By Clyde Mooney – editor Australian Hotelier

Over 450 hotel industry professionals, special guests, diplomats and parliamentarians gathered in the nation’s capital on Wednesday night for the Australian Hotels Association’s National Awards for Excellence.  

The awards recognise the outstanding achievements of Australia’s hotel and hospitality sectors, and were held for the first time in Canberra to commemorate the capital’s centenary. 

Taking home top honours for pub-style hotels, Adelaide’s The Lion picked up several gongs including Overall Hotel of the Year – Metropolitan for the second time.  

“We were thrilled to win the national Best Restaurant Award again, never expecting to be honored with Best Overall Hotel for the second time,” said The Lion director, Tim Gregg.

“It was a great night for the SA hotel industry. We succeeded on a national stage, highlighting our significant part in attracting more visitors to our state.” 

Acclaimed Adelaide pub, The Lion

Honours for Best Entertainment venue went to ‘Australia’s largest pub’ – Eatons Hill Hotel and Function Centre, near Brisbane. 

“Having only been open two and a half years, it was certainly an honour to take out such a prestigious award knowing we were up against the nation,” said Eatons Hill marketing manager, Kate Mogridge.  

“The entertainment will continue to get bigger in the future, with more national and international artists.” 

On the gaming front, South Australia’s The Highway Hotel won Best Gaming Venue – Metropolitan, and Sydney’s recently rejuvenated Fairfield Hotel ticked all the boxes for Best Keno Venue.    

“It was a great night, and to be included amongst Australia's best hotels is an honour,” Fairfield Hotel general manager Campbell Rogers told TheShout

Other winners included Jason Williams taking Bartender of the Year for his work at The Loft, and the Northern Territory’s Emerald Springs Roadhouse for Outstanding Community Service & Achievement.

And recognising outstanding industry contributions, Richard Deery from Brisbane’s Story Bridge Hotel was inducted into the AHA Hall of Fame. 

AHA National CEO Des Crowe said the prestigious Awards hailed licensed venues that demonstrated outstanding services, accommodation, entertainment, food and beverage. 

“The 162 national finalists were winners of their respective AHA State and Territory awards,” he said.

“Winning a national AHA award is an outstanding achievement – and a tribute to the hard work and dedication of these hotels and restaurants.” 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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