In front of almost 600 hoteliers, industry leaders and major suppliers, the winners of the 2013 HM Awards presented by Sealy have been awarded to some of the Australasian accommodation industry’s brightest stars.
Held at the prestigious Sydney Town Hall last Friday night (Sep 6) and hosted by television personality Larry Emdur, the HM Awards have, for the 11th time, recognised the accommodation industry’s finest staff, properties, brands and chains across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
Major winners on the night were Hilton Worldwide’s Martin Rinck (Asia-Pacific Hotelier of the Year), Mantra Group’s Bob East (Australasian Hotelier of the Year), Park Hyatt Sydney (Hotel of the Year), Pullman Hotels (Hotel Brand), Accor Hotels (Accommodation Chain) and Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa (Environmental Program).
It was a big night for Park Hyatt Sydney, with the hotel also winning Luxury Hotel and Day Spa, while fellow Harbour City hotel QT Sydney also took home three awards – New Hotel, Hotel Interior Design and Tech Hotel. Topping it off for the hip property, the founder of QT Hotels, David Seargeant, was also inducted into the HM Awards Hall of Fame.
Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa also won Regional Property and Australian Lodge, while qualia on Hamilton Island won the Resort and Hotel Restaurant categories. Still on food and beverage, Eau de Vie at the Kirketon Hotel in Sydney was named Bar of the Year.
Brisbane’s Emporium Hotel was named top Boutique Hotel, Hilton Melbourne South Wharf won best Business Hotel, Pullman Sydney Olympic Park and The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa shared the honours for the Upper-Upscale category, Peppers Broadbeach won Upscale Property, Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens took out the Midscale Property category, Travelodge Docklands won Economy property and BreakFree Aanuka Resort in Coffs Harbour won the Budget category.
Fraser Suites Sydney was named top Serviced Apartment Property, while Ayers Rock Resort and Sheraton on the Park Sydney shared the honours for the top Meetings and Conferencing property.
Parkroyal Sydney Darling Harbour Sydney won the Marketing Campaign award, while Service to the Community went to Yasawa Island Resort in Fiji.
In the New Zealand categories, Huka Lodge won the Lodge award, Hilton Lake Taupo the regional property award and The Langham Auckland the hotel award. Fijian property went to Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa, while South Pacific property was won by Pacific Resort Aitutaki.
Australia’s largest private hotel owner Dr Jerry Schwartz won the Service to the Industry for his continued investment in hotels in the nation, which has now reached 11 properties that employ over 1000 people.
Alongside AHL’s Seargeant, the other Hall of Fame inductees in 2013 were Toga Hotels’ Allan Vidor, ICMS founder Darryl Courtney-O’Connor.
In the popular and highly-entered people categories, Rising Star of the Year went to Parkroyal Melbourne Airport’s Dominoe Aranyi, Concierge of the Year was won by Shangri-La Hotel Sydney’s Colin Toomey, Chef of the Year was taken out by Pierre Khodja, Food and Beverage Associate was won by Sydney Harbour Marriott’s Catalina Rueda, Quest Serviced Apartments’ Jorja Salisbury won the Human Resources Associate category, Parkroyal Melbourne Airport’s Michael Foster won the Sales and Marketing category, Accor’s Gaynor Reid won Communications, Quest Bondi Junction’s David Atatagi won Front Office Associate, Wyndham’s Kaleena de Voigt won Finance Associate, Travelodge Mirambeena Resort’s Angela Senscall took out the Housekeeper award, and Sydney Harbour Marriott’s Cyrus Tolentino and InterContinental Sydney’s Andy Goonesekera shared the Hotel Engineer category.
In the General Manager Awards, Radisson Blu Resort Fiji Denarau Island’s Gerard Knight won the South Pacific category, Rob McIntyre from Pullman Auckland the New Zealand category and The Sebel Pier One Sydney’s Michael Sheridan the Australian category.
The 2013 HM Awards were hosted by HM magazine, presented by Sealy, and co-hosted by AHS, the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School, Foxtel for Business, Intrust Super and Nespresso.
“HM magazine has again been proud to recognise the industry’s finest hotels, chains and, particularly staff, that have been doing an amazing job over the last 12 months,” said HM magazine Editor-In-Chief, James Wilkinson.
“Sure it’s fantastic when a hotel can be rewarded for its aesthetics, style, design and comfort, but it is the people who work in hotels that give the accommodation industry in Australasia its soul,” he said.
The most popular category again proved to be Rising Star, with over 60 entries received in the 2013 and the calibre on a very high level.
“On behalf of the team at HM magazine and all of our fantastic sponsors this year, congratulations to all of the winners, highly commended recipients and finalists in 2012,” Wilkinson said.
On the night, $30,000 was raised for the Sala Bai Hotel School in Siem Reap, Cambodia in yet another strong show of charitable support from the industry.
A documentary produced by HM magazine’s Wilkinson about Sala Bai was screened on the night in an effort to raise as many funds as possible for a charity the magazine is proud to be involved with.
“We are incredibly proud to be helping young people from poor and disadvantaged families realise their dream of working in the hotel industry through training at Sala Bai,” Wilkinson said.
“This donation will help ensure 30 more young Cambodians will receive the training they need to not just get jobs, but great careers in the hotel industry.”
The 2013 HM Awards saw not just a huge crowd, but also a record number of entries with 2500 this year.
The 2013 HM Awards were presented by Sealy; hosted by HM magazine; co-hosted by AHS, Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School, Foxtel Business, Intrust Super and Nespresso; and sponsored by A-List Guide, CCA, Dometic, ISIS, iBahn, HotelHome Australia, Miele, McLaren Vale Beer Company, Oyster Bay Wines, Prototype Furniture, San Pellegrino, Spice magazine, www.spicenews.com.au, Time Out Melbourne and Time Out Sydney.
The Accommodation Association of Australia (AAoA), Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) and Travmedia.com were supporting partners.