21 September 2022

Canberra's best bars, restaurants and hotels named at industry awards night

| Karyn Starmer
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The Alby bar

The Alby won Best New or Redeveloped Venue. Photo: The Alby.

The list of winners of the annual Hospitality and Tourism Awards reads like a who’s who of Canberra’s favourite bars, restaurants and hotels.

Hosted by the Australian Hotels Association (ACT Branch), 450 attendees from Canberra’s hospitality and tourism industry gathered at the National Arboretum on Monday night to hear the results and celebrate an industry emerging from the dark days of winter and the pandemic.

Steak dinner

QT’s Capitol Bar and Grill won best steak in Canberra. Photo: QT.

Australian Hotels Association (ACT Branch) general manager Anthony Brierley said that aside from celebrating the winners in each category, the event was a celebration of the industry’s resilience over the past 12 months.

“The atmosphere in the room was lively, you could feel the optimism. People in the industry are excited again,” Mr Brierley said.

“This gala dinner and awards night was a celebration of this industry’s perseverance and its dogged resilience. Twelve months ago, businesses in our industry were closed and staff were stood down. We survived and we have bounced back.”

The Dock

The Dock won Best Sporting Entertainment Venue. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

The award’s judging process lasted for months, with judges sifting through over 150 nominations across over 31 categories, from best restaurant to employee excellence in service.

“The winners represent the most outstanding product, venues, service and personnel the local hospitality and tourism industry has to offer,” Mr Brierley said.

“More than any certificate the AHA could provide, the industry’s survival through the past 12 months is testament to the excellence of its places, products and people.”

Hotel Realm

Hotel Realm won Best Conference & Functions Venue. Photo: Hotel Realm.

Mr Brierley encouraged Canberrans to continue to support the local hospitality industry and the 13,000 jobs it provides.

“Winter is traditionally quiet in Canberra, but now with spring and the warmer weather returning, things are looking promising, people are coming out again and forward bookings for our hotels are looking healthy once more.”

The complete list of winners:

  • Employee Excellence in Service – Lachlan Hoyle (Midnight Hotel)
  • Best Human Resources Talent – Lynda Bailey (Mercure Canberra Belconnen)
  • Housekeeper of the Year – Emma Searle (QT Canberra)
  • Best Sales & Marketing Talent – Natalie Graham (QT Canberra)
  • Best Family Friendly Venue – Agostinis
  • Best Work Health & Safety Venue – Bentspoke Brewing Co
  • Excellence in Innovation, Sustainability & Environmental Practice – Little National Hotel
  • Best Wagering Venue – Page Tavern
  • Best Conference & Functions Venue – Hotel Realm
  • Bartender of the Year – Soumi Tannous (Bar Beirut)
  • Best Late-Night Entertainment Venue – Hopscotch
  • Best Steak – Capitol Bar & Grill
  • Best Sporting Entertainment Venue -The Dock
  • Best Traditional Pub, Inn or Tavern – The Old Canberra Inn
  • Best New or Redeveloped Venue – The Alby
  • Apartment/Suite Hotel of the Year – East Hotel
  • Best Restaurant (Accommodation) – Buvette
  • Best Restaurant (General) – Pomegranate
  • Best Wine List – Rizla
  • Best Draught Beer Quality (joint winners) – The Alby, and Bentspoke Brewing Co
  • Chef of the Year – Samuel McCarthy (Walt & Burley)
  • Best Cocktail, Lounge or Small Bar – Bar Beirut
  • Best Burger – Grease Monkey
  • Mid-Range Hotel of the Year – Mercure Canberra Belconnen
  • Superior Hotel of the Year – East Hotel
  • Deluxe Hotel of the Year – Jamala Wildlife Lodge
  • Best Casual Dining Venue (joint winners) – Molto, and Amici Wine Bar & Deli
  • Pub Eatery – Edgar’s Inn
  • Best Bar (Presentation & Service) – Molly
  • Accommodation Member of the Year – Justin Higgins, Hotel Realm
  • John Press Award – Jane Collins, The Dock.

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Grease Monkey, seriously? Do you need photographs and reviews, even burger weights, to see that local businesses like Johnno’s in Mawson (traditional) and The Third Eye in Wanniassa (exceptional) are far superior? Grease Monley prices are for the new urban elite in their Woden tower blocks. Let’s not forget who built this city: the vendors from your own neighbourhood.

Andrew Cooke8:41 pm 21 Sep 22

I’m curious to see the list of AHA donors / members vs the prize winners. There’s some really obscure categories here which is a little “everyone gets a prize”

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