Women working in the hospitality came up trumps at last night's annual Shine Awards for women's achievements in the travel, tourism and hospitality.
Avril Owton, owner of the Cloud Hotel in Brockenhurst in the New Forest, scooped the title of Shine Woman of the Year.
Owton picked up her award at a ceremony at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London for the way she developed the Cloud Hotel's business following the sudden death of her husband.
The judges commended her efforts and said: "She has taken herself out of her comfort zone."
Owton said: "It takes a long time to become an overnight success.
"I would like to encourage women to be proud of being a woman, and not try to be better than men, but just try to be a better woman."
Other winners from the hospitality sector were 26-year-old Kelly Colebatch, business development manager at Accor UK Hotels in Birmingham.
She won the Young Achiever of the Year award for her performance and was rewarded by the judges for her "astonishingly quick turnaround in the fortunes of Novotel".
Business Owner of the Year went to Jacqui Kavanagh, director of Jigsaw Conferences in Stamford, Lincolnshire.
By James Garner
Click here to find out more about the Shine awards