Falmouth businesses have been named amongst the best in England at a national awards ceremony dubbed the Oscars of the tourism industry.

Among those honoured was Trebah Garden, which won a silver award in the large visitor attraction of the year category at the prestigious Visit England Awards for Excellence 2014 ceremony.

Nigel Burnett, Trebah's director, said: “What great news for us all at Trebah to be recognised in this way. This award pays testimony to Trebah's staff, our passion for service excellence and to the reputation we have built over many years.

“To put our achievement into perspective, recent finalists in this category have included The Cutty Sark, Blenheim Palace, the Beamish Museum and the Roman Baths in Bath, so I am very proud of the team at Trebah for helping us win a Silver Award and to have had the opportunity to represent Cornwall and indeed the South West of England in this year's Excellence Awards.”
Trebah was one of five Cornish businesses attending the event, which also included The Pandora Inn, Little White Alice, Gwel an Mor and Hell Bay Hotel.

The Pandora Inn at Restronguet received a highly commended in the tourism pub of the year category.

Steve Bellman, who with John Milan has been at the helm of the Pandora since 1999, said: “We are delighted with this award. Just reaching the final against such tough opposition was a huge achievement and puts us in the top five tourism pubs in the country.

“This is a massive achievement for the Pandora team led by managers Lester and Catherine Croft and chef Tom Milby.”

This achievement is made all the more remarkable as the popular inn was severely damaged by fire in March 2011 before being lovingly restored and re-opened for business a year later.

Since then, the Pandora Inn has gone from strength to strength and won a string of top awards. It is currently Cornwall Tourism Pub of The Year, South West Tourism Excellence Pub of the Year Gold award winner, Cornwall Life Best Gastro Pub and St Austell Brewery's Food Pub of the year.

Mr Milan said: “We'd like to say a big thank you to our fabulous young team at the Pandora for all their hard work and enthusiasm.

"We'd also like to thank all our loyal customers who stuck with us throughout the fire and rebuild and who regard the Pandora Inn with great affection. Thanks too to all our wonderful local suppliers who help make the Pandora Inn such a special place.”

The big winner on the night, however, was eco holiday complex Little White Alice, based in Carnmenellis between Falmouth, Truro and Redruth.

It took gold in the sustainable tourism category, giving it the ultimate seal of approval to its aim of becoming one of the greenest holiday destinations in the country.

Gwel an Mor at Portreath scooped silver in the holiday park/holiday village of the year category, while Hell Bay Hotel on the Isles of Scilly took highly commended for small hotel of the year.