CHESTER’S top tourism businesses have demonstrated true commitment to quality by making the shortlist of the most prestigious awards for the region’s tourism industry.

More than 50 of Cheshire’s top tourism providers, including Chester Racecourse and Barlounge, have been shortlisted for the highly esteemed Visit Chester & Cheshire Annual Awards after a record-breaking number of hotels, B&Bs, attractions and other tourism-related businesses decided to bid for honours.

Emma Bellis, of award organisers Visit Chester & Cheshire, said: “We have received a record number of nominations this year which demonstrates that many businesses and organisations see striving for success and excellence in their field as an important part in helping them to stand out from the competition.

“With people becoming more discerning, customers now look for the best experiences that also offer great value for money and go that extra mile.

“These awards can help hotels and restaurants showcase the quality of their offering.

“With so many fantastic entries to choose from the judging panel have found it particularly difficult this year to short-list the candidates, so I’m sure it’s going to be a real challenge to decide on one winner in each category.”

The short-listed candidates for all 15 categories, which include Small Hotel of the Year and the Taste of Cheshire Award for businesses who are primarily focussed on selling and using local produce, are now being judged by a panel of industry experts.

The winners will be revealed at a star-studded ceremony set to take place in June at Chester Racecourse.

Winners of a number of categories will automatically qualify for this year’s England’s Northwest Tourism Awards, organised by the NWDA.

If successful, they may go on to take part in the National Enjoy England Awards for Excellence like Arley Hall and Gardens and Kerridge End Holiday Cottage last year.

The VCC Annual Awards were launched in 2004 to celebrate excellence, achievement and innovation within the visitor economy.

This year’s awards are supported by The Environment Agency among other sponsors.

For further information visit or tel: 01244 405600.


Small Visitor Attraction of the Year:

? Salt Museum

? Go Ape!

? Chester Heritage Tours

? Anson Engine Museum.

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year:

? Blue Planet Aquarium

? Tatton Park

? Anderton Boat Lift

? Stockley Farm Park.

B&B of the Year:

? Chester Stone Villa

? Harrop Fold Farm

? Churton Heath Farm.

Self Catering Holiday of the Year:

? The Courtyard Helsby

? Brook House Farm Cottage

? Mellow Brook Cottage at Harrop Fold Farm

? Commonhall Apartments

? Watergate Nook.

Small Hotel of the Year:

? Alexandra Court Hotel

? Peckforton Castle

? Inglewood Manor

? Nunsmere Hall Hotel.

Large Hotel of the Year:

? Best Western Queen Hotel

? Crowne Plaza

? Doubletree by Hilton

? The Park Royal Hotel

? Carden Park Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa.

Caravan Holiday Park of the Year:

? Elm Cottage Touring Park

? Manor Wood Caravan Park.

Best Tourism Experience of the Year:

? Blue Planet Aquarium

? Cheshire Farm Ice Cream

? Anderton Boat Lift

? Roman Tours.

Sustainable Tourism Award:

? The Park Royal Hotel

? Carden Park Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa

? Chester Zoo

? Ness Botanic Gardens.

Access for All Award:

? Anderton Boat Lift

? Crowne Plaza.

Best Tourism Website of the Year:

? Blue Planet Aquarium

? Happy Guests Lodge

? Chester Racecourse.

Best Tourism Event:

? Spooky World

? Tatton Park

? Chester Races, Chester Racecourse

? Chester Food, Drink & Lifestyle Festival

? Cholmondeley Pageant of Power.

Taste of Cheshire Award:

? Harrop Fold Farm

? The Duke of Portland

? Chester Racecourse

? Tatton Park.

Food and Drink Venue of the Year:

? Barlounge

? Residence Restaurant and Bar

? Panacea Restaurant and Bar

? The Coach House

? Cabbage Hall.

Excellence in Business Tourism:

? Peckforton Castle

? Crowne Plaza

? Trafford Hall

? Carden Park Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa

? Chester Racecourse.