Hospitality Business Magazine

Awards For Excellence finalists announced

The finalists for New Zealand’s prestigious Awards for Excellence 2019, organised by Hospitality New Zealand have been unveiled.

This year more than 200 entries were received in 17 categories. Now in its 22nd year, Hospitality New Zealand hosts the Awards for Excellence annually to celebrate the successes and achievements of the hospitality industry across New Zealand. Each year, Hospitality New Zealand recognises businesses in the accommodation and food and beverage sectors for their hard work, and for their commitment to excellence in their field.

Commenting on the Awards, Hospitality New Zealand CEO Vicki Lee said: “The Awards for Excellence allow Hospitality New Zealand to recognise and reward our dedicated members who have strived throughout the year to create the highest possible standards and experiences for both their guests and their team. In categories such as Best Environmental/Sustainable Business or Excellence in Host Responsibility, we also honour members who have shown a commitment to looking after the communities in which they operate.”

Independent Head Judge, Michael Friend said “The judges have been most impressed with the calibre of entries across all categories this year and have been well challenged in determining the finalists. We are also delighted to be judging some unique entries, particularly in the Best Destination Venue category. This year the most competitive categories with the most nominations were the Neighbourhood Bar & Eatery award and the Best Bar award”

The winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Hawke’s Bay on 17 October 2019, during Hospitality New Zealand’s annual conference (October 15-17).

For more information about the Awards for Excellence 2019, visit

Dinner tickets and conference registrations are available at

The finalists in this year’s Hospitality New Zealand Lion Awards for Excellence are:

Best Bar

Alibi Brewer’s Lounge at Tantalus Estate, Waiheke Island

D4 on Featherston, Wellington

The Craft Embassy, Christchurch

Best Café

Miro, Christchurch

Neo Café & Eatery, Wellington

The Shire’s Rest (Hobbiton), Matamata

Best Country Hotel

Brown Pub, Methven

Cardrona Hotel, Wanaka

Theatre Royal Hotel, Kumara

Best Destination Venue

Cardrona Hotel, Wanaka

Fiordland Lodge, Te Anau

Wharekauhau Country Estate, Featherston

Best Environmental / Sustainable Business

Eco Villa, Christchurch

Christchurch Casino, Christchurch

Hobbiton, Matamata

Best Hotel

Bolton Hotel, Wellington

Castaways Resort, Waiuku

Naumi Hotel Auckland Airport, Auckland

Best Luxury Accommodation

Fiordland Lodge, Te Anau

Hotel Grand Windsor, Auckland

Wharekauhau Country Estate, Featherston

Best Motel

La Rochelle Motel, Akaroa

Radfords on the Lake, Te Anau

The St James, Hanmer Springs

Best Neighbourhood Bar & Eatery

No.4 Bar and Restaurant, Christchurch

Oasis Bar and Grill, Tauranga

Sprig and Fern, Petone

Best New Business – Food & Beverage

Ivory Bar, Rangiora

Tipsy Oyster Tapas & Bar Restaurant, Paihia

White + Wong’s, Queenstown

Best Redeveloped – Hotel

Duke of Marlborough Hotel, Russell

QT Hotel, Wellington

The Thorndon Hotel Wellington by Rydges, Wellington

Best Redeveloped – Food & Beverage

Castaways Resort, Waiuku

The Prince Albert, Wanaka

Top Hut Bar and Bistro, Twizel

Best Restaurant

Bloody Mary’s by Rydges Latimer, Christchurch

Portlander Bar and Grill by Rydges, Wellington

Tantalus Estate, Waiheke Island

Excellence in Gaming

Five Stags, Leamington

Hennessy’s Irish Bar, Rotorua

Square Leg, Hamilton

Excellence in Host Responsibility

Delaware North, Wellington

Emerson’s Brewery and Taproom, Dunedin

Functionmaster, Wellington

Excellence in Marketing

Aston Norwood Café & Function Centre, Upper Hutt

Hotel Chatham, Chatham Islands

QT Hotel, Wellington

Excellence in Training & Development

Lulu Bar, Wellington

The Arborist Rooftop Bar & Eatery, Wellington

West Auckland Trust Services, Auckland

For more information about the Awards for Excellence 2019, visit

Dinner tickets and conference registrations are available at