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Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa Welcomes New General Manager

November 12, 2013 Appointments No Comments Email Email

Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa<>, California USA, the only Relais & Châteaux property in Southern California, welcomes General Manager, David Shipman.
An established leader in the hospitality industry, Shipman brings more than 25 years of luxury hotel experience, including past key management positions at the upscale Auberge Du Soleil in Rutherford, California and the Ritz-Carlton in Aspen, Colorado.

“David’s vast experience with a collection of likeminded luxury properties, in addition to his keen understanding of the Rancho Valencia guest, are beneficial attributes to maintaining the high level of excellence that has been set as our standard,” says Jeff Jacobs, owner of Rancho Valencia.Sidebar-Article-Banner-250

Prior to joining Rancho Valencia, Shipman was the managing director of Vintage Inn and Villagio Inn & Spa, two of Napa Valley’s most highly successful, privately owned luxury properties.  Throughout his career, Shipman has proven strong leadership capabilities and expertise in developing and implementing successful plans for hotel openings, the re-structuring of hotel operations, ownership and guest relations, and has paved the way for highly successful property positioning and staff team building.  He has demonstrated to be a strong strategic thinker and leader in a variety of challenging environments and has consistently shown positive performance results by prioritizing owner, guest and employee expectations.  Shipman strongly credits his experiences at Ritz-Carlton for his knowledge, drive, energy, and passion for the hotel business.

As Rancho Valencia’s general manager, Shipman is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day management of the resort’s operations team and upholding the highest level of guest services at the acclaimed destination resort.


Rancho Valencia has also expanded its sales and marketing team.  Alan Palmer joins the team as director of group sales and Mark Phillips will serve as the resort’s director of leisure sales. Palmer and Phillips both bring several successful years of experience in luxury hospitality to the leading destination resort and spa.

As director of group sales, Alan Palmer will direct the overall sales efforts for revenue producing outlets and business segments at Rancho Valencia while directly overseeing the Group Sales and Catering Departments at the resort. Prior to joining Rancho Valencia, Palmer served as director of sales for The Peaks Resort and Spa in Telluride, Colorado, followed by a more recent role as regional director of sales for the Grand Heritage Hotel Group.  At Grand Heritage, Palmer’s role was developing and guiding the sales efforts for five North American properties.  For 13 years, Palmer was the senior international sales and marketing manager at Vail Resorts Management Company, where he oversaw the transient contracting for 13 hotels and three condominium management companies.

At Rancho Valencia, Mark Phillips is responsible for the coordination, sale and execution of special events and programs at Rancho Valencia including tennis, cycling, Yoga, and a variety of wellness retreats and special programming as director of leisure sales.  Phillips has more than two decades of luxury golf and marketing experience at luxury golf clubs and resorts throughout Southern California.  Throughout his career, Phillips has led sales teams at notable luxury properties including The Resort at Pelican Hill, La Costa Resort & Spa and the former Four Seasons Resort, Aviara.  His experience includes managing day-to-day operations of top earning leisure sales teams, as well as implementing successful international wholesale programs at renowned properties.  His experience in international markets and his extensive range of vendor relations makes him a tremendous asset to the Rancho Valencia team.

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