AHA (Vic) Awards for Excellence winners revealed

15 November, 2016 by
Danielle Bowling

The 2016 Australian Hotels Association (Vic) State Awards for Excellence have been presented, with The Railway Hotel in Windsor taking out the Best Pub Restaurant – Metropolitan award.

The AHA (Vic) State Awards for Excellence program comprises 39 categories, including a new addition – the People’s Choice Award.  All 134 nominees from this year’s awards were eligible to participate in People’s Choice Award and over 3,000 votes were received, with the crown taken out by Criterion Hotel in Sale.

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The Nikakis Award recognises an individual or organisation that serves as an inspiration to the industry, and this year the award went to Mark Robertson OAM.  Robertson initially joined Victoria’s pub industry in the early 1990s and his interests include the Lower Plenty Hotel, Epping Plaza Hotel, Mail Exchange Hotel, Welcome Stanger Hotel and Watergardens Hotel.  Robertson helped establish HotelCare to advance AHA’s charitable activities and through his leadership of the HotelCare Golf Day it has raised over $2 million for Victorian charities and causes.  Robertson has also been an AHA-nominated board member of HostPlus Superannuation for almost 10 years.

Winners of the awards' dining categories include:

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Dining Awards

  • Best Menu & Wine List: The Malvern Hotel – Malvern
  • Best Pub Restaurant – Regional: Tinamba Hotel – Tinamba
  • Best Pub Restaurant – Metropolitan: The Railway Hotel – Windsor
  • Best Bistro – Regional: Cardinia Park Hotel – Beaconsfield
  • Best Bistro – Metropolitan: The Pumphouse Hotel – Fitzroy
  • Best Family Dining: Knox Tavern – Wantirna South

Other winners include:

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Overall Performance

  • Overall Hotel of the Year – Regional: Cardinia Park Hotel – Beaconsfield
  • Overall Hotel of the Year – Metropolitan: Zagame’s Berwick

Individual Employee Awards

  • Hotel Industry Rising Star: Jessica Arnold – San Remo Hotel – San Remo
  • Excellence in Service – Administration: Marcia Larkan – Skyways Hotel – Airport West
  • Excellence in Service – Gaming: Donna-Maree Furnari – Watergardens Hotel – Taylors Lakes
  • Excellence in Service – Front of House: David Ellis – Lord of the  Isles Tavern – Newtown
  • Excellence in Service – Back of House: Daniel Hillman – The Bridge Inn Hotel – Mernda

Gaming & Wagering Awards

  • Best PubTAB – Regional: Windermere Hotel – Kangaroo Flat
  • Best PubTAB – Metropolitan: Newmarket Tavern – Flemington
  • Best Gaming Venue with 50 machines or less – Regional: Windermere Hotel – Kangaroo Flat
  • Best Gaming Venue with 51 machines or more – Regional: Grovedale Hotel – Grovedale
  • Best Gaming Venue with 50 machines or less – Metropolitan: Westmeadows Tavern – Westmeadows
  • Best Gaming Venue with 51 machines or more – Metropolitan: Old England Hotel – Heidelberg
  • Best Keno Venue – Regional: Mildura Gateway Tavern – Mildura
  • Best Keno Venue – Metropolitan: Zagame’s Boronia

General Awards

  • Best Public Bar – Regional: The Western Hotel – Ballarat
  • Best Public Bar – Metropolitan: Temperance Hotel – South Yarra
  • Best Theme Bar: The Elephant & Wheelbarrow – Melbourne
  • Best Presented Beer: American Hotel – Echuca
  • Best Live Entertainment Venue: The Westernport Hotel – San Remo
  • Best Sports Bar – Regional: Grovedale Hotel – Grovedale
  • Best Sports Bar – Metropolitan: Zagame’s – Berwick
  • Best Outdoor Area: Precinct Hotel – Richmond
  • Best Redeveloped Hotel: Somerville Hotel – Somerville
  • Best Retail Liquor Outlet: Old England Hotel – Heidelberg
  • Best Hotel Accommodation: Taylors Lakes Family Hotel – Taylors Lakes
  • Best Hotel – Pub Style Accommodation: Royal Mail Hotel – Yea

Performance Awards

  • Best Environmental Practice: Kings Creek Hotel – Hastings
  • Best Marketed Hotel: The Western Hotel – Ballarat
  • Outstanding Achievement in Training: Kelly’s Motor Club Hotel – Cranbourne
  • Outstanding Community Service: Rushworth Hotel – Rushworth
  • Best Hotel Group Operation: Zagame’s Corporation