A LUXURY glamping site in the Forest of Dean is officially the best in the west, having landed a prestigious tourism award for new businesses this month.
The Roost Luxury Glamping in Mitcheldean won gold in the ’New Tourism Business’ category of the South West England Tourism Excellence Awards last week.
The adults-only, dog-friendly glamping site consists of two bespoke cedar cabins set within two acres of meadow in a Special Area of Conservation.
The award recognises ‘high-performing new tourism businesses’ which demonstrate an ‘excellent understanding of their market’ and exceed the expectations of their customers, with clear plans for future development.
The Roost opened in December 2019, but was forced to close its doors just 12 weeks later due to the pandemic.
The cabins have already achieved two ‘Gold’ grading awards from Quality in Tourism and Green Tourism, and the business has previously been rated as one of the top 15 ‘Great Cabin Getaways’ in the UK by a national newspaper.
The judges were particularly impressed by The Roost’s commitment to sustainability and praised their website and excellent guest reviews.
Speaking after winning gold, owner Lorraine Robinson said: “I am delighted to have won. It’s been such a challenging first year of trading so to be named as best new business in the south west is a huge boost.
“The cabins have been consistently fully booked, with many being repeat customers.
“We are a very romantic place – there has been at least five marriage proposals and six honeymoons on site so far.
“It all helps to raise the profile of the area too and has put the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley firmly on the ‘must see’ tourist map!”
Elsewhere in the Forest, another new glamping business called Hudnalls Hideout scooped the silver award in the same category.
The St Briavels-based holiday let, which opened in early 2020, is a unique A-framed tree house set within a private two-acre woodland.
On their win, Lorraine added: ”I want to offer my huge congratulations to them.”
The awards, which are organised by Tourism Ltd, recognise businesses for excellence in categories such as accommodation, experiences and attractions, food and drink, live events and wedding venues.
Robin Barker, director of services for Tourism Ltd, commented: “I feel honoured to have been involved in the awards over the past year and the last decade. Of all the years, this has been the one that has generated the most challenges as well as the most emotions, and we are so gratified to have played our part in giving our outstanding businesses something to celebrate”.
Co-organiser Nell Barrington added: “I have been humbled to hear stories from these amazing tourism and hospitality businesses about how they have overcome adversity in these terrible times. It has been great to be able to celebrate their success and I hope they have a fantastic season. Congratulations to them all.”
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