90 Finalists Announced for Lion Hospitality Awards for Excellence

New Zealand’s best hospitality and accommodation establishments will be recognised Wednesday, 26 July at the Lion Hospitality Awards for Excellence 2022, hosted by Hospitality New Zealand, in partnership with principal sponsor Lion New Zealand and industry partners.

Winners will be announced at a black-tie dinner at the Grand Millennium Hotel, Auckland, on 27 July – the final night of the two-day 2022 New Zealand Hospitality Conference.

There are four new awards this year, to celebrate the leaders who got the industry through the past two years: Leader of the Year in Hospitality, Leader of the Year in Accommodation, Future Leader of the Year, and Chef of the Year. There will also be an induction into the Hospitality Hall of Fame.

It will be the first time in three years the Awards for Excellence have been held in person, due to Covid restrictions. They were held online last year after being cancelled in 2020.

“A record number of entries have been received this year and once again the panel has been challenged in deciding the ‘best of the best’. There have been some outstanding submissions across all categories and many forms of innovative presentation,” expressed Chief judge for the awards, Michael Friend.

“The panel were most impressed with the degree of detail provided given the resources available to entrants during these COVID times.  It has also been interesting to read the various initiatives entrants have employed whilst re-invigorating their businesses.”

Friend added that much of the commentary in applications seemed to indicate an air of cautious positivity about trading in the months ahead.

Hospitality NZ Chief Executive Julie White said she is delighted by the big number of entries.

“These awards are the pinnacle of our industry, and we were hoping there would be a lot of interest, so the fact we have record entries is really great.

“We want to recognise and reward hospitality and accommodation operators who have been through a stressful and uncertain year to create the highest possible standards and experiences for both their guests and their team.

“Being able to do this in person for the first time in three years is something the industry needs.

“I didn’t envy the judges’ job – they had to make some very difficult choices from a wonderful line- up of talent.

“It’s a pity we have to single out anyone because every hospitality and accommodation business owner, operator and worker out there deserves a medal for the resilience and perseverance they’ve shown through probably the toughest period the industry has ever been through.

“It’s inspiring to see hospitality businesses still looking to be the best and to meet customers’ needs after what they’ve been through.”

The People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Noel Leeming Commercial, will also be announced at the event and voting is now open for the public to vote for their favourite hospitality or accommodation venue. Voting for the People’s Choice Awards can be done here: survey.alchemer.com/People-s-Choice-Award


Best Bar: sponsored by Asahi

Kaiser Brew Garden Christchurch

Little Blackwood Queenstown

Market ST Napier

Thistle Inn Wellington

Tipsy Oyster Tapas & Bar Paihia


Best Café: sponsored by Hospitality New Zealand

11th Avenue by Frank’s Queenstown

Bonobo Café Christchurch

Fusee Rouge Café Cromwell

Rusty Radiator Diner Café Halcombe

The Wholemeal Café Takaka


Best Restaurant: sponsored by Hospitality New Zealand

MASU by Nic Watt at SkyCity Auckland Auckland

Miro Christchurch

Tantalus Estate Waiheke Island

Kingi at The Hotel Britomart Auckland

White and Wong’s Queenstown Queenstown


Best Hotel: sponsored by Sleepyhead

Bolton Hotel Wellington

Escape to Picton Boutique Hotel Picton

Fable Dunedin Dunedin

Ramada Suites by Wyndham Auckland

The Hotel Britomart Auckland


Best Motel: sponsored by Seekom

Baycrest Thermal Lodge Taupo

One88 on Commerce Whakatane

Palazzo Motor Lodge Nelson

The St James Hanmer Springs

Whangaparaoa Lodge Auckland


Best Accommodation (Other): sponsored by Active Pure

Hanmer Springs TOP 10 Holiday Park Hanmer Springs

Lake Taupo Holiday Resort Taupo

Ohope Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park Ohope

Podium Lodge Cambridge

Sojourn Apartment Hotel Wellington


Best Luxury Hotel: sponsored by Westpac

Fable Dunedin Dunedin

QT Auckland Auckland

QT Queenstown Queenstown

The Hotel Britomart Auckland

The Grand by SkyCity Auckland


Best Luxury Accommodation: sponsored by Hospitality New Zealand

Adrift in Golden Bay Parapara

Craggy Range Vineyards Havelock North

Fable Auckland Auckland

Hotel Fitzroy curated by Fable Auckland

QT Wellington Wellington


Best Brand Experience: Sponsored by Review Magazine

Heyday Beer Co Wellington

Naumi Studio Wellington Wellington

The Hotel Britomart Auckland

The Monteith’s Brewery Experience Greymouth

Toastie New Zealand Picton


Best Local: sponsored by Sky

Smith & McKenzie Steak House Hamilton

The Elmwood Trading Company Christchurch

The Frankton Arm Tavern Queenstown

The Greytown Hotel - The Top Pub Greytown

The Keg Room Hamilton


Best Destination Venue: sponsored by Coca-Cola Europacific Partners New Zealand

Fable Terrace Downs Resort Windwhistle

Lake Taupo Holiday Resort Taupo

Milford Sound Lodge Milford Sound

Owen River Lodge Murchison

Theatre Royal Hotel Kumara


Best Environmental / Sustainable Business: sponsored by Hospitality New Zealand

Awaroa Lodge Abel Tasman National Park

Boulcott Suites Wellington

Edgewater Resort Hotel Wanaka

Owen River Lodge Murchison

The Hotel Britomart Auckland


Best New/ Redeveloped Business – Accommodation: sponsored by Dulux

Eliza’s Manor Christchurch

Fable Dunedin Dunedin

Holiday Inn Queenstown Remarkables Park Queenstown

Sojourn Apartment Hotel Wellington

The Central Private Hotel Queenstown


Best New/ Redeveloped Business – Food & Beverage: sponsored by DB Breweries

Cargo Gantley’s Pub & Café Queenstown

Margo’s Queenstown

Lola Rouge at Naumi Studio Wellington Wellington

Esther Restaurant at QT Auckland Auckland

Queenstown Ice Bar Queenstown


Excellence in Gaming: sponsored by TAB

Botany Commons Auckland

Five Stags Leamington Leamington

Four Kings Wellington

The Elmwood Trading Company Christchurch

Woodbourne Tavern & Motel Renwick


Excellence in Marketing: sponsored by GuestTraction

Bolton Hotel Wellington

Edgewater Wanaka

Fable Hotels and Resorts New Zealand

SkyCity Hotels Group Auckland

Toastie New Zealand Picton


Excellence in People & Culture: sponsored by Typsy

Future Hospitality Group Queenstown

Miro Christchurch

Republic Hospitality Group Queenstown

The Riverhead Riverhead

University of Canterbury Students Association Christchurch


Best Live Entertainment Venue: sponsored by One Music

Miss Gee’s Bar and Eatery Tauranga

SkyCity Hamilton Hamilton

Smash Palace Gisborne

The Playhouse Theatre Nelson

University of Canterbury Students Association Christchurch