East of England Tourism Awards 2021-2022: Customer Excellence Award finalists
- Credit: Richard Herrmann
This award recognises organisations that can demonstrate how they have specifically embedded the “customer at the heart of everything” approach at their core.
Barnham Broom is an independent luxury resort located on the outskirts of Norwich. Voted one of the Top 100 Great Britain and Ireland Resorts 2021 by Golf World, the resort overlooks 300 acres of Norfolk countryside and the River Yare Valley.
Guests at Barnham Broom can enjoy a luxury hotel, spa, health and fitness club, two championship 18-hole golf courses, an award-winning brasserie restaurant, brasserie lounge, sports bar and event spaces.
The judges said they enjoyed a pleasant break at Barnham Broom, adding that the experience with the team members and the stay overall was very positive. They said all of the team members they encountered were very attentive.
Hippersons Boatyard is a family-owned business based in the Suffolk town of Beccles, just across the border from Norfolk. Since the 1950s, it has offered unique accommodation and tourism experiences that “bring the river to life” for customers.
The company partners with other local businesses and the wider community to help guests have memorable experiences. It also offers private moorings, as well as boat storage and maintenance during the winter.
The judges praised owners Mary and Simon Sparrow, and boating instructor Stephen Fletcher, describing them as first-class hosts. They added that the customer experience felt very personable, with Mary and Simon’s young son helping to entertain the children.
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Old Hall Country Breaks
Established in April 2019, Old Hall Country Breaks offers luxury self-catering accommodation in a 16th century Tudor manor house located in the Norfolk village of Tilney All Saints, just outside King’s Lynn.
The business is run by couple Philip Elliot and Gil Morais who appeared on TV show ‘Escape to the Country’ before discovering Old Hall and making the move from London.
Guests can either stay in the East Wing, which is part of the main house, or the separate Coach House.
Judges described Old Hall as an amazing venue, praising the “friendly and helpful” staff that they encountered upon their visit, as well as the impeccable service from Gil.
Located in Hopton-on-Sea in Norfolk, Potters Resorts was the UK’s first five-star holiday village as awarded by VisitEngland, a status it retained for 18 consecutive years.
The family-owned business celebrated its centenary in 2020, and after its Covid-enforced closure in March 2020, it set about turning itself into the UK’s first and only all-inclusive resort, with additional entertainment and relaxation areas. It also kept guests entertained with a number of virtual events during lockdown.
The judges said they understood why guests return time and time again to Potters Resorts, highlighting the “warm, helpful and enthusiastic” team members as the real strength of the business.
Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre
Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre (TIC) is a busy town-centre service in Essex combining a free visitor information resource with a retail shop, the visitsaffronwalden.gov.uk website, and its own e-shop.
The current staff team has 74 years of tourism experience between them. As well as producing information-focused marketing materials for the town, the team administers the TIC's social media accounts and is often involved in the organisation of public-oriented town projects and events.
The judges said they were welcomed straight away upon arrival at the TIC, adding that the team member who greeted them was very attentive and proactive in asking how she could help.
The winners of the East of England Tourism Awards 2021-2022 will be announced at a black-tie event held at Imperial War Museum Duxford on Thursday, February 24.