Evans Mission Bay Magazine Issue 2 - Page 37

sternwheelers continue to cycle back and forth between the Bahia and the Catamaran today, used not only as a shuttle but also for private events and chartered cruises. In 1995, Evans Hotels purchased The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, reno- vating and reconstructing a large portion to create a brand-new luxury resort with 169 guest rooms. It reopened in 2002 with a prestigious AAA Five Diamond rating and sits alongside the Torrey Pines Golf Course, near picturesque Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. As Evans Hotels has grown, members of the Evans family and other staff members have worked side-by-side with the local community. From political activities and presidential visitors to partnerships with health organizations and supporting com- munity events, they have integrated them- selves into Mission Bay Park, greater San Diego and beyond. “I am immensely proud of what we do and of the relationship we have devel- oped with our staff members and with the public,” Evans says, explaining that her company has brought a stable workforce to Mission Bay and continued to thrive in a service-oriented industry. Castro, an 18-year employee at the Bahia, adds that while the hotels have grown over the years, one thing hasn’t changed with time. “That is our commitment to creating the best possible experience for each of our guests,” he says. “And, as an employee of Evans Hotels, I have become a part of that commitment.” Castro notes that small businesses have come and gone on Mission Bay, but that, overall, the area has remained consistent. “Belmont Park has changed a bit and so has SeaWorld, but they continue to draw many people to this area as do the beach and bay areas themselves,” he says. “We remain a very popular place to bring the family.” THREE DISTINCT DESTINATIONS Each hotel has its own personality, atmo- sphere and style. The founding Bahia Resort Hotel is situated on a 14-acre pen- insula with guest rooms featuring views of the bay or hotel gardens. The light colors and expansive windows add to the seaside vibe, creating a breezy, relaxing environment conducive to winding down. Beachside cabanas are available, and the resort also offers professional tennis lessons, access to nearby water sports, movies by the pool and cookouts on the beach during sum- mer—not to mention seasonal cruises on the Bahia Belle. The Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa is a different environment altogether, with a tropical Polynesian design. The hotel’s theme is implemented in everything from the decor to on-site events. The grounds are filled with lush gardens—tropical plants, waterfalls, koi ponds and talking parrots. Tiki torches and handcrafted Balinese totem poles further add to the ambience. The hotel hosts events like summer sun- set luaus complete with hula dancers and roasted pigs as well as yoga classes, pool- side Polynesian dance lessons, seasonal movies on the bay and cocktail cruises. The Polynesian theme carries over to The Catamaran Spa with South Pacific and Asian-inspired massages and other treat- ments. And Oceana Coastal Kitchen offers bayfront dining and California cuisine made with seasonal, local ingredients. The newest property in the company’s portfolio, The Lodge at Torrey Pines, sits adjacent to the Torrey Pines Golf Course, which hosted the U.S. Open in 2008 and will again in 2021. As expected, the iconic course draws golfers from around the world looking to play on the same challenging greens as the pros. The Lodge was built in the California craftsman style, providing a resort that’s upscale while still blending well with its environment. The Spa at Torrey Pines offers relaxing treatments inspired by the ocean and adjacent Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. And dining options include A.R. Valentien, the Lodge’s signature restaurant, as well as The Grill, which recently underwent a $2.5 million renovation and features an outdoor grill, rotisseries and oven. While each resort has its own appeal and audience, they have one important thing in common according to Evans. “Our hotels have been resources for families and all manner of people seeking rest and relaxation,” she says. “So many people have formed wonderful memories.” n FUN FACTS Learn about the little-known details of Evans Hotels’ properties. BAHIA BELLE This pad- dle-wheel boat has been shut- tling guests between the Bahia Resort Hotel and Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa since the 1960s. Built in 1942, the boat previously ferried personnel between San Diego’s Embarcadero and Navy ships in port. William Evans transformed the boat—originally named the Juanita—into the sternwheeler. CATAMARAN RESORT HOTEL AND SPA The hotel’s unique flora and fauna amplify its Polynesian theme, and the hotel also houses a spe- cial bird room. Currently home to eight parrots and nearly 30 ducks, bird handlers work on-site to train the birds, which are showcased in special presentations during spring and summer. THE LODGE AT TORREY PINES An acclaimed, farm-to-table restau- rant within The Lodge, A.R. Valentien is named for an early 1900s San Diego artist who created impression- ist paintings, pottery and botanical illustrations. In addition to fresh cuisine and a view over- looking the golf course, diners enjoy a collec- tion of art by the restaurant’s iconic namesake. 37