We are celebrating a second hat trick of awards having been awarded Gold in the Best Small Hotel Category of the South West Tourism Excellence Awards. Having already won Gold for ‘Best Hotel’ at the 2013 Visit Devon Awards in November and named ‘Best Hotel in Devon 2013’ by the prestigious Good Hotel Guide, The Old Rectory Team has great cause to celebrate.
In addition the hotel was voted the No 1 Romantic Hotel in the UK, 8th in Europe and 21st in the world from Trip Advisor’s Travellers Choice Awards 2014.
“We’ve had a fantastic year,” smiles Huw Rees. “We’ve come a long way in the five years that we’ve run the hotel. We were complete novices when we started, but have always tried to create the kind of place where we and our friends would want to stay. We try to do the simple things really well; thoughtful service, luxury rooms, delicious local food and an award winning wine-list. To be recognised and appreciated for this is the icing on the cake.”
The South West Tourism Excellence Awards are the ‘official’ tourism awards for the region and also form the regional heat of the national Visit England awards, to which eligible winners will now progress. Nearly 350 entries were considered for the Awards, with all entrants undergoing a rigorous short-listing process with 213 visits by a team of 35 judges and mystery shoppers.
“We’re absolutely thrilled,” says Sam Prosser. “We’re proud to work alongside some excellent south west tourism providers and especially our neighbours, The Calvert Trust, a fantastic facility on Exmoor. Congratulations to all the finalists!”
We have just heard that the final judging for the 2013 Devon Tourism Awards has been completed and we are thrilled to confirm that The Old Rectory Hotel is one of the finalists in the Hotel of the Year category.
This means that The Hotel will be awarded either a Gold, Silver, Bronze or Highly Commended award at this year’s Devon Tourism Awards ceremony at the Grand Hotel, Torquay on Wednesday 13th November.
The judging took account of our exhaustive entry form, along with web searches, emails, telephone calls and visits, plus any available additional evidence. More than ever before, judges were looking for a digital presence that inspired and informed visitors, with good management of online reputations and active use of social media. The panel was looking for all elements of the business to be excellent, with some of them outstanding. To be amongst the winners, given the level of competition, is a very significant achievement indeed.
The Old Rectory has received a prestigious César award – the Oscars of the hotel industry – from the Good Hotel Guide, the leading independent guide to hotels of character and quality in Great Britain and Ireland.
The Old Rectory Hotel, Martinhoe, is named Devon hotel of the year in the 2014 edition of the Guide which is published this week.
Desmond Balmer, joint editor of the Guide, said: “Huw Rees and Sam Prosser, who have given their old rectory a smart interior, run it with good humour and great attention to the needs of guests. Huw Rees’s cooking is much praised.”
Huw Rees said: “We are delighted to receive this award from the Good Hotel Guide and are particularly thrilled as our first entry in the Guide was just last year. The special value of the award is that it is based on reader reports and anonymous inspections. We aim to do the simple things well and create a ‘house in the country’ feel for our guests. Five years on, 2013 has been our best-ever year; this is the cherry on the icing on the cake.”
The Good Hotel Guide nominates ten hotels every year for the award, named after César Ritz, the most celebrated of hoteliers. These are for a mixed selection of places each of which is considered to be outstanding in its own class.
The Hotel was featured in a piece on 6th April in the Saturday Telegraph, recommending us as a great place to stay with a fabulous Spring Walk on the door step!
It’s official! The Old Rectory Hotel won has 4 awards in the 2013 Travellers’ Choice awards run by Tripadvisor – a customer review site: This is particularly rewarding for us and the team as this is based on the feedback of the most important part of our business – You, The Customer!
We won the following Awards this year
* Top 25 Small Hotels in the United Kingdom
* Top 25 Hotels for Service in the United Kingdom
* Top 25 Small Hotels in Europe
* Top 25 Hotels for Service in Europe
Travellers’ Choice awards are based on millions of reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers. We take great pride in this recognition from our guests.
Thanks everyone who took the time to write such amazing feedback about their stays withus
The Perfect Minimoon: indulgent, relaxed, quiet, idyllic.”
My new husband and I are on our way home from the most fabulous four day mini moon at The Old Rectory and we suspect there will be insufficient superlatives to describe our stay there.
The setting of this little piece of heaven is breathtaking. The north Devon coast is just beautiful; we’re not sure why it’s taken us both so long to discover this incredible part of Britain; we know we’ll be going back regularly.
The hotel itself is equally as glorious. Our room (Beeches) was elegant and quiet with the comfiest bed in the world and a bathroom full of Molton Brown treats. The gardens and vegetable garden are exquisite, with understated water features babbling quietly away as you enjoy divine afternoon tea brought to you by Huw and Sam, who must be the best hoteliers in all of Europe, if not the world. Their shared passion for what they do is inspirational. From the moment we arrived to the end of our stay, nothing was too much trouble and it was a real pleasure getting to know them whilst enjoying delicious afternoon tea, breakfast and dinner.
As lovers of food and wine, we have been spoilt rotten this week. Breakfasts are beautifully cooked; the bacon in particular is really great. Afternoon cakes are home-made and I’m pretty sure Mary Berry would very much approve. Dinner is marvellous (local crab salads, freshly caught local fish, smoked exmoor venison, divine soups, tender pork, duck, beef…), although there simply was not enough time to try everything we wanted on the wine list. Sam’s passion for and knowledge about wine was a real highlight to our stay. He listens and shapes his suggestions excellently, ensuring you get the right glass for your pinot noir/ malbec etc. It’s the consistent attention to these little details in a really relaxed environment that has made our week so special.
Not only will we be returning pretty soon (we can’t wait!), we will also be telling everyone we know about this absolute gem of a hotel. Thank you to Huw, Sam and your fantastic team for making our minimoon perfect.