The winners have been announced amidst a night of celebration at the inaugural English Riviera Tourism Awards on 3rd October at The Imperial Torquay.

A diverse range of outstanding businesses were presented trophies, with Kents Cavern Prehistoric Caves receiving Gold awards for Access and Inclusivity, International Tourism, Visitor Attraction of the Year and the prestigious Winner of Winners award. Lorrens Ladies Spa picked up two Golds for Spa and Wellbeing and with owners Suzanne and Steve taking a Customer Service Superstar Award. Cary Arms and Spa also took two Gold awards, one as Hotel of the Year and the other a Customer Service Superstar Award for Lisa Bradford.

Accommodation Golds went to the 25 Boutique B&B and Whitehill Country Park, with Reach Outdoors taking Gold for Active, Sporting and Learning Experience and Dartmouth Steam Railway’s Train of Lights taking Gold for Tourism Innovation. The Dog Friendly Gold went to Below Decks Restaurant and Bar, with the Torbay Airshow taking Gold for Tourism Event and Festival of the Year.

A special Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to David Dabbs for his 48 years at the coalface of hospitality in the Riviera.

A further 29 Silver, Bronze and Commended awards were presented during the night, where guests heard insights on global tourism trends and challenges from travel journalist Alison Rice, herself an experienced tourism awards judge and commentator.

Carolyn Custerson, Chief Executive of the English Riviera BID Company said: “Last night was all about celebrating local excellence and we certainly did that, the atmosphere and comradeship in the room has been just fantastic. The English Riviera is certainly a world class seaside resort.”

Chris Hart of Wollens, Sponsors of the Awards, said: “Wollens were delighted to be the headline partner for the inaugural English Riviera BID Tourism awards held last night, a great celebration of excellence in the Riviera, perfectly supported by a fine locally sourced menu and drinks selection. Congratulations to everyone who was shortlisted and announced as winners.”

The awards were launched as part of the English Riviera BID Company’s plans to encourage excellence across the area.  All entrants will receive feedback, as well as being considered for the Devon, South West and possibly VisitEngland Awards.

Photos are available for free download from Photos

See Winners for a full list of winners and commended entries.