Hospitality & Tourism

Published: January 17, 2021 | Updated: January 18, 2021

It’s the Super 60! Finalists named for Dorset Tourism Awards as results countdown begins

The 2019 Dorset Tourism Awards were held in the impressive surroundings of The Tank Museum at Bovington.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

They’re the Super 60.

After an extended ten month programme the finalists for the 2020 Dorset Tourism Awards have been revealed.

A total of 91 entries were received with 60 selected as finalists.

The countdown has now started to Thursday February 4.

That’s the date when they’ll learn whether they’ve won gold, silver, bronze or a special award.

A further nine receive commended status.

Organisers says the eighth year of the competition has been run in unprecedented times for tourism.

But the focus on excellence and feedback for entrants has remained as relevant as ever.

Clare Bushby, of headline sponsors Clockwork Marketing, pictured left, said: “The Dorset Tourism Awards are more vital than ever before.

“They provide normality during a surreal time, where everything seems weighted against hospitality.

“Equally as important, they give credit – where credit is more than due.

“Rather than despairing, entrants into this year’s awards have been remarkably inventive when faced with the impact of coronavirus.

“They have shown, against all the odds, that a pandemic needn’t stand in the way of excellent hospitality.

“This is in no small part due to their unflinching resolve and unbreakable passion for their industry.

“At Clockwork Marketing, we’re proud to sponsor the Dorset Tourism Awards and have a deep respect for the solidarity they represent.

“We also salute the admirable businesses taking part. May they enjoy the unbridled success they deserve in the future.”

Professor Peter Jones, Chair of the Judging Panel, pictured right, said: “Dorset tourism, like tourism the world over, is demonstrating resilience and fortitude in coping with the impact and implications of Covid-19 in some amazing ways.

“This year’s entries into the Dorset Tourism Awards are no exception.

“Entrants demonstrated creativity and innovation, passion for the industry, and enthusiasm in providing a great experience for their customers in the most difficult of circumstances.

“Even with an understandably slightly lower number of entries, the standards remained incredibly high, and all entrants are to be congratulated on their commitment to wanting to demonstrate their successes and to the future of tourism in Dorset.”

Awards organiser Robin Barker, of Services for Tourism, pictured left, added: “The past ten months have been a challenge for everyone – to survive let alone prosper.

“Having considered abandoning the awards I’m so glad we persevered, adapting and changing along the way.

“The delight we’re witnessing amongst finalists on being told of their success makes it all so worthwhile.”

The full list of finalists and commended (in alphabetical order) is:

ACCESSIBLE AND INCLUSIVE TOURISM AWARD sponsored by Yellow Buses

  • Ellwood Cottages, Blandford Forum
  • HolidayInDorset, Birchcroft, Ferndown
  • West Bay Discovery Centre. West Bay
  • West Bay Play Area. Bridport Town Council

Commended

  • Pause Cat Café, Bournemouth

B&B AND GUESTHOUSE OF THE YEAR sponsored by Goadsby

Finalists

  • Dorset House, Lyme Regis
  • Mory House Bed & Breakfast, Southbourne
  • St John’s Guest House, Weymouth

Commended

  • Channel View Guesthouse, Weymouth

BUSINESS EVENTS & WEDDING VENUE OF THE YEAR sponsored by Saffery Champness

Finalists

  • Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth
  • Upton Country Park, Poole

CAFÉ/TEAROOM OF THE YEAR sponsored by Clipper

Finalists

  • Pause Cat Café, Bournemouth
  • Picnic Park Deli, Bournemouth
  • Seasons Kitchen and Coffee Barn, Ringwood

Commended

  • Upton Country Park Tea Rooms, Poole

CASUAL DINING AWARD sponsored by Dorset Food & Drink

Finalists

  • Fish ‘n’ Fritz, Weymouth
  • Oriel on the Quay, Poole
  • Peppina, Swanage

DOG FRIENDLY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR sponsored by Forthglade

Finalists

  • Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth
  • Upton Country Park, Poole

Commended

  • Polygon Pets Ltd, Poole

ETHICAL, RESPONSIBLE & SUSTAINABLE TOURISM AWARD sponsored by Bournemouth Water

Finalists

  • Bridport Tourist Information Centre, Bridport
  • Farmstead Glamping, Sturminster Newton
  • Pause Cat Café, Bournemouth
  • Sculpture by the Lakes, Pallington

Commended

  • English Oak Vineyard

EXPERIENCE OF THE YEAR (ACTIVE OR LEARNING) sponsored by Dorset Tourism Association

Finalists

  • Fore/Adventure, Studland
  • Jurassic Coast Guides, Milborne St Andrew
  • Shore Campers, Bournemouth

GLAMPING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR sponsored by Tozers

Finalists

  • Dorset Forest Garden Glamping, Beaminster
  • Farmstead Glamping, Sturminster Newton

HOTEL OF THE YEAR sponsored by Saffery Champness

Finalists

  • Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth
  • RNLI College, Poole
  • The Bull Hotel, Bridport
  • The Grange at Oborne, Sherborne

INTERNATIONAL VISITOR EXPERIENCE OF THE YEAR sponsored by Dorset LEP

  • Winner to be announced on awards day

LARGE VISITOR ATTRACTION OF THE YEAR sponsored by Pear Communications

Finalists

  • Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf, Bournemouth
  • The Tank Museum, Bovington

NEW TOURISM BUSINESS AWARD sponsored by Visit Dorset

Finalists

  • Hammoon Manor – Luxury Retreat ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’
  • Shore Campers, Bournemouth
  • The Cross Keys, Sherborne

Commended

  • The Tunnel Tree Tops, Charmouth

PUB OF THE YEAR

Finalists

  • The Cross Keys, Sherborne
  • The Half Moon, Melplash
  • The Milton Arms, Blandford Forum

RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR sponsored by Dorset Food & Drink

Finalists

  • Al Molo, Weymouth
  • Moose Kitchen, Charminster
  • Zim Braai Ltd, Poole

Commended

  • Shalims Indian Restaurant, Weymouth

SELF CATERING ACCOMMODATION OF THE YEAR sponsored by Quality in Tourism

Finalists

  • Burnbake Forest Lodges & Campsite, Corfe Castle
  • Dove House and Swallows, Dorchester
  • Hammoon Manor – Luxury Retreat ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’

SMALL VISITOR ATTRACTION OF THE YEAR sponsored by Resort Dorset

Finalists

  • English Oak Vineyard, Poole
  • Nothe Fort, Weymouth
  • Sculpture by the Lakes, Pallington

Commended

  • Dorset Falconry Park, Dorchester
  • West Bay Discovery Centre, West Bay

TOURING CAMPING & CARAVANNING AND HOLIDAY PARK OF THE YEAR sponsored by Tozers

Finalists

  • Durdle Door Holiday Park, Lulworth
  • South Lytchett Manor Caravan and Camping Park, Poole
  • Swanage Coastal Park, Swanage

TOURISM EVENT/FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR

Finalists

  • Dorset Festivals Consortium
  • Sculpture by the Lakes – Dorset Arts Festival 2020, Pallington
  • White Star Running – Run Jurassic 2019, Bridport

TOURISM INNOVATION AWARD sponsored by Worldpay

Finalists

  • Sculpture by the Lakes, Pallington
  • The Grange at Oborne, Sherborne

UNSUNG HERO AWARD sponsored by Clockwork Marketing

Finalists

  • Heather Brown, Dorset Foodie Feed
  • Kellie Court, Tangerine Café & Gallery, Beaminster
  • Yessica Falcon, Bournemouth Tourist Information Centre, Bournemouth

VISITOR INFORMATION SERVICE OF THE YEAR sponsored by Yellow Buses

Finalists

  • Bridport Tourist Information Centre, Bridport
  • Shaftesbury Tourist Information Centre, Shaftesbury

WINNER OF WINNERS sponsored by Dorset LEP, dorsetlep.co.uk

  • To be announced on event day