Hospitality NZ Awards for Excellence: Finalists Announced

Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa, finalist for Best Luxury Hotel

Finalists for this year’s Hospitality Awards for Excellence have been announced from a record number of entries from venues in the awards’ 24-year history.

The Hospitality Awards for Excellence celebrate the success, achievements and, especially in this year post-COVID, the resilience of the hospitality and accommodation sector. The awards are hosted by Hospitality New Zealand, proudly in partnership with principal sponsor Lion New Zealand along with the support of industry partners.

The Awards return after missing last year because of the pandemic. The Hospitality Awards for Excellence celebrates the best of the best within the hospitality and accommodation industry.

Winners will be announced at a black-tie dinner at Eden Park on the final night of the inaugural New Zealand Hospitality Summit, ‘The Future of Hospitality – Building Forward’, in Auckland on 7-9 September.

Karaka Café, finalist for Best Café

CEO Julie White noted that the Awards for Excellence are a chance for Hospitality New Zealand to recognise and reward members who strove throughout the year to create the highest possible standards and experiences for both their guests and their team.

“This year the awards are particularly relevant considering what businesses and employees have been through, and are still going through, though in a way it’s a pity we have to single out anyone. Every hospitality business owner, operator and every worker out there deserve a medal for the resilience and perseverance they’ve shown through probably the toughest period the industry has ever been through,” she said.

“Because of that, I imagine it was hard for the judges to get this far, and even harder for them to pick the winners. It’s inspiring to see hospitality businesses still looking to be the best and to meet customers’ needs after all they’ve been through.” During the Awards evening, the People’s Choice Award will also be announced, voting is now open for all New Zealanders to vote for their favourite hospitality or accommodation venue.

Most provinces are represented, and entries have generally been weighted evenly between CBD, suburban and rural.

“On the subject of the impact of the pandemic, a clear trend has emerged that demonstrates a stronger-than-previous connection between venues and ‘local communities’, and vice-versa,” commented independent Head Judge, Michael Friend.

“Having judged the awards for the past five cycles, I consider there are a greater number of quality entries this year. The finalists are generally at a much higher standard, which presents the judges with a great challenge in determining each category winner and the Supreme Award winner.”

Perky's Floating Bar, finalist for Best Destination Venue

The Summit will be hosted by Hospitality New Zealand and the NZChefs Association and will feature the best both organisations have to offer.

Mrs White said it’s designed as both a showcase for owners, venue managers, accommodation providers, employees, chefs, and those who supply and purchase hospitality supplies, and as a chance to re-set how the industry will evolve to thrive into the future. It’s open to everyone in the industry, not just Hospitality New Zealand and NZChefs members.

The Finalists Are:

Best Bar: sponsored by Pernod Ricard NZ

  • Fantail and Turtle, Auckland
  • Good George North Wharf, Auckland
  • Rooftop at QT (QT Hotel), Auckland
  • The Freeport Tavern and Cleaver and Co, Mt Maunganui
  • Thistle Inn, Wellington

Best Café: sponsored by Goodman Fielder Food Service and Meadow Fresh

  • Diner 66, Christchurch
  • Fusee Rouge Café, Cromwell
  • Karaka Café, Wellington

Best Brew Pub/ Distillery: sponsored by Hospitality New Zealand

  • Good George Dining Hall, Hamilton
  • Kaiser Brew Garden, Christchurch
  • Monteiths Brewing Company, Greymouth

Best Destination Venue: sponsored by Coca-Cola Europacific Partners New Zealand

  • Brewtown Upper Hutt, Upper Hutt
  • Holey Moley Golf Club, Auckland
  • Perky’s Floating Bar, Queenstown
  • Tantalus Estate, Waiheke Island
  • The Riverhead, Riverhead

Best Environmental / Sustainable Business: sponsored by Genesis

Milford Sound Lodge, finalist for Best Environmental / Sustainable Business

  • Milford Sound Lodge, Milford Sound
  • The Hotel Britomart, Auckland
  • University of Canterbury Students Association, Christchurch

Best Hotel: sponsored by Sleepyhead

  • Fable Dunedin, Dunedin
  • Hotel Grand Windsor, Auckland
  • Hotel Fitzroy curated by Fable, Auckland
  • Rydges Latimer, Christchurch
  • SkyCity Hotel, Auckland

Best Luxury Hotel: sponsored by Westpac

  • Fable Dunedin, Dunedin
  • Hotel Grand Windsor, Auckland
  • QT Wellington, Wellington
  • Sofitel Queenstown - Hotel and Spa, Queenstown
  • The Grand by SkyCity, Auckland

Best Luxury Boutique Hotel: sponsored by Westpac

  • Escape to Picton Boutique Hotel, Picton
  • Hotel Fitzroy curated by Fable, Auckland
  • Ohtel Wellington, Wellington
  • The Landing, Kerikeri
  • Wharekauhau Country Estate, Featherston

Best Motel: sponsored by Seekom

  • Century Park Motor Lodge, Nelson
  • One88 on Commerce, Whakatane
  • Radfords on the Lake, Te Anau
  • The Metrotel Motel, New Plymouth
  • The St James, Hanmer Springs

Best Local: sponsored by Sky

The Brown Pub, finalist for Best Local

  • The Brown Pub, Methven
  • The Elmwood Trading Co., Christchurch
  • The Riverhead, Riverhead
  • Thistle Inn, Wellington
  • Woodbourne Tavern, Renwick

Best New/ Redeveloped Business– Accommodation: sponsored by Dulux

  • Bealey Quarter, Christchurch
  • Fable Dunedin, Dunedin
  • Jet Park Hotel Auckland Airport, Auckland
  • QT Auckland, Auckland
  • Sojourn Apartment Hotel, Wellington

Best New/ Redeveloped – Food & Beverage: sponsored by Dulux

  • Hop on Hop off Wine Tours Ltd, Queenstown and Picton
  • Kaiser Brew Garden, Christchurch
  • Maria Lane Eatery and Bar, Whanganui
  • Margo’s, Queenstown
  • Market ST, Napier

Best Restaurant: sponsored by Hospitality New Zealand

  • Artisan Restaurant (Bolton Hotel), Wellington
  • The Press Club (Fable), Dunedin
  • Fife Lane Kitchen and Bar, Tauranga
  • Francesca’s Italian Kitchen, Wanaka
  • White + Wong’s, Queenstown

Fife Lane Kitchen and Bar, finalist for Best Restaurant

Excellence in Gaming: sponsored by Hospitality New Zealand

  • Botany Commons, Auckland
  • Five Stags Leamington Tavern, Cambridge
  • Fox and Hounds, Taupo
  • The Elmwood Trading Co., Christchurch
  • Woodbourne Tavern, Renwick

Excellence in Marketing: sponsored by GuestTraction

  • Erik’s Fish and Chips, Queenstown
  • Fable Hotel and Resorts
  • QT Auckland, Auckland

Excellence in Training & Development: sponsored by Typsy

Emmerson's, finalist for Excellence in Training & Development

  • Emerson’s Brewery and Taproom, Dunedin
  • Good Spirits Hospitality
  • Kaiser Brew Garden, Christchurch