By Clyde Mooney

Despite a record number of finalists at this year's AHA NSW Awards for Excellence, two of the state's venues swaggered away with a clutch of trophies.

The Australian Hotel & Brewery (AHB) in Rouse Hill took the Association's highest honour – the Best Overall City Hotel of the Year, while the Yamba Shores Tavern (YST) claimed the out-of-town equivalent, the Best Overall Country Hotel of the Year.

As if that wasn't enough, both venues took the respective city and country variations on the Best New / Redeveloped Hotel, with the ABH opening last year and the YST having completed an extensive renovation.

And for the hat-trick, Yamba's favourite tavern was acknowledged for its restaurant, Shores, and the Rouse Hill brewery was commended for its family-friendly atmosphere.

Speaking to TheShout, Marcello Colosimo, owner and operator of the AHB, says the accolades are in line with the venue's objectives on patronage.

"Winning the family-friendly hotel award reinforces what an integral part of the local community we have become… it's great for the community that the best hotel in NSW is their local.

"We are very happy and proud to have won Hotel of the Year."

Built in the early 90s by the Muir and Bates families, the YST was self-operated and then leased for ten years before being taken back four years ago with an overhaul in mind.

Speaking to TheShout, owner and manager, Matthew Muir, was overcome with pride for the venue and his staff.

"We were really happy just to be finalists.

"When I went to the awards, I thought it would be great to get one. To then walk away with 3 – especially Overall Country Hotel of the Year – just blew us away! We were over the moon.

"I'm particularly glad of the recognition for our staff, who have been very instrumental in getting us where we are today."

The Shout Team

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