The Fiddler at Rouse Hill was last night named the best hotel in Sydney at the 2019 AHA NSW Awards for Excellence, with the Hunter’s Bradford Hotel in Rutherford taking out the best regional pub title.
Both venues also claimed other awards on the night, with The Fiddler winning the Best Metropolitan Local awards and The Bradford taking out Best Regional Casual Dining (Northern).
Group Hotel Operator of the Year went to the Iris Hotel Group, while Toby Chick of the newly renovated Hotel Rose Bay won best Individual Hotel Operator of the Year. It was a big night for Hotel Rose Bay, which also won Best Metropolitan Casual Dining (CBD/East) and Metropolitan Chef of the Year with Ian Royle.
AHA NSW CEO John Whelan said the winners really did set the standard across the hotel industry.
“The bar was set extremely high this year with more than 600 nominations from right across NSW,” Whelan said.
“It is particularly pleasing to see so many regional hotels entering this year when many have been doing it tough in drought-stricken – and now bushfire ravaged – communities. Regional hotels in particular are the hearts of their communities and it is great to see so many of them among the finalists and winners tonight.
“I would like to congratulate all winners – particularly the Rutherford and Fiddler on their great wins.”
Hotel industry icon and philanthropist, Ross Colosimo received a standing ovation as this year’s recipient of the Cyril Maloney medal (AHA NSW Hall of Fame).
The awards also contain a popular, and hotly contested, food section and this year saw winners coming from across the state.
Hotel Jesmond in Newcastle won Best Burger (and Regional Chef of the Year with Paul Thornton), while The Oaks at Neutral Bay took out the Award for Best Steak Sandwich. Best Steak winner was Scone’s Thoroughbred Hotel, while the first winner of the new Best Parmi category was Tydvil Hotel & Bistro in Broken Hill.
Best Restaurant for 2019 went to Priscillas, Imperial Hotel at Erskineville. The Impy also took out the award for Best Unique Bar Experience.
The full list of winners across all 45 categories is available on the AHA NSW Awards website.