VisitEngland Excellence Awards 2013 winners announced

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Olympic games

The Swan Hotel in Lavenham, Suffolk, won the Large Hotel of the Year category in the VisitEngland Excellence Awards 2013
The Swan Hotel in Lavenham, Suffolk, won the Large Hotel of the Year category in the VisitEngland Excellence Awards 2013
The Swan Hotel in Suffolk, Gidleigh Park in Devon and The Feathered Nest pub in Oxfordshire have been named among the winners of the VisitEngland Excellence Awards 2013. 

The awards, designed to promote and celebrate the best tourism businesses in England, took place at Lancashire County Cricket Club in Manchester last night and saw 17 businesses and individuals honoured with all finalists awarded either a Gold, Silver or Bronze award.

The Swan Hotel at Lavenham in Suffolk beat Bedruthan Hotel & Spa, Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa, Peckforton Castle and the Lowry to the Large Hotel of the Year award while Brownsword Hotels​' Gidleigh Park in Devon was named Small Hotel of the Year. 

Alkham Court Farmhouse near Dover was winner of the Bed & Breakfast/Guest Accommodation of the Year category while The Feathered Nest Country Inn in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, was voted Tourism Pub of the Year. 

Olympic stars

An Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award was also given to the 70,000 Olympic Games Makers by Olympic star Jonathan Edwards in recognition of the nine million hours they spent welcoming and helping visitors to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Previous winners of the award include the English pub, The National Trust and The Royal Shakespeare Company.  

VisitEngland chairman Lady Cobham said: “The Games Makers were ambassadors not just for London 2012, but for the entire country. As the face of the Games, they showed great humour, grace under pressure and an amazing team spirit. The warm welcome and friendly assistance they provided will be remembered fondly by visitors from both home and abroad for many years to come, and I’m delighted that we are able to recognise their unique contribution to tourism with this award.”

The awards announcement comes as news from Travelodge shows that the Olympic effect has taken hold of UK holiday-makers​ as an estimated two-thirds are planning to spend their summer holiday in Britain this year with London the top destination. 

VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford said the awards, now in their 24th year, continued to help raise standards across the industry and helped establish England as a 'world-class destination'. 

“The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence represent the highest accolade in English tourism, and this year’s winners have raised the bar higher than ever before," he said. "The awards champion the very best in quality and customer service, and continue to help to raise standards across the industry, establishing England’s place as a world-class destination and a brilliant place to visit.

"The competition was fierce so all our finalists are to be warmly congratulated for their success – particularly our Gold Award winners, whose passion and commitment to excellence is exemplary.”

Hospitality category winners in the VisitEngland Excellence Awards 2013: 

Bed & Breakfast/Guest Accommodation of the Year

Alkham Court Farmhouse, South Alkham, nr Dover, Kent

Business Tourism Award

ExCel London, London 

Manchester Central, Manchester, Greater Manchester

Large Hotel of the Year

The Swan Hotel, Lavenham, Suffolk

Small Hotel of the Year

Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon

Tourism Pub of the Year

The Feathered Nest, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire 

Taste of England Award

Overwater Hall, Carlisle, Cumbria

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