Here are all the 2016 winners of the Australian Hotel Association NSW Awards for Excellence

From “Best Burger” to “Best Hotel”, New South Wales’ rich hospitality industry was sifted through earlier this week by the annual Australian Hotel Association NSW Awards for Excellence, resulting in winners across 42 categories, celebrating some of the state’s best venues and top performers. The ceremony, which was held at The Star Event Centre, was attended by 1,200 industry and business leaders, all of whom came keen to see who out of the 600+ nominations would walk away victorious.

Turns out there’s been plenty of stiff competition this year, but one of the most notable wins was a double victory by the picturesque Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, the team taking home both “Hotel of the Year – City” and “Best Social Media Activity”. Meanwhile Erina’s The Sunken Monkey bested a bevy of regional hotels to win “Hotel of the Year – Country” as well as “Best Nightclub/Nightlife” venue for the adjoining Proud Mary’s.

As far as dining goes, to very little surprise the superb Graze at The Willow Tree Inn racked up the title of “The Best Restaurant – Country”, while the city version of the award went to Waverley’s Charing Cross Hotel. “Best Fine Dining Restaurant” went to The Woollahra Hotel for the opulent Bistro Moncur (which just expanded to Mosman).

Specific food awards included “Best Steak”, which went to The Sackville Hotel in Rozelle, and “Best Burger”, won by Gladesville’s Bayview Hotel. Grafton’s Village Green Hotel was named for “Best Cheap Eat Meal Under $15”.

This year’s industry recognition award, the “Cyril Maloney Medal” was given to famed Sydney hotelier Patrick Gallagher who was inducted into the AHA NSW Hall of Fame to a standing ovation.

See below for the full list of 2016 winners.

Best Traditional Hotel Bar
Union Hotel, North Sydney

Best Cocktail/Lounge Bar:
Henry Deane, Hotel Palisade, Sydney

Best Specialty/Emerging Bar (Joint Winners)
Bar Florian, Port Macquarie
Huxley’s, Caringbah

Best Draught Beer Quality
The Oaks, Neutral Bay

Best Innovative Wine List
The Dolphin, Surry Hills

Best Retail Liquor Outlet
Harrigans Irish Pub and Accommodation, Pokolbin

Best Family-Friendly Hotel
Moonee Beach Tavern, Moonee Beach

Best Oudoor Experience
Kooringal Hotel, Wagga Wagga

Best Rooftop Bar
The Glenmore, The Rocks

Best Innovative Refurbishment
Rose of Australia, Ersikneville

Best New/Redeveloped Hotel – Country (Joint Winners)
Gregory Hills Hotel, Gregory Hills
Narellan Hotel, Narellan

Best New/Redeveloped Hotel – City
Crows Nest Hotel, Crows NEst

Heart of the Community
The George Tavern, Green Hills

Best Promotional Concept
The Morrisons Bar & Oyster Room, Sydney

Best Restaurant – Country
Graze at The Willow Tree Inn, Willow Tree

Best Restaurant – City
Charing Cross Hotel, Waverley

Best Fine Dining Restaurant
Bistro Moncur at Woollahra Hotel, Woollahra

Best Casual Dining Venue – Country Northern
Sydney Junction Hotel, Hamilton

Best Casual Dining Venue – Country Southern
Coniston Hotel, Coniston

Best Casual Dining Venue – Country Western
Oriental Hotel, Mudgee

Best Casual Dining Venue – City CBD
Cruise Bar, Circular Quay

Best Casual Dining Venue – City Southern
Taren Point Hotel, Taren Point

Best Casual Dining Venue – City Western (Joint Winners)
Rose of Australia, Erskineville
Town Hall Hotel, Balmain

Best Casual Dining Venue – City Northern
Hunters Hill Hotel, Hunters Hill

Best Steak
The Sackville Hotel, Rozelle

Best Burger
Bayview Hotel, Gladesville

Best Cheap Eat Meal (Under $15)
Village Green Hotel, Grafton

Best Live Music
Hotel Steyne, MAnly

Best Nightclub/Nightlife Venue
Proud Mary’s at The Sunken Monkey Hotel – Erina

Best Sports Bar
Agincourt Hotel, Haymarket

Best Pub-Style Accommodation – Traditional
Prince of Wales, Gulgong

Best Pub-Style Accommodation – Deluxe
Caves Beachside Hotel, Caves Beach

Industry Rising Star
Matt Clifton from Donnys, Manly

Bartender of the Year
Kurtis Bosley from Woollahra Hotel, Woollahra

Chef of the Year – Country
Cheryl Pavey from Town Green Inn, Port Macquarie

Chef of the Year – City
Sam Bennett from Cricketers Arms Hotel, Balmain

Single Hotel Operator of the Year
Des Kennedy for Oriental Hotel, Mudgee

Group Hotel Operator of the Year
Public House Management Group

Hotel of the Year – Country
The Sunken Monkey Hotel, Erina

Hotel of the Year – City
Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, Watsons Bay

For more information head to

Feature Image: Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy-Editor-At-Large of the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.