Champagne corks popped as the results of this year’s Beautiful South Awards were announced at last night’s gala dinner and presentation ceremony. After months of anticipation nearly 300 expectant guests from tourism businesses across the South East gathered at The Felbridge Hotel in West Sussex to hear the results and share in the winners’ success.
Now running for over twenty years the Beautiful South Awards celebrate the very best the South East has to offer for all types of tourism businesses including B&Bs, hotels, holiday parks, self catering, visitor attractions as well as recognising those businesses that have gone the extra mile on accessibility, sustainability and great customer service.
The awards ceremony was co-hosted by TSE Chairman, Ken Robinson CBE and travel journalist and broadcaster Alison Rice. In welcoming guests to the event Ken Robinson thanked title sponsors Shepherd Neame for their generous support and all sponsors and partners for making the event possible.
The Gold winners for 2013-2014 included Coworth Park, a tranquil retreat in Ascot, who lifted the gold award for large hotel of the year. It was a great night for businesses in the New Forest with The Montagu Arms Hotel scooping the top accolade for small hotel of the year, the National Motor Museum and Beaulieu International Autojumble picking up gold and Hoburne in Bashley taking top spot for Holiday Park of the year. Small businesses, which are such a major part of tourism in the south east, were represented by some real gems this year. Top B&B of the year was picked up by Kester House in East Sussex and the small visitor attraction of the year was awarded to Chiltern Open Air Museum.
It was ‘same again please’ at The Feathered Nest Country Inn, but this time ‘make it a double’. This Great Country Pub received gold for the second year running as tourism pub of the year and was also awarded gold for flavour of the south east - an outstanding performance.
"Ken Robinson said: “It is great to see such excellence rewarded. These 2013 Beautiful South Awards represent the culmination of hard work and dedication by the best tourism professionals, in our best tourism businesses, that have been recognised for providing such outstanding customer experiences. I look forward to seeing our winners go on to represent the South East on the national stage at the Visit England Awards for Excellence in 2014.”
Peter Colling, Managing Director of Tourism South East added, “What a brilliant night and reminder to everyone that the South East is home to some of country’s very best tourism businesses and experiences.”
Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame said: "These awards showcase the huge breadth of attractions available in our region. The winners' innovation and dedication are helping to make the south a key destination for visitors from both home and abroad."
Business Tourism Award
Sponsored by Shopper Anonymous
Access for All Tourism Award
Sponsored by Tourism for All
Bed and Breakfast, Guest Accommodation of the Year
Gold Kester House Bed & Breakfast
Tourism Experience of the Year
Gold Weber Grill Academy
Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
Gold Chiltern Open Air Museum
Tourism Event of the Year
Silver The Hampshire Food Festival
Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year
Gold Hoburne Bashley
Sustainable Tourism Award
Gold Jurys Inn Brighton
Small Hotel of the Year
Gold The Montagu Arms Hotel
Self Catering Holiday Provider of the Year
Gold West Marden Farm Accommodation
Flavour of the South East
Gold The Feathered Nest
Visitor Information Provider of the Year
Gold Maidstone Visitor Information at Maidstone Museum
Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
Gold Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Tourism Pub of the Year
Gold The Feathered Nest
Large Hotel of the Year
Gold Coworth Park
Outstanding Customer Service Award
Gold West Marden Farm Accommodation - Carole Edney
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