TWO local hotels were among the winners at the Australian Hotels Association State Awards for Excellence on Monday night.
The finalists and winners were honoured at the ceremony in front of 1000 guests and professionals of the hotel industry at Crown Casino, Melbourne.
The Criterion Hotel, Sale, won two awards – named the overall regional hotel of the year, and best pub style accommodation – while the Tinamba Hotel was named the best regional pub restaurant.
It was also a finalist for the regional pub restaurant award alongside the Dargo Hotel and Lake View Bar and Bistro, Loch Sport, and finalist in the best regional casual dining category.
Criterion Hotel owner Chad De Lany said his team was extremely proud to win the awards and bring it to central Gippsland.
“The last 12 months has been a rollercoaster of emotions operating The Criterion,” he said.
“Its recognition like this that makes it worthwhile.
“We believe that this will help bring more people to central Gippsland and in particular Sale.”
Mr De Lany said the hotel employ more than 40 local staff, and they all worked hard and were willing to go the extra mile.
“This award is just as much for them than anyone,” he said.
“We will continue to evolve and meet the needs of our customers as time goes on.”
The Star Hotel, Sale, was recognised as a finalist in two categories – best regional gaming venue with 50 machines or less, with Lachlan Carman in the running for the emerging leader award.
The Dargo Hotel was also a finalist for best regional outdoor experience, best pub style accommodation, and heart of the community award.