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Cotswolds Tourism, the partnership of tourism businesses and destinations have announced winners of its 2013 Tourism Awards.

 

After a tough year for tourism, the Awards celebrate the energy and hard work of our area’s tourism industry, an industry that brings around £1bn pa into the local economy, direct to local communities and businesses.

 

In a new development,  the awards have been aligned with VisitEngland’s National Awards . Cotswold Gold winners will therefore go forward for ‘best in England’ consideration.

 

There are awards in the following categories:- Bed and Breakfast/Guest Accommodation, Large Hotel, Small hotel, Self Catering Holiday provider, Caravan Holiday Park/ Holiday Village, Large Visitor Attraction, Small Visitor Attraction, Tourism Experience, Tourism pub, Business Tourism Award, Visitor Information provider, Taste of England, Access for All Tourism Award, Sustainable Tourism Award.

 

Judging was based on visits, secret shopper reports and the views of a various experts and tourism enthusiasts who approached each category with an open mind to agree Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards. Chris Dee Tourism Manager of Cotswolds Tourism commented, “Our Cotswold tourism industry has the highest standards and we are proud of winners and all entrants. We’re exceptionally proud of our winners and wish them luck nationally”. 

The Winners

Bed and Breakfast/Guest Accommodation of the Year

Gold – East House, Broadway 

Silver – Whittington Lodge Farm

Bronze – Seagrave Arms 

 

East House B&B  covers the essentials of friendliness and cleanliness perfectly  but has additional touches that raise it to most excellent.  An optional pianola performance is available for guests and is just one addition to the unique character of East House.

 

Large Hotel of the Year

Gold – Montpellier Chapter 

Silver – Three Ways House Hotel 

Bronze – Cotswold Water Park Four Pillars Hotel

 

Very good hotels have a way of becoming part of the local community as well as

being a great place for visitors. Montpellier Chapter has achieved this in Cheltenham. 

 

Small Hotel of the Year

Gold – Calcot Manor

Silver – The Lamb Inn, Burford 

Bronze – The Manor House Hotel, Castle Coombe 

 

Calcot Manor is recognised across the Cotswolds tourism industry as a terrifically well-run business.  In a tough year, the hotel has remained busy through investment, careful marketing and an offer that embraces one of the country’s best spas, an OFSTED registered crèche and fine or pub dining.  

 

Self Catering Holiday Provider of the Year

Gold – Eco Chic Cottages

Silver – Barncastle

 

As a self catering business,  EcoChic Cottages resists the idea that responsible tourism needs to be worthy or dull. The aim is to exceed customer expectations – luxury whilst treading lightly on the environment.

 

Caravan Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year

Gold – Cotswolds Farm Park Camp Site 

Silver – Cotswolds Hoburne 

 

Cotswolds Farm Park Camp site attracts rave reviews on campsite review websites and it’s not just the chance of meeting BBC Countryfile star Adam Henson at the neighbouring Cotswolds Farm Park.  Friendliness, rare breed sausages and the special character of the 650 acre Bemborough estate are amongst reasons for the success of this great camp site set in real Cotswold country.

 

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

Gold – Batsford Arboretum 

Silver – Cotswolds Farm Park 

Bronze – Sudeley Castle

 

Batsford Arboretum, near Moreton in Marsh has invested in a new garden shop, plant centre and café, designed with real style to reflect the collection’s trees and shrubs from Asia.  This great value attraction is a year-round Cotswold classic, whilst being respected locally for professional business planning and marketing.

 

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

Gold – Corinium Museum 

Silver – Bourton House Garden

Bronze – Stanway House 

 

‘Scratch Gloucestershire and find Rome’ goes the saying and Cirencester’s Corinium Museum is an absolute treasure house of Roman history in Britain. We think that our museums are one of England’s greatest assets and the Corinium Museum should be praised for the quality of its collection and presentation.

 

 

Tourism Experience of the Year

Gold – Cotswolds Olympick Games

Silver – Giffords Circus 

Bronze – Lechlade Festival 

 

The Cotswold Olympick, cited in London’s bid for the 2012 games, is a great example of a ‘genuine’ event run with pride and passion by local people. The event celebrated 400 years in 2012 and the organising committee dealt with worldwide press interest with humour and patience, whilst being delighted to see the success of the newer event (ie the Modern Olympiad) in London. 

 

 

Tourism Pub of the Year

Gold – Plough at Kingham 

Silver – Gloucester Old Spot

Bronze – The Mount at Stanton

 

This award is hotly contested – but what is a tourism pub anyway. Tourists comes to meet locals and not other visitors. and at what point does a pub with good food become just another restaurant?  The Plough at Kingham is winner because local people actually go there, visitors love it and standards are high across the board. We liked the fact that restaurant bookings are ‘upstairs only’ now, there’s a proper bar and there are proper bar characters.  And this is a pub with serious bar snacks and a fiendish pub quiz.

 

Business Tourism Award

Gold – The Barn at Calcot 

Silver – The Manor House Hotel, Moreton 

Bronze – Cheltenham Racecourse

 

The Barn at Calcot sets the standard for sophisticated business meetings and events. Simple as that.

 

Visitor Information Provider of the Year

Gold – Moreton-in-Marsh 

Silver – Cirencester 

Bronze – Gloucester 

 

This award is based on ‘secret shopper’ results for Tourist Information Centre. Standards in the Cotswolds are extremely high and Moreton in Marsh Tourist Information Centre can therefore claim to be very, very good indeed.

 

Taste of England Award

Gold – Curry Corner, Cheltenham 

Silver – Cotswolds Chef, Food Experiences 

Bronze –  Owler, Charles Martell’s local ‘Poire William’ 

 

Curry Corner is where an English institution (curry) meets the new mantra of restaurant dining... ‘local.’    Curry Corner is the oldest and most highly regarded Bangladeshi restaurant in the country.  Run by the Krori family, the menu uses and highlights its local sourcing credentials – a winning formula that has won a terrific following for this neighbourhood fine-dining gem. 

 

Access for All Tourism Award

Gold - Star Bistro – Rob Rees

Silver - Tramper (off-road mobility scooter) Hire and Trails on the Cotswold Way

Bronze – Westonbirt Arboretum

 

First and foremost, the Star Bistro at National Star College on The Cotswold Way is a very good restaurant indeed. Also its Access for All credentials are impeccable, whilst by and large being beneath the level of perception .  A great restaurant without a whiff of being patronising to any of its customers  – a model for the way forward.

  

Sustainable Tourism Award

Gold – Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust 

Silver – Eco Chic Cottages 

Bronze – Cotswolds Conservation Board

 

With over 500 active volunteers and a wider membership, the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s activities have a great, if sometimes underappreciated, impact on visitors to the area through their work in protecting habitats (meadows, lakes, woodland), opening nature reserves and programme of events.  The Trust is hugely energetic with activities ranging from education in schools to its labelling its very own cheese!


Posted in: Cotswolds News


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