Victoria’s top accommodation providers and venue staff have been honoured in front of a record number of attendees at the 2023 Victorian Accommodation Awards for Excellence event.
The prestigious event was a milestone occasion that heralded the inaugural Accommodation Australia (Victoria) – AA celebration of industry excellence across Victoria’s regulated commercial accommodation sector, following the merger of Tourism Accommodation Australia and the Accommodation Association of Australia on July 1.
A record crowd of 1,000 hoteliers, suppliers to the industry, and broader Victorian hospitality and tourism sector industry stakeholders, including Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Steve Dimopoulos and Shadow Minister, Sam Groth came together to recognise Victoria’s best accommodation providers.
Winning hotels included the Hyatt Centric Melbourne which was presented with the All Abilities Hotel Award and the Grand Hyatt Melbourne winning Deluxe Accommodation Hotel of the Year, while Jackalope, Merricks North, Mitchelton Hotel, Nagambie took away the Boutique Style Accommodation of the Year.
Apartment Accommodation Hotel of the Year was awarded to Oaks Melbourne on Market Hotel, Melbourne.
In the motel category, The Matador, Sale, team celebrated receiving their Motel of the Year award, while The Trawool Estate won the Regional Accommodation of the Year.
Accommodation employees recognised on the night included Sanjay Kedar, ahs hospitality, Sheraton Melbourne Hotel and Jodie Brown, Zagame’s House Hotel, Carlton with Housekeeper Employee of the Year award. Concierge of the Year went to Toby Lier, Pullman Melbourne on the Park, East Melbourne and Crowne Plaza Melbourne’s Oliver Lucas took away the Rising Star Award.
AA National President, Leanne Harwood (Vic) lauded the levels of commitment, innovation and determination shown by venue staff, to consistently deliver memorable guest experiences, while also recognising the value of continuing investment in the state’s accommodation product.
She said: “The efforts of our teams are truly inspirational and something about which we should all be proud. Melbourne and Victoria have much to celebrate, as the performance of the State’s visitor economy, spend and interstate travel preference, tracks ahead of 2019 levels.
“This gives investors continuing confidence to invest in new and reimagined accommodation stock across the State, which is fast becoming the envy of other Australian states and territories.”
Another highlight of the night was the presentation of the prestigious “Outstanding Contribution to the Industry” award, which recognises the sustained influence of a hotelier or industry leader who has made a significant contribution to Victoria’s tourism and accommodation sectors.
This year’s winner was motorsport supremo, Andrew Westacott. Andrew recently completed a highly successful 17-year tenure at the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC), the last 12 as the organisation’s longest serving Chief Executive Officer.
Westacott’s transition into major events commenced in 2005, playing a key role in delivery of Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games as Group General Manager for Venue Delivery and Special Projects. Andrew was first appointed General Manager – Operations at the AGPC later that year, also holding the position of Deputy CEO before being appointed CEO in February 2011.
AA (Vic) Co-Chairs, Shaun D’Cruz and Adrian Williams praised all the finalists, award-winners and individuals who were honoured, noting their achievements he reflected: “A year of hard work and dedication to providing superior standards of venue and service excellence to guests.”
AA (Vic) General Manager, Dougal Hollis said: “Accommodation properties across Victoria are some of the best in Australia, with a range of budget, luxury and lifestyle products to suit many tastes and budgets. The breadth and diversity of these accommodation offers were again on display, at the Awards.”
2023 Victorian Accommodation Awards for Excellence Winners
Outstanding Contribution to the Industry: Andrew Westacott
Deluxe Accommodation Hotel of the Year: Grand Hyatt Melbourne
Luxury Lifestyle Accommodation Hotel of the Year: Crown Metropol Melbourne Southbank
Superior Accommodation of the Year: RACV City Club, Melbourne
Resort Style Accommodation of the Year: RACV Cape Schanck Resort
Boutique Style Accommodation of the Year: Jackalope, Merricks North, Mitchelton Hotel, Nagambie
Apartment Accommodation Hotel of the Year: Oaks Melbourne on Market Hotel, Melbourne
Mid-range Accommodation Hotel of the Year: DoubleTree by Hilton Melbourne
Regional Accommodation of the Year: The Trawool Estate
Motel of the Year: The Matador, Sale
Onsite Offering Awards:
Deluxe Restaurant of the Year, Warabi, W Melbourne
Hotel Restaurant of the Year: Miss Mi Melbourne, Mövenpick Hotel Melbourne on Spencer
Regional Hotel Restaurant of the Year: Banyalla, RACV Healesville Country Club & Resort
Hotel Bar of the Year: Metropolitan, M Bar, Melbourne Marriott Hotel
Hotel Bar of the Year: Regional, Granite Bar, The Trawool Estate
Hotel Club Lounge of the Year: M Club, Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands
Hotel Spa of the Year: Crown Spa, Crown Hotels Melbourne, Southbank
Best Meeting and Events Space of the Year: RACV Torquay Resort
All Abilities Hotel Award: Hyatt Centric Melbourne
Best Marketed Accommodation Provider: Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street
Excellence in Innovation, Sustainability, Training and Community Service: The Langham Melbourne, Southbank
Back of House Employee of the Year: Clarista Hartanuh, Element Melbourne Richmond
Chef of the Year: Kelly Jackson, Crown Hotels Melbourne, Southbank
Concierge of the Year: Toby Lier, Pullman Melbourne on the Park, East Melbourne
Engineer and Maintenance Employee of the Year: Mel Maio, Novotel ibis Melbourne Central
Executive of the Year: Peter Sullivan, Hyatt Place Melbourne Essendon Fields
Food and Beverage Services Employee of the Year: Joseph D’Rozario, The Windsor Hotel, Melbourne
Front Office Services Employee of the Year: Katelyn Jones, Crown Hotels Melbourne, Southbank
Hotel Industry Rising Star: Oliver Lucas, Crowne Plaza Melbourne
Human Resources Employee of the Year: Amber Kruger, Oakwood Premier Melbourne, Southbank
Revenue Management Employee of the Year: Robert Bettles, QT Melbourne
Sales and Marketing Employee of the Year: Sarah Hegarty, Pan Pacific Melbourne, South Wharf
See HERE for the full list of 2023 Victorian Accommodation Awards for Excellence winners and finalists.
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.