Industry pioneer: TFE Hotels CEO takes 'First Award'

Rachel Argaman has 20 years' experience in travel and hospitality senior management.
Rachel Argaman has 20 years' experience in travel and hospitality senior management.

Toga Far East Hotels (TFE) CEO Rachel Argaman has been recognised as an industry pioneer with the 'First Award' at HotelsWorld, a prestigious three day trans-Tasman hotel and investment conference.

The HotelsWorld awards recognise excellence in hospitality and business and are a key highlight of the event, attracting industry leaders, investors, development bodies, hoteliers, tourism boards and government officials.

CEO and Principal of HotelsWorld Australia, John Smith, said the 'First Award' was created last year to annually acknowledge industry leaders, with selection criteria including the achievement of a genuine first in the world of guest accommodation.

Elevated management level

Smith said: "Rachel met all the criteria for the Award; not just because she is the first female in Australia to have reached such an elevated level in the management of a major hotel company, but because she has successfully led a company which is also a 'First' in the industry in many respects; including being the first hotel company to manage hotels in Europe, and the first to enter into a major joint venture with an Asian-based hotel and real-estate owner."

Argaman commented on receiving the award: "It is with pleasure that I receive this industry accolade from HotelsWorld, while also acknowledging the support of my team at TFE Hotels; as companies don't succeed, people do. At TFE we know success is about a whole team, not any one individual.''

The 'First Award' is the latest milestone in TFE's success as the company continues to invest in the accommodation sector.

In the 16 years Argaman has been with Toga, the business has grown from eight serviced apartment properties in Australia to more than 70 hotels across Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

Argaman said: "Most recently, we made two key purchases in as many months, with the acquisition of a building in Sydney CBD and a heritage listed building in Brisbane CBD. We look forward to seeing our future plans for these properties come to fruition."

Other recent expansions include the one year old Adina Apartment Hotel Bondi, providing a retail precinct of restaurants, cafes and local food providers on the ground and lower levels.

Upcoming hotel developments

Among TFE Hotels' upcoming developments are two airport hotels in Mascot, Sydney, and a new Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport.

The historical Hotel Kurrajong Canberra is also set to reopen in November, following an extensive renovation. This will be followed by the reopening of Vibe Hotel Marysville in December; a stylish hotel inspired by the locale, catering for conferences of up to 300 delegates, and destination weddings.

On Vibe Hotel Marysville, Argaman said: "We are excited to launch this first 'next generation' Vibe Hotel with its rejuvenated stylish design and spaces to inspire; making guests feel connected to their local surroundings."

With more than 20 years' experience at senior management level in the travel and hospitality industry, Argaman is no stranger to receiving recognition for her commitment to the industry. 

She has been acknowledged with the Australian Hotelier of the Year 2010 and Telstra National Corporate Business Woman of the Year 2008. Argaman's involvement across the industry also includes the Prestigious Fellow of the International Centre for Excellence Award – 2013, Hudson Private and Corporate Sector Winner 2008, chair of the Australian International Hotel School Industry Advisory Council, chair of the Accommodation Association of Australia and OzHarvest board and a board member of the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School.

Argaman joined TFE Hotels in 1998 as Group Sales Manager and went on to become Director of Sales and Marketing in 1999, Group General Manager in 2002, Chief Operating Officer in 2005 and Chief Executive Officer in 2007.