Betty Zelaya is the front desk supervisor of HI Santa Monica, which is part of the Hostelling International USA (HI USA) collection of hostels. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, and attended Los Angeles Trade-Technical College.
Working for the non-profit since October 2010, Betty was drawn to the cultural diversity of travelers who frequented the location and knew she wanted to build a career in the hospitality industry.
Quickly developing a knack for making guests feel comfortable with Santa Monica, it was only a matter of time before Betty became recognized as the hostel’s city ambassador. Answering questions, offering advice on cool attractions in the area, and helping to arrange fun activities like biking on the Santa Monica boardwalk or taking trips to the Griffith Park Observatory are a just few ways in which she assists her guests. But the most rewarding part of her job is being able to create memorable experiences for others, then hearing the feedback about the amazing adventures she recommended.
Betty’s goal in life is to make a difference in the world. She feels her work with HI USA caters to international exchanges that ultimately create powerful ripples in other peoples’ lives. She prides herself on providing a hostel with a welcoming and friendly staff that is ready to help guests enjoy their stay in the beachside community.
She hopes to travel the world in her lifetime, and has a special place in her heart for San Francisco. Each day Betty collects suggestions and recommendations from her international visitors and adds them to her bucket list of places to visit. In the meantime, she is all too happy to create a “home away from home” for her guests.
Year born: 1990
City: Los Angeles, CA
Background: Los Angeles Trade Technical College
Profession: Front Desk Lead
Tools of the Trade: Microsoft Word, Google Chrome, Room Master, Gmail