Award Criteria & FAQs

Overall criteria

Please find here the list of all categories that can be nominated for in 2024. To be eligible to enter the QHA Awards for Excellence program you must be a current financial member at the time of nomination and the awards evening.

Hall of Fame

Any licensed venue that wins the same QHA Award for Excellence category for three consecutive years will automatically be inducted into the Hall of Fame the following year. These inductees are then ineligible to nominate in that same category until two years have passed. You will then be eligible to re-nominate in 2027.

AHA National Awards

The AHA National Awards for Excellence will be held on Monday 25 November 2024 at The Star Brisbane. In the event that you are a category winner at our state/territory awards and have previously advised of your inclusion into the national awards, the AHA National Office will be in touch with you after the event.

By confirming your automatic pre-commitment to enter the AHA National Awards, you have acknowledged that you will be sent an invoice for the nominations fee of $330 per category.

In addition, if you are nominated for an accommodation category that requires overnight stay for judging purposes (i.e. Best Luxury, Deluxe, Superior, Lifestyle/Resort, Mid-range, Suite/Apartment, Regional and Best Hotel Accommodation), you will also be invoiced for the cost of one night’s accommodation and breakfast for two people (where required). Proof of overnight stay receipts will be presented for this reimbursement of expense. This revised system will remove the requirement for any hotel accommodation vouchers to be provided and presented as has been the case in the past.

The AHA National Awards for Excellence is an industry showcase of Australia’s very best in hospitality and accommodation. Further, it provides a fitting platform for the recognition of management and employees, as well as being an excellent marketing accolade for your venue.

Australian Hotels Association logo


General Division refers to a traditional pub/hotel. You may have accommodation as part of your venue, but this is not your primary business.

Accommodation Division is a hotel whose primary business is providing accommodation. You may have a bar/restaurant at your venue, but your primary purpose is providing accommodation.

Metropolitan includes an urban population of more than 150,000 people. Metropolitan includes areas such as Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Ipswich, and Cairns.

Regional venues are within an area of less than 150,000, such as Mackay, Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Gympie, Maryborough, Mt Isa, and Warwick.


State judging is conducted by a panel of industry peers appointed by the QHA and comprises a cross-section of hospitality industry experts. The QHA itself is not involved in the judging of venues to ensure impartiality.

Judges are selected for their knowledge and experience, and for their absolute dedication to the integrity of the awards process. The identity of these persons will be kept totally anonymous. Judges will be supplied with the award nominations, submissions, and photographs for their specific judging category. These person/persons will visit each venue at least once and assess the entire category amongst its peers.

The judging period will fall between February 2024 – March 2024 the date and time of visit will not be disclosed to the venue.


Three photographs must be included for each award submission. These must be in high resolution format (JPG, GIF) with at least one hero shot of the exterior of the hotel. If applying for individual staff awards, a photo of the staff member must be provided.

These photographs will be used for the main presentation on the evening of the awards ceremony and must be of acceptable quality.

Receipt of nomination

A formal ‘Receipt of Nomination’ will be forwarded to the email contact provided upon uploading of your files via the QHA website. If you do not receive the receipt of nomination, check your spam folder first, then contact the QHA to ensure your nomination has been received.

Entry form

When completing the online entry form, please check the spelling and ensure that your venue name is listed exactly as you want it to appear on your plaque, should you be a winner.

The contact email used on the nomination form will receive all the details pertaining to the event, including the tax invoice, finalists notification, and ticketing details. This contact may also be used to seek further details about the submission, if required.


Submissions must address the specific criteria as outlined (i.e. a paragraph covering each section). The submission should also provide supporting information for the judge/judges who will then visit the venue and assess accordingly (e.g. media articles, testimonials, etc).

Keep your submission concise and relevant to the category that you are nominating for.

You don’t need to spend lots of money on a submission, if any at all. Just remember that the judges will only be interested in the content and relevance to the criteria and not necessarily what the submission looks like.

Entry Deadline

Midnight - 4 February 2024
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept submission after this deadline.


How can I nominate my venue?

Nominations are only accepted via

What do you expect from my nomination?

Each award category has a standard set of criteria, plus some additional points, depending on the award. A paragraph per criteria outlining why your venue meets or exceeds the criteria is all that’s required, as well as three high-res photos of the venue that you have permission for us to use at our discretion.

An example of a submission can be found here.

I am submitting for an accommodation award. What is required as part of my entry?

In 2023, the QHA made the decision to align all of its awards with the Australian Hotels Association National Awards judging process. In addition to the listed criteria and nomination cost, an additional accommodation supplement will be included as part of your submission to cover the cost of the overnight stay at your venue. This is instead of an accommodation voucher, so we can streamline this process appropriately.

My files are too big, how do I submit?

Email your submission through to outlining all of the questions in the nomination form. Too many files? Add them to Dropbox, WeTransfer, or Google Drive for the QHA to download.

Can I be invoiced?

Email your submission through to outlining all the questions in the nomination form so we can invoice you.

I can't find the FaceCruit link for the individual awards?

These are found in the individual award criteria sheets linked under the nomination information or here:

What are the key dates?

Nominations open: 4 December 2023
Nominations close: 4 February, midnight 2024
Judging period: 9 February - 28 March 2024
Finalists announced and tickets on sale: 22 April 2024
Ticket sales close: 17 May 2024
Gala dinner and presentation evening: 3 June 2024, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

How much does it cost to nominate?

The entry fee for the 2024 QHA Awards for Excellence is $99.00inc GST per category, with the total fee capped at $396 inc GST per venue (not per group) regardless of the number of categories you nominate for. Hotels nominating in the below categories will be invoiced to reimburse one night's accommodation – in a standard room, or a room of your selection, plus carparking, if required.

  • Best Hotel/Pub Style Accommodation
  • Best Mid-Range Accommodation
  • Best Suite/Apartment Hotel
  • Best Superior Accommodation
  • Best Deluxe Accommodation

Will we be notified when we are being judged?

No. Judging is an anonymous process, and you will not know that you are being judged until the end of the judges visit.

How do I know if my venue has been judged?

At the end of the judges visit, they will hand a notification card to a staff member.

Can I receive feedback if I am not successful?

Yes. After the awards have been presented on 3 June, you can request a copy of your judges score sheet.

Contact the QHA Awards for Excellence Program organiser

07 3221 6999