After graduating Hotel School in the UK in 1992, Atherton joined Hyatt International, where she spent 10 years with them starting at The Hyatt Carlton Tower in London then relocating to Australia to work at Park Hyatt Sydney and then moving to Melbourne as part of the pre-opening team of Park Hyatt Melbourne.
In 2003 Atherton joined Aman Resorts, as General Manager of the luxury hotel, Amankila, Here, Atherton directed a world-class accommodation, wellness, dining, and events program – with Amankila receiving a host of accolades, including being named #2 hotel in Asia by Condé Nast Traveler in 2005, under Atherton’s management.
After nine years with Aman Resorts, Atherton returned to Australia in 2013 to manage the opening of Canberra’s ground-breaking Hotel Hotel. Under Atherton’s stewardship, the property was titled “Boutique Hotel of the Year” by Gourmet Traveller in 2014 and 2015. During her time in Canberra she was also held a position on the board of the Canberra Convention Bureau.
In 2016, Atherton joined Jackalope Hotels as Group General Manager, overseeing the 2017 opening of Jackalope’s debut property on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. Shortly after opening, Jackalope was awarded “Hotel of the Year”, “New Hotel of the Year”, and “Regional Hotel of the Year” by Gourmet Traveller.
Atherton is currently also overseeing the development of Jackalope Hotels’ second property, scheduled to open in Melbourne’s Flinders Lane in 2020.