Contenders for the 2018 Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence have been named. Boutique accommodation, neighbourhood pubs, fine dining establishments, Brewer’s Taprooms and even a Fish & Chip shop are among the eclectic list of 45 finalists announced.

Chief Executive of Hospitality New Zealand Vicki Lee describes the annual Hospitality awards – which include honours from the best café and hotel, to the most sustainable business and most responsible host – as a wonderful way to celebrate the high calibre of accommodation, restaurants, pubs and cafes enjoyed across New Zealand.

“Our finalists come from a variety of locations, including Waiheke Island, Whakatane, Kumara and Omakau, reminding us that New Zealand has an impressive hospitality scene throughout our regions as well as in our cities. As tourism grows, our hospitality sector will continue to be a big part of the visitor experience right across the country, delivering world-class hospitality in our cities and towns and closely aligning with Tourism New Zealand’s strategy of growing visitors to the regions,” she said.

Vicki said the Awards for Excellence are important because they acknowledge the unseen work that the average person doesn’t always appreciate.

“Hospitality businesses don’t just provide community spaces where people socialise and enjoy each other, they often give back to the community by supporting local initiatives outside their businesses too. It’s really important to pause and celebrate the hard work that goes on behind the scenes in hospitality.”

The winners in each category will be announced at Hospitality New Zealand’s Annual Conference in Queenstown on 27 September.

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

Best Bar

  • Jack Hackett’s, Wellington
  • Pub on Wharf, Queenstown
  • Good Union, Cambridge

Best Café

  • Federal Diner, Wanaka
  • Fidel’s Café, Wellington
  • Miro, Christchurch

 Best Country Hotel

  • Cardrona Hotel, Wanaka
  • Omakau Commercial Hotel, Omakau
  • Theatre Royal Hotel, Kumara

Best Destination Venue

  • Tantalus Estate, Waiheke Island
  • The Riverhead, Riverhead
  • TOAD Hall, Motueka

Best Environmental/Sustainable Business

  • Escape to Picton Boutique Hotel, Picton
  • The Mussel Inn, Takaka
  • Vines Village Café, Blenheim

Best Hotel

  • Edgewater, Wanaka
  • Escape to Picton Boutique Hotel, Picton
  • QT Museum Hotel, Wellington

Best Motel

  • Akaroa Waterfront Motel, Akaroa
  • One88 on Commerce, Whakatane
  • The St James, Hanmer Springs

Best Neighbourhood Bar & Eatery

  • Evil Genius, Christchurch
  • Southern Cross Garden Bar, Wellington
  • The Riverhead, Riverhead

Best Newcomer – Food and Beverage

  • Erik’s Fish and Chips, Wanaka
  • Good Local Pyes Pa, Tauranga
  • Whistling Sisters – The Fermentery, Wellington

Best Redeveloped Accommodation

  • Hotel Grand Windsor, Auckland
  • Naumi Hotel, Auckland
  • QT Museum Hotel, Wellington

Best Redeveloped F&B

  • Cook Street Social, Hamilton
  • Muskets and Moonshine, Queenstown
  • Portlander by Rydges, Wellington

Best Restaurant

  • Lulu, Wellington
  • Tantalus Estate, Waiheke Island
  • White+Wong’s, Auckland

Excellence in Gaming

  • Dinsdale Tavern, Hamilton
  • Richard Pearse Tavern, Timaru
  • Square Leg, Hamilton

Excellence in Host Responsibility

  • Christchurch Casino, Christchurch
  • Functionmaster, Wellington
  • Jack Hackett’s, Wellington

Excellence in Marketing

  • Brackenridge Country Retreat and Spa, Martinborough
  • Christchurch Casino, Christchurch
  • Erik’s Fish and Chips, Queenstown

Excellence in Training & Staff Development

  • Emersons Taproom, Dunedin
  • Good Group, Auckland
  • Skyline, Rotorua

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