Chada Director Rick Whalley accepted a Commendation for his work at William Inglis Hotel, Sydney

Emotions were running high at AHICE as the first annual Paul Davis Award for Hotel Design was awarded to Terence Yong Architecture for its work designing Sydney’s Little Albion Guest House, a hotel presently under the management of Crystalbrook Collection.

Originally built by Paul Fischmann for his 8Hotels brand, the management rights for the 35-room boutique property were transferred to Crystalbrook Collection last year. A representative from Terence Yong Architecture was unable to be present to collect the award in person, with the team from HM accepting the award on his absence.

The design of Little Albion Guest House reflects 1920s interiors and 1970s-inspired décor, with the hotel offering guests access to a rooftop garden and bar with views over the city.

Judges said the standard of entries were of a high calibre and selecting a winner was particularly difficult. Highly commended for its entry and on hand to collect a certificate of merit was Rick Whalley from Chada for his work on the William Inglis Hotel in Warwick Farm, Sydney, now managed by Accor under its MGallery by Sofitel brand.

Witnessed by his family in the front row, industry sentiment for the life and work of Paul Davis was tangible among all attendees. Former Mantra Head of Development, Michael Moret-Lalli labelled Paul as a “super human being” who added so much value to the business.

“At a time of explosive platform growth via new build hotels, Paul was instrumental and irreplaceable in respect of guiding the technical services function of the Mantra Group business. His intimate understanding of hotel assets and how they needed to be practically operated was always sensitively blended with a commercial approach to development and design, resulting in the delivery of quality assets in a challenging investment environment.

“Always a pleasure to work with, Paul’s contribution to Mantra Group’s growth and ultimate success was significant as is his legacy to our broader hotel industry.”