SKYE Suites Green Square won the award for Apartment/Suites Hotel of the Year at the NSW Accommodation Awards for Excellence 2023, and its Night Manager Stephanie Perera was delighted to receive a special highly commended award under the ‘Rising Star’ category.
AccomNews caught up with Stephanie who described the recognition as not just an award but “a story I can tell people in the future”.
She said: “I feel it is a huge accomplishment going up against well-known and established hotels and competitors. Being an immigrant, settling into Australia alone, starting my studies, and basically a whole new life, so getting where I am today has been a big personal achievement. I’m so proud of myself and what I’ve achieved.
“I want to be able to share with others, that if I can overcome all these obstacles, then they can too. Nothing is impossible.
Stephanie is a graduate of the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (2018 to 2020), previously she attended International Hotel School in Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka where she completed a diploma in Hotel Management, Hospitality Administration/Management, graduating with honours.
Stephanie started at SKYE Suites Green Square as a pre-opening intern back in April 2020 and was “thrown into the deep end” while the hotel was operating under incredibly challenging COVID times. Despite the climate, Stephanie thrived, and it wasn’t long before she was promoted to Front Office Agent and promoted again in January 2023 to the Night Manager role.
At the age of 24 being the most senior person on shift, and a representative of the General Manager is a big responsibility and a huge achievement.
Her role is to track, check and balance all daily reports for the hotel and send them to senior management, she also sets the team up for the morning shift. Importantly she manages all security and any emergency situations overnight.
She said: “I love my role with SKYE Suites because the team feels like my second family.
“The work feels like a new adventure every day, and I receive incredible support from my managers. To top it all off, SKYE Suites is where my career took its first baby steps, so it’s like the quirky and unforgettable first love of my professional life. It will always hold a special place in my heart.
“SKYE Suites has showered me with support within my hospitality role. They’ve practically become my own personal cheerleading squad, providing top-notch training, and turning me into a hospitality superstar.
“They have created a fostering and collaborative work environment and recognised me for my hard work. They have encouraged me daily to take on new challenges and responsibilities. What really takes the cake, is how they genuinely care about my well-being and make sure I have enough coffee to power through the day!”
Stephanie says professionally she has been most inspired by two mentors, Felicity Arthur (SKYE Suites Green Square Hotel General Manager) and Ariel Wang (SKYE Suites Green Square Assistant Manager) due to their “exceptional leadership qualities”.
She said: “They’ve passed on the importance of having attention to detail and a genuine passion for providing exceptional guest experiences. Their dedication to our team’s success and ability to motivate and guide us has truly inspired me.
“My father has also been a constant source of inspiration through his conduct in everyday life and his approach to his own job. His values, work ethic, and overall demeanour taught me invaluable lessons about integrity, professionalism, and the importance of genuine care for others, regardless of the field, she said.
Looking to the future Stephanie says she envisions herself as a “successful and influential professional in the hospitality industry, occupying a leadership position where she can create exceptional guest experiences, drive operational excellence, and contribute to the growth of a renowned establishment”.
SKYE Suites Green Square also took out the award for Apartment/Suites Hotel of the Year at the NSW Accommodation Awards for Excellence 2023.
The criteria for the award was judged by an anonymous onsite inspection and included fit-out quality, arrival and departure experience, the level of services provided, presentation and service of staff, hotel facilities, and evidence of environmental sustainability best practice, among many other points.
SKYE Suites Green Square opened in April 2020 and was designed by world-renowned Koichi Takada Architects.
The hotel has 90 suites from oversized studios to spacious three-bedroom suites, all styled in a Japanese-inspired modern, minimalist palette featuring bespoke designer furnishings and superior amenities.
Amenities include a heated infinity pool with a separate outdoor spa set in manicured gardens along with a state-of-the-art gym and sauna creating a resort setting within an urban environment.
With a total of 37 categories covering hotel achievement, people and property, SKYE Suites claimed seven nominations for key team members across their three Sydney properties; SKYE Suites Sydney, SKYE Suites Green Square and SKYE Suites Parramatta.
Head of Hotels for SKYE Suites Australia, David Bowen said: “We were absolutely elated to have won this major award on top of receiving seven nominations for our team members this year.
“This is such an amazing outcome based on the challenges in the hospitality industry we’ve all faced. To have this incredible team across our properties maintain their level of professionalism and energy has really inspired us all and fuels the team to continue to strive after recognition from the industry we all love being part of.”
The Accommodation Australia NSW Awards for Excellence are recognised as the most prestigious hospitality and tourism awards, honouring the achievement of excellence in a wide range of categories in the accommodation industry inclusive of community contribution, accommodation, restaurants, bars, and people.
Mandy has over 17 years of accommodation and tourism industry writing experience and is Editor of AccomNews & Resort News, Publisher of SchoolNews & Director of Multimedia Pty Ltd. She is a retired registered nurse with a 25-year NHS career that followed a few unforgettable years in hotel housekeeping.