Kent Tourism Awards 2019 Winners
Everyone agreed it was the best day in December. No, not Christmas day! It was the Kent Tourism Awards 2019, held on the 2nd December at the Kent Cricket Ground in Canterbury, celebrating Kent’s incredible tourism businesses. Everyone was merry and bright (thanks to Biddenden’s English sparkling wine!) but who went home with the coveted prizes? Take a look at our award-winning Kent businesses and start planning your next visit...
Accommodation of the Year
Winners in the heavily competitive accommodation category were Tunbridge Wells’ Hotel du Vin, who took the coveted prize for "Large Hotel of the Year" for the second year running. The luxury hotel is a wonderfully restored Georgian Grade II listed building, nestled in the glorious and green Tunbridge Wells and provides stylish and luxurious rooms to stay for the night after a day of shopping in Royal Tunbridge Wells. Luxury and style - what's not to like?
Brambles Bed and Breakfast took home the prize for "Small Accommodation Provider of the Year". The contemporary, modern B&B is situated in the lovely village of Eythorne, and is the perfect place to rest your head after a day at the Kent coast or before heading off to Calais via Dover. Made "especially for grown ups", they offer a choice of three gorgeous double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a guest lounge and peaceful gardens. Their attention to detail keeps visitors coming back!
Kits Coty Glamping from Aylesford scooped up the prize for best "Glamping, Camping, Holiday Park and Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year". The family run glamping site promises picturesque countryside scenery and a peaceful, relaxing break. There's no amplified or live music allowed on site which allows guests to experience nature at it's finest. Get back to nature and into the great Kentish countryside!
Why not experience Kent’s award winning accommodation for yourself this year?
Attractions of the Year
Coming out on top out of Kent’s very best large attractions, Walmer Castle and Gardens took the award for "Large Visitor Attraction of the Year". The English Heritage property is an artillery fort originally constructed by Henry VIII in Walmer, Kent, between 1539 and 1540. Experience the fascinating, historical grounds for yourself while little ones can enjoy an adventure playground, with hollow tree trunks to clamber over and wobbly bridges to cross, making it the perfect family day out. One to remember for February half term? We think so!
The prize for "Small Visitor Attraction of the Year" went to Balfour – Hush Heath Estate. Sprawling over 400 acres of the beautiful Kent countryside, the vineyard tours and expert-led wine tastings are an experience you don’t want to miss.
And it's not just for summer - experience the beauty of the Estate in winter this year! Keep an eye out for the roaming wildlife as you take a tour around the estate, and finish with a complimentary sample of either wines, beers or ciders in the stunning tasting room, ‘The View’.
Business Events Venue of the Year
Leeds Castle was awarded the "Business Events Venue of the Year", beating out stiff competition from Hotel du Vin, Salomons Estate in Tunbridge Wells and Westgate Hall in Canterbury. The historic castle offers its ample space and multiple function rooms, and an activity for everyone, from golf, treasure hunts to tree hopping at Go Ape. Not to mention its unique first-class entertainment for businesses, from a 1930s themed cocktail evening to a medieval banquet featuring Henry VIII himself.
Pub of the Year
There’s a lot of competition for it in Kent, but The Foundry Brew Pub took the coveted prize for "Pub of the Year", beating out finalists The Dog at Wingham, The Goudhurst Inn at Cranbrook and The Minnis Bay Bar and Brasserie, Birchington. Located in the heart of Canterbury, The Foundry is a unique craft brewery and distillery, with over 16 ales, lagers and ciders all handcrafted in front of you on site, as well as 9 spirits. Pop in for a pint to see for yourself – and stay for the locally sourced pub food classics whilst you’re there.
Not satisfied with just one award, Vine + Country Tours celebrated a double win by taking home the awards for "Best Experience" and the "New Tourism Business Award!" Discover the very best of Kent’s wine and local food among the vines, with expert local tour guides and, of course, incredible local wine. Make the experience perfect for you by making a bespoke itinerary based on your needs, whether it’s a big tour group with all your friends or a romantic private lunch with a personal chef. Enjoy the English Sparkling Wine tour, the Natural and Organic Wine Experience, or maybe the cider and craft beer experience is more up your street?
And finally, you could say Hythe Imperial Hotel were the crème de la crème, winning both the “Taste of Kent” award and the “International Tourism Award”. Situated between the Kent coastline and Hythe’s picturesque canal, Hythe Imperial is the perfect place to dine and stay the night by the seaside. Whether you’re after a traditional Sunday lunch or quintessentially English afternoon tea, the Hythe Imperial Hotel offers it all at their Coast restaurant. Don’t forget to marvel at those sea views – best enjoyed with a glass of champagne in hand from the Moët & Chandon bar.