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Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence Winners

New Zealand hospitality champions celebrate with coveted Lion Awards for Excellence

As published on Hospitality.org.nz.

The finest Kiwi hospitality venues have been recognised at Hospitality New Zealand’s 21st annual Awards for Excellence gala dinner, held in Queenstown on Thursday night, with over 300 attendees from all around the country.

Hospitality New Zealand’s Chief Executive Vicki Lee said: “The judges all agreed that the standard was exceptionally high this year – not only the winners but the finalists as well.”

An intensive judging process by a panel of independent industry professionals considered many aspects of the finalists’ businesses. These included staff training and human resources, customer service, food and beverage offerings, marketing and promotional activities, and the demonstration of business growth.

The 2018 Supreme Award winner was Wanaka’s boutique Cardrona Hotel, situated on the Crown Range Road between Queenstown and Wanaka. They also picked up the award for Best Country Hotel. The judges were very impressed with the friendly service, even during the hotel’s busiest times. They commented on the tasteful décor and excellent food.

Now in its 21st year, the Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence honours the achievements of the hardworking and competitive people who make hospitality and accommodation throughout New Zealand exceptional.

The full list of winners is as follows:


Supreme Winner – Cardrona Hotel, Wanaka

Cardrona management and staff are masters at managing the huge array of patrons of all ages that frequent the hotel.

They have handled their design and layout with care and their food and service is second to none.  They always deliver an incredibly high-quality product, no matter how much pressure the bar and restaurant are under. The judges believe that the Cardrona Hotel has executed the perfect balance between elegance and world-class kiwi hospitality.

Cardrona Hotel - Supreme Winner - Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence


Best Hotel – Escape to Picton Boutique Hotel, Picton

Escape to Picton is a boutique hotel, bar and restaurant situated by Picton’s waterfront, overlooking the marina.  As a luxury hotel, they invest their time into perfecting their customers’ experience down to the last detail.  Their three luxury suites are designed to make their guests’ stay memorable.

Escape to Picton Boutique Hotel Picton - Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence


Best Motel – The St James, Hanmer Springs

The St James is a 5-star rated property just off of the main street in the centre of Hanmer Springs, just a few minutes’ walk to the thermal pools, shops, cafes and restaurants. The St James offers premium accommodation, great service and genuine hospitality.  They have 16 units of boutique luxury accommodation.  “Our difference is the detail” motto begins from the moment you check in when you are warmly greeted by your hosts, Paul and Rae Baigent.

The St James Hanmer Springs - Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence


Best Country Hotel – Cardrona Hotel, Wanaka

Located on the spectacular Crown Range Road, the Cardrona Hotel is one of New Zealand’s oldest and most iconic hotels. It boasts a fully licensed bar and an award-winning restaurant, along with 16 en suite hotel rooms.  Although the building has undergone many renovations and additions, every care has been taken to preserve the unique character and historical relics from the hotel’s past.

The Cardrona Hotel is at the heart of a small but active community.

Cardrona Hotel Wanaka - Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence


Best Café – Miro, Christchurch

After being open for just two months, this 45-seat restaurant is serving over 200 coffees and 120 breakfasts & brunches daily.  Located in the old Caffe Roma on Oxford terrace, it has been a labour of love to ensure the décor at Miro has been fully restored to its former glory. The emphasis here is on quality, locally sourced ingredients served in a sophisticated environment.

Miro Christchurch - Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence


Best Bar – Good Union, Cambridge

Good George came to life after a group of friends decided it was time to create their own craft beer brand. The name Good Union represents the union of good food, good beer and good people. This fully licensed bar and restaurant is open 7 days for lunch and dinner, with the addition of breakfast on the weekends.  Good Union prides itself on sourcing fresh local produce, offers a unique menu incorporating ‘low and slow’ cooking.

Good Union Cambridge - Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence


Best Neighbourhood Bar and Eatery – Southern Cross Garden Bar, Wellington

The Southern Cross is more than just a bar. Tt is a community within the community, offering locals a place to connect and relax, kick back in the garden bar and enjoy a bite to eat. They can catch up on latest magazines/newspapers in the library, watch an outdoor movie or organise their social calendar in line with the Southern Cross’s weekly schedule of live gigs and entertainment.   This place is humming, and the service is attentive and friendly.

Southern Cross Garden Bar Wellington - Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence


Best Restaurant – White+Wong’s, Auckland

White + Wong’s is located in the heart of the Auckland Viaduct, bring east and west together with expansive harbour views.  There are plenty of re-invented and traditional South-east Asian favourites, including Peking Duck, Kung Pao Chicken and handcrafted dumplings. Enjoy the theatre from their open format kitchen.  The menu and Asian-inspired “Woktails” will take you on a culinary journey of flavours throughout Asia.

White and Wongs Auckland - Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence


Excellence in Gaming – Richard Pearse Tavern, Timaru

Richard Pearse Tavern is part of the Northend Hotels (NEH): an urban gastro pub featuring a large bar, restaurant and a Pub Charity Limited gaming room. They demonstrate commitment to delivering high performance standards in gaming operations, excellent customer service, along with exceptional standards and systems around compliance, cash management and harm minimisation.  They strive to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for gaming customers and committed to raising of funds to support local groups and organisations.

Richard Pearse Tavern Timaru - Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence


Best Redeveloped F&B – Cook Street Social, Hamilton

The redevelopment of Cook Street Social in Hamilton has provided a complete transformation. The heritage and sense of community were encapsulated in the design brief.  The cinema bar lightbox is a show stopper and displays the 24-tap beer bar.  This refurbishment has brought style to the suburbs and Cook Street Social has already become a local institution.

Cook Street Social Hamilton - Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence


Best Redeveloped Accommodation – Hotel Grand Windsor, Auckland

Hotel Grand Windsor, part of McGallery by Sofitel, opened in October 2017.  The hotel successfully transitioned from three-star to five-star status while still operating. Renovations were completed one floor at a time to contain disruption. Concurrently, staff with a background in luxury hotels were recruited.

At the heart of the hotel are the dining and living spaces of Cooke’s Restaurant & Bar, where cleverly placed furnishings create intimate spaces.  Hotel Grand Windsor has created a five-star hideaway in the heart of Auckland’s city.

Hotel Grand Windsor - Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence


Best Environmental/Sustainable Business – Vines Village Café, Blenheim

The Vines Village is a collection of six retail outlets, ranging from fashion, art and crafts to gourmet foods and sweet treats. Also on site are the Whitehaven Wines cellar door, the Vines Village Café, and boutique accommodation.  If you are dining in the café you can be sure some of the ingredients have come straight from the kitchen garden.  In their ever-evolving project, the aim is to turn Vines Village into a full eco-village.

 


Best Newcomer F&B – Whistling Sisters/The Fermentery, Wellington

Whistling Sisters is a Scott Family project. Other Scott family venues in Wellington include Leuven, Avida and the Featherston City Tavern.  This fine food and beverage establishment is more than just a great place to dine or visit – they like to create new and unexpected experience based on customers’ enjoyment.  The Scott Family started this project to give back to the community through the Karen Louisa foundation. Karen was their beloved daughter and sister who they lost to breast cancer in 2015.

Whistling Sisters Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence


Excellence in Host Responsibility – Functionmaster, Wellington

Functionmaster has built a credible reputation in managing the Sale of Liquor Act at a number of venues, concerts and events.   Host responsibility for large scale venues is an inherently risky proposition, and one FunctionMaster take very seriously.  The level of documented processes, the risk assessment profile, the pre and post briefings, the staff training and communications are all excellent. The team are professional and experienced, and have developed an excellent and trusting relationship with the police, local authorities, and promoters alike.

Functionmaster Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence


Excellence in Training and Staff Development – Emerson’s Taproom, Dunedin

Emerson’s Taproom have embedded a training and development plan into their business. This is structured to ensure that service standards are being met, and each team member’s individual requirements are considered.  They have achieved a collaborative win/win attitude across the team, increased employee engagement by 95%, increased the average spend per table by over 13%, and provided excellent customer satisfaction.

Emersons Taproom - Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence


Excellence in Marketing – Erik’s Fish and Chips, Queenstown

Erik’s have created a unique and vibrant brand to stand out from the competition, creating and executing their own marketing strategy. This has culminated in exceptional sales growth.  Their dream was to be the best fish and chip shop in New Zealand, bringing people together to provide a happy and memorable Kiwi experience in two beautiful locations.

Eriks Fish and Chips Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence


Best Destination Venue – Tantalus Estate, Waiheke Island

At Tantalus Estate everything is designed to leave an indelible impression and provide a tantalizing sensory experience.  Named in the top 100 restaurants within the first 9 months of operation, Tantalus also holds #1 Status on Trip Advisor.  They have a popular Cellar Door, a Native Wetland walk and are Helicopter friendly. Whether you’re dressed in a designer suit or board shorts and jandals, all Tantalus guests are treated like VIPS.

Tantalus Estate - Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence


People’s Choice – Erik’s Fish and Chips, Wanaka

Erik’s have created a unique and vibrant brand to stand out from the competition, creating and executing their own marketing strategy. This has culminated in exceptional sales growth.  Their dream was to be the best fish and chip shop in New Zealand, bringing people together to provide a happy and memorable Kiwi experience in two beautiful locations.

Eriks Fish and Chips - Peoples Choice Award - Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence