Stunning Night For Scilly At South West Tourism Excellence Awards

The awards on display. Image courtesy of Nick Williams. 

The awards on display. Image courtesy of Nick Williams. 

Following the Islands outstanding success at last November’s Cornwall Tourism Awards, Scilly has once again punched well above its weight the South West Tourism Excellence Awards.

Last night, at a incredible awards ceremony in Torquay’s Riviera International Conference Centre, Hell Bay Hotel on Bryher picked up the Gold gong for Best Small/Boutique Hotel of the Year (for the second time in three years), whilst Star Castle scooped a Bronze award for Best Bistro/Restaurant of the Year, ranked alongside renowned eateries, Menu Gordon Jones in Bath and Dorset’s Guildhall Tavern.  Scilly Seal Snorkelling, based on St. Martin’s also won a Bronze award in the Active & Sporting Experience category.

Fran McNeil of Hell Bay Hotel with their Gold Award. 

Fran McNeil of Hell Bay Hotel with their Gold Award. 

The South West is England’s Top Tourism Region and this year’s awards saw a record 645 entries. The Awards team of 40+ judges then undertook a record 416 visits to entrants before the independent South West awards panel made their decisions.

Hotel owner and lobster fisherman, Robert Francis commented: “The restaurant had a fantastic end to 2017 with our silver Cornwall Tourism Award. To go one further and be recognised for our contribution to the wider South West’s food offerings is the perfect way to start 2018.  This award wouldn’t have been possible without the passion and dedication of every member of our team and so we thank them wholeheartedly and look forward to another great year ahead.”

Anna Cawthray, owner of Scilly Seal Snorkelling also thanked her team: “I am delighted that all their hard work has been recognised. Here’s to another great season for Scilly Seal Snorkelling.”

Philip Callan, General Manager of Hell Bay Hotel added: “We are absolutely delighted to have received the Gold Award at this year's South West Tourism Awards. We were up against some very tough opposition across the region so this is a fantastic achievement for Hell Bay Hotel and for all the dedicated staff who make it such a lovely place for our guests to come and stay. Congratulations to all the award winners, especially our fellow Scilly representatives - what a showcase for the islands!”

“The South West Tourism Awards was a truly impressive evening for the Isles of Scilly – winning three honours for the islands amongst hundreds of businesses across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Bristol, Bath and Somerset,” noted David Jackson, Executive Director, Islands’ Partnership (the Destination Management Organisation for the Isles of Scilly). “We are thrilled that the leading businesses across the islands continue to drive our visitor economy forward with a fantastic tourist offering. We hope this marks the start to a great season across the islands.”

The full list of finalists can be found on the South West Tourism Awards website.

David Jackson, Executive Director of the Islands' Partnership, spoke to Zoe earlier this morning for our weekly update from the team at IP to find out a bit more about last nights awards and their significance. You can hear the full update below.