Historic Yorkshire house named UK’s best small hotel

A historic North Yorkshire house has been named the best small hotel of the year at a national awards ceremony.

Grays Court Hotel and Restaurant, in York, took home the gold prize for the category as VisitEngland announced their winners of tourism Awards for Excellence 2020.

The awards champion the very best of the country’s tourism industry celebrating quality, innovation and best practice.

Grays Court is the oldest inhabited house in York, with archaeologists believing that the remains of a Roman gate, the Porta Decumana, lay buried just inside the grounds.

The venue has also been named winner of the VisitYork Tourism Awards for the past three years.

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “These prestigious awards celebrate the outstanding businesses and individuals in tourism across England who have delivered excellence.

“From a world-class boutique B&B in Devon to adventure-packed experiences in Somerset, from an accessible country park and national nature reserve in Dorset to a bespoke English wine tour in Kent, our award winners provide stand-out experiences of the highest calibre.

“Millions of jobs and local economies depend on tourism and this year’s awards are also a timely reminder of the determination, innovation and commitment of businesses across the country who have been working extremely hard to reopen, to welcome visitors back safely and to continue to provide a first-class experience.”

Broadgate Farm Cottages in East Yorkshire also claimed an award at the virtual event

Elsewhere, two other Yorkshire venues took home awards at the virtual event.

Hotham’s Gin School and Distillery in East Yorkshire took home a silver award in the New Tourism Business category whilst Broadgate Farm Cottage, also in East Yorkshire, claimed the bronze in Self-Catering Accomodation award.

In addition to the winners across the 15 ‘core’ categories, there were four special awards this year. The Outstanding Contribution to Tourism was awarded to the business events industry in recognition of its work to support England’s Nightingale Hospitals.

During a virtual event VisitEngland also announced a new approach for the 2020-21 awards in recognition of businesses and individuals within the tourism industry who have demonstrated innovation, resilience and adaptation along with support for their local communities during the COVID-19 crisis.

Nominations for ‘Tourism Heroes’ will be welcomed from businesses as well as members of the public and colleagues within the industry with more details are set to be announced in the coming weeks.

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