The Victorian Hotels industry gathered at Crown Palladium on Monday night to celebrate the state’s best people and venues, at the Australian Hotels Association Victoria’s (AHA Vic) State Awards for Excellence.

The night saw 1250 people attend the sold-out event which not only celebrated the finalists and winners across 40 different categories, but also the spirit shown by the industry over the past three years.

AHA Vic CEO Paddy O’Sullivan said: “The AHA (Vic) State Awards for Excellence celebrates the achievements of Victoria’s pubs and hotels as we acknowledge excellence in hospitality service and delivery.

“We also pay tribute to the contributions of staff working in pubs and hotels to ensure the success of our industry.”

AHA Vic’s most prestigious award is the ‘Nikakis Benchmark Award,’ which is named after the late Nick Nikakis, and recognises an individual or organisation who by their sustained performance and commitment serve as an inspiration to all in the industry.

This year’s recipient of the Nikakis Benchmark Award was the Lewis Family of the Emerald Hotel in South Melbourne. The Lewis family, made up of Gerry, Faye, Jane and Andy Lewis, has contributed a lifetime of service to the public through family-based pubs. AHA Vic said, “they have continued to successfully position their pub as the epitome of ‘the small bush pub in the big smoke’ and give true testament to the values of the Nikakis Award”.

The Overall Hotel of the Year (both Metro and Regional) are the other highly anticipated awards on the night, and this year Glenferrie Hotel, Hawthorn took out the Metro title, while the Grand Junction Hotel in Traralgon took home the Regional Overall Hotel of the Year award.

The hotly contested ‘People’s Choice Award’ saw over 100 pubs entered and voted for by the general public. The fan-favourite was a regional staple within the South Gippsland community, The Middle Hotel, Korrumburra.

The ‘Best Hotel Group Operator’ traditionally recognises a formidable group within the hotel world, and this year industry stalwarts Sandhill Road Group took out the title. The group has venues all over Melbourne including The Esplanade Hotel, Garden State Hotel, The Prahran Hotel and the Terminus Hotel.

Head to the awards website for the full list of 2022 AHA (Vic) State Awards for Excellence winners and finalists.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of TheShout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both TheShout and Bars and Clubs.

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