In Awards by Clyde Mooney

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Queensland’s hospitality elite gathered Monday night in the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre to celebrate the State’s best at the 2018 QHA Awards for Excellence.

Hundreds of nominated finalists vied for title to the 43 award categories before a record crowd of more than 1150 attendees, covering the full gamut of the Sunshine State’s specialties and regions.

Competition reflected the ever-increasing standard being seen in Queensland hospitality, spurred by the surge of interest nationally in the lucrative south-east.

The Island at the Gold Coast put in a big show, taking Best Boutique Bar, Boutique Accommodation, and Best Marketed Hotel 1-99 employees.

Further north, the Beach House Hotel in Hervey Bay upped the ante, taking four titles, being the pub essentials of Best Draught Beer and Traditional Bar, as well as Liquor Outlet, and importantly the gold medal award of Hotel of the Year.

But proving a regular sight on winners’ podiums galore, the Comiskey Group continue to prove their relevance seven years after they built it and the people came, with Eatons Hill Hotel awarded another four trophies, bringing its collection to 25, including its entry into the QHA Hall of Fame.

The Group’s other monstrous venue, Sandstone Point, took home another also, for best Outdoor Entertainment, bringing its total to eight.

“It’s good to get recognised for something we put so much effort into,” responded CEO Rob Comiskey. “And continually raise the bar, not only on ourselves but everyone else as well.

“To be recognised again and again blows us away.”

Never really finishing all projects on the go, Comiskey is on the verge of unleashing the unprecedented Big 4 resort-style caravan and accommodation centre adjoining Sandstone Point Hotel. Due to open to the public in a couple of weeks, and for public stay in November, he reports already needing three people manning phones taking bookings for the as-yet unopened facility.

Queensland-based architect and consultant Paul Coory, MD of COHA Group, was present at the Awards and reports the extensive ceremony was a thorough success, within the Convention Centre’s cavernous Great Hall, themed in honour of the great Queensland Beer Garden.

“The formal part of the night ended with hotel stalwart Terry Morrow deservedly being named Hotelier of the Year,” reported Coory. “Queensland hotel industry diehards partied on into the night, wrapping up another very slick and well-orchestrated QHA night of nights.”

Image: Paul Coory

Complete list of the 2018 QHA Award winners:

  1. Hall of Fame – Best PubTAB – Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill
    2. Best Draught Beer – Beach House Hotel, Hervey Bay
    3. Best On-Premise Liquor Outlet – Beach House Hotel, Hervey Bay
    4. Best Detached Bottleshop – Bottle O Mossman at the Mossman Hotel, Mossman
    5. Best Themed Bar – The Walrus Club at The Regatta Hotel, Toowong
    6. Best Boutique Bar – The Island Rooftop at The Island Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise
    7. Best Traditional Hotel Bar – Beach House Hotel, Hervey Bay
    8. Best Bush Pub – Moonie Crossroads Hotel, Moonie Crossroads
    9. Best Outdoor / Non-Enclosed Facility – Sandstone Point Hotel, Sandstone Point
    10. Best Entertainment Venue – Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill
    11. Best Keno Venue – Bowen Hotel, Bowen
    12. Best Gaming Venue – Jubilee Tavern, Jubilee Pocket
    13. Best PubTAB Venue – Diamonds Hotel, Inala
    14. Responsible Service of Alcohol – Jimmy’s on the Mall, Brisbane City
    15. Responsible Service of Gaming – Elephant Hotel, Fortitude Valley
    16. Best Environmental Practice – Porters Plainland Hotel, Plainland
    17. Workplace Health & Safety Award – Spirit Hotels Group
    18. Outstanding Achievement in Training – Hilton Brisbane, Brisbane City
    19. Best Marketed Hotel 1-99 Employees – The Island Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise
    20. Best Marketed Hotel 100+ Employees – Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill
    21. Best Redeveloped Accommodation Hotel / Resort – The Star Gold Coast, Broadbeach
    22. Best Redeveloped Licensed Premises Up To $2m – The Glen Hotel, Eight Mile Plains
    23. Best Redeveloped Licensed Premises Above $2m – Osbourne Hotel, Fortitude Valley
    24. Administration Employee of the Year – Morgan Biggar, Hilton Brisbane
    25. Guest Services Employee of the Year – Trevor Lister, Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Broadbeach
    26. Food & Beverage Employee of the Year – Kevin Puglisevich, Rydges South Bank, South Bank
    27. Chef of the Year – Joel Helot, Sofitel Brisbane Central, Brisbane City
    28. Best Casual Dining – Plantations Restaurant at Prince Alfred Hotel, Booval
    29. Best Restaurant – Hotels – The Boatshed at The Regatta Hotel, Toowong
    30. Best Restaurant – Accommodation Hotels – The Long Apron at Spicers Clovelly Estate, Montville
    31. Best Prestige Restaurant – Bacchus Restaurant at Rydges South Bank, South Bank
    32. Best Meeting & Events Venue – Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill
    33. Best Suite / Apartment Accommodation – Meriton Suites Southport, Southport
    34. Best Pub-Style Accommodation – Halifax Hotel, Halifax
    35. Best Mid-Range Accommodation – Shamrock Hotel, Mackay
    36. Best Superior Accommodation – Rydges South Bank, South Bank
    37. Best Boutique Accommodation – The Island Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise
    38. Best Deluxe Accommodation – The Darling at The Star Gold Coast, Broadbeach
    39. Outstanding Community Service & Achievement 1-99 Employees – Victoria Hotel, Goondiwindi
    40. Outstanding Community Service & Achievement 100+ – Hilton Brisbane, Brisbane City
    41. Industry Rising Star Award – Nick Warner, Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Central
    42. Hotel of the Year – Beach House Hotel, Hervey Bay
    43. Hotelier of the Year – Terry Morrow, Landsborough Pub