Downtown inn upholds relaxed, personal experience with longtime staff
By the City of Dana Point, Special to the Dana Point Times
Sitting atop Dana Point’s bluffs is a quaint haven with a New England feel—fittingly designed for the city bearing the name of Massachusetts native Richard Henry Dana Jr.
The Blue Lantern Inn opened its doors in 1990. Situated at the end of Blue Lantern Street, this 29-room boutique hotel packages the warmth, comfort and amenities of home into a seaside getaway.
Since opening, the inn has remained relatively unchanged but has undergone modifications as its revamped bathrooms have been joined by Wi-Fi upgrades and high-definition televisions throughout the hotel. They are seemingly small updates that have enhanced the Blue Lantern’s simple allure and kept visitors coming back, said Lin McMahon, Dana Point resident and 19-year manager of the Blue Lantern.
“I don’t think we could duplicate our feel anywhere else,” McMahon said, of the Blue Lantern Inn—one of 16 hotels under the direction of Four Sisters Inns, which manages boutique inns throughout California.
And although many of the Four Sisters’ locations offer similar sweeping Pacific Ocean views, the Blue Lantern Inn has set itself apart when it comes to serving its guests.
Since opening, the small inn has seen little staff member turnover—creating a family feel amongst employees. In fact, the inn has employed family members from the start including two of McMahon’s children, who attended Dana Hills High School, and a local family of three generations that saw grandpa, Frank, in maintenance, mom, Virginia, as chef and now son and grandson, Conor, as a houseman.
“I am really very blessed with my staff because most of them have been here from three to seven, eight or nine years.” McMahon said of the Blue Lantern’s 30 full- and part-time employees, many living locally.
McMahon estimates that 60 percent of the inn’s guests are repeat visitors who have not only taken a liking to the Blue Lantern Inn but also to Dana Point’s offerings.
Blue Lantern Inn
34343 Street of the Blue Lantern