Governors Suva Excited With Tourism Awards Nomination

Governors Suva, a restaurant housed in the Heritage Mall on 46-50 Knolly Street, has been nominated as a finalist in the 2014 AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards. The restaurant
07 Feb 2015 10:27
Governors Suva Excited With Tourism Awards Nomination
Governors cafe in Suva

Governors Suva, a restaurant housed in the Heritage Mall on 46-50 Knolly Street, has been nominated as a finalist in the 2014 AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards.

The restaurant is a finalist in the fine restaurant category and is also the only restaurant in the category that is not from the resort industry.

Governors Suva Founders Ken MacDonald and Carolyn Ah Koy MacDonald expressed their enthusiasm for being nominated as finalists.

After all, the couple have transformed Ratu Sukuna’s old residence into a world-class local and visitor attraction.

Sun Interview

How do you feel about Governors Suva being nominated for the 2014 AON Fiji Excellence in Awards?

To be nominated for the AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards in the Restaurant Category is wonderful recognition for Team Governors in its pursuit of excellence and quality. This is in providing a first of its kind, new and unique experience of a Museum-themed dining in Suva, and Fiji in general.

What is the nomination based on?

We have been nominated in the Restaurant Category, based on Governors patrons nomination as Fiji’s only Museum-Themed Restaurant which strives to provide a unique, historic and tasty dining experience.

Is this the first time for Governors Suva to be nominated?

Yes it is the first time to be nominated as Governors Gourmet Coffeehouse and Restaurant has only been in operation for 18 months since opening on July 15, 2013.


What other awards has Governors Suva won?

Governors has been blessed with a couple of significant accolades namely;

1. It has maintained its position as being voted by independent diners “TripAdvisor’s Number One Restaurant of Choice in Suva out of 70 odd restaurants listed from May 2014 to date (this was achieved only 10 months from opening).

2. On December 24, 2014 – Sydney Morning Herald’s weekly travel section “TRAVELLER” selected Governors as one of the 50 Best Travel Finds of 2014 from Around the Globe. Selected as Best “Old World Charm” under category 34. This is great recognition for the huge effort and expense that was put into creating the Governors experience. Transforming Ratu Sukuna’s old residence into a world class local and visitor attraction and getting good feedback is a good thing for Suva and indeed Fiji.

How has winning awards made a difference?

We believe that winning the recognition of our clients through Trip Advisor and The Sydney Morning Herald have very positive and significant ongoing impacts on our business. Both signify Worldwide recognition and affirmation for Team Governors to continue to strive to provide a high quality and special level of service to all its valued friends and visitors.

Trip Advisor is the most internationally-recognised customer-generated website with over 260,000,000 contributors. Sydney Morning Herald also has enormous influence through its travel pages with readers worldwide and placement alongside all the other 49 global experiences is truly amazing for Governors. Both of these have the kind of advertising power that Governors could never afford to buy.

Both accolades are constantly under scrutiny on the internet worldwide and the level of interest raised because of these forums continues to pique the interest of all visitors to Suva (Corporate, VFR, Tourists etc) to seek us out and experience our Museum-themed Restaurant.

This allows people to step back in time and learn about the colourful and romantic history of not only Fiji, but the other South Pacific Islands.

Our visitors and friends are treated not only to hundreds of the historical photos and pieces that adorn our walls, but also taste a variety of Classic and modern fusion dishes that feature on our Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Menus.

To be nominated in the AON FETA awards in such a short time (18 months) since opening is an achievement and bonus because it places Governors up in Fiji’s highest level of recognition that is awarded to Resorts, Restaurants and various other categories of the Tourism Industry.

The impact of that can only be positive because it awards our hardworking team and recognises their ability to be excellent in this category across the Tourism Industry.

Particularly as new comers who are being compared to much larger and older establishments that are part of internationally recognised brands in Fiji’s Tourism Industry.

It also recognises the unique and historic theme of the restaurant, and we believe a first for the capital of Fiji, Suva.

How would you describe our food industry?

Our food industry in Fiji is becoming more interesting but still faces challenges.

As the world becomes smaller, people in general are better travelled and have become more sophisticated in their culinary choices. They are more discerning about the foods they like and are accustomed to and seem to be increasingly more predisposed to trying new foods as part of their travel experience.

In the Fiji context, finally, Chefs, Restaurateurs and the industry in general are slowly becoming more confident about creating unique interpretations and cooking foods that combine our traditional foods with other culinary styles and methods of cooking and presentation.

This in turn enables visitors to Fiji to enhance their experience by having access to unique Fiji tastes instead of being presented with terrible versions of what they can eat back in their own countries that taste nicer and are far cheaper.

Fiji’s culinary industry still has much room to improve in the way our Chef/Cooks are trained and how they can be encouraged to incorporate more fresh local FIJI produce/products and eliminate imported products where we can. As a Country we are heading in the right direction as we strive to produce more high quality products locally and encourage each other to buy and support local industry.

How is Governors Suva performing?

Governors so far has been both challenging and gratifying in that it seems to have been able to successfully target a combination market of locals, VFR, Expatriates and Tourists.

We refer to all our visitors as “Friends of Governors” and so far they seem to enjoy the unique and personal service we strive to provide.

Awards and recognition are wonderful things but they are also challenges to Team Governors to be vigilant and to maintain the highest of standards in all areas at all times.

Like any business it is an ever evolving entity that is always going to be a work in progress with continued room for improvement with the introduction of new and innovative dishes and improved customer service.

Tell us about Governors?

Governors is open seven days a week for breakfasts and lunches daily. It opens for dinner at this stage on Thursday and Friday nights for Happy Hours and our new SUPPER CLUB with delicious food and local live music featuring “KUKI” a solo vocalist on Thursdays and “INSIDE OUT” a young, fresh and talented band on Friday nights.

Prominent on our menu are top quality local seafood and vegetables including delicacies like stuffed Navua Crab backs, fresh Fiji Oysters, Deep Sea PakaPaka, Kokoda, Giant King Sea Prawns, Local Crayfish Tortellini etc. Also Prime local beef and interesting and tasty vegetarian dishes like a three cheese Eggplant Rollatini.

Any other comments?

We would like to thank the National Trust of Fiji and the Fiji Museum, both of whom we have worked closely with in establishing an award winning, world class local visitor attraction and eatery. Vinaka vakalevu



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