After two decades in hotels across New Zealand and Australia, Clinton Farley has come home to Auckland to open The Hotel Britomart as its general manager.
JEREMY HANSEN: What led you to this job?
CLINTON FARLEY: I started in hotels back in 1998 as a porter at the Carlton Hotel in Auckland, which at the time was New Zealand’s largest 5-star hotel. I’ve loved hotels ever since, especially the way exceptional experiences can create life-long memories for guests by giving them a special sense of connection to a place. At the Carlton, I worked my way up the ranks through a range of roles across many different areas. After that I moved to Queenstown and worked in luxury lodges, which gave me a taste of what really high-end accommodation and service is, and how to customise unique experiences for every guest. I opened Hilton Lake Taupō as manager in 2009, and also managed properties for Hilton in Alice Springs and Melbourne. I’ve always been very involved in the regions and cities I work in, ensuring a strong connection to the local community and environment – I was on the Destination Great Lake Taupō Tourism Board, and did the same in Alice Springs and Melbourne on various boards and community groups. I’m also a director of Soap Aid, a non-profit organization that reprocesses hotel soap across New Zealand, Australia and North America to save lives globally by improving hygiene in some of the most impoverished regions in the world.
What attracted you to The Hotel Britomart?
I’d grown up in Auckland so I knew the Britomart area from many years ago, but because I’d lived away for a number of years I hadn’t witnessed its transformation. When I came back in 2019, I saw how much the area had changed, thanks to Cooper and Company’s efforts over the previous decade and a half. It really made downtown Auckland a destination in its own right. The Hotel Britomart is another exciting piece of Britomart’s regeneration, and I just wanted to be a part of that, helping to add another amazing element to this great neighbourhood. A huge part of the attraction of The Hotel Britomart is that it’s located in this place, with some of Auckland’s best restaurants and a bunch of incredible cafes, bars and boutiques just steps from the front door. The neighbourhood’s mix of heritage buildings and new architecture like the hotel building makes it feel even more dynamic.
What do you think about The Hotel Britomart building?
It’s so distinctive, such a beautiful masterpiece. And it’s totally different from any other building in Auckland. Inside, the timber walls and the soft furnishings create a warmth and homeliness. The distinguished design makes us even more determined to create a distinct service culture. We’re really excited about introducing our guests to this neighbourhood, this city, and helping them get the best out of it.
What can guests expect when they stay at the hotel?
They can expect to be located right in the centre of everything that’s happening in downtown waterfront Auckland. And if they want to explore a bit more, it’s so easy to get anywhere. We have buses and trains to everywhere, ferries to Waiheke Island on our doorstep - you can base yourself in Britomart and easily experience the whole of Auckland. In the hotel itself, we’re really aiming to offer a personalised experience for everyone, because there’s such a variety of things for them to see and do.
The Hotel Britomart also has five premium Landing Suites. What’s different about them?
Each of our five Landing Suites is absolutely one of a kind – people are going to want to try each of them to enjoy the different perspectives they offer on the city. The suites are infused with the calm and strong sense of connection to place of The Landing, The Hotel Britomart’s sister property in the Bay of Islands. Our guests are going to feel like they’re floating above the city in luxurious cocoons.