Photography By: Bhadri Kubendran
Photography By: Bhadri Kubendran

Think Like A Local: An Expert’s Advice to Enjoying the Best of San Diego

The VP of Sales and Marketing for the Evans Hotels Is All About the SoCal Lifestyle

Written By: Nicole Hakim Lodge at Torrey Pines
Photographed By: Bhadri Kubendran Lodge at Torrey Pines

Expert: Ilsa Butler Lodge at Torrey Pines
Credentials: Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Evans Hotels and The Lodge at Torrey Pines

 Q: What inspired you to work in the hotel industry?

Ilsa Butler: I relocated from New York shortly after graduating college and was lucky to have a friend and mentor who was a tourism sales and marketing executive here in San Diego. I can’t think of a better way to become oriented to a new city than working in the hotel industry first-hand. It forced me on the fast track of learning all I could about San Diego as a destination, and of course our own collection within Evans Hotels: the Bahia Resort Hotel, Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa and our AAA Five Diamond hotel, The Lodge at Torrey Pines. They are quintessential San Diego and Southern California lifestyle—known for the best of beach and golf.                                     

Q: What is your favorite aspect of your job?

IB: Inspiring others and being an integral part of the growth of not only our company, but the growth and career successes of so many employees over the years. 

Q: What sort of challenges have you faced during your time as VP of Sales and Marketing?

IB: Riding the wave of economic changes, I’ve been through several cycles, the rapid changes in the digital revolution and staying innovative in the ways we communicate to the consumer. I see these challenges as opportunities for our company and my own personal growth as well. 

Q: How do you make sure the hotel runs smoothly?

IB: Having a great team of dynamic leaders that are just as passionate about the success of the hotels as I am.   

Q: Where is your favorite place to travel to and why?

IB: I have many favorites, but one that has stuck in my mind over the years is Florence, Italy. I love the people, architecture and the birthplace of gelato (I always got two a day). Plus, it was my first real experience travelling abroad with a local, like a local. It’s so different than being a tourist. I recommend those thinking of visiting San Diego to speak to our locals and explore it like a local. There are many hidden gems and unique neighborhoods to be discovered. 

Q: When you’re not working, what do you like to do in your spare time?

IB: I enjoy living the San Diego lifestyle by playing golf, visiting our beautiful beaches and catching sunsets whenever possible. I’m also an animal lover, and start off every morning by walking my dog.

And the Award Goes To…Butler has received the HSMAI’s Gold Key Award for “Sales Person of the Year.”

Busy Bee: Butler has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from State University New York (SUNY).

Evans Hotels

Photoshoot Location:
The Lodge at Torrey Pines
11480 N Torrey Pines Rd
La Jolla, CA 92037

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