Tehmina Adaya

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Tehmina (Tamie) Adaya is a hotel/real estate manager and music industry entrepreneur in the Los Angeles area.

Early life[edit]

Tehmina (Tamie) Adaya is the youngest daughter of real estate tycoon and philanthropist Ahmed Adaya (1927–2006). Tehmina moved to Los Angeles when she was 12 years, attended the Harvard-Westlake School then attended UC Berkeley and UCLA, where she majored in History.

Business ventures[edit]

Adaya manages a commercial and real estate portfolio through the Adaya Family Trust.[1] She is the current President and CEO of Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica, which is a family owned boutique hotel that was purchased by her father in the 1980s. She took over this position in 2004 and proceeded to re-brand the hotel with an extensive renovation.[2] This remodel has garnered the hotel a number of awards from Oyster.com.[3]

Adaya established the indie music record label So Sweet Records in 2005, which is recognized as a pioneer in the new music industry establishment.[4][unreliable source?]

In addition to running the Hotel Shangri-la, as of 2010 she also owns and operates the Santa Monica based artist collective Crown Jewels while simultaneously posting to the travel vertical as a Huffington Post blogger.

Discrimination suit[edit]

In 2010, Adaya was sued under California's civil rights law for discrimination based on anti-Semitism.[5] The case alleged that on July 11, 2010, Adaya abruptly halted a charitable event at her hotel's pool organized by the Friends of the Israel Defense Force (FIDF), which was fundraising for the children of fallen IDF soldiers. Adaya purportedly ordered hotel staff to shutdown the event, using anti-Semitic language.[6] A former employee testified that Adaya feared her family, who are Muslim, would disown her if they found out a Jewish event had taken place at the hotel.[7] Adaya reportedly yelled "Get the [expletive] Jews out of my pool!"[8]

In court documents, Adaya denied any discrimination, and argued that while the group may have thought they had arranged for the party, no agreement had been made with the hotel’s management, and therefore the plaintiffs were trespassing.[5] However, the Plaintiffs claimed that all the arrangements had been made in advance and staff at the hotel had set up a check-in table and had roped off the area for the event, and that the day before the pool party, “the head of hotel security gave a briefing to the staff to prepare them for the crowd of 150 that were expected to attend.” [9] Adaya rebutted that no space would have been roped off, as the time period of the incident was a prime time for all hotel guests to enjoy the pool space and therefore would not have been reserved for any separate parties.[10]

Adaya denied the charges against her, saying at one point “I did not, how could I? My family knows I have so many Jewish friends.” [11]

After deliberating for a week, a jury found Adaya liable and subject to a financial penalty of an estimated $1.2 Million.[12][13][14] At a subsequent hearing, the jury awarded the plaintiffs an addition $400,000 in punitive damages. In reviewing the finding of liability, Judge H. Chester Horn Jr. noted that the jury “has given credence” to the descriptions of her behavior on the day of the event. The awards were made in varying amounts to a group of plaintiffs that included 18 individuals and an events company, Platinum Events, which had worked with the hotel to set up the event.[15]

Ellen Adelman, the hotel’s chief business development officer stated “We’re terribly disappointed in the verdict, and we’re going to appeal” and further stated that Ms. Adaya has “always shown the utmost respect to me as well as to my Jewish colleagues who work at the hotel.” [15]

Personal life[edit]

Adaya resides in Santa Monica, California with her husband and their three children.


  1. ^ http://www.ballantinespr.com/bpr_blogw/?p=492
  2. ^ "Tehmina Adaya Guides Santa Monica Icon, Hotel Shangri-La, Through $30 million Renovation". Hotel Online. March 24, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  3. ^ "Hotel Shangri La Santa Monica — Hotel Review". Oyster.com. December 18, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  4. ^ http://youtellconcerts.com/?p=693
  5. ^ a b "Santa Monica hotel faces discrimination lawsuit". Los Angeles Times. July 23, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  6. ^ "Anti-Semitism trial begins against upscale S. Calif. hotel". Digital Journal. July 30, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  7. ^ "Muslim Hotel Owner in California Defends Herself Against Anti-Semitism Charge". New York Times. August 4, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  8. ^ "Hotel Shangri-LA Discriminated Against Jews, Jury Finds". Huffington Post. August 16, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  9. ^ Anti-Semitism trial begins against upscale S. Calif. hotel by Darren Weir, DigitalJournal.com, July 30, 2012.
  10. ^ "Muslim Hotel Owner in California Defends Herself Against Anti-Semitism Charge". New York Times. August 4, 2012. 
  11. ^ Hotel Shangri-LA Discriminated Against Jews, Jury Finds by Kathleen Miles, Huffington Post, August 16, 2012.
  12. ^ "California Hotel Found Liable in Civil Rights Case". New York Times. August 15, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  13. ^ Muslim hotel owner discriminated against Jewish group, jury finds, Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), August 16, 2012.
  14. ^ Jury says Muslim hotel owner discriminated, Associated Press (reprinted by Kansascity.com), August 16, 2012.
  15. ^ a b Jews Awarded Damages in California Hotel Case by Michael Cieply, New York Times, August 17, 2012, Page A12 (original article published on August 15, 2012.

External links[edit]