The Rotorua hospitality industry acknowledged the outstanding abilities of their own with
Scope Rotorua, Urbano Bistro and Ray Singh of Indian Star Restaurant among those collecting top awards.

The seventh annual Rotorua Hospitality Awards winners were announced at an awards gala dinner held at the Energy Events Centre last night.

The awards recognise the outstanding hospitality professionals, who make a positive impact on the Rotorua cafe and dining scene.

Guests were treated to a delectable selection of local produce and beverages and entertainment by local DJ Shane Schwalger.

Indian Star restaurant owner Ray Singh was named Icon of Hospitality at the 2018 Rotorua Hospitality Awards. Photo/File
Indian Star restaurant owner Ray Singh was named Icon of Hospitality at the 2018 Rotorua Hospitality Awards. Photo/File

With all categories keenly contested, this year's winners truly exemplify what it means to be at the top of their respective categories.

Phil Elliot from Atticus Finch took top honours winning the Outstanding Chef award, and aspiring chef Bethany-May Allen from Peppers on the Point – Lake Rotorua was awarded Emerging Chef.

The team at Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar - Skyline Rotorua took out the Outstanding Front of House Team honour, and Regent of Rotorua proved they have all the ingredients to be named Outstanding Restaurant.

Third Place Cafe was named Outstanding Café for a second year running, with Outstanding Barista honours going to Grace Choi, McDonald's Fenton St.

Urbano Bistro was awarded Outstanding Design & Ambience with Indian Star Restaurant picking up top honours for Outstanding Ethnic Restaurant.

Shaye Honeycombe, Ponsonby Rd Lounge Bar was awarded Outstanding Bartender and Brew Craft Beer Pub was named Outstanding Bar.

After an impressive 8500 votes received, the coveted People's Choice Award went to Scope Rotorua.

Ray Singh of Indian Star Restaurant was named Icon of Hospitality for his dedication to the industry spanning over 25 years, with 18 of them contributing to the flourishing Rotorua hospitality scene of today.


The Restaurant Association of New Zealand said it was proud to organise and foster the awards with the main purpose being to unite, grow and promote the Rotorua hospitality industry.

Restaurant Association of New Zealand chief executive Marisa Bidois said she believed it was important to celebrate one another in the hospitality industry.

"Our work is demanding and there are limited opportunities to come together to support each other.

"The Rotorua Hospitality Awards represent the occasion to do just that – celebrate the hard work and success of the hospitality industry within the region. Congratulations to all winners."

2018 Rotorua Hospitality Award winners
• More FM Rotorua Outstanding Barista - Grace Choi, McDonald's
• Bidfood Rotorua Outstanding Cafe - Third Place Cafe
• Hancocks Outstanding Bartender - Shaye Honeycombe, Ponsonby Rd Lounge Bar
• Lion Breweries Outstanding Bar - BREW Craft Beer Pub
• Hospitality Management Systems Front of House Team - Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar, Skyline Rotorua
• Tabasco Emerging Chef - Bethany-May Allen, Peppers on the Point – Lake Rotorua
• Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Outstanding Chef - Phil Elliot, Atticus Finch
• Indian Star Emerging Business - El Mexicano Zapata
• OneMusic Outstanding Design & Ambience - Urbano Bistro
• Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Ethnic Restaurant - Indian Star Tandoori Restaurant
• Eftpos NZ Outstanding Restaurant - Regent of Rotorua
• GrabOne Outstanding Takeout - The Factory Smokehouse & Grill
• Skyline Rotorua Outstanding Sales Rep -Rohan Knowles, Diverse Distributors
• Eurest Outstanding Supplier - Bidfood Rotorua
• Events & Venues Excellence in Event Hospitality - Rotorua Night Market
• Rotorua Lakes Council Peoples Choice - Scope Rotorua
• Tohu Wines Icon of Hospitality - Ray Singh