Meet the GBPA nominees: Best Inn

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Great British Pub Awards 2017: The winners will be revealed at the Hilton on Park lane on 7 September
Great British Pub Awards 2017: The winners will be revealed at the Hilton on Park lane on 7 September

Related tags: Hotel, Public house

Next in our previews of each of the 100+ finalists in this year’s John Smith’s Great British Pub Awards is the Best Entertainment Pub category.

This category recognises pubs whose accommodation offer has been a core part of their business success in the past year.

The Durham Ox, Crayke, north Yorkshire

With more than 18 years’ worth of experience under its belt the Durham Ox, based in the picturesque North Yorkshire countryside just a stone’s throw from York, has an accommodation offer that is second to none.

With individually designed, well thought-out rooms and a good investment into excellent beds, this is a place that guests are flocking to. The premium, slight quirky rooms, alongside a strong food and drink offer and a dog-friendly attitude, shows this is a business that tries to think of everything when it comes to making guests’ stays comfortable. As a destination venue, the accommodation offer is a vital part of the mix for this business and with high occupancy rates, backed up by strong marketing and promotional offers to boost the quieter periods, it’s clear they’re getting things right.

Port Gaverne, north Cornwall

With strong growth and a growing reputation, the Port Gaverne Hotel matches a great operation with a stunning setting. Great off-season promotions are a key part of its success, with an occupancy rate of 80% even during colder winter months.

The recent addition of the inn’s beach café, Pilchards, has given the business another boost,  pulling in additional visitors to the hotel, and offering hotel guests further dining options.

Nestling in a beautiful secluded cove on the north Cornish coast, the beach a short walk away and with the picturesque town of Port Isaac nearby, this is a business that does not rely on location alone but delivers a superb experience, in a stunning setting. Food is a major focus and that is reflected in the multiple awards the inn has already notched up, with ambitions to drive that even further into the future.

The Roebuck Inn, Laughton

Taking the tired and dated letting rooms in a former stable block and giving them a 1950s beach hut palette makeover combined with a little shabby-chic furniture has given the Roebuck in East Sussex a great boost.

With individually-styled rooms that aim to be comfortable and relaxing, this is an accommodation offer carefully targeted towards visitors coming to visit nearby Glyndebourne Opera House. Guests visiting for a little high culture are less focused on cost and more interested in quality, and the Roebuck does not disappoint.

With a steampunk-themed pub to drink and dine in, and a fabulous food and drink offer, this has quickly become a popular favourite with visitors to the area. The recent addition of some stylish shepherd huts in the pubs grounds is likely to expand the accommodation offer even further.

The White Horse, Chilgrove, west Sussex

Taking on a rundown business which was in administration four years ago, the operators of the White Horse, near Chichester and Goodwood, West Sussex, have worked hard to turn the operation’s fortunes around. The pub is now a huge draw for walkers, cyclists, dogs and children and shooting parties, all groups the previous owners had discouraged.

A six-month refurbishment programme transformed the inn into a shabby-chic countryside haven, one that really celebrates the diversity within its offer. All rooms are very individual, with facilities ranging from rain showers to 7ft copper tubs and even the odd four-person hot-tub! Milk bottles are delivered to each door for a morning cuppa, and the pub is now set to expand its operations into glamping, with luxury tents in the field next door for 28 days of the year.

Worplesdon Place, Surrey

This Surrey-based operation underwent a massive £1.5m renovation, opening the doors in spring 2016 with a fully refurbished bar, restaurant and accommodation offer. With a total of 29 en-suite boutique bedrooms, all finished to a high standard, this is a business that proves popular with visitors to nearby Guildford. Rooms range from deluxe, with views over expansive gardens, through to family rooms, and the inn’s very popular bridal suite.

The operation has also won awards for its disability access, offering a fully accessible ground floor room, and accessible bar and decking area for visitors.

This is a business which is firmly focused on providing good value for guests with a top-quality offering – a mix that is certainly proving a hit with the visitors.

The White Mare, Cumbria

Former winners of the Best Newcomer award in the Great British Pub Awards 2016, the owners of the White Mare in Beckermet have not rested on their laurels and this year are hoping to translate their success to the Inn of the Year category.

A significant investment into the business has seen all eight letting rooms updated from the previous garish 1980s styling to a modern, contemporary look and feel.

A recent innovation has seen the inn introduce a barbeque package for residents whereby they can buy a hamper of raw meats/fish and vegetables and use a Weber gas barbeque to cook their own meal in the privacy of their own courtyard garden. To add an extra frill, the pub will then provide a dedicated waiter service for customer drinks.

Tickets for the Great British Pub Awards can be bought by phoning 01293 846508. For more information about the event visit its dedicated website.

Related topics: Entertainment

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