La Valencia’s new general manager Troy Longwith wants your stories

new general manager troy longwith poses in front of la valencia hallway wearing blue suit

Most everyone in La Jolla has a story about the La Valencia Hotel, whether it’s a celebration, a leisurely outdoor brunch, a drink at the bar or another experience.

The hotel’s new general manager, Troy Longwith, has taken on the role to shepherd the Pink Lady into its centennial celebration in 2026 and beyond, but is most delighted to hear the memories its visitors have to share.

Longwith started Jan 2, bringing with him more than 30 years working in luxury hospitality venues in Seattle.

“It’s a big move from Seattle to San Diego, … the only place I would ever leave Seattle for,” he said.

The opportunity to take on the management of La Valencia was “serendipitous,” he said. “I was very fortunate.”

Since arriving, Longwith has been enamored of the stories he’s heard from people, including couples wed at the property whose parents were also married there a generation ago, friends who met over a business lunch at the lounge or families who vacation at the hotel year after year.

“It’s all connected,” Longwith said. “A great thing about this community [is there are] so many memories and traditions.”

Longwith commends the existing La Valencia team “and how committed they are to being the best that they can,” he said. “We want to shine to all those folks who have choices.”

His running the La Valencia aligns with his prior work at The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, “the most historic hotel in Seattle” also on the cusp of its centennial, Longwith said. 

Longwith plans to maintain and honor La Valencia’s role in La Jolla’s history while also helping guide it into the future, which includes using technology to enhance the hotel’s operation, he said.

It’s also building management, Longwith said, noting La Jolla’s had some rain recently – no strange thing for a Seattle native – and he’s been learning how the water flows and “the intricacies of an older building.”

That management will also balance preservation and maintenance with upgrade and replacement: “Even when you [install] new furniture, new design elements, it still has to feel like the past,” Longwith said.  

Having visited San Diego previously for meetings and conferences, Longwith is now looking forward to immersing himself in the local community and getting involved in La Jolla as La Valencia carries on towards its 100th year as one of the top hotels in La Jolla. 

Before that, however, Longwith is proud to be part of several projects at La Valencia.

The first was the Feb 16 reopening of The Whaling Bar, the iconic cocktail lounge that closed in 2013 and had locals clamoring for its return.

“From a hotelier standpoint, who wouldn’t want to reintroduce The Whaling Bar back into the community?” Longwith said.

He’s also looking forward to the hotel’s addition of a spa, currently in the construction phase with the goal to open by the end of the year.

“We’re very excited about that brand-new amenity,” he said.

A renovation of La Valencia’s lobby and La Sala lounge is also underway, also with an estimated reveal at the end of the year, and the property is looking to update and develop its retail storefront on Prospect Street.

“We expect to be busier now,” Longwith said, “so it’s really important that we can can handle that extra level of business and have it be an outlet where whether you’re having a drink at The Whaling Bar or in the La Sala lounge [it’s] two different experiences with the same high quality service.”

And planning for the centennial? It’s “on the horizon,” Longwith said. “I think we’ll have a lot to talk about.”

Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.
Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.

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