Thirteen York businesses have taken honours at the annual Visit York Tourism Awards, which also named Damian Cruden, artistic director at the Theatre Royal, as York Tourism Ambassador.
Jane Lady Gibson, chairman of Visit York said that all the winners “go above and beyond to keep York one of Britain’s most successful city break destinations”.
She added: “I’m delighted too, to see Damian’s work receive a special accolade. He believes in the power of storytelling and by bringing York and its stories to life, he has helped put York on an international stage.”
Cllr Sonja Crisp, York council’s cabinet member for tourism said, “Damian’s achievements at York Theatre Royal over the last 15 years have elevated York’s position as a vibrant cultural destination.
“His imagination and passion for the city shone through in last year’s Mystery Plays, bringing in thousands of visitors from overseas. Without Damian’s vision these plays and the highly successful Railway Children would not have come to fruition.”
Five venues battled it out too for the people’s choice Best Pub/Bar title, which was presented to The Golden Fleece – the only award voted for by the public during a two month promotion to 10,000 Visit York Facebook fans and Twitter followers.
The hotly-contested Hotel Of The Year accolade went to Middlethorpe Hall & Spa for a second year in succession.
Two York individuals were also recognised in the roll of honour this year with Alexandra Claydon and Samantha de la Tour of Now and Then Events, receiving the Outstanding Customer Service award. Their popular events, York Does Vintage and Made Locally With Love, proving to be a big hit with visitors.
Guest Accommodation Of The Year went to Bishops, Caravan Park to Robin Hood Caravan Park, Restaurant to the Oak Room at Middlethorpe Hall & Spa, Café/Tearoom to the York Cocoa House, Visitor Experience to the York Mystery Plays 2012, Shopping Experience to Hotel Chocolat, Marketing Campaign to York Racecourse for ‘Unlocking the Frankel Factor’ and Conference Venue Of The Year to the National Railway Museum.
Visitor Attraction Of The Year was scooped by Beningbrough Hall and Gardens.
Winners and finalists
Guest Accommodation of the Year, sponsored by F R Fowler & Son
Finalists: The Bloomsbury, Carlton House, Warrens
Hotel of the Year, sponsored by Streamline Taxis
Winner: Middlethorpe Hall & Spa
Finalists: Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa, Dean Court Hotel, Novotel York, Royal York Hotel & Event Centre, York Marriott Hotel
Self Catering/Caravan Park of the Year, sponsored by Fulprint
Winner: Robin Hood Caravan Park
Highly Commended: Apartments 5, 6 & 12 Monkbridge Court
Finalists: Jollydays Luxury Camping, The Riverside York, The York Hop Store
Restaurant of the Year, sponsored by Morrell Middleton
Winner: The Oak Room at Middlethorpe Hall & Spa
Finalists: El Piano, The Grill Room at Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa, Mumbai Lounge, The Royal Oak
Café/Tearoom of the Year, sponsored by Minster FM
Winner: York Cocoa House
Finalists: Café Harlequin, Filmore & Union, Spring Espresso
Visitor Attraction of the Year, sponsored by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership
Winner: Beningbrough Hall & Gardens
Finalists: JORVIK, National Railway Museum, York Castle Museum, York Maze
Visitor Experience of the Year, sponsored by P&O Ferries
Winner: York Mystery Plays 2012
Finalists: JORVIK Viking Festival, York Maze Halloween/Hallowscream, York Minster /The Orb, York Racecourse – Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival 2012
Shopping Experience of the Year, sponsored by Big Local App
Winner: Hotel Chocolat York
Finalists: Jack Wolfskin York, Now and Then Events – York Does Vintage, Pandora York, York Cocoa House
Marketing Campaign of the Year, sponsored by Leeds Bradford International Airport
Winner: Unlocking the Frankel Factor – York Racecourse
Finalists: Now and Then Events – York Does Vintage, Umbrella Sky at Clifford’s Tower, York Cultural Company – York Mystery Plays 2012, York Maze 2012 & Halloween Events
Conference Venue of the Year, sponsored by Saville Audio Visual
Winner: National Railway Museum
Finalists: Merchant Taylors Hall, Royal York Hotel & Event Centre, York Conferences, York Racecourse Hospitality
Outstanding Customer Service Award, sponsored by Webmart
Winner: Alexandra Claydon & Samantha de la Tour, Now and Then Events
Finalists: Guy Wallis – The Golden Fleece, Amanda Fogg – Hedley House Hotel, Shirley Fletcher – Hilton York, Rebecca & Damian Palmer-Bunting, Robin Hood Caravan Park
Pub/Bar of the Year – The People’s Choice Award – Sponsored by Deans Computer Services
Winner: The Golden Fleece
Finalists: The Ackhorne, Evil Eye Lounge, The House of the Trembling Madness, The Maltings
York Tourism Ambassador, sponsored by Benenden Health
Damian Cruden, York Theatre Royal