Urban Rest
The Pacifica [Credit: The Urban Butler / Urban Rest]

Urban Rest acquires The Urban Butler for NZ expansion

Australia / New Zealand: Urban Rest, a provider of flexible alternative accommodations serving the corporate market, has announced its acquisition of New Zealand counterpart The Urban Butler, effective from 1 May 2024.

The strategic move marks a significant step towards the operator’s continued global expansion.

Founded in 2017 by Jon Lawry, The Urban Butler has emerged as a prominent player in Auckland’s short-term rental market. With the acquisition, Urban Rest aims to capitalise on the potential of the New Zealand market and enhance its offerings to corporate clientele by leveraging the synergies between the two companies.

David Whelan, founder and CEO of Urban Rest, said: “Acquiring The Urban Butler represents a significant milestone in our journey to expand our global footprint. Jon Lawry has built an impressive portfolio of short-term rental apartments, and the fit between The Urban Butler and Urban Rest felt naturally beneficial to all parties.

“We recognise the immense potential of the New Zealand market, and this acquisition aligns perfectly with our strategic vision to provide premium accommodations tailored to the needs of business travellers,” he added.

Jon Lawry, founder and CEO of The Urban Butler, said: “We are excited to join forces with Urban Rest and embark on this new chapter of growth. Together , we will continue to deliver outstanding service and accommodations to our guests under the Urban Rest brand.

“My team and I are excited to further build out the presence of Urban Rest in the New Zealand market and be part of the global Urban Rest journey,” he added.

Under the new ownership, The Urban Butler team will continue to lead operations in New Zealand under the Urban Rest brand, with Lawry assuming the role of managing director for Urban Rest New Zealand and Rochelle King as general manager for Urban Rest New Zealand. Urban Rest New Zealand will benefit from the global support and technology platform of Urban Rest, leveraging resources in sales, reservations, and guest relations to further enhance customer experience and drive growth.

The transaction follows closely on the heels of Urban Rest’s recent announcement of its first branded property in Auckland, Urban Rest Sylvia Park, which is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2024. The company’s corporate customer base will now have access to a portfolio of flexible accommodation options across locations in Auckland, including Auckland CBD, Wynyard Quarter, and Ponsonby.

With the integration of The Urban Butler team, the new Urban Rest New Zealand team aims to aggressively expand its presence across key cities, including Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Like The Urban Butler, Urban Rest Apartments also launched in 2017, and was born out of a vision by Whelan to revolutionise extended stay accommodations for business travellers. After experiencing the challenges of finding high-quality serviced apartments during his extensive travels, Whelan sought to create a brand that would seamlessly blend the luxury of premium hotels with the flexibility of short-term rentals.

Catering specifically to the business travel segment, Urban Rest seeks to offer meticulously designed apartments with comprehensive facilities, facilitating comfortable extended stays in prime locations. The operator now has a growing footprint in Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

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