Beautiful South Awards 2016

Beautiful South Awards 2016

Best of the Region’s Tourism Businesses celebrate at The Beautiful South Awards 2016

On the 24th November 2016 the Beautiful South Awards at the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, near Southampton, saw TV and radio celebrity Toby Anstis celebrating the cream of the region’s tourism industry.


The winners have the opportunity to represent the South East in VisitEngland’s national Tourism Excellence Awards which take place in April 2017 – and show that our tourism businesses are a match for any in the country. 

One of the biggest winners last night was The Vineyard, a top quality hotel and restaurant in Berkshire which scooped Gold in the Large Hotel and Restaurant/Bistro of the Year categories.  Port Lympne Reserve near Kent also had a double reason for celebration scooping Gold for its Treehouses in the Self Catering Holiday Provider and Tourism Experience categories. 

Other notable wins included The Royal Oak, Buckinghamshire, crowned Tourism Pub of the Year; Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, winning Gold in the Large Attraction category and joint Gold for Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Hampshire and The Monkey Haven on the Isle of Wight in the Small Attraction category

Amongst the outstanding accommodation providers of 2016 were Field Green Oast B & B, Kent, Woodside Bay Lodge Retreat on the Isle of Wight and The Montagu Arms Hotel, Hampshire which, between them, lifted Gold trophies in the Bed and Breakfast, Holiday Park and Small Hotel/Boutique Accommodation categories respectively. Gold for the region’s best Tourist Information Provider went to Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre which also provided the Customer Service Superstar of the Year – Angela Marsden.

Nigel Smith, Chief Executive of Tourism South East, said, “Last night was a reminder of just how much the quality of tourism businesses in the South East improves every year. Many of the winners are truly world class.  Achieving excellence isn’t easy – it takes vision, years of commitment, hard work and talented people. All of the finalists can be proud about their achievements and the example they are setting for others to follow.

Finally, I want to thank headline sponsor Shepherd Neame and the rest of our sponsors who make the Awards possible and the judges who give their time and expertise voluntarily. Sometimes the margin between businesses is tiny and they have the unenviable task of deciding between them. I am now looking forward to our winners taking on the rest of the country at the VisitEngland national Awards.”

Shepherd Neame’s director of retail and tenanted operations Nigel Bunting said: “Shepherd Neame is proud to sponsor the Beautiful South Awards for a fourth consecutive year. With more than 300 pubs, inns and hotels in our estate, we understand the importance of offering a great visitor experience.

These awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the vision, investment and hard work of the diverse range of tourism businesses in our region. We would like to congratulate all the finalists and winners on their achievement in offering an exceptional visitor experience.”

Click here to view the full list of winners and press release.

Click here to view the video highlights of the evening.

What some of the winners say 

"Everyone at Mapledurham is delighted to have been recognised with two awards at the Beautiful South Awards.  It means a huge amount to us all that Tourism South East recognise and appreciate the hard work that goes into making Mapledurham a very special place for our lovely visitors.  Using the publicity that these awards bring with them is a great advertising tool for us and, even as important, is a superb way to let our loyal staff know how much they are appreciated and valued.  Thank you all at TSE for the work you put into this - especially Nell Barrington who worked tirelessly to make the awards evening so special" Lola, Mapledurham.

"We are delighted to have been awarded in two categories at the Beautiful South Awards last night.  I am immensely proud of the commitment we have shown as a team to delivering excellence in all that we do and overjoyed to have had our hard work recognised so highly". Katie Savage,

"Being shortlisted for the second year in a row having won Silver at last year’s ceremony was an achievement in itself for the team here at Eastbourne TIC, and the news of Angela being shortlisted for a customer service award was excellent news. To say we were shocked when we realised we had won not one but TWO gold awards is an understatement. We were up against some really great contenders this year and these awards have gone a huge way to congratulating and commending both all the team here in Eastbourne and Angela for the outstanding work she has put in over the last 26 years" Jack Brownell Information Centre Manager

"We are still on cloud nine to have received our 3rd Gold Award from " Monkey Haven, IOW.

Operations Director James Hilley-Jones said “We were absolutely delighted to receive these amazing awards on behalf of all those who work so hard to make Careys Manor, SenSpa and The Montagu Arms the places they are. We’ve always known our staff were something special but it’s wonderful to see it acknowledged and that we are so consistently meeting and surpassing the kind of standards expected for our guests." 

Winning Gold for not just 1, but 2 awards is such a big achievement for us, especially Tapnell Manor in its first year of entering. Attending the awards evening every year is always so much fun, and provides a brilliant opportunity to meet other businesses alike and catch up with those we have met previously. Recognition from winning Gold at Beautiful South is not only a great way of promoting what we have, but also a great boost in confidence and morale after the end of a busy season.' Tom Turney,

"It was so wonderful to have won silver at the beautiful south awards for best Glamping site. It was really interesting to see the different scores we achieved against each criteria and to meet fellow Glamping businesses.  We will draw on this to further improve our business. We are proud of the service we deliver and  it was great to have the recognition from the judges".  Louise

Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager of Hampshire Fare “The fact that the Hampshire Food Festival continues to reach the top three at the awards year after year shows just how successful and dynamic the festival is. We love organising the festival and we are really proud to be here this evening accepting a Bronze award.” 

Amy Dobson, Sales and Marketing Manager at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery added, “It’s such an honour to win this award for the second year in a row, it’s a great testament to the hard work of all our staff that we can maintain such a prestigious position within the industry.”

Winning ‘Dog Friendly Business of the Year’ thanks to the hotels innovative ‘Woof’s Welcome’ package, ensured The Oakley Court finished yet another year on a high having also been nominated as finalists at the industry leading Cateys Awards, Hotel Cateys and AA Hospitality awards for ‘Sustainable hotel of the year’, as well as winning the Berkshire Life Food & Drink Awards 2016 inaugural ‘Green Company of the Year’ award. Sean Gleeson, Managing Director:  ‘It is fantastic that the whole team has been recognized for their hard work and continued achievements throughout the year. Being nominated for so many awards is testament to the team’s determination to provide continued service excellence.


“I was completely bowled over to receive this prestigious award for the Castle and to be voted amongst the very best of visitor attractions in the South of England – even to have been selected as a Finalist had been beyond my wildest dreams!  Chiddingstone Castle is a private charitable trust and receives no public funding to keep this unique historic house and its remarkable museum collections open to the public.  To think it was only eight years ago that the Trustees were within hours of making the decision to close the doors and disperse the collections forever.  The small team that runs the Castle have worked tirelessly to turn its fortunes around and this accolade is testimony to their creativity, tenacity, commitment and sheer hard work!” Ali Ditzel, Director Chiddingstone Castle

"We are delighted to have been awarded Bronze for Large Hotel of the Year at the " Clivedon House, Buckinghamshire.

"The Vineyard are delighted to have won two prizes at the Beautiful South Awards" Charlotte, The Vineyard, Berkshire. 

For further information please contact Nell Barrington, Services for Tourism.

E: [email protected]  T: 07968807022

The Awards are now closed for entry.

It’s Gold for South East Business at the National Tourism Awards

Three South East tourism businesses are celebrating success at yesterday’s national Tourism Awards for Excellence at the Waldorf Hilton in London. Organised by VisitEngland, the Tourism Excellence Awards recognise outstanding achievements in this celebration of the crème de la crème of UK’s tourism businesses with awards presented by TV personality Sue Perkins.

List of winners:

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire – Kim Hallett, [email protected], 01296 653240

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

The Monkey Haven, Isle of Wight – Kelly Wickes, [email protected], 01983 530885   

GREAT China Welcome

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire – Ulrica Ericson, [email protected], 01993 810524 

 Full details of the Beautiful South Awards for Excellence 2017-2018, along with details of how to enter, top tips and downloadable entry forms can be found at


Our sponsorship partners:







Title Sponsor: Shepherd Neame - Shepherd Neame is an innovative company, committed to quality and customer service. The Company utilises state-of-the-art equipment and modern techniques to produce award-winning ales and lagers - but, as Britain’s Oldest Brewer, is also immensely proud of its heritage.  The team of brewers in Faversham hand-craft famous Kentish Ales such as Spitfire and Bishops Finger along with flavoursome international lagers including Asahi and Samuel Adams. The Company also has around 360 pubs in Kent, Sussex, London, Essex and Surrey and is no stranger to awards: Shepherd Neame won the Best Managed Pub Company at The Publican Awards 2013, while the Visitor Centre was named Small Visitor Attraction of the Year in the enjoyEngland Awards for Excellence in 2011; picked up a Silver Award at the 2012-13 Beautiful South Awards; at the national VisitEngland Awards in 2014 they were Highly Commended and also took home the Flavour of the South East Award at the Beautiful South Awards 2014.

Business Tourism Award – Shopper Anonymous

Experience - Visit Brighton  

Flavour of the South East - Whitstable Bay

Holiday Park - Hoseasons

Large Hotel of the Year – Quality in Tourism

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – Take One Media

Outstanding Customer Service Award – Welcome to Excellence

Small Hotel of the Year – Royal Bank of Scotland, Solent & Wessex