Profitable and expanding, Marsden Group Limited owns and manages a portfolio of apartment hotels across New Zealand and provides a diverse range of accommodation experiences operated under the Ramada or Wyndham Gardens brands.
In 2019 the group added 260 rooms to their hotel footprint, taking their operation to over 1300 hotel beds and more than 370 residential tenancies and making it a major employer as the fifth largest room operator in New Zealand. By 2020 the group will add three more properties to New Zealand’s ever-growing accommodation pot.
The business opportunities presented by the growth mode in the NZ accommodation sector were recognised by the group, and it has developed a diverse property portfolio offering a range of accommodation options to cater to differing consumer trends. They also provide independent consultancy and property management services to the industry.
Benjamin Trotter is the chief operating officer for Marsden Group. He is an experienced innovator, investor and business manager with a finance background and a passion for technology, property finance and management. Ben is at the forefront of innovation and best practice in the accommodation industry.
Sajad Bassam is the executive director of Marsden Group. He is a successful businessman, accommodation owner, operator and previous owner of seven Esquires Coffee Houses.The accommodation industry benefits from Sajad’s understanding of what drives a successful business as well as his planning and cost management expertise.
Michael Osborne is the Marsden Group executive director.
AccomNews meets the team
Recently, I caught up with Marsden Group executive director Michael Osborne and the group’s sales and marketing manager Roger Taitt for a chat, exclusively for our AccomNews readers.
Unpretentious and friendly, Michael also comes across as very driven and passionate about this industry. He is an experienced property developer and successful owner/operator with a flair for filling gaps in the accommodation industry and a long-standing relationship with both The Safari Group (apartment hotel developer) and Wyndham Hotels.
He told me: “In the last couple of years the hotel sector has been in growth mode since NZ faced a shortage in the supply of rooms to meet the increasing variety of demand from customers.
“Our partnership with the privately funded, high-quality developer the Safari Group has provided us with many opportunities and allowed us to have the first option to invest in strategically placed properties in key areas. We have been able to attract guests because our properties are in great locations, mostly new and offer a variety of safe, secure and comfortable rooms or apartments.”
It is undeniable that the group has been able to quickly respond to the rapid growth and diverse needs of travellers but what stands out to me is the Marsden Group’s emphasis on providing excellent customer service. I wondered, behind all the development and innovation how is the group’s warm and friendly vibe achieved so well?
It was Roger Taitt who explained: “It’s the Marsden Group’s mission to provide outstanding customer service across the group. This culture starts with the management team, Michael is especially encouraging and supportive and therefore the Marsden Group provides a fantastic working environment where staff retention is very high, at a time when finding great hospitality staff in NZ is not so easy.
“All our managers have a background in customer focused hospitality and are encouraged to use their initiative to provide great guest experiences.”
Roger is super-friendly and very hospitable, himself a walking advertisement for all that is good about NZ hospitality. He began his career as a humble concierge where his love of hospitality and what I would describe as X factor customer service skills were quickly recognised.
I also noted that this X factor has certainly rubbed off on the wonderful staff who greeted me like an old friend at the Ramada Suites, Auckland Federal Street (where I stayed for a conference) and offered me a Roger-style, fully personalised, client-focused experience!
Exciting times are ahead for Michael, Roger and the team with a succession of new hotels due to open their doors to guests over the next few months.
2019 introducing… Ramada Victoria Street Auckland
The newly appointed general manager Walid Bayouk is expected to open the flagship apartment hotel Ramada Victoria Street in October 2019.
In the heart of Auckland, within a stroll of Sky Tower and Queen Street shopping district, guests will be presented with a modern aparthotel with each apartment featuring a flat-screen TV, free wifi and access to multilingual staff.
Walid is a seasoned hotelier with 26 years’ experience in the industry, 15 of which are in the Auckland market. He told us: “I went through the ranks, focusing on sales, marketing, and revenue management in addition to a strong belief in people development as a means for success.”
It is all about providing the highest standard of customer service for Walid, and everything else is the detail to serve that purpose. He stated: “At Ramada Suites Victoria it is all about customer service. We aim to please guests and stakeholders by offering professional high-standard customer service backed up by Ramada brand, superb product and great location. Our flagship hotel will offer every guest an experience they will want to come back to.”
And… Ramada Manukau Auckland
Dilyara Reed is the newly-appointed general manager of Ramada Manukau, Auckland, which is due to open Oct 2019. Highly motivated, Dilyara has been in the Hospitality Industry for over 15 years, previously an assistant manager at Castle Hotels and Resorts. She is recognised for her strong guest focus, sales expertise, and ability to increase profits as a performance-driven leader with proven experience in hospitality.
Dilyara told us: “I was also part of the advisory board for Queens Academic Group and I am a strong believer in the saying if you can dream it, you can achieve it.”
She is very proud to present this four-star hotel and believes: “It all comes down to comfort, product and personal service. We are here to create a memorable experience for our guests and ensure that each and every stay is unique. At the Ramada Manukau, we want our guest to enjoy, relax and make some great memories.”