New Zealand’s best hospitality and accommodation establishments will be recognised on Wednesday, July 27 at the Lion Hospitality Awards for Excellence 2022.

They are hosted by Hospitality New Zealand, in partnership with principal sponsor Lion New Zealand and industry partners.

Winners will be announced at a black-tie dinner at the Grand Millennium Hotel, Auckland, on 27 July – the final night of the two-day 2022 New Zealand Hospitality Conference. 

There are four new awards this year, to celebrate the leaders who helped the industry through the past two years: Leader of the Year in Hospitality, Leader of the Year in Accommodation, Future Leader of the Year, and Chef of the Year. There will also be an induction into the Hospitality Hall of Fame.

It will be the first time in three years the Awards for Excellence have been held in person, due to Covid restrictions. They were held online last year after being cancelled in 2020.

Chief judge for the awards, Michael Friend, says “A record number of entries have been received this year and once again the panel has been challenged to decide the ‘best of the best’. There have been some outstanding submissions across all categories and many forms of innovative presentation. 

“The panel was most impressed with the degree of detail provided, given the resources available to entrants, during these COVID times.  It has also been interesting to read the various initiatives entrants have employed whilst re-invigorating their businesses.”

Michael Friend said reflecting on much of the commentary in applications seems to indicate an air of cautious positivity about trading in the months ahead.

Hospitality NZ Chief Executive Julie White says she is delighted by the number of entries.

“These awards are the pinnacle of our industry, and we were hoping there would be a lot of interest, so the fact we have record entries is really great.

“We want to recognise and reward hospitality and accommodation operators who have been through a stressful and uncertain year to create the highest possible standards and experiences for both their guests and their team.

“Being able to do this in person for the first time in three years is something the industry needs. I didn’t envy the judges’ job – they had to make some very difficult choices from a wonderful line-up of talent.

“It’s a pity we have to single out anyone because every hospitality and accommodation business owner, operator and worker out there deserves a medal for the resilience and perseverance they’ve shown through probably the toughest period the industry has ever been through.

“It’s inspiring to see hospitality businesses still looking to be the best and to meet customers’ needs after what they’ve been through.”

The People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Noel Leeming Commercial, will also be announced at the event.


Best Bar:  sponsored by Asahi

Kaiser Brew GardenChristchurch
Little BlackwoodQueenstown
Market STNapier
Thistle InnWellington
Tipsy Oyster Tapas & BarPaihia

Best Café:  sponsored by Hospitality New Zealand

11th Avenue by Frank’sQueenstown
Bonobo CaféChristchurch
Fusee Rouge CaféCromwell
Rusty Radiator Diner CaféHalcombe
The Wholemeal CaféTakaka

Best Restaurant:  sponsored by Hospitality New Zealand

MASU by Nic Watt at SkyCity AucklandAuckland
Tantalus EstateWaiheke Island
Kingi at The Hotel BritomartAuckland
White and Wong’s QueenstownQueenstown

Best Hotel:  sponsored by Sleepyhead

Bolton HotelWellington
Escape to Picton Boutique HotelPicton
Fable DunedinDunedin
Ramada Suites by WyndhamAuckland
The Hotel BritomartAuckland

Best Motel:  sponsored by Seekom

Baycrest Thermal LodgeTaupo
One88 on CommerceWhakatane
Palazzo Motor LodgeNelson
The St JamesHanmer Springs
Whangaparaoa LodgeAuckland

Best Accommodation (Other): sponsored by Active Pure

Hanmer Springs TOP 10 Holiday ParkHanmer Springs
Lake Taupo Holiday ResortTaupo
Ohope Beach TOP 10 Holiday ParkOhope
Podium LodgeCambridge
Sojourn Apartment HotelWellington

Best Luxury Hotel:  sponsored by Westpac

Fable DunedinDunedin
QT AucklandAuckland
QT QueenstownQueenstown
The Hotel BritomartAuckland
The Grand by SkyCityAuckland

Best Luxury Accommodation:  sponsored by Hospitality New Zealand

Adrift in Golden BayParapara
Craggy Range VineyardsHavelock North
Fable AucklandAuckland
Hotel Fitzroy curated by FableAuckland
QT WellingtonWellington

Best Brand Experience: Sponsored by Review Magazine

Heyday Beer CoWellington
Naumi Studio WellingtonWellington
The Hotel BritomartAuckland
The Monteith’s Brewery ExperienceGreymouth
Toastie New ZealandPicton

Best Local:  sponsored by Sky

Smith & McKenzie Steak HouseHamilton
The Elmwood Trading CompanyChristchurch
The Frankton Arm TavernQueenstown
The Greytown Hotel – The Top PubGreytown
The Keg RoomHamilton

Best Destination Venue:  sponsored by Coca-Cola Europacific Partners New Zealand

Fable Terrace Downs ResortWindwhistle
Lake Taupo Holiday ResortTaupo
Milford Sound LodgeMilford Sound
Owen River LodgeMurchison
Theatre Royal HotelKumara

Best Environmental / Sustainable Business:  sponsored by Hospitality New Zealand

Awaroa LodgeAbel Tasman National Park
Boulcott SuitesWellington
Edgewater Resort HotelWanaka
Owen River LodgeMurchison
The Hotel BritomartAuckland

Best New/ Redeveloped Business – Accommodation: sponsored by Dulux

Eliza’s ManorChristchurch
Fable DunedinDunedin
Holiday Inn Queenstown Remarkables ParkQueenstown
Sojourn Apartment HotelWellington
The Central Private HotelQueenstown

Best New/ Redeveloped Business – Food & Beverage: sponsored by DB Breweries

Cargo Gantley’s Pub & CaféQueenstown
Lola Rouge at Naumi Studio WellingtonWellington
Esther Restaurant at QT AucklandAuckland
Queenstown Ice BarQueenstown

Excellence in Gaming:  sponsored by TAB

Botany CommonsAuckland
Five Stags LeamingtonLeamington
Four KingsWellington
The Elmwood Trading CompanyChristchurch
Woodbourne Tavern & MotelRenwick

Excellence in Marketing:  sponsored by GuestTraction

Bolton HotelWellington
Fable Hotels and ResortsNew Zealand
SkyCity Hotels GroupAuckland
Toastie New ZealandPicton

Excellence in People & Culture:  sponsored by Typsy

Future Hospitality GroupQueenstown
Republic Hospitality GroupQueenstown
The RiverheadRiverhead
University of Canterbury Students AssociationChristchurch

Best Live Entertainment Venue: sponsored by One Music

Miss Gee’s Bar and EateryTauranga
SkyCity HamiltonHamilton
Smash PalaceGisborne
The Playhouse TheatreNelson
University of Canterbury Students AssociationChristchurch

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