Our Story: Hotel California by the Sea

Healing Addiction – One Person At A Time


Recovery from drugs and alcohol is a magical transformation to experience and witness. Recovery reveals the potential within each person who chooses to get sober and address their substance abuse issues. 

Every day, the team at Hotel California by the Sea watches our beloved patients come alive; we witness a previously-lost sparkle return to their eyes as they fiercely work through our program to beat their addiction. 

Every day, this is why we do what we do.

Hotel California by the Sea’s mission is to provide the most modern, effective, and evidence-based addiction treatment to young adults, mature women, and mature men suffering from substance use disorders and other co-occurring mental health conditions. With locations in Southern California, Washington State, Cincinnati, Ohio, and St. Louis, Missouri, Hotel California by the Sea is determined to expand our healing reach of influence as far as possible. 

At Hotel California by the Sea, we help clients realize their full potential and lead a life of freedom, joy, and service. We’ve changed the lives of thousands of patients – and we’re set on changing thousands more. HCBTS provides a highly structured and comfort-focused treatment environment for clients needing detoxification services, inpatient treatment for drugs or alcohol, outpatient addiction programming, and continuing care options. Our uniquely healing and supportive environment enables our clients to achieve and maintain long-term sobriety.

Our Cornerstones:

  • Individualized treatment plans.
  • Comprehensive and well-rounded healing efforts.
  • Unconditional compassion.
  • Whole-person approach to addiction recovery (spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and professional healing).
  • Family-inclusive approach.
  • Community-oriented.

Hotel California by the Sea is more than a behavioral health center for those with substance abuse issues; it’s a haven for those in need. Most of all, it’s a family

Making History


In 1986, Carl Mosen, later founder of Hotel California by the Sea, saw the need for a safe, structured, and sober environment for people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction in Southern California. So, Carl decided to start Sober Living by the Sea, a halfway home close to the ocean where homeless men could live (for free) and get their lives in order. These men were required to lead a sober lifestyle and were encouraged to take the necessary actions to mend what was broken in themselves and their lives. Needless to say, Sober Living by the Sea touched the lives of a countless variety of individuals.

Our Founders - Addiction Treatment Professionals
Carl Mosen (left) and Kevin Mello (right)

Carl, who now has over 30 years of sobriety, owned and operated Sober Living by the Sea from 1986 until 2006. Afterward, however, Carl still felt an immense calling to continue his work in the recovery industry. So, sharing a deep passion for helping those struggling with addiction, Carl and his partner, Kevin Mello, started Hotel California by the Sea in 2014. They each shared a vision for Hotel California by the Sea to be an innovative and healing environment close to the ocean for people who wanted to get clean. Soon, their vision was realized.

Similar to Carl, Carl’s partner and co-owner of HCBTS, Kevin Mello, struggled with addiction. Kevin witnessed the powerful connection between long-term treatment and his very own long-term sobriety and recovery while getting sober. Knowing the correlation between long-term treatment and successful recovery is just one of the experiences that inspired Kevin to build Hotel California by the Sea’s thriving community of passionate addiction experts. 

Carl Mosen brought over 30 years of personal experience and professional success into the field of substance abuse treatment when he founded Hotel California by the Sea with Kevin Mello. HCBTS became one of the first, if not the early, residential treatment programs for substance use disorders in Newport Beach, CA. 

Without a doubt: Hotel California by the Sea set the unparalleled precedent for Orange County’s now-thriving addiction treatment network.

“We Need Something Different” – New Frontiers In Addiction Treatment


Carl carried and applied his decades’ worth of experience of working in hyper-focused and specialized treatment programs to the creation and development of Hotel California by the Sea. While still in its infancy, Carl knew that he wanted HCBTS to be a special place that addresses each client’s personal story. 

Everyone’s story is different, and Carl knew well that his job, and the job of others who would eventually work with him, was to hold these stories with care. Through seeing clients for who they are (and not just their disease of addiction) and applying the necessary and specialized therapeutic models of treatment, Carl knew that clients could recover fully from substance use disorders. 

Because Carl installed a culture of individual-focused treatment into his staff and his company, he encouraged creating different treatment programs at HCBTS, such as:

Individuals in each of these age groups have the opportunity to address issues that accompany their addiction, such as co-occurring mental health conditions, trauma, and more. Today, thousands of recovered addicts and alcoholics call Newport Beach home because of Carl’s local leadership and involvement in the recovery community. Carl has sustained this legacy by consistently offering high-quality and specialized addiction treatment to men, women and young adults suffering from substance use disorders at Hotel California by the Sea.

Crossing State Lines

Our flagship location is set in Orange County, California. However, within the past few years, Hotel California by the Sea has grown professionally and as a family. This has allowed us to treat thousands of patients nationwide and expand our helping reach beyond California’s borders.

Bellevue, Washington

After realizing a significant amount of our clients came from the Seattle area and other parts of the Pacific Northwest, our Vice President, Brian Burke, decided to bring Hotel California by the Sea to his home area in the Pacific Northwest. It was evident that there was a growing need in the Pacific Northwest for trustworthy long-term treatment for addiction. 

In 2015, Hotel California by the Sea Bellevue was born. It opened its doors to provide outpatient treatment services and private recovery residences for people looking to recover from drug and alcohol addiction and any co-occurring mental health conditions. In 2018, we opened our residential detox in a beautiful home in Kirkland, WA. We have plans to continue expanding our resources in the Seattle area.

Cincinnati, Ohio

J.B. Whitehouse, HCBTS Cincinnati’s Director of Operations, struggled with his own addiction nearly 10 years ago. Unfortunately, when he sought a comprehensive and whole-person treatment model in California that did not exist in his home state of Ohio, he was left empty-handed. 

Recognizing the inability of most to travel across state lines to receive substance abuse treatment, he pushed for the creation of an Ohio-based Hotel California by the Sea facility. “Too many people didn’t and don’t have the ability to travel to California to seek treatment like I did.” J.B. said. “In the state of Ohio, there are virtually no facilities based upon the model I have witnessed first and secondhand success in. I believe that needs to change.” 

J.B. felt that it was his calling to bring the same model of treatment that helped him achieve long-term sobriety back home to the state of Ohio. In 2018, Hotel California by the Sea opened HCBTS Cincinnati under the leadership of J.B. Whitehouse.

St. Louis, Missouri

In 2020, Hotel California by the Sea opened our St. Louis, Missouri location to offer quality addiction treatment and mental health services to more people struggling with addiction. St. Louis, Missouri, like our other locations, holds a very special place in the hearts of our executive team. HCBTS St. Louis perhaps holds the largest place in the heart of our Chief Program Officer, Bryan Bixler. 

Bryan was born in St. Louis, Missouri, where he spent summers fishing on the Mississippi river and learning to shoot a bow with his grandparents. Bryan cherishes the values instilled in him in his Midwestern upbringing. To Bryan, leading Hotel California by the Sea’s movement towards the Midwest was a powerful experience that will aid the lives of thousands.

Being in recovery himself, Bryan is extremely grateful for the opportunity to carry the treatment process that enabled him to regain his life in his home state of Missouri. Hotel California by the Sea in St. Louis currently offers outpatient treatment services, but will likely expand its offerings in the near future.

Join our family. Contact our admissions specialists today to learn more about how Hotel California by the Sea will help you and your loved ones recover from substance use disorders.

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The road to recovery is full of uncertainty, leave your worries behind…
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Every member of our admissions team has been where you are today – be sure to ask them about their journey!