It’s unlikely that it’s escaped your notice all the awards we’ve been winning recently!
If you haven’t seen our social media updates or our newsletter, you may have seen us on the BBC local news or in the newspaper or a magazine or on line on all sorts of websites. We’ve been everywhere in the last few days!
Following on from our regional success in various awards, then the national TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice award which placed us as 9th Best B&B in the World, we’ve since won another couple of major national awards.
Last week we attended the Visit England Awards for Excellence in Bath where we were awarded Silver in the Best B&B in England category by Kirstie Allsopp of Location, Location, Location fame. Then this Monday we travelled down to London for The AA B&B Awards ceremony at the five star Landmark Hotel. This time we were crowned Unique B&B of the Year for Great Britain.
We’re really getting our name out there as a high quality place to stay. And all these awards add weight to my B&B training courses – if you’re going to attend a course then you may as well learn from someone with an excellent reputation and proven track record. I was interviewed by Waitrose Magazine recently, so my training courses should be featured in there in July.
It was also interesting that both The AA and Visit England have commented that we’ve had an effect on the local area, helping others realise the need for high quality accommodation, offering a luxury B&B stay. Guests are prepared to pay a little more to get a lot more.
So, it’s all been a whirlwind of a few weeks. We’ve really enjoyed attending the ceremonies, and meeting Kirstie Allsopp was fun. We’ve probably drunk far too much champagne but hey, we had lots to celebrate.
We’re now entering our busy time at the B&B in Torquay so we won’t be taking much time off as we’ll have guests in every day so it’s good to have fun while we can. I’m sure we’ll still manage the odd drink with friends in the sun on the seafront though.
If you’d like to see all the awards we’ve won over the short three years we’ve been here on the English Riviera, you can go to:
The way awards work vary enormously. In the case of TripAdvisor it’s purely down to all our lovely guests continuing to pop new reviews on their site. Others, like local regional awards such as Visit Devon where we won Gold for Best B&B, we initially apply and fill in a lengthy application form fulfilling certain criteria, then if we’re deemed good enough, we get a mystery overnight inspection, before being put through to a judging panel who decide the winners.
With the AA awards, several inspectors over the three years we’ve been here have visited and then put us forward to their judging panel who whittle down the nominations.
Invariably, judges will also look at your social media feeds, the quality of your website and ease of the booking process, test you over the phone and with email contacts, read your reviews, your Access Statement and Environmental Policy. It’s a great deal more detailed and thorough than you might think but I suppose a professional tourism body don’t want to crown someone a winner then find out they have a poor reputation in one area and don’t deserve the award or it should have gone to someone better. They also need to be able to prove their system of judging is fair and open.
I'd like to say I'm off to continue celebrating now but instead in this glamorous B&B lifestyle I lead, I need to go and make some more of my homemade granola for breakfast, along with another batch of my famous chocolate brownies. Have a drink for us!