Hotel Armitage has a rich history in Tauranga, but it has been on a road to recovery for many years.
We met the dynamic duo behind its transformation as part of a Business Women’s Network event. Event co-ordinator Jeanette Mindham reports.
Lots of new connections were made at this month’s Business Behind the Scenes event where we learnt about, and saw, the huge transformations that have taken place at Hotel Armitage.
We were hosted by the dynamic French duo of Tiffanny Antoine and Nicolas Caffardo. They came to New Zealand more than 10 years ago, after several years working for the Accor brands in Europe. They secured management roles in hotels in Auckland, and then Wellington, helping their owners rebrand their hotel and create an independent Hotel Group.
Just over three years ago, they were approached by the Hotel Armitage new owners – Prime Property Group – to redevelop and rebrand the property here.
We heard how they have put their heart, time and energy trying to transform this business and revitalise its image. To date 90% of the guest rooms are completed, and the conference rooms and restaurant have been upgraded. They are hoping to complete the lobby and porte-cochère by Christmas this year.
They admitted it has been a long process and a constant juggle between operating a hotel while trying to complete the renovations – then there was coping with the impact of COVID-19. They managed to keep all their staff over the last six months by using COVID-19 as an opportunity to cross-train individuals and encouraging them out of their comfort zones.
Tiffanny and Nicolas have a strong commitment to their team, and believe if they are happy then they will provide great service.
As they spoke you could clearly see their love and passion of working with people, whether they be guests or staff. They admitted that it was hard to switch off from their job when they weren’t ‘on duty’ as they were always thinking and talking about new ideas they had for the hotel.
Everyone left the event with a renewed interest in the Hotel Armitage and conference centre as a venue for future events, particularly Rachael Pearce from Wholesale Aroma Supplies Ltd, who won the business card draw for a night’s accommodation at the hotel with bubbles on arrival.