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2009 HM Awards: Winners Speak Out


By James Wilkinson

With the champagne still flowing for winners of the 2009 HM Awards, SpiceNews finds out what CEOs and general managers have told the media since the gala dinner was held at Sydney’s Doltone House last Friday night (Aug 14).


HM Award winner: Accor’s Simon McGrath

Accor Hospitality
Awards: HM Magazine Hotelier of the Year (Simon McGrath, Vice President Australia); South Pacific Hotel Manager (Amanda Silk, Sofitel Fiji); Rooms Division Department Member (Donna Gribble, Novotel Barossa Valley); PR Manager (Gaynor Reid); Environmental Program (Pullman Sydney Olympic Park); Hall of Fame (David Baffsky AO).

“Anyone can build a hotel room, but it’s the people that really make Accor such a successful group,” said Accor Hospitality vice president – Australia, Simon McGrath.

“I am also pleased that the Pullman at Sydney Olympic Park won the Best Environmental Program award as Accor is very much focused on its staff and on sustainability and to be recognised in those categories is a real testament to our achievements in these areas,” he said.

Blanket Bay, New Zealand
Award: New Zealand Regional Property

“This year we are celebrating ten years of operations and this award illustrates that our long-term commitment to excellence really pays off,” said Blanket Bay general manager Philip Jenkins.

“Even though Blanket Bay’s location and facilities are second to none in New Zealand, it is our staff that truly defines the luxury Blanket Bay experience.

“Consistency of service is what makes the difference, plus an exclusive luxury product that is based upon the principles of sustainable and responsible tourism,” he said.

Crown Towers, Melbourne
Award: 5-Star Hotel

“We are pleased to receive this recognition from our industry peers in the 2009 HM Awards,” said Crown Hotels’ executive general manager, Peter Crinis.

“Our employees take great pride in their work and we are grateful that our commitment to excellence is recognised,” he said.

Emporium Hotel, Brisbane
Awards: Boutique Hotel; Hotel Bartender (Lucy George)

“These awards are widely recognised as the industry’s premier awards night so it is especially significant for the team of dedicated staff at the Emporium Hotel, many of whom have been with us since its inception two years ago, and continue to strive for excellence, never resting on their laurels,” said Emporium Hotel general manager, Peter Savoff.

“We are also thrilled to see Lucy George, the face of the hotel’s Cocktail Bar, honoured for her outstanding innovation and commitment, qualities that ensured she triumphed over some of the best bartenders this hemisphere has to offer,” he said.

Q Station Retreat, Manly
Award: MICE Property

“The work and dedication of the Q Station team is demonstrated in winning this award today,” said Q Station general manager Brendan Millet.

“Q Station is a unique site on Sydney Harbour and everyone has worked very hard to deliver high quality service and professionalism and it is so obviously recognized by our customers and our industry,” he said.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World
Award: Hotel Brand Management Company

“To maintain our position as Hotel Brand Management Company of the Year for four years in a row is a sensational achievement,” said Small Luxury Hotels of the World CEO Paul Kerr.

“Despite our continuing success we never rest on our laurels and we have worked hard to maintain our position as the number one hotel brand for small, independent hotels.

“We are delighted that qualia won Hotel of the Year and Resort of the Year and that Blanket Bay won the award for Best Regional Property in New Zealand… our hotels are the best of the best in their regions and these awards prove this,” he said.

The Westin Auckland Lighter Quay
Award: New Zealand Hotel

“To be nominated New Zealand’s Best Hotel by people from within the hotel industry is certainly an honour,” said The Westin Auckland Lighter Quay general manager Marcus Reinders.

Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront
Award: Best New Hotel

“We are very excited to take out the Best New Hotel Award for Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront,” said Toga Hospitality CEO Rachel Argaman.

“This award is a testament to our team’s continued commitment to delivering a consistently high level of service and fantastic facilities for our guests to enjoy,” she said.