Hamilton hotel achieves at a gold level
From city life in Auckland to living on a remote tropical island, hotel manager Sarah King’s worldly experiences have paid off.
The former wedding planner, cook book author and shop owner has managed the Ambassador Hotel complex in Hamilton on Ulster St since 2015.
It recently achieved the Gold Award for its superior hospitality at the 2016 Choice Hotels Asia-Pac Franchisee Gold Awards for the second year in a row.
The accolade is the result of King’s wealth of experience in the industry, which includes a stretch between 2013-2014, when King and her family spent two years in Niue, running the Matavai Resort and Motel.
‘‘It was extraordinary. We went over with our four children, packed up our life into a container and went to live on a remote Pacific island.
‘‘The supply boat came once every six weeks and we had one weekly plane, and if the plane was full, our order just didn’t come. But you didn’t know that until the plane landed,’’ she said.
King admitted that when they arrived back in New Zealand, her family would wander around supermarkets in awe.
‘‘We’ve taken huge risks,’’ she said. Opened in 2014, the 16 Clarion Suites are all eco-friendly and were built entirely using local products and services.
King said to come out tops two years in a row was ‘‘sideswiping’’.
‘‘To be winning against Aust-
‘‘That's the world of hotels, they're constant.’’
ralian properties was certainly not anticipated. That’s what makes it an extraordinary award for a New Zealand hotel to win.’’
To achieve a Gold Award, the hotel must be ranked in the top 10 per cent within each Choice Hotels brand, and Clarion Suites Ambassador is the only Hamilton hotel to have received this award.
‘‘I’ve always had a strange obsession with airports and people travelling and how you sort of become someone else when you’re travelling. I love watching at airports, people come and go and say goodbye and say hello and this is a version of that in a lot of ways,’’ King said.
‘‘People are here for a lot of reasons and there’s a sense of family around it, like they’re coming to your home, and that’s something that really appeals to me.
‘‘That’s the world of hotels, they’re constant. It’s people, coming and going, and with that comes interesting situations because people are interesting.’’
General manager Sarah King (front) and (back from left): Lee Goddard, Annalise Eagles and Shazia Bano.