Offering the highest standards of quality, exceptional comfort and hospitality, the winners for 2012-13 were announced today by Business Minister, Edwina Hart.
A record number of businesses have been listed this year, with 93 Guest Accommodation businesses (26 new entries) and 33 Hotels (seven new entries).
The Visit Wales Gold Award has been running since 2007 and rewards outstanding quality, exceptional comfort and hospitality in the serviced sector in Wales. The award also recognises businesses that have been successful in a Mystery Shopper exercise to test their customer interaction skills. Each and every one of the Gold Standard businesses achieved high quality scores in their quality grading assessment undertaken by Visit Wales’ Grading Assessors, and standards were confirmed through rigorous mystery customer testing. Among this year’s winners are Plas Rhianfa in Anglesey, and Nanteos Mansion in Aberystwyth.
Plas Rhianfa opened its doors earlier this year after being shut for a period of five years. First built in the 19th century, the Grade II listed Chateau style building, overlooking the Menai Strait and Snowdonia, has now been fully restored to a 5-star graded guest accommodation and wedding venue.
General Manager, Gerwyn Morgan, said:
"Receiving this award from Visit Wales is recognition of all the hard work we have put into making Plas Rhianfa, with its stunning location and beautiful surroundings into a successful 5-star accommodation business. We hope to build on this success and attract ever more visitors in the future."
Nanteos, one of the new entries in the Guest Accommodation section, is a Grade I listed mansion in Aberystwyth. Nanteos recently benefited from the Welsh Government’s Tourism Investment Support Scheme, achieving ‘5-star restaurant with rooms’ quality grading. They plan to expand further next year with the addition of leisure facilities on site.
General Manager, Mark Rawlings-Lloyd said:
"To achieve Gold Award status in our first year is excellent news. We have made a significant investment in this venue and created over 30 local jobs, and to be recognised with this award makes all our efforts worthwhile. It has established the property as a leading venue in the Ceredigion area, and puts us on a firm footing to expand in the future."
Tourism Minister, Edwina Hart, congratulated all businesses on their achievement, she said:
"Tourism is one of our key growth sectors, contributing £4bn to the Welsh economy each year. But there is stiff competition in the market and exceptional accommodation and facilities is the key to the future success of the industry in Wales.
"The Gold Award winners are examples of accommodation businesses that are setting an exceptionally high benchmark of quality and exceed customer expectation in all respects. I wish them every success for the future."