VisitEngland's Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2011 have named London's Langham hotel and the Bay Tree hotel in Oxfordshire as its top hotels.
The Langham took the award for large hotel following a recent £80m rolling refurbishment programme. Managing director Katie Benson said of the win: "We are delighted to be recognised with this accolade at such an exciting time for the hotel as we continue to strive for excellence for our guests and staff."
Part of the Cotswolds Inns & Hotels collection, the Bay Tree was named as small hotel of the year. Owner Michael Horton said: "We are absolutely delighted. This is the most important award we have received since launching the business. It is a tremendous honour and a great reward for general manager Quintin Fisher and his team."
No. 43 in Arnside, Cumbria which only opened in 2006, was awarded the gold bed and breakfast/guest accommodation award. Owner Lesley Hornsby, said she was "absolutely elated" to win, adding: "To open something from scratch, when I'd never been in hotels before and to be awarded such an accolade within such a short space of time is phenomenal. I'm so proud of the team."
Cornish hospitality was also recognised. RED Hotels (the owner of Bedruthan Steps and The Scarlett), scooped the gold sustainable tourism award, while Porthminster Beach Café, also in The Duchy, received the Taste of England award for its fish-based menu using the catch of the day.
There are 17 awards, with 54 gold and silver winners selected from the shortlist of 126 regional winners announced earlier this year. Other award categories include best tourism experience, best caravan park and outstanding customer service.
The full list of gold winners is:
Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the Year
Number 43, Cumbria
Best Tourism Experience
Cumbrian Heavy Horses, Cumbria
Business Tourism Award
Highgate House, Northamptonshire
Caravan Holiday Park
Woodclose Park, Cumbria
Large Hotel (Over 35 bedrooms)The Langham Hotel, London
Large Visitor Attraction (Over 100,000 visitors)
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
Outstanding Customer Service
Lucy McEnaney at Event Durham, Durham University, Durham
Self Catering Holiday of the Year
The Dovecote Barns, Yorkshire
Small Hotel of the Year (Under 50 Bedrooms)
The Bay Tree Hotel, Oxfordshire
Small Visitor Attraction (Under 50,000)
Shepherd Neame Visitor Centre, Kent
Sustainable Tourism Award
RED Hotels, Cornwall
Taste of England Award
Porthminster Beach Café, Cornwall
Best Tourism Event
Royal Ascot, Berkshire
Journalist of the Year
Sophie Campbell, Dover Castle, Daily Telegraph
Travel Article of the Year
Harland Miller, Greetings from Margate. BA Highlife
Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford Upon Avon
Where Else But England
World Egg Throwing Championships
For more information www.enjoyengland.com/excellence
By Emily Manson
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