The best of Victoria’s hotels, venues, staff, and food have all been revealed at the 2017 Tourism Accommodation Australia (Victoria) Accommodation Awards for Excellence event.
Winners were announced at a gala dinner held at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne last Thursday evening.
The dinner was attended by in excess of 500 accommodation hoteliers and hospitality industry leaders, including representatives of the Victorian Government, Arts Centre Melbourne, Melbourne City Council, Destination Melbourne, Australian Grand Prix Corporation, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Melbourne Convention Bureau and Queen Victoria Market.
The Outstanding Contribution to the Industry award recognises the sustained impact of a hotelier or industry leader, who has made a significant contribution to the Victoria’s tourism and accommodation sectors.
This year the recipient of this prestigious award was hotel industry doyen, Darryl Washington.
In his 46 years of service to the hospitality industry Washington has owned and operated hotels, held a number of Board positions with the Australian Hotels Association, including State and National President and Chair of the Accommodation Division, and been a founding and long serving director of United Innkeeper (Thirsty Camel).
Washington led many successful advocacy campaigns during his tenure and was instrumental in the concept creation and delivery of a winter marketing campaign for Melbourne hotels that was successful in generating 20,000 additional bed nights during the winter season and was the forerunner to Tourism Victoria’s seasonal marketing campaigns.
Other winners honoured were:
Accommodation Category Award Winners:
1. Deluxe Accommodation Hotel of the Year- QT Melbourne
2. Superior Accommodation Hotel of the Year – Amora Hotel Riverwalk, Melbourne and The Blackman, Melbourne, Art Series Hotel Group
3. Mid-Range Accommodation Hotel of the Year – Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens
4. Apartment Accommodation of the Year – Citadines on Bourke Melbourne
5. Boutique Style Accommodation of the Year- Lyall Hotel & Spa, South Yarra
6. Regional Accommodation of the Year- Mercure Warragul
7. Resort Style Accommodation of the Year- Balgownie Estate Vineyard Retreat and Spa, Yarra Glen
Specialty Category – Winners:
1. Deluxe Restaurant of the Year – Sofitel Melbourne on Collins – No 35
2. Hotel Restaurant of the Year- Amora Hotel Riverwalk, Melbourne – Fresco Restaurant
3. Regional Hotel Restaurant of the Year- Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld – The Royal Mail Dining Room
4. Hotel Bar of the Year- InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto – Market Lane Bar
5. Hotel Club Lounge of the Year- Park Hyatt Melbourne
Individual Excellence – Winners:
1. Administration Employee of the Year- Crown Towers, Melbourne – Ciara O’Brien
2. Concierge of the Year- Stamford Plaza Melbourne – Nikolas Adams
3. Engineer & Maintenance Employee of the Year- The Langham Melbourne – Anthony Sharp
4. Food & Beverage Services Employee of the Year- Rydges Melbourne – Carl Saltalamacchia and The Westin Melbourne – Pamela Gould
5. Front Office Services Employee of the Year- Sofitel Melbourne On Collins – Nasriya Juma
6. Hotel Industry Rising Star- Melbourne Marriott Hotel – Jessie Roden
7. Housekeeper Employee of the Year- Grand Hyatt Melbourne – Khalid Wattoo
8. Marketing Employee of the Year- Melbourne Marriott Hotel – Leah Tsakmakis
9. Revenue Manager Employee of the Year- Sofitel Melbourne on Collins – Muhammad Zeeshan
10. Sales Employee of the Year- Yarra Valley Lodge – Jessica Southerden
Property Performance – Winners:
1. Best Environmental & Energy Efficiency Practice- Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens, Melbourne
2. Best Marketed Accommodation Provider- Grand Hyatt Melbourne
3. Excellence in Innovation- Grand Hyatt Melbourne
4. Outstanding Achievement in Training- Crown Melbourne
5. Outstanding Community Service Achievement- Atura Dandenong
Greg Moore, TAA (Vic) Chair praised the finalists, award-winners and individuals who were honoured.
“Recognising and rewarding excellence at all levels of our industry is very important as it is at the heart of engaging and motivating our people,” he said.
“The diversity and quality of hotels across Victoria is something for us all to be proud of and is worth celebrating. The properties and individuals who have been recognised tonight epitomise a commitment to the highest standards of excellence and contribute to positioning Victoria as premier visitor destination for local and international visitors.
“Congratulations to finalists and in particular all winning accommodation providers.”