The AHA NSW Awards for Excellence were held at The Star Event Centre earlier this week, attended by 1,200 industry and business leaders.

More than 600 nominations were received across the awards’ 42 categories.

Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel was named Hotel of the Year – City, while also taking out the award for Best Social Media Activity. The Sunken Monkey won Hotel of the Year – Country, in addition to Best Nightclub/Nightlife venue for its ‘Proud Mary’s’ club.

Sydney hotelier Patrick Gallagher received a standing ovation when he was inducted into the AHA NSW Hall of Fame as this year’s recipient of the Cyril Maloney Medal.

The Best Restaurant (country) title went to Graze At The Willow Tree Inn, Willow Tree, while the city award went to the Charing Cross Hotel in Waverley. Bistro Moncur in the Woollahra Hotel took home the Best Fine Dining Restaurant (mains $35+) award, while The Dolphin, which reopened earlier this year under the management of Bondi Icebergs Dining Room & Bar’s Maurice Terzini, won the Best Innovative Wine List award.

The major winners for 2016 include:

  • Best traditional hotel bar: Union Hotel, North Sydney
  • Best cocktail/lounge bar: Henry Deane, Hotel Palisade, Sydney CBD
  • Best specialty/emerging bar: Bar Florian, Port Macquarie/Huxley’s Caringbah (joint)
  • Best draught beer quality: The Oaks, Neutral Bay
  • Best innovative wine list: The Dolphin, Surry Hills
  • Best retail liquor outlet: Harrigans Irish Pub and Accommodation, Pokolbin
  • Best family-friendly hotel: Moonee Beach Tavern, Moonee Beach
  • Best outdoor experience: Kooringal Hotel, Wagga Wagga
  • Best rooftop bar: The Glenmore, The Rocks
  • Best innovative refurbishment: Rose of Australia, Erskineville
  • Best new/redeveloped hotel (country): Gregory Hills Hotel, Gregory Hills/ Narellan Hotel, Narellan (joint winners)
  • Best new/redeveloped hotel (city): Crows Nest Hotel, Crows Nest
  • Heart of the Community: The George Tavern, Green Hills
  • Best restaurant (country): Graze At The Willow Tree Inn, Willow Tree
  • Best restaurant (city): Charing Cross Hotel, Waverley
  • Best fine dining restaurant (mains $35+): Bistro Moncur, Woollahra Hotel
  • Best steak: The Sackville Hotel, Rozelle
  • Best burger: Bayview Hotel, Gladesville
  • Best cheap eat meal under $15: Village Green Hotel, Grafton
  • Best live music: Hotel Steyne, Manly
  • Best sports bar: Agincourt Hotel, Haymarket
  • Best pub-style accommodation (traditional): Prince of Wales, Gulgong
  • Best pub-style accommodation (deluxe): Caves Beachside Hotel, Caves Beach
  • Single hotel operator of the year: Des Kennedy, Oriental Hotel, Mudgee
  • Best group hotel operator of the year: Public House Management Group

A full list of winners is available at


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