Its the season for hospitality awards, with hotels and holiday parks lining up to reward their star performers for 2018.
The New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards, held on Thursday to recognise staff and establishments delivering outstanding experiences, proved that operating a hotel far from the country’s metro centres is no barrier to quality.
High-performing staff members from the previously un-nominated Franz Josef region won three of the 12 awards.
Meanwhile five holiday parks find themselves on the shortlist of finalists for this year’s AA Traveller Spirit of Hospitality Award, to be held in Hamilton on July 25.
All Seasons Holiday Park in Rotorua, Athenree Hot Springs & Holiday Park in the Bay of Plenty, Himatangi Beach Holiday Park in Manawatu, Miranda Holiday Park in the Firth of Thames and the Bay if Islands’ Russell TOP 10 Holiday Park all deliver outstanding visitor experiences, according to Holiday Parks New Zealand chief executive Fergus Brown.
“To be a finalist in the award is fantastic achievement. All five finalists have demonstrated consistently high levels of customer satisfaction and have received impressive online reviews,” he said.
The Hotel Industry awards, presented at a gala dinner in Auckland as part of the 2018 New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference, were hosted by Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Horwath HTL Ltd.
The night’s most prestigious gong, the Hotel Industry Achievement Award, was won by Kathy Guy, group general manager of the Chateau Tongariro Hotel and the Wairakei Resort Taupō, and a director of scenic flight operator Mountain Air.
Other winners were:
General Manager of the Year – Richard Bungeroth of Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef Glacier
Senior Hotel Executive of the Year – Les Morgan of Sudima Hotels & Resorts
Outstanding Young Hotel Executive of the Year – Danielle Davies of SKYCITY Hotel and SKYCITY Grand Hotel, Auckland
Administration Employee of the Year – Eugenia Marquez of Cordis Hotel, Auckland
Concierge of the Year – Ingmar Becker of Bolton Hotel, Wellington
Environmental Initiative of the Year – Sudima Auckland Airport
Food and Beverage Employee of the Year – Mick Yuan of Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Front Office Services Employee of the Year – Neil Hemraj of Hotel CityLife Auckland
Housekeeper Employee of the Year – Annalise Stewart of InterContinental Wellington
Regional Hotel Employee of the Year – Rohan Thakur of Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef Glacier
Revenue Manager of the Year – Roma Patel of Sudima Hotels & Resorts
Sales, Marketing & Distribution Employee of the Year – Leigh Higgins of Sudima Hotels & Resorts
Horwath managing director Stephen Hamilton said the awards attracted a record number of entries this year.
“The calibre of the finalists and winners shows our hotel sector is in good heart and is providing people with excellent career opportunities across a range of disciplines,” he said.
The judging process selected candidates who demonstrated a number of common factors, such as receiving recognition from hotel guests beyond the norm, demonstrating a remarkable commitment to their employer, having undergone training to further their career, and personal attributes such as personality, problem solving, and anticipating guests’ needs.