The Crafers Hotel, SA (pictured above) took home the award for Overall Hotel of the Year (Metropolitan)

Winners of the 2018 AHA National Awards for Excellence have been announced.

Today at the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) National gala event at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort on the Gold Coast, the winners of the 2018 AHA National Awards for Excellence were announced.

Among the on-premise awards just revealed, winners included the Pegasus Leisure Group, who took home the gong for Best Hotel Group Operator. Meanwhile Overall Hotel of the Year (Metropolitan) went to The Crafers Hotel, of the Adelaide Hills in South Australia.

Sand Hill Road’s The Garden State Hotel in Melbourne, Victoria picked up two awards, with Ashly Hicks sharing the personal prize for Chef of the Year with Nancy Kinchela from Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley in New South Wales, while the hotel itself was celebrated with a Best Bar Presentation & Service (Metropolitan) award. The regional equivalent of the latter award went to Sporties Tavern in Port Pirie, South Australia.

In some of the other categories, Best Sporting Entertainment Venue went to the Beachfront Hotel in Darwin, Northern Territory, Best Gaming Venue (Regional) was taken home by Zagames Ballarat in Ballarat, Victoria and Best Keno Venue was awarded to The Middle Hotel in Korumburra, Victoria.

Toms Tavern in Aitkenvale, Queensland picked up the award for Front of House Employee of the Year (General Division).

AHA National President Scott Leach said the winners, chosen from more than 5,000 members nationwide, were the reason Australian hotels continue to lead the world.

“Our staff and venues combine as the heart and soul of our industry,” he said.

“One brings our industry to life each and every day while the other forms its ‘bricks and mortar’ backbone – constantly evolving and changing to ensure we stay at the top of our game.”

Among today’s highlights was the induction of Northern Territory-based liquor industry icon, Michael Burns, into the AHA National Hall of Fame.

“Mick Burns life story reads like an outback fairy tale,” Mr Leach said. “He is a larger-than-life figure, who has made his career by taking risks and trusting his gut instincts.”

Responding to the wins, Tasmanian Hospitality Association (THA) CEO Steve Old congratulated all Tasmanian nominees and said: “With Hospitality being the third largest employing industry in the state with around 10% of the workforce, it is vitally important to our state that we have a strong and vibrant industry.”

“I particularly would like to congratulate our four winners on the night … the Formby Hotel, Frogmore Creek and MACq 01 Hotel (who took out two awards)” Mr Old said.

“It was a proud day to be involved in the Tasmanian Hospitality industry” Mr Old said.

The national awards are contended by the 2018 state winners in each category.

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