Staff at Whatley Manor, a luxury manor house hotel near Malmesbury, are thrilled to receive the South West Tourism ‘Small Hotel of the Year Award 2020/21’, announced via an online ceremony this week.

The awards took account of business entries, digital presence and feedback along with evidence of Covid-secure measures, prior to decisions taken by an independent panel.

Winners came from Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bristol, Bath, Devon and Cornwall.

Sue Williams, General Manager of Whatley Manor, was over the moon about their award.

“It has been a challenging year for the hospitality industry," she said.

"So being acknowledged with this award is especially welcome. Domestic tourism - particularly for guests from within the nearby counties - has always been crucial to our business. We’ve worked tirelessly throughout the last year to stay in regular contact with our team, and when we have been allowed to open between lockdowns, we’ve devised creative ways to connect with our guests, including adding new outdoor dining space such as the Courtyard Lawn and our fun Paradise Carriage food truck.”

The staff celebrate their sustainability journey. (Photo by Jo Hansford, taken before the pandemic)

The staff celebrate their sustainability journey. (Photo by Jo Hansford, taken before the pandemic)

Having achieved this accolade at the regional level, Whatley Manor will now progress to the Visit England National Awards of Excellence 2021.

Robin Barker, director of services for Tourism Ltd, who manage the South West Tourism Awards, commented: “I feel honoured to have been involved in the awards over the past year and the last decade. Of all the years, this has been the one that has generated the most challenges as well as the most emotions, and we are so gratified to have played our part in giving our outstanding businesses something to celebrate.

"They are all so deserving! We can’t wait to get out and visit as many of them as possible.”

Co-organiser Nell Barrington added: “I have been really humbled to hear stories from these amazing tourism and hospitality businesses about how they have overcome adversity in these terrible times. It has been great to be able to celebrate their success today and I hope they have a fantastic season. Congratulations to them all.”

Staff at Whatley Manor also recently featured in Michelin's newly-published 2021 list.

Whatley Manor, complete with Michelan-starred restaurant The Dining Room, was one of a handful of English establishments to receive a new 'green star'.

The new criteria highlighted restaurants at the forefront of the industry when it came to their sustainable practices, and who work with sustainable producers and suppliers to avoid waste.