Arms full of awards at Richmond

THE Richmond Arms Hotel has been recognised for its stellar service, hospitality, meals, accommodation and character at the Hospitality Association Awards for Excellence held in August.

The hotel changed ownership 11-months-ago and is already being recognised for its efforts to reignite the spark and vibrancy of the once lively community hub.

It has won regional awards for ‘Hotel Pub Tavern of Year’ and ‘Best Pub Style Accommodation’.

Tom Darke, general manager of the Richmond Arms, said hotel staff had been ecstatic when they heard they had won the awards.

“We’re really overwhelmed by winning these awards after only 11 months, we didn’t expect it but it’s great to see that all of the hard work the staff have put in has paid off,” he said.

“It’s like seeing a bright light at the end of the tunnel.”

Hotel staff will travel to the Gold Coast for the Hotel Association Awards in September as nominees for national titles in their winning categories.

The hotel is also a national nominee for ‘Specialty Bar’.

Under new ownership, the 190-year-old establishment is now in its prime, with entertainment, deals and events on every night of the week.

Mr Darke said he was pleased the hotel’s small changes had been recognised by not only the local community, but Tasmania as a collective.

“We give outstanding customer service and real country style meals and atmosphere,” he said.

Country dishes on the menu include Shepards Pie and Sunday Roast, with most ingredients sourced locally and through Riversdale Estate.

The hotel accommodation has recently been updated, with a new refurbished section of accommodation called ‘the Stables’.

“We have three two-bedrooms and a couple of one-bedrooms in the Stables, all of which have been designed and decorated by the owner Wendy Roberts,” Mr Darke said.

“The Stables have a sandstone layout, which is very different from any other hotel you would visit.”

The hotel has also opened up budget accommodation upstairs for visitors looking for a cheaper, but equally accommodating stay.

The hotel is hosting a number of other new additions under new ownership, and Mr Darke said the inspiration for these changes had come from the local community.

“We listened to the locals and what they wanted to see at their community hub,” he said.

“We have added local band performances, quiz nights, eight ball, $15 pot and parmie night and longer trading hours.

“We are also opening an outdoor beer garden, where customers can enjoy an outdoor bar experience in the warmer months.”

Mr Darke said in the past 11 months the hotel has changed a lot, which was reflected in the awards they had recently won.

“In the past year, we have made a lot of changes, and they only had to be small changes for the community to see a positive difference,” he said.

The hotel has worked closely with the local football club, cricket club, eight ball club and the fire brigade.

“We wanted to include the locals in these changes because it really is their community hub,” Mr Darke said.

“It’s a place where locals can come and have a chat, a chill out and a cold beer.”

Caption: Richmond Arms Hotel general manager Tom Darke with the awards for Best Tavern and Best Accommodation.