Victoria Hotel's John Klein is Hotelier of the Year

Want a cold beer, a chat, advice on what to see in this great region, than go no further than Queensland’s best publican, John Klein.

Top pub, top people: Michelle and John Klein.

Top pub, top people: Michelle and John Klein.

Victoria Hotel publican, and Hotelier of the Year,  John Klein on the big screen at the QHA awards in Brisbane.

Victoria Hotel publican, and Hotelier of the Year, John Klein on the big screen at the QHA awards in Brisbane.

“Kleiny”, as he’s known to most of those who walk through the doors of  the iconic Victoria Hotel, has been honing his craft for more years than he probably cares to remember, but it all paid off last week at the Queensland Hotels Association awards night in Brisbane.

Not only did he win the individual award of Hotelier of the Year but his pride and joy, the Victoria Hotel also won “Best Traditional Hotel Bar” and “Best Pub-style accommodation”.

It’s the second year in a row the hotel has won both awards.

But in typical Kleiny fashion he was quick to share the praise.

“You can’t do it without great staff and they are all part of the reason why we got the awards,” he said.

“They all got a bonus this week and they deserve it.

And then of course, he thanked his wife, Michelle.

“She’s the reason (with her design skills) the place look so good inside and out,” he said.

Then there was special mention of two special people, his parents, Doris and Maurie Klein, two of the best publicans you would ever find  who taught the young Klein everything he knows when they ran  the Railway Hotel in Goondiwindi.

And finally he thanked all those who have walked through the doors at the Victora Hotel and had a beer.

“We wouldn’t be here without  the support of our customers and all those who have supported us over the years.”

It’s a heartfelt thank you.

“It’s been a wild ride. When we took over the Vic it was probably one of  the worst hotels in Queensland (It had become so rundown the building was under threat of demolition).

“We had to borrow a lot and then the GFC (Global Finacial Crisis) hit and the banks got tough. There were some tough roads for awhile.”

And then there’s now.

Where life is “pretty cool”.

And surprising.

“I thought about ringing today to check to see there hadn’t been a mistake,” John said about his award yesterday.

“It still hasn’t really sunk in”.

Why the Vic won best traditional bar:  • Outstanding customer service • Bar presentation of the highest standard • Staff neatly and cleanly attired • Staff product knowledge • Efficiency of bar staff • Popularly patronised • Comfort for customers • Atmosphere, lighting, ambience • Range of promotional products • Availability and quality of food offering • Hygiene and cleanliness • Responsible service and practices.

Why it won best pub-style accommodation:

Clean, tidy, well presented rooms with or without ensuite facilities • High standard of cleanliness • Breakfast arrangements • Access to hotel’s other facilities (i.e. bar, bistro) • Courteous staff.

Want to know about some of the best hotels in Queensland? Here’s the full list of awards.

Best Traditional Hotel Bar - Victoria Hotel (Goondiwindi)

Best Boutique Bar - Sazerac (Brisbane CBD)

Best Themed Bar - The Walrus Club (Toowong)

Best Entertainment Venue - Eatons Hill Hotel

Best Bush Pub - Mena Creek Hotel

Best Outdoor / Non-Enclosed Facility - Grand View Hotel (Bowen)

Best On-Premise Liquor Outlet - Porters Plainland Hotel

Best Detached Bottleshop - Mossman Hotel Bottle-O Mossman

Responsible Service of Alcohol - Mon-Komo Hotel (Redcliffe)

Responsible Service of Gaming - Spirit Hotels Group

Best Keno Venue - Porters Plainland Hotel

Best PubTAB Venue - Eatons Hill Hotel

Best Gaming Venue Hope Island Tavern

Best Redeveloped Licensed Premises Up To $2m Grand View Hotel (Bowen)

Best Redeveloped Licensed Premised Above $2m - Pig ‘N’ Whistle Redbank Plains

Best Redeveloped Accommodation Hotel / Resort - Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Port Douglas

Best Pub-Style Accommodation - Victoria Hotel (Goondiwindi)

Best Mid-Range Accommodation - Halifax Hotel

Best Superior Accommodation - Rydges South Bank Hotel

Best Boutique Accommodation - The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites (Spring Hill)

Best Deluxe Accommodation - The Star Gold Coast

Best Suite / Apartment Accommodation - Meriton Suites Southport

Best Meeting & Events Venue - Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Port Douglas

Best Casual Dining - Rodeo Bar & Grill, Isa Hotel

Best Prestige Restaurant - Kiyomi, The Star Gold Coast

Best Restaurant - Accommodation Hotels - Tumbling Stone, The Johnson (Spring Hill)

Best Restaurant – Hotels - The Boatshed, Regatta Hotel (Toowong)

Best Draught Beer - The Charming Squire (South Bank)

Best Environmental Practice - Hilton Hotel Brisbane

Best Marketed Hotel 1-99 Employees - Sandstone Point Hotel

Best Marketed Hotel 100+ Employees - Rydges South Bank Hotel

Outstanding Achievement in Training - Hilton Hotel Brisbane

Workplace Health & Safety Award - Spirit Hotels Group

Outstanding Community Service & Achievement 1-99 Employees - Next Hotels Brisbane

Outstanding Community Service & Achievement 100+ Employees - Hilton Hotel Brisbane

Hall of Fame - Best Bush Pub - New Royal Hotel (Rubyvale)

Hall of Fame - Best Boutique Accommodation Hotel - Spicers Tamarind Retreat (Maleny)

Hall of Fame - Best Meetings & Events Venue - RACV Royal Pines Resort

Hotel of the Year - Grand View Hotel (Bowen)

Hotelier of the Year - John Klein, Victoria Hotel (Goondiwindi)

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

Administration Employee of the Year - Robynne Sondergeld, Red Earth Hotel (Mt Isa)

Food & Beverage Employee of the Year - Nicholas Stanton-Cook, Hotel Allen (Townsville)

Chef of the Year - Selvakumar Gopalakrishnan, Surfers Paradise Marriott Hotel

Guest Services Employee of the Year - Ilse Maritz, The Johnson (Spring Hill)

Finalists

BEST DRAUGHT BEER

Belvedere Hotel, Woody Point

Charming Squire, South Brisbane

Finn McCool’s, Fortitude Valley

Newstead Brewery Co, Milton

Pig ‘N’ Whistle, Redbank Plains

Prince Alfred Hotel, Booval

BEST TRADITIONAL HOTEL BAR

Beach House Hotel, Hervey Bay

Halifax Hotel, Halifax

Hotel Radnor, Blackbutt

The Belvedere Hotel, Woody Point

Victoria Hotel, Goondiwindi

BEST BOUTIQUE BAR

Court House Hotel, Port Douglas

Finn McCool’s, Fortitude Valley

Sazerac Bar at Four Points by Sheraton Brisbane

BEST THEMED BAR

Finn McCool’s, Fortitude Valley

Greaser Bar at the Elephant Hotel, Fortitude Valley

Irish Murphy’s, Brisbane

Tap’d at the Prince Alfred Hotel, Booval

The Sporting Globe, Chermside

The Walrus Club at the Regatta Hotel, Toowong

BEST ENTERTAINMENT VENUE

Beach House Hotel, Hervey Bay

Eatons Hill Hotel, Eaton's Hill

The Foundary BNE at the Elephant Hotel, Fortitude Valley

Finn McCool’s, Fortitude Valley

Great Western Hotel, Rockhampton

Sandstone Point Hotel, Sandstone Point

Sirromet Winery, Mt Cotton

The Court House Hotel, Port Douglas

BEST BUSH PUB

Exchange Hotel, Kilcoy

Halifax Hotel, Halifax

Hotel Radnor, Blackbutt

Mena Creek Hotel, Mena Creek

Pioneer Arms Hotel, Goombungee

BEST OUTDOOR/NON-ENCLOSED FACILITY

Grand View Hotel, Bowen

Next Hotels, Brisbane

Orion Hotel, Springfield

Sandstone Point Hotel, Sandstone Point

Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Gold Coast

The Belvedere Hotel, Woody Point

BEST ON PREMISE LIQUOR OUTLET

Beachmere Hotel, Beachmere

Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast

Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill

Isa Hotel, Mt Isa

Porters Plainland Hotel, Plainland

The Belvedere Hotel, Woody Point

BEST DETACHED BOTTLESHOP

Boondall Cellars at the Full Moon Hotel, Bramble Bay

Bottlemart at the Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill

Mossman Bottle-O at the Mossman Hotel, Mossman

Porters Plainland Cellars at Plainland Hotel, Plainland

Valley Wine Shop at The Elephant Hotel, Fortitude Valley

BEST KENO VENUE

Porters Plainland Hotel, Plainland

Sandstone Point Hotel, Sandstone Point

BEST PUB TAB VENUE

Beach House Hotel, Hervey Bay

Beachmere Hotel, Beachmere

Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill

Elephant Hotel, Fortitude Valley

Caxton Hotel, Paddington

Porters Plainland Hotel, Plainland

BEST GAMING VENUE

Beach House Hotel, Hervey Bay 

Elephant Hotel, Fortitude Valley 

Grand View Hotel, Bowen 

Hope Island Tavern, Hope Island 

Prince Alfred Hotel, Booval 

Shamrock Hotel, Mackay

BEST REDEVELOPED LICENSED PREMISES UP TO $2M

Beachmere Hotel, Beachmere

Grand View Hotel, Bowen

Hotel Radnor, Blackbutt

Phuc Deli-Viet, West End

The Belvedere Hotel, Woody Point

The Montague Hotel, West End

BEST REDEVELOPED LICENSED PREMISES OVER $2M

Alexandra Hills Hotel, Alexandra Hills

Pig ‘N’ Whistle, Redbank Plains

BEST REDEVELOPED ACCOMMODATION HOTEL/RESORT

Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas

The Star, Gold Coast

BEST PUB-STYLE ACCOMMODATION

Halifax Hotel, Halifax

New Royal Hotel, Rubyvale

Victoria Hotel, Goondiwindi

BEST MID-RANGE ACCOMMODATION

Halifax Hotel, Halifax

Hotel Radnor, Blackbutt

BEST SUPERIOR ACCOMMODATION

Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Central 

Next Hotels, Brisbane

Park Regis North Quay, Brisbane

Rydges South Bank Hotel, South Brisbane

Rydges, Fortitude Valley

BEST BOUTIQUE ACCOMMODATION

The Johnson, Spring Hill

The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites, Spring Hill

BEST DELUXE ACCOMMODATION

Alex Perry Hotel & Apartments, Fortitude Valley 

Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas 

Sofitel Brisbane Central, Brisbane 

Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Noosa

Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Gold Coast

The Star, Gold Coast 

BEST SUITE / APARTMENT ACCOMMODATION

Alex Perry Hotel & Apartments, Fortitude Valley 

Essence Serviced Apartments, Chermside

Meriton Suites Herschel Street, Brisbane 

Meriton Suites Southport, Gold Coast

The Johnson Art Series Hotel, Spring Hill

EMPLOYEE AWARDS

ADMINISTRATION

Brooke Byars, Marriott Hershel Street, Brisbane

Emma Renew, Morayfield Tavern, Morayfield

Kathleen Potter, Caxton Hotel, Paddington 

Robynne Sondergeld, Red Earth Hotel, Mt Isa

Shaye Wolski, Hilton Brisbane

GUEST SERVICES

Fujio Shibata, Meriton Suites Southport, Gold Coast

Ilse Maritz, The Johnson, Spring Hill

Jack Dahl, Next Hotels, Brisbane

Jennifer Hill, The Glen Hotel & Suites, Eight Mile Plains

Richard Fidelj, Treasury, Brisbane

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Emma Tobler, Mon Komo Hotel, Redcliffe

Gemma Lesmond, Beach House Hotel, Hervey Bay

Ikue Terui, Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Gold Coast

Kimberley Cowper, Rydges South Bank Hotel, South Brisbane

Nicholas Stanton-Cook, Hotel Allen, Townsville

Shane Critchley, The Star, Gold Coast

CHEF

Justin Newbury, Rydges South Bank, South Brisbane

Selvakumar Gopalakrishnan, Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Gold Coast

Thisara Mallawa Arachchi, Red Earth Hotel, Mt Isa

BEST MEETINGS & EVENTS VENUE

Hotel Grand Chancellor, Brisbane

Hilton Brisbane 

Rydges South Bank, South Brisbane 

Sandstone Point Hotel, Sandstone Point 

Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas 

Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Gold Coast

BEST CASUAL DINING

Beach House Hotel, Hervey Bay

Grand View Hotel, Bowen

Isa Hotel, Mt Isa

Jimmy’s on the Mall, Brisbane

Pig ‘n’ Whistle, Redbank Plains

Porters Plainland Hotel, Plainland

The Court House Hotel, Port Douglas

BEST PRESTIGE RESTAURANT

Bacchus at Rydges South Bank, Brisbane South

Kiyomi at The Star, Gold Coast 

Misono Japanese Steakhouse at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Gold Coast 

Noosa Beach House Peter Kuruvita at Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Noosa 

Restaurant Lurleen’s at Sirromet Winery, Mount Cotton 

Thomson’s Reserve at The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites, Spring Hill 

BEST RESTAURANT – GENERAL HOTEL

Char Grill Restaurant at The Caxton Hotel, Paddington

Char’d Restaurant at the Prince Alfred Hotel, Booval

Deery’s Restaurant & Smokehouse at the Story Bridge Hotel, Brisbane

Dining Room at The Port Office Hotel, Brisbane 

The Boatshed at The Regatta Hotel, Toowong

The Charming Squire, South Brisbane 

BEST RESTAURANT – ACCOMMODATION HOTEL

Citrique Restaurant at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Gold Coast 

Clifford’s Grill & Lounge at Watermark Hotel & Spa, Gold Coast 

Lennons Restaurant at Next Hotel, Brisbane 

The Walnut Restaurant & Lounge Bar at the Royal on the Park Hotel, Brisbane 

Tumbling Stone Restaurant at The Johnson Art Series Hotel, Spring Hill