Through the Lens of a Local

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Our Story

The Urban Butler emerged following a 2016 trip to Europe by our founder, Jon. Staying in exceptional spaces hosted by owners who had a direct and open dialogue with guests led to an effortless immersion in local culture and a lifetime of memories. Jon was inspired to recreate the experience for travellers to New Zealand on his return and purchased a single property in Ponsonby to begin his guest experience renaissance. The Urban Butler has now grown to offer a portfolio of beautiful apartments in central Auckland which favour amenity over formality and perfectly balance privacy with local connection.

The Butler Element

Just as a butler’s reliability and bank of knowledge become a discrete compass point, The Urban Butler exists to create an uncompromising guest experience by combining local wisdom with outstanding accommodation complete with all the amenity of home. Whether you’re a corporate traveller needing intel on where to wine and dine colleagues, a family hoping for all the creature comforts of home, or simply wishing to tap directly into Auckland’s urban heartbeat, we take care of the intricacies so that you can focus on the journey.


Interested in Working With Us?

The Urban Butler is always growing to meet traveller demand for more culturally engaged accommodation offerings. If you are a people person with a passion for travel and property, and want to be part of the work we do in bringing memorable experiences to guests, we’d love to hear from you.

Our Team

The Urban Butler team is unified by our shared passion for travel, hospitality and property. Get to know the people supporting your next travel experience.

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Jon Lawry | Founder/CEO

Interests | Scuba diving, snowboarding, music/gigs, design and cooking.

Favourite place on earth | I find this almost as hard as picking Desert Island Disks! Galapagos Islands would be up there. The sheer diversity of the land and marine environment is incredible.

Fun Fact | Lockdowns have taught me that I can grow a ZZ Top-type beard in less than 3 months.

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Vanina Schembari | Operations Manager

Interests | Football, jogging, hiking, languages, gardening, yoga & travelling.

Favourite place on earth | Having made New Zealand my home after living in so many countries, this has got to be my favourite place on earth! I’m amazed by its endless variety of beautiful scenery and feel very at home here. Another favourite place would be the whole Patagonia region, in Argentina, where I’m from.

Fun Fact | I possess unlimited F.R.I.E.N.D.S. quotes and trivia knowledge.

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Jayden Pettengell | Consultant

Interests | Golf, piano, reading, writing, photography and exploring new landscapes.

Favourite place on earth | Russia. The cultural shift and depth of history fascinated me like nowhere else.

Fun Fact | I’ve recently had the idea that I’d like to hike the Te Araroa Trail (the length of New Zealand) - stay tuned!

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Christie Wheeler | Owner Experience Manager

Interests |
Yoga, pilates, being outdoors in the sunshine, discovering new places of all kinds and cooking.

Favourite place on earth | Outside of New Zealand it would have to be Bangkok! It’s so full of life, character and culture and while the city is a sensorial deep-dive the people are so friendly and relaxed.

Fun Fact | I have a diploma in 2D animation.

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Frankie Grainger | Marketing Specialist

Interests | Health & fitness, listening to podcasts, music, walks/hikes & being at the beach.

Favourite place on earth | Tongariro Crossings. The world renown trek was amazing to see. Such epic scenery and landscape right in our own backyard.

Fun Fact | I was a competitive cheerleader for over 5 years!

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Lauren Walters-Puttick | Guest Experience Consultant

Interests | Off-roading, cricket, dance, music festivals, baking and being at the beach.

Favourite place on earth | Hands down Iceland! Seeing the Northern Lights, The Blue Lagoon, Reynisfjara Beach, The Golden Circle and the Ice Caves are all once in a lifetime experiences that I will never forget!

Fun Fact | I have played cricket since I was 6 years old!

Our Community Partners

Guesty 350 x 150 px 3
Auckland Airbnb accommodation
Beyond 350 x 150 px 3
Short term property management auckland
Pacifica 350 x 150 px
Short term property management
AKL City Mission 350 x 150 px
R U 350 x 150 px
Guesty 600 x 200 335 x 158 px 4
Short term rental manager
Guesty 600 x 200 335 x 158 px 9
Short term rental manager