Two shining jewels in the Torbay hospitality crown have been short-listed as finalists in the Visit England Awards for Excellence 2020.

Julian and Andy Banner-Price celebrate The 25 Boutique B&B being named number one in the world for second timeJulian and Andy Banner-Price celebrate The 25 Boutique B&B being named number one in the world for second time

Following the historic achievement of winning the Trip Advisor Best B&B in the World accolade for a second year in a row, The 25 Boutique B&B is a finalist in the category for B&B and Guest House of the Year.

Not to be outdone, the Cary Arms and Spa at Babbacombe will be vying for gold in the Small Hotel of the Year category, battling against Grays Court in York and Durham’s Seaham Hall for the top prize.

Peter de Savary, owner of the Cary Arms and Spa, said: “The staff at the Cary Arms deserve the credit for this honour, which is also very beneficial for Devon and Torbay. A big thank you also to our loyal clientele who have continued to support us and visit post-lockdown.”

The 25 Boutique B&B also faces tough competition from Haven Cottage in Cumbria and St Cuthbert’s House in Northumberland, but owners Andy and Julian Banner-Price are becoming quite familiar with the limelight.

“We actually started the week by appearing on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ show,” said Andy and Julian. “It is different to the Trip Advisor award, which is based on reviews from guests.

“For the Visit England award, you have to go through a number of stages and it is judged by a team of industry professionals. We first won the English Riviera award, then the Devon-wide vote, followed by winning gold at the South West awards for excellence.

“We are thrilled to be through to the final. It is a process to get through because there are a different set of judges for each award. We always wanted to create a nice place for people to enjoy and winning awards gives the confidence for our guests that they will be in for a great time when they stay.”

Carolyn Custerson, chief executive of the English Riviera BID Company, said: “This is fantastic news for the two businesses and for the English Riviera as a whole. It’s richly deserved and has given the industry a real boost just when it’s needed the most. Fingers crossed they go on to win gold.”

Winners will be announced by VisitEngland on Monday, August 17.