Hotels, restaurants and attractions among the local businesses honoured at Devon Tourism Awards

The Coach House By Michael Caines, won gold in the Restaurant/Bistro of the Year category at the Devon Tourism Awards. Picture: Nick WilliamsThe Coach House By Michael Caines, won gold in the Restaurant/Bistro of the Year category at the Devon Tourism Awards. Picture: Nick Williams

A North Devon hotel and restaurant has done the ‘double double’ at the Devon Tourism Awards.

Kentisbury Grange Hotel and The Coach House by Michael Caines won gold in the Small Hotel / Boutique Accommodation and Restaurant / Bistro of the Year categories at the annual awards ceremony at the University of Exeter on Thursday night.

The success was a repeat of the 2015 awards, when both businesses won gold in the same categories.

Kentisbury Grange won gold in the Small Hotel / Boutique Accommodation of the Year category at the Devon Tourism Awards. Picture: Nick WilliamsKentisbury Grange won gold in the Small Hotel / Boutique Accommodation of the Year category at the Devon Tourism Awards. Picture: Nick Williams

Plymouth’s National Marine Aquarium took the prestigious Winner of Winners award along with category awards for Sustainable Tourism, Access & Inclusivity and Venue & Business Tourism.

But there was plenty more success stories for North Devon businesses at the ceremony, hosted by former BBC Radio Devon presenter Judi Spiers and Olympic runner Jo Pavey.

The Milky Way Adventure Park took gold in the Large Attraction of the Year category, beating last year’s bronze award.

Ilfracombe's Darwin Beach Cove Ltd won gold in the Holiday Park & Village of the Year category at the Devon Tourism Awards. Picture: Nick WilliamsIlfracombe's Darwin Beach Cove Ltd won gold in the Holiday Park & Village of the Year category at the Devon Tourism Awards. Picture: Nick Williams

Judges praised the Clovelly attraction for its overall ‘wow factor’, large choice of all-weather attractions and value for money.

Partner Tara Stanbury said: “The judges were so positive about what we offer; they praised us for the fact that after paying on the door just about everything else is free, and they liked the fact that families can all enjoy themselves together.

“Lots of lovely comments were made about the Milky Way staff too – that they were very cheerful, engaging and helpful.

Longlands in Combe Martin won gold in the Glamping Business Of The Year category at the Devon Tourism Awards. Picture: Nick WilliamsLonglands in Combe Martin won gold in the Glamping Business Of The Year category at the Devon Tourism Awards. Picture: Nick Williams

“It’s great to have some recognition for the whole team, and we’d like to thank every single one for their loyalty and hard work, as well as the fantastic customer service they provide to our guests day in and day out.”

The Big Sheep, a gold winner in 2013, won bronze in the same category.

Other North Devon gold awards went to Hele Bay’s Beach Cove Coastal Retreat (Holiday Park & Village of the Year) and Combe Martin’s Longlands (Glamping Business of the Year).

Silver awards went to The New Inn, Roborough (Tourism Pub) and Hele Valley Holiday Park (Holiday Park & Village of the Year).

Bronze awards went to Ilfracombe Sea Safari (Active & Sporting Experience Award); Ilfracombe’s Nelly May’s Parlour (Café & Tearoom of the Year); Hartland’s Loveland Farm (Glamping Business of the Year); Putsborough Garden Cottage (Self-catering Property of the Year); and Highbullen Hotel Golf & Country Club (Self-catering Holiday Provider of the Year).

Ilfracombe’s Hele Corn Mill and Tearoom was highly commended.

Gold winners will now go on to compete in the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February.