Awards Program Entry Information

In keeping with the California Lodging Industry Association’s desire to “honor its own,” the “Excellence in Lodging & Hospitality” Awards are presented annually to recognize the best in lodging management, operations, and hospitality services within the CLIA membership. The Excellence in Lodging & Hospitality Awards, created by the 1998 CLIA Board of Directors include: Excellence in Lodging and Hospitality for the Property/Owner or Operator; and Excellence in Lodging and Hospitality by a Staff Person.

The Excellence Awards are presented each year to industry members who have achieved outstanding levels of excellence within the lodging industry. Winners are formally saluted at the CLIA Annual Membership Meeting each year. Honorees are also recognized in various lodging and hospitality trade publications.

Members may submit the name of the CLIA member property in the name of the specific owner/operator nominee(s). The property must be a CLIA member in good standing at the time of the nomination and the award. Members may also nominate themselves and their own property.

How to Enter
Each year, CLIA will announce a Call for Entries and make an entry form available in late spring or early summer or click here to download a copy. You can also contact CLIA at (916) 925-2915 or for a copy. Deadlines usually occur in summer for the award in the fall.

The judges in each category are dedicated, professional, California lodging owners and operators. Judges look at each entry with some questions in mind: Does it have well-defined goals and objectives? What is unique or exemplary about the entry? Does it meet the category criteria? What results were achieved? Does the entry show “excellence” in innovation, creativity, dedication, or management? In-depth instructions and qualifications are available on the entry form.

Entry categories:

  1. The Community Services Award recognizes leadership and dedication in service to the community, whether, local or state, social services or business related, or some combination of efforts that bring favorable image and recognition to the owner or operator, and to the property; and provide a substantial and meaningful benefit to the community. May recognize a unique and specific, significant accomplishment or career-long dedication to community action and progress.
  2. The Construction and Refurbishment Award recognizes excellence in designing and erecting, or remodeling, refurbishing and upgrading a member lodging property in California, and completed within the last two years. This considers design innovation and construction, location, theme, technology, unique character or decoration, or a combination of efforts to create an unusual ambiance and style and/or comfort and convenience, which make the property successful, appealing and a hospitality leader.
  3. The Employment Relations and Staff Development Award recognizes dedication by the owner/operator to hire, train, motivate, and reward employees through a comprehensive program. Achievements may include the development of personnel policies and procedures, training manuals and educational programs, and incentive or motivational efforts that recognize and reward employee performance.
  4. The Sales and Marketing Award recognizes a unique or especially effective marketing plan or program that significantly improved occupancy, revenue or market share. Includes direct mail, advertising, discounts or value added features, direct sales, special promotions, collateral materials and other elements of successful lodging property marketing.
  5. The Visitor and Guest Services Award honors special and unique services, a standard of excellence in welcoming and assisting guests throughout their stay, the creation of inclusions, amenities or features that make the property–and the guests visit–especially pleasant. The staff goes well beyond the “call of duty” to provide truly superior service every day.
  6. Outstanding Lodging Staff Person Award recognizes an outstanding lodging property staff person for his or her dedication to meeting, greeting and serving guests to the property. This individual takes initiative in providing service and comfort to guests; represents the property in a positive manner; has provided special services in unusual circumstances. Works well with other staff to instill and convey the need for and importance of exemplary guest services. This person is a truly special, outstanding and valued employee.

The Education & Scholarship Committee oversees the “Excellence in Lodging & Hospitality” Awards. For more information, contact CLIA at (916) 925-2915 or

Prior Award Recipients


2017 – Portola Hotel & Spa – Monterey
2016 – Hotel Nikko – San Francisco
2016 – SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel – Pismo Beach
2015 – Inn at Temescal – Oakland
2014 – Redwood Riverwalk Hotel – Fortuna
2014 – – San Francisco
2014 – Joseph Fan – Brighton Management
2013 – Hotel Vue – Mountain View
2012 – SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel – Pismo Beach
2009 – Mariposa Inn & Suites – Monterey
2008 – Joie De Vivre Hospitality
2007 – GAIA Napa Valley Hotel and Spa – Napa
2006 – Drakesbad Guest Ranch – Chester
2005 – Bay Landing Hotel – Burlingame
2004 – Best Western Hilltop Inn, Redding, Stephen H. Gaines, Owner
2003 – Comfort Suites Antioch-Oakley, Ramesh Patel, Owner
2002 – Holiday Inn Express Fortuna
2001 – Holiday Inn Costa Mesa, Hanford Hotels, Inc.
2000 – Holiday Inn Express, Morgan Hill, El Toro Group, LLC

Lodging Staff Persons

2017 – Nicole Moore SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel – Pismo Beach
2016 – Chris Morano, Fountaingrove Inn & Conference Center – Santa Rosa
2014 – Katia Camarena
2013 – Beverly Silva – Hilton Garden Inn
2013 – Marco Fiorini – Gaia Napa Valley Hotel & Spa – American Canyon
2008 – Parag Vedawala, Menlo Park Inn – Menlo Park
2007 – Elba Mora, Holiday Inn Express – Oakland Airport
2006 – Danielle Stock, Best Western Shelter Cove Lodge – Pismo Beach
2005 – Shawna Smith, Best Western Garden Court & Inn – Fresno
2004 – Oscar Guzman, Director of Restaurants & Banquets, Holiday Inn Costa Mesa
2003 – Renoo Tyra, Executive Housekeeper, Maple Tree Inn, Sunnyvale
2001 – Darcy Watson, Front Desk Agent, Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort, Tahoe Vista
2000 – Stephanie Wansek, General Manager, Cardinal Hotel, Palo Alto