Bath tourism and hospitality venues strike gold to give city successful night at regional sector awards

December 9, 2022

Businesses and venues from Bath’s tourism and hospitality industries have again landed an armful of accolades at a regional awards ceremony.

The Roman Baths and Pump Room, Lucknam Park & Spa and No.15 by GuestHouse, Bath were among the top winners at the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards, with a number of first-time entrants also attracting the judges’ eye. 

The Roman Baths and Pump Room scooped three awards – Gold for Wedding Venue of the Year, Bronze for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year and Bronze in the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism category.

Lucknam Park, the 42-bedroom luxury hotel at Colerne, landed Gold for its Reconnect Retreat in the Spa & Wellbeing Experience of the Year category and also claimed Silver behind the Roman Baths in the line-up for the Wedding Venue of the Year title.

No.15 by GuestHouse, Bath, ended the night with a Gold in the Restaurant of the Year category, a Bronze for Hotel of the Year and a Silver and a Highly Commended in the Spa & Wellbeing Experience of the Year run-off for its You Time and Festival Rehab packages respectively.

The Hotel of the Year Gold award went to Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa, the 32-bedroom historic Georgian country house near Warminster.

Corkage, the Bath independent wine bar, tasted success with a Gold in the Pub & Casual Dining category, while Brooks Guesthouse, a finalist in the awards three years ago, earned itself a Bronze in the B&B and Guesthouse of the Year category.

Bath, which has tended to dominate many of the award categories in previous years, this year did particularly well against visitor attractions from across the region. 

Newton St Loe-based West of England Falconry’s Hawk Walk & Owl Encounter walked away with the Experience of the Year (Active or Learning) Gold award with the stand-up paddle boarding for beginners programme run by UK Active Outdoors in Keynsham won Silver in the same category as well as a commendation in the that for Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism.

Bath also performed well in the Small Visitor Attraction Of The Year category where West of England Falconry received Gold and Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein took home Bronze.

Bath’s winners were among more than 50 finalists from tourism businesses across Bristol, Bath, Somerset and Exmoor who attended the gala awards dinner at Weston-super-Mare’s Winter Gardens.

The black-tie ceremony was hosted by broadcaster and presenter Laura Rawlings and former professional cricketer, PGA golf professional and Weston resident Peter Trego.  

Winners from the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards will be entered into corresponding categories of the South West Tourism Awards. Winners from the South West awards will then be selected to represent the region in the national VisitEngland Awards.

The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa was voted the best large hotel at VisitEngland’s annual Awards for Excellence while No 15 by GuestHouse Bath came second in the small hotel category. 

Kathryn Davis, director of tourism at regional destination marketing organisation Visit West – which includes Visit  Bath – said: “Huge congratulations to all the winners. 

“The visitor economy is hugely valuable to the region and so it is essential that we have a thriving quality and sustainable business community, and our winners clearly demonstrate the innovation, success and passion that sets their businesses apart. 

“We look forward to seeing how they progress through to the regional and national awards, hopefully replicating the success of Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa and No.15 this year.”

Bath & North East Somerset Council leader Kevin Guy said the Roman Baths’ awards capped a great year for the attraction, which is owned by the council.

The Baths were named number one UK attraction and number eight best-rated attraction in the world by Tripadvisor earlier this year.

“We are thrilled to have won these prestigious awards, which recognise the hard work put in by our staff year-round to provide an award-winning experience for all of our visitors,” he  added.

The past year has included a number of developments at the Roman Baths. A new Roman Gym area opened in October 2021, revealing excavations never before seen by the public. With projections and new interpretation, the Gym gives visitors the chance to explore how the Romans kept fit and healthy, learn about Roman medicine, and see the remains of an ancient sauna or laconicum.

The Roman Baths Clore Learning Centre, which also opened earlier this year, gives school children and local community groups a chance to learn about the fascinating history of Roman Britain where it actually happened.

The innovative new Investigation Zone allows children to have a go at being archaeologists, excavating replica Roman remains in a mock-up archaeological trench and recording their findings using an app.

The Roman Baths and Pump Room are also a unique wedding venue, where couples can exchange vows in one of the world’s greatest ancient monuments. Ceremonies take place beside the steaming Great Bath, with a choice of reception venues including the grand Pump Room.

Pictured: Roman Baths hospitality and events manager Tom Deller, centre, and visitor experience assistant manager Angharad Evans, right, collect the Gold award for Wedding Venue of the Year


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