Laundy Hotels dominated the 2023 AHA NSW Awards for Excellence, winning multiple awards, including two of the major awards.

The pub group won Hotel Group Operator of the Year and Metropolitan Hotel of the Year for The Log Cabin in Penrith. Earlier in the ceremony, it was also awarded with Best Family Friendly Venue for The Marsden Brewhouse, the Disability and Inclusion award for its latest pub Willowdale Hotel, Best Metropolitan Development for Woolly Bay Hotel, and Best Deluxe Pub Accommodation for Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel. It also received a Highly Commended for Woolwich Pier Hotel in the Best Metropolitan Casual Dining (Western) category. Three tables of Laundy Hotels staff were on hand to celebrate the wins.

Speaking to Australian Hotelier, Craig Laundy suggested that the awards were a result of a lot of work done by the group during and post-covid.

“It was amazing today. The icing on the cake was winning Metropolitan Hotel of the Year. The Log Cabin took two or three years of planning from three great families: the Wearns, the Cottles, the Laundys. All of the family was involved in the design from the ground up.

“But the one that really tugs at the heartstrings is having dad here today. We’ve never won Group Operator the Year. We’ve been around since 1949. And, and I just think it’s a fantastic result because we’ve been doing some really different things for us over the past few years.

“Covid didn’t scare us off. We had a lot under way through COVID. We didn’t deviate. We stayed the course and we’ve delivered The Plough and Ale, The Log Cabin, Brooks Tavern Jordan Springs, The Marsden Brewhouse and The Locker Room. Those are greenfield sites where groups are doing one, if that. And we’ve got more to come.

“So we’re very excited with today and it’s great recognition for the many, many people behind the scenes, the team, the staff on the front lines, and we’re over the moon.”

Patriarch Arthur Laundy was very pleased with the results directing the praise at his family and staff.

“I’m thrilled mainly for my family and my staff. They give it their best, and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to do something today that they can be recognised for too.”

Behind his own drive, he suggested it all came down for a long-held love of the industry.

“I just I love my industry. I’m 82, I’ve been a publican since I was 21. I was in hotels with my mum and dad as a seven-year-old. Our first hotel was the Sackville Hotel in Rozelle in ‘48. Even in those days, I followed my father around and I just loved everything about it. So I went to university for a couple of years, but I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to be in the pub game,” explained Arthur.

“I love doing what I do, and I still work six and half days a week, playing golf on a Wednesday. But I’ve got the family around me there too. My children and grandchildren who are all involved. So with all of this, this inspires me.”

Both Craig and Arthur suggested there was more on the horizon for the group.

“There’s nothing stopping us,” said Arthur. “I’m only 82!”

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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