From practicing acupuncture to successful hotel management

  • GreenTree Inn Alhambra's upgraded hotel room. All photos by Phoenix Tso.

  • Eva Ku (right) and friend in GreenTree Inn Alhambra's spacious lobby.

Location

Alhambra , CA United States

Three years ago, GreenTree Inn & Suites Alhambra’s current owner, Eva Ku, was in a different place careerwise.

An immigrant from Taiwan, Ku studied acupuncture at Alhambra Medical University. After becoming a licensed acupuncturist, she managed an eastern medicine clinic for 3 years, close to GreenTree’s location, formerly known as the Alhambra Inn.

“The previous owners managed the hotel poorly, and they wanted to sell it,” Ku said. She was interested in the challenge of fixing up the Alhambra Inn, which was in an older, run-down building and upgrading its service. So two-and-a-half years ago, she bought the hotel and renovated it.

Adding the GreenTree brand helped immensely with the hotel’s remodeling. As the 14th largest hotel brand in the world, GreenTree promotes environmentally friendly hotels. GreenTree Inn & Suites Alhambra fits that bill, providing energy-reducing LED lighting, eco-friendly packaging for soaps and lotions, and recyclable paper plates, cups and cutlery.

Other upgrades include newly remodeled rooms with flat-screen televisions. Some have personal jacuzzis with multi-colored light displays. All guests have fast Wi-Fi and access to a business center and swimming pool.

The biggest draw of the hotel, however, is its proximity to Los Angeles and its tourist attractions. “Some guests want to stay in a quieter area, or save some money by staying at a hotel that’s high-quality, so they’ll come and find us,” Ku said.

While the hotel is convenient for Chinese tourists, the majority GreenTree Inn Alhambra’s clientele are non-Chinese, with people coming from all over the United States, as well as Europe, India and other countries. Ku thinks of this as an opportunity for Alhambra.

“My hope is that the more people who come in from outside, the more people will understand Alhambra and all it has to offer,” she said.

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