is not only doing their jobs well, but doing so in a way others feel good.
“Whatever the customer wants, whatever makes them happy….We are very accommodating. And that is hospitality, the last I checked.”
Both hotels are within walking distance of fine dining and their town’s respective piers. The hotels provide complimentary light blue Strand cruisers for rides along the Pacific Ocean and beach chairs and umbrellas for lounging in the sand. Each room comes with a jacuzzi, the perfect way to unwind after a long day at the beach.
655 N. Harbor Dr.
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
1221 N. Valley Dr.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266