The nation’s best hotels have been recognised at a gala ceremony on Queensland’s Gold Coast this afternoon.

Nearly 500 VIP and industry guests from across Australia were at The Star on the Gold Coast for the 2019 Australian Hotels Association National Awards for Excellence.

There was a standing ovation for Tasmanian Hospitality Association President Paul Jubb – this year’s National Hall of Fame recipient, and a moment of silence for industry icon former National President Peter Burnett of Victoria who passed away earlier this year.

Sydney’s Barangaroo House was named Overall Hotel of the Year (Metropolitan) while Tasmania’s Shoreline Hotel took the Overall Hotel of the Year (Regional) title.

Crown Towers Perth won Overall Hotel of the Year (Accommodation Division).

Best Group Hotel Operator was won by the Sydney-based Feros Group.

Best Deluxe Accommodation went to The Darling, Star Gold Coast – the same venue took out the award for Best Redeveloped Hotel (Accommodation). Best Restaurant (Metropolitan) was won by Wildflower at COMO The Treasury (Western Australia), while Best Restaurant (Regional) went to Furneaux Restaurant (Tasmania).

The title of Best Tourism Initiative was won by Voyages Ayers Rock Resort (Northern Territory).

The hard-fought Chef of the Year title went to Christopher Bonello, MPD Steak Kitchen, Zagame’s Berwick Hotel (Victoria) and Hotel Industry Rising Star was won jointly by Nick Warner from the Holiday Inn Express Brisbane (Queensland) and James Lightbody, Hotel Realm (Australian Capital Territory).


AHA NSW and National President Scott Leach said the venues and their hardworking staff showcased the best of Australian tourism and hospitality to the world.

“Our national awards annually draw together the best venues of the year from right across Australia,” he said.

“Hotels which lead the way in innovation, in inspiration and in design. Together, our finalists show that when you’re at your pub – when you’re at your local – there’s no better place to be in Australia.

“We are here today to celebrate the outstanding individuals who drive our hotel businesses and make them the engine room of the Australian hospitality and tourism industries. I want to congratulate all finalists and winners on a job well done.”

Mr Leach paid particular tribute to the efforts of the 2019 Hall of Fame recipient Paul Jubb – a fourth generation hotelier – over a lifetime in the industry.

“Today’s inductee is someone who has never forgotten that at our core we are an industry which serves,” he said.

“He has always put the needs of others before his own. Whether that be his customers, his family or his fellow publicans. He is true publican and a very deserving inductee into the Hall of Fame.”

In a more sombre moment, Mr Leach paid tribute to the late Peter Burnett.

“Peter made an undeniable contribution to our industry which has not just benefited us all here today – his efforts and achievements will echo through to the next generation, such was his impact and influence on our industry,” he said.

“We mourn the loss of Peter, as we honour his legacy.”


*A full list of 2019 Australian Hotels Association National Award Winners is available here.


Media Contact: Jason Bartlett, 0433 95 46 57