Meet Madhupa Thalahitiya, Adina Apartment Hotel

Growing up in Colombo in Sri Lanka, a lot of Madhupa’s friends were keen on the IT industry but being surrounded by the rich flavours and aromas of Sri Lankan cuisine and a tourist hot spot, Madhupa developed a deep appreciation for food and the world of hospitality. A family friend managed one of the Hilton Hotels in Sri Lanka, and that inspired Madhupa to pursue studies at Sri Lanka’s Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management. Madhupa worked hard, honing his skills and gaining vital experience before coming to Aotearoa in 2015.

"Working across various departments in four different five-star hotels in Sri Lanka laid the foundation for my career.”

Madhupa continued his studies in Hotel and Hospitality Management while also working at Crowne Plaza in Auckland as a waiter where he eventually worked his way up to team leader. After being part of the team that opened the inaugural Marriot Hotel in New Zealand, Four Points by Sheraton Auckland and working there for 2 years, Madhupa left the 2IC role in the Food & Beverage department to join Adina as the F&B Operations and Catering Manager.

Now, as the F&B Operations and Catering Manager of Adina Apartment Hotel Auckland, Madhupa oversees the vibrant Yard Bar and Eatery, conference and catering services, as well as in-room dining and mini bar operations. His days are a blend of managing and inspiring his team and delighting clients with impeccable service.

"My role allows me to blend my love for hospitality with the joy of connecting with people from diverse backgrounds in the vibrant melting pot of Auckland.”

When it comes to delivering exceptional customer service, Madhupa believes in going the extra mile. For him, it's about creating positive experiences and forging genuine connections with each customer, leading to a sense of hospitality deeply rooted in manaakitanga.

As we delve into the unique features that set Adina apart, Madhupa's pride shines through. He highlights the hotel's commitment to excellent staff benefits and training, creating an environment that fosters inspiration and teamwork. The friendly and welcoming nature of the staff adds that extra touch of warmth to every guest's experience, making them feel like family.

Reflecting on the ever-evolving landscape of the hospitality industry, Madhupa acknowledges the challenges faced, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's been a tough journey for many in the hospitality sector, but we're moving forward with resilience and unity,"

To sustain his own drive and passion, Madhupa finds motivation in feedback and continuous improvement. Learning from mistakes and staying updated with the evolving needs of locals are key aspects in his pursuit of excellence. But it is the collaboration and camaraderie shared with his team that truly lights up his days, fostering an environment of creativity and growth.

When he's got the chance to unwind, Madhupa indulges in his love for movies and videography, a creative outlet that allows him to capture the beauty around him. Beyond the walls of Adina, he finds solace in the breathtaking landscapes of Taupo, a beloved domestic destination, and dreams of exploring Queenstown. And let us not forget the stunning allure of Kandy in Sri Lanka, a place that continues to hold a special place in his heart.

As our conversation draws to a close, Madhupa shares his life philosophy, a motto that has guided him through the highs and lows, "Learn by your mistakes." It is a reminder to embrace growth, seize every opportunity, and never shy away from challenges.

Quick fire questions with Madhupa

Favourite dish to eat? Kottu - Sri Lankan Street food

Favourite dish to cook? Fried rice

Favourite Yard Bar & Eatery drink? Coconut Chilli Lime Margarita

Favourite Yard Bar & Eatery dish? Scotch Fillet – classic!

Have you met any famous people at Adina? Richie McCaw was staying here for the Hallberg’s at Spark Arena. He came for breakfast in the morning, and I had a chance to talk to him. He was very friendly!

The biggest influence or role model in your life? My parents.