By Andrew Starke

Sydney’s Coogee Bay Hotel took out the Best Overall Hotel (Metropolitan) title at the AHA National Awards for Excellence last night (Sunday, Aug 21) – one of 10 NSW hotels recognised as being among the nation’s best.

More than 500 industry leaders from around Australia gathered for the ceremony, which was held at Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel.

NSW scooped 10 of the 36 awards on offer:

  • Coogee Bay Hotel – Best Overall Hotel (Metropolitan)
  • Eastwood Hotel – Best Gaming Venue (Metropolitan)
  • Est, Establishment – Best Restaurant (Metropolitan)
  • Bilson’s, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel – Best Restaurant (Accommodation)
  • Mike Enright, Ivy Bar – Bartender of the Year
  • Gary Johnson, Hilton Sydney / Greg Bookalil, Epping Hotel – Chef of the Year (joint winners)
  • Hilton Sydney – Outstanding Achievement in Training
  • Camden Valley Inn – Best Pub-Style Accommodation
  • Ivy Bar – Best Entertainment Venue
  • The Mill Hotel – Best Redeveloped Hotel

AHA (NSW) CEO Sally Fielke said the award ceremony was a highlight of a busy year for the hotel industry.

“NSW hotels are world class – there is no doubt about that,” she said. “Our hoteliers work hard to provide the best possible service for the people of NSW and it is great to see the best in the industry rewarded tonight.”

“All finalists are considered for Best Overall Hotel – it is a great honour for the Coogee Bay Hotel to win that title in the metropolitan category.

Other major Sydney-based winners included Ivy for best entertainment venue and Bilsons at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel for Best Restaurant (Accommodation).

“It’s also great to see regional hoteliers recognised with the popular Camden Valley Inn leading the way in Best Pub-Style Accommodation,” said Fielke.

“My congratulations go to all winners on behalf of AHA (NSW).”

The national winner of the Best Overall Hotel (Regional) was the Exchange Hotel, Townsville, while the Saffire-Freycinet won the award for Best Overall Hotel (Accommodation).

This year’s inductee’s into the Johnnie Walker Hall of Fame (the AHA’s highest individual honour) were brothers Tony and Guy Matthews of the Matthews Hotel Group in South Australia.

The Shout Team

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