James Cunningham from King & Queen Hotel Suites
West End Precinct catches up with James Cunningham, one of the faces behind King & Queen Hotel Suites.
Where are you from originally?
I was born in South Africa a tiny mining town 4 hours out of Johannesburg. But Mum, Dad my older sister and I moved to New Zealand when I was 9 years old. I could only speak Afrikaans and Mum would teach me English after school.
Have you always wanted to work in hotel management? How did you get into this?
When I was a child I distinctly remember having a fascination with hotels and remember being pushed around on a luggage trolley by the concierge and loving it.
My family and I moved to New Plymouth when I was at secondary school and I attended Boys High. Developing a passion for business I liked the idea of PIHMS as it gives you great grounding and insight into the tourism industry but also how to run a business.
What were you doing before working at King & Queen?
I spent some time at the Sky City Grand Hotel and Novatel New Plymouth but have been at King and Queen for a number of years and love the area and the guests that come through our doors.
What’s the best thing you love about your job?
It’s the people and being at the front desk you get to meet and greet so many. Its constantly changing and every day is different.
What’s one thing your customers might not know about you?
I can be a bit of a dad- brew my own beer, make my own sausages and pretty content when at home not to be in a suit and on the tools working on renovations to our house.
On a long weekend I like to..
Take our dog for a walk down Te Henui or the coastal walkway. My wife and I love Dawson Falls. Taranaki has so much to offer it’s easy to take advantage of it.
If I weren’t doing this I would be…
More than likely still in Taranaki- and a tourism operator
What is your favorite meal?
Cold Play would have to be an all-time favorite Chris Martin I met when they were staying in a hotel I managed and yeah got free tickets to their concert and have gone to every concert in NZ since.
Not a big TV watcher but definitely prefer to pick a series and binge watch. Currently, it’s The Good Doctor.
I am a big Tom Clancy fan.