Tourism businesses do Bay and South Devon proud in county awards

Torbay Weekly

Tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses have done Torbay and South Devon proud in this year's Devon Tourism Awards.

They have been flying the local flag with an array named as finalists across the categories as well several commended.

A total of 65 finalists have been announced as part of this year’s awards. Now they will have to wait and see what  Awards Day brings on March 10 when they will learn whether they have won Gold, Silver, Bronze or a Special award. A further nine received commended status.

The awards are in their 12th year and come after another challenging year.

They cover the whole of Devon, including the English Riviera and Plymouth, as well as Dartmoor and much of Exmoor.

Deborah Heather of headline sponsors Quality in Tourism said: "As my home county, Devon has a special place in my heart and watching our beloved sector challenged this year has been terrifying and inspiring all at once. We have some remarkable businesses here; I can't wait to celebrate with them.”

Awards organizer Robin Barker of Services for Tourism added: “It has been so rewarding to see an increasing number of businesses enter this year’s awards, finding the time to apply despite all the hurdles being thrown at them. Reading the judge reports and stories of innovation, creativity and determination has been inspirational."

Torquay's Cary Arms has been named a finalist in no fewer than three categories. Torquay's Bombay Express and boss Rehan Uddin is now up there with the culinary big boys as a finalist in Restaurant of the Year and the refurbished Thatched Tavern at Maidencombe is a Pub of the Year finalist.

The Lincombe Hall Hotel in Torquay is also in with a chance of gold in two categories.

Local finalists and commended are:

B&B and Guesthouse of Year: Brightham House Boutique Bed and Breakfast, Salcombe; The 25 Boutique B&B, Torquay.

Cafe/Tearoom of Year:  Commended Ameila's Pantry at Cofton Holidays

Casual Dining Award: Cary Arms & Spa, Babbacombe.

Dog Friendly Business of Year: Bolberry Farm Cottages, Salcombe; Cofton Holidays, Dawlish.

Holiday Park of Year: Cofton Holidays, Dawlish; Hoburne Devon Bay, Paignton; Lady’s Mile Holiday Park, Dawlish.

Large Hotel of Year: Lincombe Hall Hotel & Spa, Torquay; Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa, Salcombe.

Commended: Headland Hotel & Spa, Torquay.

New Tourism Business Award: English Riviera Walking Tours, Torquay.

Pub of Year: Thatched Tavern, Maidencombe

Resilience and Innovation Award: Commended Twenty-Seven by Jamie Rogers.

Restaurant of Year: Bombay Express, Torquay; The Angel – Taste of Devon, Dartmouth; Riverford Field Kitchen, Buckfastleigh; Twenty-Seven by Jamie Rogers, Kingsbridge.

Self-catering Accommodation of Year: Pitt Farm Holiday Cottages, Kingsbridge. Commended Aish Cross Holiday Cottages, Totnes.

Small Hotel of Year: Bayards Cove Inn, Dartmouth; Cary Arms & Spa, Babbacombe; Gara Rock Hotel, Salcombe; Meadfoot Bay Hotel, Torquay.

Small Visitor Attraction: Commended Torre Abbey, Torquay.

Spa and Wellbeing Experience of Year: Cary Arms & Spa, Babbacombe; Lincombe Hall Hotel, Torquay; Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa, Salcombe.

Tourism Event of Year: The Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta.

Visitor Information Service of Year: Dartmoor National Park Visitor Centres, Princetown.