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Stay Well
and Thrive

A Heritage Of Hospitality

CB Patel purchased his first hotel, the Rancho Dolores Motel, in 1976. Known as a gracious host among his family and friends, Patel’s genuine desire to make people happy became the cornerstone of his success as a hotelier.

His commitment to service excellence continues to define the guest experience at Stay Cal Hospitality.



Our Team

Stay Cal has united an all-star team of seasoned hospitality leaders who are redefining the business.

Hiten Suraj

President & CEO

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Hiten Suraj

A second-generation hotelier known for his business acumen and ingenuity, president & CEO Hiten Suraj has successfully reconceptualized his father’s original roadside motel into Stay Cal Hotels – a contemporary collection of distinctive properties.

In recent years, he has expanded the portfolio to include eight independent and branded hotels, with additional properties in the pipeline. Mr. Suraj excels at turning under-performing hotels into profit leaders and providing opportunities to highly qualified hotel leaders to operate hotels in destinations with high barriers of entry markets in California.

“I want our hotels to inspire guests to live in the moment, when anything is possible. We aim to revitalize travelers by appealing to their five senses and opening them up to new experiences,” Suraj explains.

Stay Cal’s stylish hotels offer the comforts of home and value-added amenities to provide the ultimate guest experience in coveted locations throughout California.

Jimmy Palmer

Chief Operations Officer

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Jimmy Palmer

Jimmy Palmer brings 25 years of senior leadership experience with luxury hotel brands, such as Four Seasons, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and US independent hotels, to his new role as Chief Operations Officer for Stay Cal Hotels.

“We’ve embarked on a transformational journey to expand and elevate Stay Cal Hotels. Service excellence is essential to the repositioning of our brand. With his blue-chip experience opening and operating four, five star hotels and Five Diamond hotels, Palmer is providing the foundation for exceptional guest satisfaction at all of our hotels,” says Hiten Suraj, CEO and president of Stay Cal Hotels.

Palmer is passionate about creating best-in-class service standards and operating procedures. He curates a “culture of excellence” in which guests enjoy gracious, intuitive service beyond expectations.

He explains, “A hotel’s most valuable asset is its people. The building is just bricks and mortar, team members are the heart and soul that define the guest experience.”

Kenea Bains

Outside General Counsel

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Kenea Bains

For more than 20 years, Kenea Bains of Bains Law, Inc. has provided legal guidance to Hiten Suraj, president & CEO of Stay Cal Hotels, regarding the acquisition, development, construction and operation of hotel properties.

She is particularly adept at navigating the challenges of building new properties in destinations with high barriers of entry. Her expertise includes site selection and inspections, terms of purchase, and the ability to obtain city and county permits.

Bains holds a law degree from Golden Gate University as well as a California Real Estate license. In addition, she brings a business background in hospitality industry and a passion for real estate to her services for Stay Cal Hotel.

Chrissy Kittson

Director of Design

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Chrissy Kittson

Director of Design Chrissy Kittson brings her fresh and fashionable imprint to Stay Cal Hotels. Her design philosophy celebrates each hotel’s heritage and location with a playful, contemporary style that is timeless.

“Design is central to the guest experience. It provides the ‘sense of arrival’ and sets the tone for the stay. While there must always be balance, comfort and functionality  a touch of whimsy helps defines a hotel’s personality,” say Chrissy Kittson.

Stay Cal President & CEO Hiten Suraj and Kittson have collaborated on several of the brand’s lifestyle hotels. Their work includes Cameron’s Inn in Half Moon Bay with its tasteful nod to the British Empire, The Row Hotel in San Jose and the Stone Villa Inn in San Mateo. In Fall 2019, the Rancho Dolores Motel will relaunch as The Catrina exuding sleek and exhibiting…Spanish flair.

Maria Cisneros

Sales Manager

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Maria Cisneros

For more than a decade, Maria Cisneros has helped establish Stay Cal Hospitality’s reputation for gracious service and seamless stays at hotels in popular destinations throughout Northern California.

Her dedication to details and genuine desire to make every guest interaction count has propelled her upward mobility within the hospitality brand.

In May 2019, she was promoted to sales manager after serving as assistant manager and front desk clerk during her 10-year tenure with Stay Cal.

In her position as Sales Manager, she is the sales contact for all Stay Cal properties. In addition to responding to all inquiries, she proactively prospects new clients and represents the brand at tradeshows. She has developed a loyal following of repeat clients, including corporate and sports groups.

Cisneros’ customer service and innate leadership skills are enhanced by her fluency in both English and Spanish.

She is active within the community and has supported the Women in Business Association.

Cole Strombom

Director of Real Estate & Development

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Cole Strombom

Cole Strombom brings a wide range of real estate experience to the Stay Cal Hospitality team. He is a licensed Real Estate Broker and previously spent over 5 years working at SWENSON, one of the largest family-owned real estate development and construction firms in the Bay Area. During his tenure, Cole was responsible for leading and managing each component of real estate investment and development which included property acquisitions and dispositions, financing, planning & entitlements, property management and construction management. He was also responsible for overhauling the management and operations of two Bay Area motels which increased the existing income by more than 3x.

Cole is a Bay Area native – He was raised in San Carlos and attended Junipero Serra High School which is a short walk from our office here in San Mateo. He continued his education at Sonoma State University where he earned a degree in Business Management.


Stay green

Stay Cal’s philosophy is based on respect for its guests and team members as well as support for the communities where we operate.

Stay Green is dedicated to energy and water conservation and waste management. We are continually developing strategic partnerships to conserve the environment and enhance the well-being of our fellow citizens.

A few of our environmental initiatives include


Donation of used soap bars and other bathroom amenities to Clean the World, which recycles them so they can be used by those in need.


Compact fluorescent light bulbs to conserve energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions.


Housekeeping donates all linens no longer used by the hotel to local shelters.


Water-efficient showerheads and tap aerators.