More than 650 industry guests came together at the Adelaide Oval for the annual Australian Hotels Association (AHA) National Awards for Excellence on Monday, showcasing the best of the country’s pubs and hotels.

The Cremorne Hotel in Unley, South Australia, was awarded the highly coveted Overall Hotel of the Year – Metropolitan, just one month after claiming the award for Best Overall Hotel – General Division at the AHA SA Hotel Industry Awards for Excellence. The Cremorne Hotel was also awarded Best Bar Presentation & Service – Metropolitan.

“We are all still in disbelief, what an award to take out,” says Grace Kelliher, venue manager at the Cremorne Hotel.

“We were up against some tough competition and to come out on top is just surreal. The Cremorne and its team really do deserve this level of recognition and I can’t wait to see the opportunities that will arise from such acknowledgement for our staff and community.

“We also have so much gratitude for everyone who helped us to this point, it’s just an absolute honour.”

Overall Hotel of the Year – Regional went to the Grovedale Hotel in Victoria, who also scooped the award for Best Gaming Venue – Regional. Joel Taylor, owner of the Grovedale Hotel, spoke to Australian Hotelier about the achievement.

“It means a lot to our family, management and staff to win this award and be recognised at a national level. The Grovedale has been a huge part of our lives since the mid-00s and to be recognised at the state level has always been a thrill for our team, now to take out the national award for Overall Hotel of the Year – Regional is an absolute honour.

“John and I are both proud and grateful to the longstanding team of management and staff that continue to put their hearts and minds into this pub as if it were their own, they deserve a lot of the recognition for this prestigious award.

“Thank you to the AHA for continuing to push hotel excellence into the spotlight and giving pubs such a great platform to improve and be recognised for the hard work and dedication their staff and owners put in.”

The Grovedale Hotel
The Grovedale Hotel accept the award for Best Gaming Venue – Regional

Another highlight of the evening was the induction of industry legends the Farquhar brothers from Queensland’s The Caxton Hotel into the prestigious Diageo Johnnie Walker Hall of Fame.

Winning hotels from across the country were celebrated for their service to Australia’s hospitality industry in the ceremony hosted by Australian entertainer Tim Campbell and with presenters that included AHA National CEO Stephen Ferguson among other leading industry partners.

AHA National President David Canny said the national awards are a high-level clash between venues which have won top awards in their home states and territories this year.

“These finalists prove nothing compares to the atmosphere, the noise and the sheer joy of being out in a lively pub full of good people, good food and great drinks,” said Canny.

“But our hotels are so much more. They are a part of our social fabric, a constant in a world of change and a real-world place for connection in increasingly online-focused and isolated communities.

“Our industry and its hard-working people have never been more appreciated by the communities we serve, and we all should be proud of that – my congratulations to all finalists, and particularly the winners.”

Other winners within the pub sector include Comiskey Group which was awarded Best Hotel Group Operator. Queensland’s Burleigh Town Hotel was awarded Best Sporting Entertainment Venue, while South Australia’s Governor Hindmarsh Hotel and Queensland’s Sandstone Point Hotel were both awarded Best Entertainment Venue.

Taking home the award for Draught Beer Quality was The Shortland Hotel in Newcastle, while the Cross Keys Hotel in Cavan was awarded Best Gaming Venue – Metropolitan.

Wrapping up the awards in the pub scene, long-standing Perth pub Victoria Park Hotel was awarded Best Outdoor/Non Enclosed Facility, while Whitfield’s Mountain View Hotel look home the title of Best Bistro – Regional and ALIA award winner Harbord Hotel in Freshwater took home the title for Best Bistro – Metro.

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