Are these the best hospitality businesses in Australia?

The nation is awash with hospitality award winners this week.

Australia Zoo took top gong at the Queensland Tourism Awards on Friday, beating out Kuranda’s Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach to be named the state’s best major tourism attraction.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind said: “There’s no better brand ambassador than the Irwin family and you really do see people get off the plane in Brisbane and the first thing they ask is ‘which way to Australia Zoo?’”

The nearby Novotel Twin Waters Resort was named the Sunshine State’s top business event venue.

“We are beyond excited to receive the highly sought-after gold award in the business events category,” said sales and marketing director Rachel Smith.

“The resort has had an incredible year, and winning this top award recognises all of the dedication and commitment of our team members here at Novotel Twin Waters Resort.”

The gala event was doubly rewarding for the Twin Waters resort, which last month announced construction of a new $8 million convention centre. It was named official hosting venue for the Queensland Tourism Awards in 2019. 

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the event would “provide a significant economic benefit, given it is anticipated to attract over 1000 visitors to the Sunshine Coast for these awards”.


Far, far away in Tasmania, ibis Styles Hobart Hotel has been named Australia’s first and only Five-Star Green Star-certified hotel.

The prestigious recognition, awarded by the Green Building Council of Australia, represents Australian excellence in environmentally sustainable building practices.

Sustainability ticks for the build included a climate adaptation plan and the use of an environmental management system to reduce volumes of waste sent to landfill during construction.

The building features the elimination of air pollutants, high quality acoustic performance, high quality lighting performance, glare reduction and light pollution reduction.

Low chemical paint, adhesives, sealants, carpets and wood products and responsibly sourced steel, timber and PVC products were all used in the construction.

The accolade follows the naming of the ibis Styles as winner for standard accommodation at the 2018 Tasmanian Tourism Awards, which sees it progress to the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards held in March 2019.

 “Receiving the awards provides a huge boost and tremendous recognition for the entire hotel team,” said hotel general manager Janine Livingston.

And finally..

 The Eat Drink Design Awards, recognising the best of hospitality venues across the nation, saw Victoria shine this year.

The inaugural best hotel design award was taken out by Brae Restaurant in Victoria’s Otways, while Melbourne’s subterranean Japanese restaurant Ishizuka took out best restaurant design.

Japanese influence also featured in the best identity design category, which went to Adelaide’s Shobosho.

Other winners included Adelaide’s Malt & Juniper for best bar design, Melbourne’s Brentwood for best cafe design and Victoria’s Chandon Australia headquarters for best retail design.

Melbourne dining stalwart Cookie, by architect Phillip Schemnitz, was inaugurated into the Eat Drink Design Hall of Fame, while Canberra’s Daryl Jackson Alastair Swayn Architects took home best installation design for their Pop Inn pop-up wine bar project.

Jury chair and Artichoke magazine editor Cassie Hansen said of the competition: “If you look at it on a world scale, we’re doing pretty bloody good.”

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