Hospitality New Zealand has announced the finalists for the Lion Awards for Excellence 2019.

Now in its 22nd year, Hospitality New Zealand hosts the Awards for Excellence annually to celebrate the successes and achievements of the hospitality industry across New Zealand. This year more than 200 entries were received in 17 categories.

Each year, businesses in the accommodation and food and beverage sectors are recognised for their hard work and commitment to excellence in their field.

"The judges have been most impressed with the calibre of entire across all categories this year and have been well challenged in determining the finalists," said Head Juge Michael Friend. "We are also delighted to be judging some unique entries, particularly in the Best Destination Venue category.

"This year the most competitive categories with the most nominations were the Neighbourhood Bar & Eatery award and the Best Bar award," Friend added.

The winners of will be announced at a gala dinner in Hawke's Bay on 17 October, during Hospitality New Zealand's annual conference which takes place from 15- 17 October.

The finalists in this year's Hospitality New Zealand Lion Awards for Excellence are:

Best Bar
Alibi Brewer’s Lounge at Tantalus Estate, Waiheke Island
D4 on Featherston, Wellington
The Craft Embassy, Christchurch

Best Café
Miro, Christchurch
Neo Café & Eatery, Wellington
The Shire’s Rest (Hobbiton), Matamata

Best Country Hotel
Brown Pub, Methven
Cardrona Hotel, Wanaka
Theatre Royal Hotel, Kumara

Best Destination Venue
Cardrona Hotel, Wanaka
Fiordland Lodge, Te Anau
Wharekauhau Country Estate, Featherston

Best Environmental / Sustainable Business
Eco Villa, Christchurch
Christchurch Casino, Christchurch
Hobbiton, Matamata

Best Hotel
Bolton Hotel, Wellington
Castaways Resort, Waiuku
Naumi Hotel Auckland Airport, Auckland

Best Luxury Accommodation
Fiordland Lodge, Te Anau
Hotel Grand Windsor, Auckland
Wharekauhau Country Estate, Featherston

Best Motel
La Rochelle Motel, Akaroa
Radfords on the Lake, Te Anau
The St James, Hanmer Springs

Best Neighbourhood Bar & Eatery
No.4 Bar and Restaurant, Christchurch
Oasis Bar and Grill, Tauranga
Sprig and Fern, Petone

Best New Business – Food & Beverage
Ivory Bar, Rangiora
Tipsy Oyster Tapas & Bar Restaurant, Paihia
White + Wong’s, Queenstown

Best Redeveloped - Hotel
Duke of Marlborough Hotel, Russell
QT Hotel, Wellington
The Thorndon Hotel Wellington by Rydges, Wellington

Best Redeveloped – Food & Beverage
Castaways Resort, Waiuku
The Prince Albert, Wanaka
Top Hut Bar and Bistro, Twizel

Best Restaurant
Bloody Mary’s by Rydges Latimer, Christchurch
Portlander Bar and Grill by Rydges, Wellington
Tantalus Estate, Waiheke Island

Excellence in Gaming
Five Stags, Leamington
Hennessy’s Irish Bar, Rotorua
Square Leg, Hamilton

Excellence in Host Responsibility
Delaware North, Wellington
Emerson’s Brewery and Taproom, Dunedin
Functionmaster, Wellington

Excellence in Marketing
Aston Norwood Café & Function Centre, Upper Hutt
Hotel Chatham, Chatham Islands
QT Hotel, Wellington

Excellence in Training & Development
Lulu Bar, Wellington
The Arborist Rooftop Bar & Eatery, Wellington
West Auckland Trust Services, Auckland