Bodelle Francis from Event Hospitality accepts the Paul Davis Hotel Design Award on behalf of QT Auckland.

The Little National Hotel Sydney and QT Auckland have been named as the winners in the 2021 Paul Davis Hotel Design Awards for 2021, the properties recognised for excellence in design across newbuild and refurbishment categories respectively.

Winners were announced today at Design Inn, taking place in Adelaide and preceding the two-day AHICE which kicks off tomorrow at Oval Hotel, Adelaide.

Little National Hotel Sydney and QT Auckland both opened in late 2020 and have been well received by their host cities for design appeal and their warm and comfortable furnishings and features. The two properties were singled out in their categories for examples of innovation, guest comfort and adherence to design inspirations.

Little National Sydney

EOS by SkyCity Adelaide and Crowne Plaza Melbourne were highly commended runners-up in the two respective categories, with the former also opening in late 2020 and the latter carrying out an extensive and exhaustively detailed AUD$25 million refurbishment which has been running for several years.

The winners and runners up were selected among dozens of entries assessed by an esteemed panel of industry leaders in interior design, led by GHDWoodhead National Practice Leader, Leone Lorrimer; Design Assembly Principal, Paul Wiste and Scott Carver Director, Angela Biddle.

QT Auckland features 150 rooms and suites and opened late last year.

Here’s what the judges had to say about each of the four recognised entries.

New Build

Winner: The Little National Hotel, Sydney

Packing a huge punch despite its small size, this project showed an impeccable balance between a thoroughly detailed design that is still relaxed enough to feel comfortable, warm, and welcoming. Public areas have been carefully developed to give the guest a sense of living in a luxurious urban residence while the guestrooms provide a calm oasis that is comfortable for the body and mind. This is a wonderful addition to the Sydney market and will be hugely appealing to both the local and traveller.

Runner Up: EoS by SkyCity Adelaide

Sophisticated and refined, this project focuses on elegantly framing every moment and each view to create a thoroughly luxurious guest experience. Materials seamlessly compliment each other between the facade and the interiors, highlighting a palate that sensitively showcases local artwork, feature lighting, and furnishings. This is a hotel that truly is a destination in and of itself providing an array of experiences to satisfy every discerning guest.

The Allure Suite at Eos by SkyCity.


Winner: QT Hotels & Resorts, Auckland New Zealand

This project certainly is proof that its is what is on the inside that counts. Taking a former commercial building and repurposing it into a hotel with 35 unique guestroom types is no easy feat. By taking inspiration from the oyster the project celebrates not only the rough and the smooth but the geometries of oyster itself. Overall the property is on brand, but also shows an evolution that keeps this hotel unique and constantly refining itself. From the Reception to the Restaurant, to the roof bar, this project is so much more than what it could have been if not designed with such thoughtful consideration.

Crowne Plaza Melbourne is nearing the end of a major top-to-toe refurbishment.

Runner Up: Crowne Plaza, Melbourne

This project really address the needs of the urban traveller, regardless if they are business or leisure (or both). The renovated property has been given a new life by the addition of new spaces and guest rooms, along with the opening up of riverside views. Sustainability was a critical consideration, which can be especially tricky when dealing with a renovation. Energy savings realised along with a reduction in the carbon footprint was by implementing simple yet effective solutions within both the Engineering and Procuring divisions.