Four hundred guests attended the fifth annual Rotorua Hospitality Awards that celebrated businesses and individuals for their successes and superior service to the industry.

Finalists were a range of rustic to fine dining establishments, seasoned individuals and rising stars of the industry. The Hospitality Awards committee were ecstatic to see so many old and new faces coming through the awards and providing a platform for these people to be celebrated with their industry peers, friends and family.

This year, all of the finalists really put their best foot forward in their bid to stand out from peers, competing to be the best within their categories for 2016.

“All finalists have undergone a judging process to determine the winners,” said Sharon Wallace, Rotorua Branch President of the Restaurant Association of NZ. “The results that came in were extremely close, showing Rotorua has something special to offer within the New Zealand hospitality industry.”

Industry icons were celebrated alongside this year’s finalists with a special tribute to John Knight, Triple One 5/CBK, as one of the original drivers and committee members of the event. Pipiana Whiston, general manager of Millennium Hotel was recognised for her expansive career in hospitality as the recipient of the Icon of Hospitality Award.

Supported by a voluntary committee, the Rotorua Hospitality Awards are proud of all finalists and congratulate all the winners’ successes. The awards are also well supported by sponsors who provide the committee with the ability to deliver the event each year.