Hospitality Business Magazine

QT Auckland takes out supreme title at 24th Lion Excellence Awards

QT Auckland Hotel in the Viaduct Harbour has won the Supreme Award at the 2021 Lion Hospitality Awards for Excellence.

Hosted by Hospitality New Zealand yesterday, the awards recognised businesses and individuals in 17 categories across the accommodation and food and beverage sectors for their work and commitment to excellence in their fields.

QT Auckland won the Best New/Redeveloped Business Accommodation category before being chosen for the top award from winners of the other categories. Its Rooftop Bar also won the Best Bar category.

Pizzas at the QT Auckland ‘s winning Rooftop Bar .

The People’s Choice Award which is voted by the public, went to Kaiser Brew Garden, Christchurch.

There were a record number of entries this year, the 24th time the awards have been held. This is the first time they have been open to the whole industry, not just members of Hospitality NZ.

Category winners, in addition to receiving industry recognition and a trophy, were each presented with a $1000 KOHA Card from HNZ.

Hospitality NZ Chief Executive Julie White says QT Auckland was a very worthy winner from a top field of category winners.

Julie White, CEO HNZ.

“QT Auckland are deserved winners and Hospitality New Zealand congratulates Doron Whaite and his team. They have done a fantastic job under the most trying of circumstances, as have the other category winners and finalists.

“The competition was fierce, which is a testament to the whole industry considering it’s still in the middle of a devastating trading period due to the pandemic.

“It was almost as if everyone lifted their standards in defiance of Covid – to show they could still stand tall despite the setbacks.

“After two postponements we were determined to get everyone together, even if it was online, to celebrate and congratulate our winners in the best way possible for their work, and it was a great night.

“It was a real shame we couldn’t get together because face-to-face is what hospitality is all about, but we are delighted that we were finally able to honour on a national stage the best our industry has to offer.

“Every hospitality business and every worker out there deserved their own medal for the guts and perseverance they’ve shown through probably the toughest period the industry has ever been through.

“I would like to thank our main sponsor, Lion New Zealand, and all the category sponsors, who have been amazing and supported this celebration of our industry through thick and thin.” 

Lion’s Country Director, Craig Baldieon, added his congratulations to all the winners, saying that after the past 18 months the industry has been through there was never any question over their ongoing sponsorship.

Category winners & finalists

Best Bar: Rooftop at QT, Auckland. Finalists: Fantail and Turtle, Auckland; Good George North Wharf, Auckland; The Freeport Tavern and Cleaver and Co, Mt Maunganui; Thistle Inn, Wellington.

Best Café: Karaka Café, Wellington. Finalists: Diner 66, Christchurch; Fusee Rouge Café, Cromwell.

Best Brew Pub/Distillery: Good George Dining Hall, Hamilton. Finalists: Kaiser Brew Garden, Christchurch; Monteith’s Brewing Company, Greymouth.

Best Destination Venue: The Riverhead, Riverhead. Finalists: Brewtown Upper Hutt; Holey Moley Golf Club, Auckland; Perky’s Floating Bar, Queenstown; Tantalus Estate, Waiheke Island.

Best Environmental/Sustainable Business: The Hotel Britomart, Auckland. Finalists: Milford Sound Lodge, Milford Sound; University of Canterbury Students Association, Christchurch.

Best Hotel: Hotel Grand Windsor, Auckland. Finalists: Fable Dunedin; Hotel Fitzroy Curated by fable, Auckland; Rydges Latimer, Christchurch; SkyCity Hotel, Auckland

Best Luxury Hotel Winner: Fable Dunedin. Finalists: Hotel Grand Windsor, Auckland; QT Wellington, Wellington; Sofitel Queenstown – Hotel & Spa, Que. The Grand by SkyCity, Auckland.

Best Luxury Boutique Hotel: Wharekauhau Country Estate, Featherston. Finalists: Escape to Picton Boutique Hotel, Picton; Hotel Fitzroy Curated by fable, Auckland; Ohtel Wellington, Wellington; The Landing, Kerikeri.

Best Motel: Century Park Motor Lodge, Nelson. Finalists: One88 on Commerce, Whakatane Radfords on the Lake, Te Anau The Metrotel Motel, New Plymouth The St James, Hanmer Springs.

Best Local: The Elmwood Trading Co., Christchurch Finalists: The Brown Pub, Methven The Riverhead, Riverhead Thistle Inn, Wellington Woodbourne Tavern, Renwick.

Best New/Redeveloped Business – Accommodation: QT Auckland. Finalists: Bealey Quarter, Christchurch; Fable Dunedin; Jet Park Hotel Auckland Airport; Sojourn Apartment Hotel, Wellington.

Best New/Redeveloped Business – Food & Beverage: Maria Lane Eatery and Bar, Whanganui. Finalists: Hop on Hop off Wine Tours Ltd, Queenstown and Picton; Kaiser Brew Garden, Christchurch; Margo’s, Queenstown; Market St, Napier.

Best Restaurant: White + Wong’s, Queenstown. Finalists: Artisan at Bolton Hotel, Wellington; The Press Club, Dunedin; Fife Lane Kitchen and Bar, Tauranga; Francesca’s Italian Kitchen, Wanaka.

Excellence in Gaming: Five Stags Leamington, Cambridge. Finalists: Botany Commons, Auckland; Fox & Hounds, Taupo; The Elmwood Trading Co, Christchurch; Woodbourne Tavern, Renwick.

Excellence in Marketing: Fable Hotels and Resorts. Finalists: Erik’s Fish and Chips, Queenstown; QT Auckland.

Excellence in Training & Development: Emerson’s Brewery and Taproom, Dunedin. Finalists: Good Spirits Hospitality, Kaiser Brew Garden, Christchurch.

The awards were presented at an event in Wellington last night and livestreamed to a number of other venues around the country.