Awards 2019






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 can be found below.


Employee Excellence in Service – General Division

Daren Holscher, Odyssea City Beach, WA


Front of House Employee of the Year – General Division

Pauric Kennedy, Barangaroo House, NSW


Chef of the Year

Chris Bonello, MPD Steak Kitchen, Zagame’s Berwick Hotel, VIC


Employee Excellence in Service – Accommodation Division

Yvonne Qian, Sheraton Melbourne Hotel, VIC


Front of House Employee of the Year – Accommodation Division

Laurent Johnson, Melbourne Marriott Hotel, VIC


Hotel Industry Rising Star – joint

Nick Warner, Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Central, QLD AND

James Lightbody, Hotel Realm, ACT


Best Tourism Initiative

Voyages Ayers Rock Resort, NT


Best Bar Presentation & Service – Regional

Beach House Hotel, QLD


Best Bar Presentation & Service – Metropolitan

Long Chim Perth, WA


Draught Beer Quality Award

The Barker Hotel, SA


Best Hotel Bar – Accommodation Division

Alibi, Ovolo Woolloomooloo, NSW


Best Retail Liquor Outlet

Beach House Hotel, QLD


Best TAB Licensed Venue

Zagame’s Golden Point Club Hotel, VIC


Best Keno Venue

Welcome Stranger Hotel, VIC


Best Gaming Venue – Regional

Jubilee Tavern, QLD


Best Gaming Venue – Metropolitan

Mawson Lakes Hotel & Function Centre, SA


Best Family Dining

Zagame’s Boronia Club Hotel, VIC


Best Restaurant – Metropolitan

Wildflower at COMO The Treasury, WA


Best Restaurant – Accommodation Division

Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant, Mount Lofty House, SA


Best Restaurant – Regional

Furneaux Restaurant, TAS


Best Marketed Hotel – General Division

The Ramsgate Hotel, SA


Best Marketed Hotel – Accommodation Division

The Island Gold Coast, QLD


Best Meeting and Events Venue

Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains, MGallery by Sofitel, NSW


Best Suite/Apartment Hotel

East Hotel, ACT


Best Sporting Entertainment Venue

Hunters Hill Hotel, NSW


Best Environmental & Energy Efficiency Practice

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, NSW


Best Hotel Accommodation – General Division

Stirling Hotel, SA


Best Mid-Range Accommodation

Holiday Inn Melbourne on Flinders, VIC


Best Bistro – Regional

Shoreline Hotel, TAS


Best Bistro – Metropolitan

The Oaks, NSW


Best Entertainment Venue

Corner Hotel, VIC


Outstanding Community Service & Achievement

Vine Inn Barossa, SA


Best Superior Accommodation

Maylands Lodge, TAS


Best Outdoor/Non Enclosed Facility

Sandstone Point Hotel, QLD


Outstanding Achievement in Training

Grand Hyatt Melbourne, VIC


Best Redeveloped Hotel – General Division      

The Court


Best Redeveloped Hotel – Accommodation Division

The Star Gold Coast, QLD


Best Deluxe Accommodation

The Darling, The Star Gold Coast, QLD


Johnnie Walker Hall of Fame Award

Paul Jubb


Best Hotel Group Operator

Feros Group


Overall Hotel of the Year – Regional       

Shoreline Hotel, TAS


Overall Hotel of the Year – Metropolitan

Barangaroo House, NSW


Overall Hotel of the Year – Accommodation Division

Crown Towers Perth, WA


Media Contact: Jason Bartlett, 0433 95 46 57