Some of Cornwall's best businesses were big winners this week at the 2021/22 South West Tourism Excellence Awards.

The event was the first time since February 2020 that the region’s tourism awards have been able to return to their face-to-face format, with a celebratory dinner enjoyed by more than 300 winners, supporters and tourism leaders.

The awards were the culmination of 11 months of evidence gathering, online entry, judging and county awards.

More than 70 judges spent months poring over entry submissions, websites, social media and review sites, as well as carrying out business visits, many of them mystery visits. Reports and recommendations were then submitted to an independent panel who made the final decisions.

All forms of hospitality business were amongst the winners, with cafes, pubs, cookery schools and sailing schools all celebrating alongside attractions, camping and glamping sites, holiday parks, B&Bs, cottages and hotels. Many have also been nominated to represent the South West in the national VisitEngland awards later in the year.

Cornwall Winners:

  • Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award: Mylor Sailing and Powerboat School, Falmouth - Gold; Sara's Cottage, Truro - Commended.

Falmouth Packet: Mylor Sailing and Powerboat School Photo by - Nick WilliamsMylor Sailing and Powerboat School Photo by - Nick Williams

  • B&B and guesthouse of the year: Chelsea House, Falmouth - Silver.
  • Business events and wedding venue of the year: Treseren, Newquay - Gold.
  • Camping and caravanning park of the year: Trevalgan Touring Park, St Ives - Silver.
  • Casual dining award: Bango Kitchen, Penryn - Gold; The Rockpool, Hayle - Silver.

Falmouth Packet: Bango Kitchen Picture: Nick WilliamsBango Kitchen Picture: Nick Williams

  • Dog Friendly Business of the year: Gwelmor, Bude - Gold; Kiliminorth Cottages, Looe - Bronze.
  • Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award: Little Gwendreath Holiday Cottages, The Lizard
  • Experience of the year: Mylor Sailing and Powerboat School, Mylor - Gold.
  • Glamping business of the year: Pengelly Retreat, Hayle - Bronze; Ekopod, Launceston - Commended.
  • Large hotel of the year: Carlyon Bay Hotel, St Austell - Silver
  • Large visitor attraction of the year: The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno - Gold.
  • New Tourism Business Award: Three Mile Beach, Hayle - Gold; Higher Pendeen Camping, Newquay - Bronze.
  • Resilience and Innovation Award:- Mother Ivey's Bay Holiday Park and Martha's Orchard - Gold.
  • Restaurant of the year: The Idle Rocks Restaurant, Truro - Gold; Hotel Meudon, Padstow - Bronze.
  • Self Catering Accommodation of the year: Glynn Barton, Bodmin - Bronze.
  • Small Hotel of The Year: The Idle Rocks, Truro - Gold.
  • Small Visitor Attraction of the Year: PK Porthcurno, Porthcurno - Silver.
  • Spa and wellbeing experience of the year: St Michael's Resort, Falmouth - Gold

Falmouth Packet: St Michael's Resort Picture: Nick WilliamsSt Michael's Resort Picture: Nick Williams

  • Unsung Hero of the year: Emma Fashokun, Cornish Gems, Truro
  • Water Conservation Award: Treloy Touring Park, Newquay

Robin Barker, director of services for Tourism Ltd, which manage the awards, said: “Tourism is known as ‘the happiness industry’ and Thursday night showed everyone why, with friends, colleagues and competitors all reunited to join in the celebrations after two years of being kept apart. Congratulations to everyone who has continued to excel and innovate despite the countless hurdles.”

Falmouth Packet: Emma Fashokun Picture: Nick WilliamsEmma Fashokun Picture: Nick Williams

Co-Director Nell Barrington added: “I am so thrilled that we are all able to come together at Sandy Park for our first South West awards ceremony in two years. After such a terrible time for tourism, hospitality and indeed everyone it is great to be able to share the successes of all these amazing businesses in person."