Feel the Warmth

Holiday Inn Express & Suites and Staybridge Suites: two great hotels, one convenient location


Whether you are an extended-stay guest or a one-night leisure traveler, Holiday Inn Express & Suites and Staybridge Suites are ready to accommodate you. Both hotels have trained their staff in a customer service-focused culture. Guests feel the warmth immediately upon arrival and throughout their stay.

The hotels, both with the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), were opened in May 2009 at Weber and South Padre Island Drive. They share a parking lot and are managed by ZJZ Hospitality Inc. Both hotels won TripAdvisor Excellence Awards in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

These accomplishments do not come without strong management and leaders. The two general managers, Julie Johnson and Kaushik (Charlie) Bhakta, are constantly providing their employees with extensive team training programs.

“We have a stellar training program that gets detailed to each department’s needs,” Bhakta said. They also help build morale with the employees by being very involved in the community. “We love to get our employees involved with community events,” Johnson added. “As of recently, we all participated in March for Babies walk.”

Johnson has been in the hospitality industry since 1994, occupying every position from front desk to housekeeping. She began her career at ZJZ Hospitality in 1998 as a front desk clerk at Best Western Ocean Villa, and she was promoted to general manager of Holiday Inn Express & Suites-Port Aransas, another ZJZ Hospitality property, in 2005. She is currently the general manager of Holiday Inn Express & Suites-Corpus Christi.

Bhakta began his hospitality career in 1989. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from New Mexico State University in 1993. He purchased and operated his first hotel in 1994 in Alamagordo, N.M.  In 2006, he became part owner and general manager of Holiday Inn Airport-Corpus Christi. He is currently the general manager of Staybridge Suites-Corpus Christi.

Although these properties share quite a bit in common, they vary dramatically in the guests they attract and prospect. Staybridge Suites is built and designed as an upscale extended-stay hotel. It is ideal for travelers seeking a residential-style hotel perfect for business, relocation and vacations. Holiday Inn Express & Suites attracts business travelers, family vacationers and those simply looking to relax. They provide their guests with quality and convenience.

To promote themselves, these top-notch hotels rely on an aggressive sales and marketing team. So we meet their sales team: Amelia Isaminger and Amanda Tijerina.

Isaminger is the director of sales at Staybridge Suites-Corpus Christi. Business is ever evolving due to new technology, new markets and dynamic supply/demand factors. As a consistently effective salesperson, Isaminger understands that staying current with these issues will foster sound, strategic planning. “Every day, I work diligently in developing high-value, qualified clients, as well as reinforcing existing relationships,” said Isaminger, who brings to Staybridge a proactive personality and work style.

Tijerina is the sales manager for Holiday Inn Express & Suites-Corpus Christi. She has been striving to get new business and, like Isaminger, to keep current client relationships happy. Tijerina is also the chair of the networking committee for Young Business Professionals of the Coastal Bend. “I feel that enhancing my own effectiveness and marketability by being involved with community organizations and events will help the property I represent to be promoted, as well,” she said.

Together, Isaminger and Tijerina will achieve and grow local accounts and global partnerships. These women will make the two hotels “fabulously strong.”

Using the shared geography as an advantage, Holiday Inn Express & Suites and Staybridge Suites have made their nearness to their benefit. By putting their guests first, they have grown strong account partnerships, strong team member morale, strong leaders and a strong relationship within the community. By having two great hotels in one location, there is no end to what the team may accomplish together.

ZJZ Hospitality Inc.

For more information, contact Amanda Tijerina at 361-857-7772 or amanda@zjzhospitality.com. You may also look for the hotels on Facebook: www.facebook.com/hiexpresscc for Holiday Inn Express & Suites, and www.facebook.com/staybridgecc.com for Staybridge Suites.

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