A B&B in Milford has won a VisitEngland ROSE award for going the extra mile to provide excellent customer service.
Owners of The Bay Trees, Mark and Sarah Clayson, were thrilled to receive the accolade, which was awarded to only 100 hotels and B&Bs across the country and can only be won once by an establishment.
Nominations were made following the annual VisitEngland quality assessment, based on observations and entries in the guest book.
Other evidence, including online customer reviews, is also taken into account, and the final judging panel look for warm welcomes that set the business apart. The awards recognise establishments that go above and beyond, making customers’ experiences extra special, irrespective of star rating, style or accommodation type.
Mark told the A&T: “We treat people like guests in our own home – which they are.
“We go the extra mile to help people; so we sometimes drop them off if they are going for an evening out and do not want to drive, or we pick them up from the train station.
“We do everything we can to make sure their stay is as comfortable as possible.”
Sarah, who has always lived in the area, said: “We are really passionate about our business and want our guests to have a great stay. This award is really exciting for us, great for the village and for all our visitors.”
VisitEngland director Patricia Yates said: “It is the human touch that these people provide that make visitors’ experiences memorable, ensuring repeat business and helping the industry thrive.”
The Bay Trees dates back to the 17th century and was a former village poorhouse. Over the years it has taken on all manner of forms, including a drapers, lodgings, guest house, bank and restaurant.
Mark and Sarah (pictured) moved to The Bay Trees in August 2011 and have worked hard to achieve top commendations from Visit England – Five Stars, Gold Award and Breakfast Award. It is the only B&B in the New Forest to attain these awards.
It is also listed in the esteemed Alistair Sawday guide, Special Places to Stay.
Other recipients of the VisitEngland ROSE awards were Homelands, a self-catering cottage in Brockenhurst, and the luxury spa hotel Chewton Glen.
Homelands is a modern, family friendly, three-bedroom cottage sleeping six, situated at the end of a quiet, no through road where ponies roam. It is within easy reach of the train station, the village centre and the open forest, all of which are just a few minutes’ walk away.
Chewton Glen is a quintessentially English, privately-owned, luxury 72-room country house hotel in New Milton. The hotel is renowned for its multi-award-winning spa, fine-dining restaurant and wine list which boasts over 1,900 wines.
Go New Forest, the not-for-profit organisation that promotes responsible tourism in the region, has congratulated the winners.
Its chief executive Anthony Climpson told the A&T: “Only 100 holiday accommodations out of many thousands across the whole of England received one of these prestigious VisitEngland awards.
“For three of them to be members of Go New Forest, out of a total of 18 for the entire south east of England, is no mean feat.
“The awards are industry recognition of the quality of accommodation and customer service that visitors can expect to find in the New Forest, and we will be working hard over the coming months and years to continue to promote the excellence that our members strive to deliver and do!”
Businesses interested in being part of Go New Forest, both in the tourism and non-tourism sectors, should call Carol Seymour on 01425 880022