Well, the bow ties are unpacked and the shirts are ironed, which means Freetobook is ready to proudly present the Small Hotel of the Year Award at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2012 on 22nd May. We’re really looking forward to a great night at the lovely Art Deco Athena venue in Leicester. Do drop by for a chat!
As a family business (not a giant corporation) we couldn’t afford to sponsor the whole event, so we had to choose just one category. Ah… now which one do we choose? Should we sponsor the Bed and Breakfast award? It would make sense when so many of our wonderful customers come into this category, but then we also work with lots of Self Catering providers and we can’t leave them out. Then there are Small Hotels and Large Hotels. We like them and many of them like us, so what do we do? It seemed most logical to go for the middle option and chose to sponsor Small Hotel of the Year which includes so many fabulous and varied properties throughout the land.
We are all looking forward to hearing about the short lists and the finalists and then getting our kilts on for the finale black-tie dinner. If you want to see freetobook in kilts you need to enter before 6th Jan 2012 on VisitEngland’s website: www.visitenglandawards.org
Well done to all the finalists and winners of the prestigious Enjoy England awards announced yesterday. My guess is most of them will be suffering a little the morning after the celebrations, so I’ve helped out by listing them all below. Where possible I have listed Twitter accounts, websites and Facebook pages along with a little picture and description copied from the Enjoy England website. Its a pleasure to look through them get a feel for the high standards of quality available now in independent UK accommodation. Three cheers to you all.
Bed & Breakfast/Guest Accommodation of the Year: For Bed & Breakfasts including farmhouses, inns and guesthouses offering a high standard of accommodation.
Winner: Number 43 Lake District, twitter: @43Cumbria
The position here is fabulous: the Kent estuary spilling into Morcambe Bay. Huge views shoot off to the Lake District. You’re more likely to be disturbed by commuting birds than cars. Sit on the terrace and watch the train cross the viaduct or a flock of geese sweep through the valley.
Finalist: The Somerville, Torquay
The Somerville is graded as 5-star Guest Accommodation and is located in the very centre of Torquay. Offering boutique hotel-style accommodation, the Somerville is just a short walk from the harbour, with its restaurants and bars, the town centre and the beaches. Free parking and wifi are available to all guests.
Finalist: Kateshill House, Bewdley
Kateshill is a recently restored Georgian manor boasting 21st Century comfort whilst retaining its original grandeur. Ideally located on the edge of the countryside but just 5 minutes’ walk to the town. Renowned for its warm friendly welcome, 5 star hospitality, hearty breakfasts and attention to detail.
Finalist: Hope House, Woodstock
Hope House Woodstock is an ancestral home converted to offer boutique accommodation. Aimed at the discerning traveller, the suites offer the latest AV technology, highest standards of furnishings, imaginative interior design and are supported by ‘butler’ style service. Breakfasts are organic and locally sourced.
Finalist: 17 Burgate, Pickering twitter: @17Burgate
An oasis. A sympathetically renovated town house minutes from the town centre and tourist attractions, with spacious, elegant, comfortable and well equipped bedrooms. All complemented by a stylish lounge with honesty bar opening onto a courtyard and peaceful walled garden. Outstanding hospitality and attention to detail.
Finalist: St Cuthberts House, Northumberland
Former church, a listed building, with charm and history preserved yet with an ultra-modern twist of luxury and technology. There is a beautiful guest lounge in the old sanctuary, with the original pulpit forming an impressive gallery from the upstairs landing. Six beautiful ensuite bedrooms.
Finalist: Dairy Barns, Norfolk
Located between the magical waterways of the Broads and sandy beaches of the North Norfolk Coast, Dairy Barns offers fabulous accommodation in the heart of a working farm. Guests say the breakfasts are amazing and the customer service is second to none.
Finalist: Grayingham Lodge, Lincolnshire
To stay at Grayingham Lodge is wonderful relaxing experience where you will enjoy 5-star luxury accommodation in a Georgian family farmhouse. Guests say they have the most wonderful night’s sleep in the sumptious beds, followed by a delicious locally sourced breakfast.
Small Hotel of the Year: All hotels and townhouses etc, below 50 bedrooms, that provide an excellent service and high quality for their guests.
Winner: The Bay Tree Hotel, Burford twitter: @cotswoldinns
Acclaimed for its unique charm, the Bay Tree Hotel in Burford has welcomed visitors through its solid oak doors since 1565. With its walls of mellow Cotswold limestone, enhanced by ancient wisterias, it is steeped in character and times past.
Self-Catering Holiday of the Year: Self-catering establishments or serviced apartments that make the most of their distinctive appeal.
Winner: The Dovecote Barns, Kelfield
Unwind in luxuriously converted five-star luxury and Green Tourism Gold awarded barns near York, offering the perfect retreat for couples, friends or family groups. All bedrooms have individually designed contemporary en-suite bathrooms and luxurious mattresses. Attention to detail, excellent customer service and sustainability are paramount.