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Winners named at 2019 HM Awards amid record attendance

The industry dug deep for the HM Awards’ beneficiary, the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The 17th iteration of the HM Awards, presented once again by Sealy Posturepedic, soared to new heights in front of a record crowd of nearly 1,000 at Sydney’s International Convention Centre on Friday night.

Under the theme ‘It’s Showtime’, guests were dazzled by spectacular entertainment emblematic of the modern Broadway standard including Boys in the Band, Hannah May, Dale Burridge and the Players Band. The crowd was singing along to a medley of familiar hits from productions such as Dreamgirls, Cats and Jersey Boys, along with a collection of the some of the most powerful tracks from the late Whitney Houston.

The calibre of nominations in 2019 saw the highest number of joint winners set in the event’s history, with judges unable to separate the two best entries received across a host of categories.

Most awards saw over 50 nominees put their best feet forward in an effort to claim the prestigious accolade (in some cases over 80 entries were received), with the judging process more difficult than ever before.

HM Editor-In-Chief and Chief Judge of the HM Awards, James Wilkinson, said the calibre of this year’s entries were the best in the event’s history.

“The quality of entries in the HM Awards this year was unlike anything we have seen before. It was a challenge to even choose the finalists from up to 80 entries in some cases, let alone decide on a winner and highly commended.

“To even be a finalist this year was a massive effort and many of our winners have also been employee of the year or hotel of the year in their own organisations, so it was an incredibly strong field of entries in 2019.

“The HM Awards are more than just bricks and mortar and are truly about the people behind the scenes who make the Australian hotel industry one of the best in the world…this is why we put a bigger focus on people than properties every year and this year’s list of winners was phenomenal,” Wilkinson said.

Australasian Hotelier of the Year in 2019 was richly deserved and claimed by InterContinental Hotels Group Managing Director for Australasia and Japan, Leanne Harwood, who struggled to contain her excitement at the recognition.

“I’d like to thank everybody in the room for working in one of the most amazing industries. I particularly want to thank my team across InterContinental Hotels Group who frankly, make me what I am as a leader,” Harwood said.

When Accor’s COO – Pacific, Simon McGrath, walked to the stage to collect the Accommodation Chain of the Year award, most of the room was giving the victory a standing ovation, while when it came to Brand of the Year, the teams from dual winners Hilton and Ovolo firmly brought the party to the stage.

Australasian Hotel of the Year winner, Park Hyatt Sydney, was a popular choice in the room, while the Asia-Pacific Hotelier of the Year crown was won by Marriott’s President and Managing Director, Craig Smith, one of the most popular executives in the region.

One of the most special gongs on the night – the Ashley Spencer Service to the Industry Award – was given to IHG’s CEO Keith Barr, who, via a video message from London, said he was humbled by the acknowledgement from the industry in Australasia.

In a year of significant change professionally, recently departed Accommodation Association of Australia CEO and former AHA NSW chairman and The Star executive, Richard Munro, returned to accept his induction into the HM Awards Hall of Fame. Munro, who now oversees the Cronulla Sharks NRL franchise, told of his pride at having spent 30 years representing and serving an industry he will always love.

“I’m absolutely an admirer of this industry. I started as a young fellow up in Gatton Agricultural College doing a hospitality course and worked my way through the whole industry with a lot of people. It’s a people industry and I carry that through my life that I’ve met so many people who mean so much to me and who also think so much about this industry.”

Across nearly 50 categories, the finest in property and people categories were named for 2019. The full list of winners and presenters can be found below.

The HM Awards presented by Sealy Posturepedic were sponsored by Entertainment and AV Partner, Foxtel Business, and co-hosted by AHS Hospitality, Intrust Super and Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School.

 

PROPERTY AWARDS

Serviced Apartment Property – sponsored by Foxtel Business

JOINT WINNERS: Adina Apartment Hotel Bondi Beach, NSW and The York by Swiss Belhotel, Sydney

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Fraser Suites Sydney and SKYE Suites Parramatta

 

Economy Hotel – sponsored by Accommodation Association of Australia

JOINT WINNERS: Adabco Boutique Hotel, Adelaide and Brassey Hotel, Canberra

HIGHLY COMMENDED: ibis Sydney World Square and Travelodge Hobart

 

Midscale Hotel – sponsored by Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School

WINNER: Little National Hotel, Canberra

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Holiday Inn Express Adelaide City Centre and Jasper Hotel, Melbourne

 

Upscale Hotel – sponsored by Lawrence Dry Cleaners

WINNER: PARKROYAL Darling Harbour

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Ovolo Inchcolm, Brisbane and Pullman Sydney Airport

 

Upper-Upscale Hotel – sponsored by Swisstrade

WINNER: QT Sydney

HIGHLY COMMENDED: The Calile Hotel, Brisbane and MACq 01 Hotel, Hobart

 

Luxury Hotel – sponsored by Sealy Posturepedic

WINNER: Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley and The Darling Gold Coast

 

Australian Lodge – sponsored by Tourism Accommodation Australia

WINNER: Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Peppers Cradle Mountain, Cradle Mountain and Spicers Peak Lodge, Maryvale

 

Business Hotel – sponsored by Foxtel Business

WINNER: Sydney Harbour Marriott

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Crown Promenade Melbourne and InterContinental Perth City Centre

 

Resort – sponsored by Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School

WINNER: qualia, Hamilton Island

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara and Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort

 

Hotel Interior Design – sponsored by Sealy Posturepedic

JOINT WINNERS: The Fantauzzo, Brisbane and Little Albion, a Crystalbrook Collection Boutique Hotel, Sydney

HIGHLY COMMENDED: W Brisbane and Zagame’s House, Melbourne

 

Boutique Hotel – sponsored by Streamvision

WINNER: The Langham, Sydney

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Emporium Hotel South Bank and Ovolo Inchcolm, Brisbane

 

New Hotel – sponsored by Sealy Posturepedic

WINNER: The Calile Hotel, Brisbane

HIGHLY COMMENDED: QT Perth and The Fantauzzo, Brisbane

 

Meetings and Conferencing Property – sponsored by Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School

JOINT WINNERS: Hilton Sydney and Uluru Meeting Place, Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Grand Hyatt Melbourne and Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park

 

Regional Property – sponsored by Foxtel Business

WINNER: Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains, MGallery by Sofitel

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach and Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort, Cairns

 

Day Spa – sponsored by Spa + Clinic

JOINT WINNERS: Alamanda Spa, Alamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore and Chi, The Spa, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Day Spa by Chuan, The Langham, Sydney and The Waldheim Alpine Spa, Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge

 

Hotel Bar – sponsored by Foxtel Business

WINNER: Jackalberry, Hyatt Regency Sydney

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Mister Percy, Ovolo 1888, Sydney and Rooftop at QT, QT Perth

 

Hotel Restaurant – sponsored by Perrier

JOINT WINNERS: Alibi, Ovolo Woolloomooloo, Sydney and Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant, Mount Lofty House, Adelaide Hills

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Buvette Bistro and Wine Bar, Hotel Realm, Canberra and Paper Daisy, Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach

 

Tech Hotel – sponsored by Assa Abloy

WINNER: SKYE Suites Sydney

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Next Hotel Brisbane and Novotel Melbourne South Wharf

 

New Zealand Hotel – sponsored by Lion

JOINT WINNERS: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour and The Rees Hotel, Queenstown

HIGHLY COMMENDED: InterContinental Wellington and QT Wellington

 

New Zealand Regional Property – sponsored by AHICE

WINNER: Chateau Marlborough, Blenheim

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Novotel Hamilton Tainui and Peppers Parehua, Martinborough

 

New Zealand Lodge – sponsored by AHS Hospitality

WINNER: Wharekauhau Country Estate, Featherston

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Blanket Bay, Glenorchy and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawke’s Bay

 

Fijian Property – sponsored by Withers Worldwide

WINNER: VOMO Island Fiji

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Fiji Marriott Resort, Momi Bay and Kokomo Private Island

 

South Pacific Property – sponsored by TimeOut

WINNER: InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa, French Polynesia

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Pacific Resort Aitutaki, Cook Islands and St Regis Bora Bora Resort, French Polynesia

 

Marketing Campaign – sponsored by Wayfarer

JOINT WINNERS: Accor (Wintervention) and Quest Apartment Hotels (Work. Play. Sleep. Repeat.)

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Pier One Sydney Harbour (Pier One Igloo Project) and RACV Cape Schanck Resort (hotel launch)

 

Service to the Community – sponsored by Sealy Posturepedic

JOINT WINNERS: Accor (Race to Survive Fiji & Building Futures and Partnering for Good) and Wyndham Destinations Asia-Pacific (Wishes by Wyndham)

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Rendezvous Hotel Perth Scarborough (community service projects) and The Langham, Melbourne (community service projects)

 

PEOPLE AWARDS

Concierge – sponsored by Tourism Accommodation Australia

JOINT WINNERS: Desmond Taliauli, Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour and Phil Shearer, Rydges Wellington, New Zealand

HIGHLY COMMENDED: James Spielvogel, InterContinental Melbourne the Rialto and Jay de los Reyes, QT Sydney

 

Hotel Chef – sponsored by Nespresso Professional

JOINT WINNERS: Nic Wood, QT Perth and Raphael Szurek, Sydney Harbour Marriott

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Graham Webster, Loxley on Bellbird Hill and Rick Gore, Pullman Magenta Shores Resort

Food and Beverage Associate – sponsored by Calabria Family Wines

JOINT WINNERS: Alexandra Russell, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley and Julian Reevell, PARKROYAL Darling Harbour

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Cas Yan, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney and Robert Mawson, Hotel Realm, Canberra

 

Human Resources Associate – sponsored by AHS Hospitality

JOINT WINNERS: Kedea Atherton, Accor Australia and Megan Reid, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort and InterContinental Hayman Island Resort

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Rosie McCartney, Next Story Group Australia/New Zealand and Riley Mackenzie, PARKROYAL Parramatta

 

Sales and Marketing Associate – sponsored by Intrust Super

JOINT WINNERS: Holly De Bijl, InterContinental Sydney Double Bay and Kristie Mancell, The Calile Hotel, Brisbane

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Rita Nassar, PARKROYAL Darling Harbour and Lachlan Harris, The Langham, Sydney

 

Communications Associate – sponsored by TravMedia

JOINT WINNERS: Caroline Davidson, The Rees Hotel, Queenstown, New Zealand and Caterina Spanti, QT Melbourne

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Ace Mamun, Sydney Harbour Marriott and Helen Jin, Novotel Sydney International Airport

 

Front Office Associate – sponsored by Accommodation Association of Australia

JOINT WINNERS: Jake Guilfoyle, QT Sydney and David Tonkin, Mount Lofty House Adelaide Hills, Crafers

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Kanina Victoria, RACV Resorts Australia and Kimbley Watkins, Sage Hotel Wollongong

 

Finance Associate – sponsored by Intrust Super

JOINT WINNERS: Helen Ip, Holiday Inn Sydney Airport and Howard Phung, Frasers Hospitality, Australia

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Dhruv Patel, Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains, MGallery by Sofitel and Molly Tian, The Lancemore Group, Australia

 

Revenue Management Associate – sponsored by ARMA

JOINT WINNERS: Brendan Smith, RACV Resorts Australia and Teddy Wijaya, West Hotel Sydney, Curio Collection by Hilton

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Felicite Danis, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour and Kristy Edwards, Best Western Australia

 

Housekeeper – sponsored by AHS Hospitality

JOINT WINNERS: Agnes Kapani-Volu, Travelodge Macquarie North Ryde and Leonnie McGrath, Quest Dubbo

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Connie Thomsen, Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach and Raj Kulwant Kaur, The Blackman, Melbourne

 

Hotel Engineer – sponsored by Streamvision

JOINT WINNERS: Ding Yi, Pullman Sydney Airport and Ron Peel, Atura Dandenong, VIC

HIGHLY COMMENDED: James Mashman, Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Central Park and John Harrison, Sage Ringwood

 

Rising Star – sponsored by Intrust Super

JOINT WINNERS: Amy van De Ven, Quest Orange and Charles Martin, Emporium Hotel South Bank, Brisbane

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Chris Tannock, Sails in the Desert, Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara and Veronique James, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

 

MAJOR AWARDS

South Pacific General Manager – sponsored by Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School

WINNER: Neeraj Chadha, Marriott International Fiji and Samoa

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Vincent Macquet, Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa

New Zealand General Manager – sponsored by AHS Hospitality

WINNER: Paul Columbus, Novotel Auckland Airport

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Franz Mascarenhas, Cordis Auckland and Mark Rose, The Rees Hotel, Queenstown

 

Australian General Manager – sponsored by Intrust Super

WINNER: Jason Sabin, Holiday Inn Express Sydney Macquarie Park

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Nathan Cox, Accor Sydney Olympic Park and Shaun D’Cruz, Crown Hotels Melbourne

 

Environmental Program – sponsored by Sealy Posturepedic

JOINT WINNERS: Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort, Cairns and Wyndham Destinations Asia-Pacific

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

 

HM Awards Hall of Fame Award – sponsored by HM Magazine

WINNER: Richard Munro

 

Hotel Brand – sponsored by Foxtel Business

JOINT WINNERS: Hilton and Ovolo Hotels

HIGHLY COMMENDED: QT Hotels

 

Accommodation Chain – sponsored by Foxtel Business

WINNER: Accor

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Hyatt Hotels and Resorts and Marriott International

 

Ashley Spencer Service to the Industry Award – sponsored by HM Magazine

WINNER: Keith Barr, InterContinental Hotels Group

 

Australasian Hotel of the Year – sponsored by Sealy Posturepedic

WINNER: Park Hyatt Sydney

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Jackalope Hotel Mornington Peninsula and qualia, Hamilton Island

 

HM Magazine Australasian Hotelier of the Year – sponsored by HM Magazine

WINNER: Leanne Harwood, InterContinental Hotels Group

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Sean Hunt, Marriott International and Simon McGrath, Accor

 

HM Magazine Asia-Pacific Hotelier of the Year – sponsored by HM Magazine

WINNER: Craig S. Smith, Marriott International

HIGHLY COMMENDED: David Udell, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts and Michael Issenberg, Accor

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