The AHA Hospitality & Tourism Awards uncovered Canberra’s best hotels, bars, and restaurants tonight (Monday 22 July). The awards, which help put the Capital’s hospitality scene on the map, took place at Hotel Realm who also stole the show for Best Conferences and Events Venue, Best Redeveloped Venue and the Industry Rising Star award to James Lightbody.

This years most prestigious John Press Award went to the Lala Hospitality Group, knocking our socks off with venues across town including 88MPH, Molly’s, Highball Express, Amici, Bleachers and Black Market. They also won Best Sales and Marketing Talent (Brooke Ivins), and Molly’s was responsible for Best Cocktail Lounge & Best Bartender – Michael Nguyen.

East Hotel was another force to be reckoned with. Winning Superior Hotel of the Year, Apartment/Suite Hotel of the Year and Chef of the Year going to the East Family’s Exec Chef Francesco Balestrieri.

New kid on the block Fenway Public House was rewarded for Best New Venue, Buvette scored Best Wine List, and Kokomo’s always on vibe won them Best Late Night Entertainment.


See the full list of winners below!

John Press Award – Lala Hospitality Group

Best Food & Beverage Talent (General Division) – Patrick Vance (Badger & Co.)

Best Food & Beverage Talent (Accommodation Division) – Vincent Maulio (QT Canberra)

Best Sales & Marketing Talent – Brooke Ivins  (88MPH)

Best Finance Talent (Accommodation Division) – Anh Rutherford (QT Canberra)

Best Revenue Talent (Accommodation Division) – Katie Smith (QT Canberra)

AICR Receptionist of the Year (Accommodation Division)- Refat Bin Jahangir (Hyatt Hotel Canberra)

Best Environmental Practices – Little National Hotel

Best Traditional Pub, Inn or Tavern- Mooseheads Pub & Nightclub

Best Wine List – Buvette Bistro & Wine Bar

Best Late Night Entertainment Venue – Kokomo’s

Best TAB Venue – Ducks Nuts Bar & Grill

Best Sporting Entertainment Venue – The Dock

Best Cocktail, Lounge or Small Bar – Molly

Best Conferences and Events Venue – Hotel Realm

Best Beer Quality (Draught) – The Duxton & The Durham Castle Arms Pub

Best Beer Quality (Craft/Local) – Bentspoke Brewing Co.

Bartender of the Year – Michael Nguyen (Molly)

Best New or Redeveloped Venue (Accommodation Division) – Hotel Realm

Best New or Redeveloped Venue (General Division) – Fenway Public House

Mid-Range Hotel of the Year – Brassey Hotel

Superior Hotel of the Year – East Hotel

Apartment/Suite Hotel of the Year – East Hotel

Deluxe Hotel of the Year – Jamala Wildlife Lodge

Industry Rising Star (Accommodation) – James Lightbody (Hotel Realm)

Best Casual Dining Venue – The District

Best Italian Restaurant – Molto Italian

Chef of the Year – Francesco Balestrieri (East Hotel)

Best Restaurant – Raku

Best Burger – Young & Frisky

Best Steak – The Duxton

Pub Eatery – 1882 Bar & Grill

Member of the Year – Pat Lonergan (Doma Hotels)