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Sea View Inn Celebrates Earning Travelers' Choice Award

Jun 05, 2021 10:35AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Photo via the Sea View Inn

The Sea View Inn, a longtime landmark in Manhattan Beach, has earned a "Travelers' Choice Award," putting it among the top ten percent of hotels worldwide on

The 38-room Sea View Inn is one of four Manhattan Beach hotels to earn the distinction (including Shade Hotel, Westdrift Hotel, and the Best Western Plus Manhattan Beach).

However, winning this award for the first time this year was particularly sweet for the Sea View Inn, which, like other hotels, has endured one of the worst years ever for the travel industry. 

Jim Murphy, who along with Hal Keasler is a co-owner of the Sea View Inn, said that he was "thrilled" with the award. "We’ve received awards before but not at this magnitude," he told DigMB. "It’s been a challenging year, so I can now add to my resume that I’ve led a hotel through a global pandemic and survived."

The Travelers’ Choice Award (formerly the Certificate of Excellence) recognizes businesses that earn consistently great traveler reviews. Approximately 10% of businesses listed on Tripadvisor receive a Travelers’ Choice award.

To qualify for Travelers’ Choice, a business must maintain an overall Tripadvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have received a minimum number of reviews in the 12-month period that the data was analyzed, and been listed on Tripadvisor for at least 1 year.

“I know the past year has been extremely challenging for tourism businesses," said Kanika Soni, chief commercial officer at Tripadvisor. "What has impressed me is how businesses adapted to these challenges, implementing new cleanliness measures, adding social distancing guidelines, and utilizing technology to prioritize guest safety. The Travelers’ Choice Awards highlight the places that are consistently excellent - delivering quality experiences time and time again even while navigating changing customer expectations and new ways of working. Based on a full year of reviews from customers, this award speaks to the great service and experience [Travelers' Choice hotels] provided guests in the midst of a pandemic.”

Making Changes to Adapt to COVID

Murphy said that he was proud that the Sea View Inn was able to stay open throughout the pandemic and did not rely on federal aid.

From the start of the pandemic, the hotel had to adapt to circumstances to ensure that they were keeping all rooms and guests COVID-safe. Among other new routines, they began using an Ozonator (an ozone generator that is used to purify air and disinfect rooms) in every room before a new guest arrived.

In the past, while the hotel might have been more lax about the checkout time, they had to stick firmly by the 11:00 a.m. deadline to allow enough time to do thorough sanitizing before another guest came in, said Murphy.

During the pandemic, many of the initial guests were health care and frontline workers who had come to work at local hospitals and needed a place to stay. Then gradually, the hotel started getting visitors from California, then from Nevada and Arizona, then from the Midwest, and now from all across the U.S.

In past years, the Sea View Inn has been popular among French visitors because it had been featured in a prominent French travel magazine, said Murphy, but visitors from France have not started coming back yet.

Nevertheless, he added, the hotel has been sold out the past few weekends and gradually weekdays are filling up in the summer as well.

Murphy said that what makes the Sea View Inn unique is its proximity to the beach (almost all of the rooms have ocean views; some with panoramic views) and its ability to let guests feel like locals.

"We encourage people to live like a local. We have free bikes, free boogie boards, seats, chairs, umbrellas, beach towels, toys... They can take those things out, enjoy the day, come back up here, go to a bar or restaurant, and have everything within walking distance. That’s really what sets us apart," he said.

Keasler has owned the hotel for 41 years; Murphy joined as a partner 12 years ago.

Located at 3400 Highland Ave., the Sea View Inn has been a fixture of the North Manhattan Beach community for more than a generation.

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