L-R AccorHotels Asia Pacific Chairman and CEO Michael Issenberg and Voyages' Ray Stone
L-R Jesse Kornoff, Mount Lofty House MGallery by Sofitel and AccorHotels COO Pacific Simon McGrath.

Over 100 of AccorHotels’ Australasian franchisees were dressed to the nines this week as the company hosted its 2018 Pacific Franchise Hotel Awards and conference at Pullman Melbourne on the Park.

The annual gala recognises outstanding efforts and leadership of the group’s franchise hotels, with awards presented alongside company executives by legendary Australian Olympic swimmer and AFL Women’s League CEO, Nicole Livingstone.

Leading the charge in 2018 as General Manager of the Year was Jesse Kornoff from Mount Lofty House, MGallery by Sofitel, who steered his hotel restaurant to three Chef Hats for outstanding quality and service. The Adelaide Hills property was one of the night’s big winners, also going home as joint-winner of two other gongs – Restaurant of the Year for Hardy’s Verandah alongside Bluestone Bar & Kitchen at The Sebel Launceston and Heartist Hotel of the Year for Guest Relations Manager, David Tonkin.

Hotel of the Year went to Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach, which saw a record-breaking year of conference sales and results, guest experience and loyalty.

Future leaders of the hotel industry continued to be unearthed and celebrated through AccorHotels’ Rising Star Award, with Yajai (Jig) Petchsong of The Sebel Melbourne Docklands recognised for exceptional performance and personal growth.

L-R AccorHotels Asia Pacific Chairman and CEO Michael Issenberg and Voyages’ Ray Stone

Additional categories and winners included Bar of the Year (Summer Salt, Elements of Byron MGallery by Sofitel); Service to the Community (Novotel Wollongong Northbeach); Loyalty Hotel of the Year (Mercure North Melbourne) and Development Award (Trader’s in Purple at The Sebel Brisbane Margate Beach).

Of particular note was a special achievement award and the inaugural Service to the Industry Award, which went to Ray Stone of Voyages Ayers Rock Resort in honour of more than 35 years’ service to advancing tourism in the destination. The award was presented by AccorHotels Chairman and CEO Asia Pacific, Michael Issenberg.

AccorHotels COO Pacific, Simon McGrath, issued his congratulations to all winners and finalists, saying he looked forward to another year of growth in the franchise portfolio.

“Our franchise hotel partners are an important and valuable part of our business and it’s fitting that we recognise their outstanding contribution at our annual conference and awards night.”