By Annette Shailer
More than 800 industry representatives turned out to help recognise the best NSW hotels at the AHA (NSW) 2010 Awards for Excellence at Sydney’s Star City.
The top gong, Overall City Hotel of the Year, went to Ivy, while Queens Wharf Brewery in Newcastle was awarded Overall Country Hotel of the Year.
It was Ivy’s night though with the venue also a joint winner for both the Best Entertainment Venue (along with Sugarmill) and for Cocktail Bartender of the Year (along with Bungalow 8/The Loft, King St Wharf). Ivy’s Mad Cow Restaurant also took out the award for Best Steak Venue.
Another big winner was the NLG Hotel Group, out of its 22 nominations the group won Best Casual Dining Venue (City) – Willoughby Hotel, Best Gaming Venue (city) – Eastwood Hotel, Best Retail Liquor Outlet (City) – Lalor Park, Best Keno Venue (city) – Cabramatta, Best Keno Venue (country) – Moonee Beach, and Master of the Bar – Hamish Watts (NLG’s bar training manager).
“The awards night gets better and better each year and is a testament to the staff at the AHA NSW and the industry culture they help,” said NLG Hotel Group marketing manager, Alistair Flower.
“I’m delighted with NLG’s results at these awards and we are extremely pleased to be acknowledged on many of the areas of the business we have had real focus on in 2010, including our bistros and bottleshops. We are also delighted for one of our key staff, Hamish Watts to take out the newly created award of Master of the Bar.”
The Coogee Bay Hotel took out awards for Outstanding Community Service and Achievement and Best Pub Style Accommodation (City), as well as Hotel Industry Rising Star which went to Saskia Valkema.
AHA (NSW) CEO, Sally Fielke, said the awards night was a chance to recognise the best in an industry that is the backbone of many communities.
“The AHA (NSW) Awards for Excellence is about recognising that our hotels continue to raise the bar – and whether you are in Sydney or the bush you can expect quality service second to none,” she said.
“We would like to congratulate all the worthy winners particularly ivy, which took out four awards and the Coogee Bay Hotel and Queens Wharf Brewery, Newcastle both of which won three each.
One of the highlights of the night was a music video rap on the pub scene in NSW featuring NLG Hotel Group’s former CEO, Andrew Jolliffe.
The ceremony, which was hosted by Nova Radio star Tim Ross, saw two people inducted into the Hall of Fame – Peter Vlandis and Colin Ritchie.
For a full list of the winners, click here.