Robert Hendricks, The Lodge at Tiburon
Business of the Month – Robert Hendricks, The Lodge at Tiburon
Some people look at their commute to work as a big drudge. Robert Hendricks, new Area General Manager for The Lodge at Tiburon, thinks of the drive from his East Bay home to Tiburon as pure luxury.
“When I come across the Richmond Bridge, it’s one of the prettiest drives I’ve ever been on,” he says, “and even if I’m stopped in traffic, there’s always something gorgeous to look at.”
After the Oakland native graduated from Skyline High School, he earned his degree with a major in philosophy and minor in communications from the University of San Francisco in 1995.
He put himself through college by working at a Wells Fargo Bank in the city and thinking he would go on to law school. However, while at the bank, he opened some accounts for people at the Ritz-Carlton, a 5-star, 5-diamond hotel, considered one of the top 10 hotels in the U.S., and they recruited him, after graduation, to run their front desk. A short time later, he was promoted to evening manager, then housekeeping manager and finally front office manager.
“I’ve always been interested in people,” he says. “I love the hospitality business and welcoming guests.” Over the years, he has met many celebrities, including three U.S. Presidents – Carter, H. W. Bush and Clinton – as well as entertainers such as the Rolling Stones and Cindy Crawford.
Four years later, he became Front Office Director at Sofitel Hotels, then he opened a new Hilton in Santa Clara as Assistant General Manager. He also was Revenue Manager for four of its hotels. “That wasn’t as exciting as working with people,” he says, “but I love math and I’m good at using Excel.” In covering the four spots, he spent many hours driving from one hotel to another, giving him the chance to indulge in one of his passions – singing in his tenor voice.
Another of his passions is the outdoors, so when he moved to Nevada to open Whitney Peak, a luxury boutique hotel in Reno, he was able to enjoy the nearby hiking and skiing the area offered. This hotel is known as having the largest attached climbing wall in the world – 16 floors, 165-feet high.
“When I climbed it myself,” Rob says, “I had just arrived after a long drive and was already tired, and I got to the point where I couldn’t push myself another inch. But someday I will conquer!”
Leaving Reno, Rob returned to the Bay Area via the Hotel de Anza in San Jose. When this art deco style landmarks hotel was built in 1931, it was the only luxury hotel between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Back in the days when few people knew how to swim, it had a swimming pool.
Holding a brown belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, Rob still takes lessons from the Charles Gracie Academy, and he also coaches kids in martial arts. He and his wife, Catherine, have three daughters and one son, ranging from 6-years-old to college age.
Now that he’s with the Procaccianti Company, Rob is Area General Manager for The Lodge and also the Toll House Hotel in Los Gatos.
When he arrived in Tiburon last November, the Lodge was just wrapping up its five-million-dollar renovation with extensive work done in every meeting room and all 103 guest rooms, new technology in most rooms and a thorough cleaning throughout, including the hotel’s restaurant, Tiburon Tavern.
Recently, the job of running the Tavern was taken over by Luna Blu owners, Renzo and Crystal Azzarello, and Rob is excited about offering quality food to his guests. The plan is to reopen Tiburon Tavern in mid-to-late July.
One of the first things Rob did after arriving here was to join the Destination Tiburon Board. “People here are smart and have a passion for the town,” he says. “I am very impressed with that.”
Rob says he can see the “light at the end of the tunnel” as far as the pandemic goes. “We started the year in Tiburon running at 15-percent capacity,” he says, “and last week we were at 85-percent.”
The busiest times for The Lodge are the weekends, with friends and relatives visiting locals and vacationers staying to enjoy all this area has to offer. Rob feels Tiburon is the best of all worlds: “We are near the city but also near the Wine Country – without the crowds of San Francisco,” he says. “We have a pool and hot tub, offer bikes to clients, have beautiful views and super friendly people.”
In explaining how he feels about Tiburon, Rob says, “I expect it’s a lot like the way Dorothy felt when she woke up in the Land of Oz.”
The Lodge at Tiburon
1651 Tiburon Blvd, Tiburon, CA