The Marion Hotel has been named South Australia’s best hotel for the second year running, with the Bridgeport Hotel a joint-winner of this year’s top gong at the AHA (SA) 2021 Hotel Industry Awards for Excellence.

The awards, which were held at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on Tuesday night, acknowledged the $20 million transformation of The Marion Hotel – a Hurley Hotel Group pub based in Adelaide – which was completed in late 2019.

According to judges, the hotel continues to set incredible standards in food and beverage, functions, accommodation, retail and gaming. Marion Hotel was also named Best Gaming Venue – Metropolitan, and Best Meeting & Events Venue – General Division.

“The win feels absolutely amazing! We are so grateful that the team here have such a passion for the industry,” Marion Hotel’s Jessica Bellwood says. “After last year’s win we continued to push ourselves to new highs and achieved so much all while navigating the constantly changing restrictions.

“It took hard work, dedicated staff and a lot of elbow grease but a back-to-back win makes it all worthwhile.”

Joint winner, the Bridgeport Hotel in Murray Bridge, has been re-developed into a 100-room hotel after 25 years of ownership and 11 years of planning and development by owners Graham Hobbs and Ian Tregoning at a cost of $45 million. Organisers also acknowledged Bridgeport Hotel’s ground-breaking jobs program for the long-term unemployed in the region.

Many country hotels were recognised, including the Dalrymple Hotel in Stansbury, which won the award for Best Bistro Casual Dining – Country, while the newly renovated Peninsula Hotel in Taperoo has won the Award for Best Marketing & Promotion – General Division, and also received two judges’ commendations for Bistro Casual Dining – Outer Metropolitan, and Redeveloped Hotel – Metropolitan.

“Congratulations to all the outstanding winners of the 2021 Hotel Awards for Excellence,” said AHA|SA general manager Ian Horne. “The incredible standards in food and beverage, service and experience set by all of our winners this year is a testament to the absolute resilience and innovation of the hotel industry.

“Even through the continuing challenging times, the hotel industry and our people continue to lift, innovate and set high standards across all facets of our venues.

“As we celebrate 150 years of the Australian Hotels Association (SA) branch, we are proud to be representing this incredible industry, and in turn, the 26,000 people it employs.”

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