It was Otago and Southland’s night at this week’s Hospitality New Zealand Awards, with Cargo Gantley’s Pub and Cafe named supreme winner and five other major awards bagged by the regions.
The black-tie awards dinner, held at Auckland’s Grand Millennium Hotel on 27 July, marked the end of Hospitality NZ’s two-day annual conference. The event was the 24th time the awards have been held, with a record 260 entries submitted from more than 200 venues.
Julie White, Hospitality NZ Chief Executive said Cody Hughes and his team were well-deserved winners, having done “a fantastic job under another year of the most trying of circumstances, as did every other category winner and finalist.”
Supreme winner Cargo Gantley’s Pub and Cafe is located in an old stone building five minutes drive from the centre of Queenstown and one minute from the bottom of Coronet Ski Field. The historic building is Queenstown’s oldest hospitality spot, having been built in 1865 to provide food, drink and lodgings during gold rush times.
Cargo Gantley’s also won the Best New/Redeveloped Food & Beverage category. The finalists in this category were: Cargo Gantley’s Pub & Café, Queenstown; Margo’s, Queenstown; Lola Rouge at Naumi Studio Wellington , Wellington; Esther Restaurant at QT Auckland, Auckland; Queenstown Ice Bar, Queenstown.
Also from Queenstown, Future Hospitality Group, won Excellence in People & Culture. Owners James Ace and Bert Haines said they’re “absolutely stoked” with the accolades, which recognise and reward the hard work and dedication of their staff after a difficult two-and-a-half years for the industry. Finalists in this category were; Miro, Christchurch; Republic Hospitality Group, Queenstown; The Riverhead, Riverhead; University of Canterbury Students Association, Christchurch; Event Hotels NZ Ltd, New Zealand.
Little Blackwood, Queenstown won Best Bar/Pub. Finalists in this were: Kaiser Brew Garden, Christchurch; Little Blackwood, Queenstown; Market ST, Napier; Thistle Inn, Wellington; Tipsy Oyster Tapas & Bar, Paihia.
Fusee Rouge Café, from Cromwell won Best Café. Finalists were: 11th Avenue by Frank’s, Queenstown; Bonobo Café, Christchurch; Fusee Rouge Café, Cromwell; Rusty Radiator Diner Café, Halcombe; The Wholemeal Café, Takaka.
Fable Dunedin, Dunedin won Best Hotel. Finalists were: Bolton Hotel, Wellington; Escape to Picton Boutique Hotel, Picton; Fable Dunedin, Dunedin; Ramada Suites by Wyndham Manukau, Auckland; The Hotel Britomart, Auckland.
Lake Taupo Holiday Resort, Taupo won Best Destination Venue. Finalists were: Fable Terrace Downs Resort, Windwhistle; Lake Taupo Holiday Resort, Taupo; Milford Sound Lodge, Milford Sound; Owen River Lodge, Murchison; Theatre Royal Hotel, Kumara.
The Hotel Britomart, Auckland; The Grand by SkyCity, Auckland won Best Luxury Hotel. Finalists were: Fable Dunedin, Dunedin; QT Auckland, Auckland; QT Queenstown, Queenstown.
kingi, Auckland won Best Restaurant. Finalists were: MASU by Nic Watt at SkyCity, Auckland; Miro, Christchurch; Tantalus Estate, Waiheke Island; Kingi at The Hotel Britomart, Auckland; White and Wong’s, Queenstown.
QT Museum Wellington, Wellington won Best Luxury Accommodation and Jiwon Do of the hotel’s Hippopotamus Restaurant and Cocktail Bar was also awarded Chef of the Year. Do was recognised for his passion and creativity, his ethos to support local, and his craft to tell stories through every dish. Under Chef Do’s direction since 2018, Hippopotamus Restaurant and Cocktail Bar has become an award-winning, French-inspired fine dining restaurant, known for both its high tea and the standout chef’s degustation menu. Hippopotamus also recently retained its Two Hat status in the Cuisine Good Food Awards. Chris Greening General Manager QT Wellington said, “It’s fantastic to see QT Wellington acknowledged and have the opportunity to celebrate our team’s dedication towards unique and unforgettable guest experiences. A huge congratulations to Chef Do for the magic he creates in Hippopotamus and Hot Sauce; Chef of the Year is a well-deserved award.”
Finalists in this category were : Adrift in Golden Bay, Parapara; Craggy Range Vineyards, Havelock North; Fable Auckland, Auckland; Hotel Fitzroy curated by Fable, Auckland; QT Wellington, Wellington.
Also from Wellington, Heyday Beer Co., won Best Brand Experience. Finalists were: Heyday Beer Co, Wellington; Naumi Studio Wellington, Wellington; The Hotel Britomart, Auckland; The Monteith’s Brewery Experience, Greymouth; Toastie New Zealand, Picton.
Palazzo Motor Lodge, Nelson won Best Motel. Finalists were: Baycrest Thermal Lodge, Taupo; One88 on Commerce, Whakatane; Palazzo Motor Lodge, Nelson; The St James, Hanmer Springs; Whangaparaoa Lodge, Auckland.
Podium Lodge, Cambridge won Best Accommodation (other). Finalists were: Hanmer Springs TOP 10 Holiday Park, Hanmer Springs; Lake Taupo Holiday Resort, Taupo; Ohope Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park, Ohope; Podium Lodge, Cambridge; Sojourn Apartment Hotel, Wellington.
The Elmwood Trading Company, Christchurch won Best Local. Finalists were Smith & McKenzie Steak House, Hamilton; The Elmwood Trading Company, Christchurch; The Frankton Arm Tavern, Queenstown; The Greytown Hotel – The Top Pub, Greytown; The Keg Room, Hamilton.
Owen River Lodge, Murchison won Best Environmental/Sustainable Business Finalists were: Awaroa Lodge, Abel Tasman National Park; Boulcott Suites, Wellington; Edgewater Resort Hotel, Wanaka; Owen River Lodge, Murchison; The Hotel Britomart, Auckland.
Eliza’s Manor, Christchurch won Best New/Redeveloped Business – Accommodation. Finalists: Eliza’s Manor, Christchurch; Fable Dunedin , Dunedin; Holiday Inn Queenstown Remarkables Park, Queenstown; Sojourn Apartment Hotel, Wellington; The Central Private Hotel, Queenstown.
University of Canterbury Students Association, Christchurch won Best Live Entertainment Venue. Finalists were: Miss Gee’s Bar and Eatery, Tauranga; SkyCity Hamilton, Hamilton; Smash Palace, Gisborne; The Playhouse Theatre, Nelson; University of Canterbury Students Association, Christchurch.
The Elmwood Trading Company, Christchurch won Excellence in Gaming. Finalists were: Botany Commons, Auckland; Five Stags Leamington, Leamington; Four Kings, Wellington; The Elmwood Trading Company, Christchurch; Woodbourne Tavern & Motel, Renwick.
Fable Hotels and Resorts, New Zealand won Excellence in Marketing. Finalists were: Bolton Hotel, Wellington; Edgewater, Wanaka; Fable Hotels and Resorts, New Zealand; SkyCity Hotels Group, Auckland; Toastie New Zealand, Picton.
The People’s Choice Award, voted on by the public, was won by Hanmer Springs TOP 10 Holiday Park.
There were also four new awards celebrating leaders who got the industry through the past two years. The Leader of the Year in Hospitality was Jamie Freeman from Joylab, Leader of the Year in Accommodation was Jacqui Cheal from Ramada by Wyndham Albany, Future Leader of the Year was Ashleigh Gee from Miss Gee’s Bar & Eatery, and Chef of the Year was Jiwon Do from QT Museum Wellington. Peter Norrie was inducted into the Hospitality Hall of Fame. Stacie Warren from Century Park Motor Lodge who won the Lynn Braddock award.
White said just being able to enter was a small miracle in itself for many businesses and operators, after the tough year. “The competition was fiercer even than last year, which is a testament to the resilience the industry has shown through the pandemic”.
For more see Hospitality New Zealand