THE Chewton Glen Country House Hotel and Spa in the New Forest is aiming for gold at the Visit England national awards.

The top hotel, a previous winner of national gold, will be representing the South East in the Large Hotel category.

Other finalists include the Monkey Haven, Isle of Wight (Small Attraction), Barnett Hill, Guildford (Business Tourism), Livingstone Lodge, Port Lympne (Visitor Experience) and Swan House, Hastings (Bed and Breakfast).

All five businesses are guaranteed a gold, silver, bronze or highly commended accolade at the awards which celebrates the very best of English Tourism and which will be held in Newcastle on May 11.

On hearing about the finalists Ken Robinson CBE, Chairman of Tourism South East, said: “We have some of the very best tourism businesses in the country here in the South East and the Beautiful South and VisitEngland Awards are a great opportunity for them to gain the recognition they deserve. I hope to be cheering them on to gold in Newcastle and that their national success will be an inspiration for tourism businesses to enter the Beautiful South Awards this year.”

VisitEngland's announcement coincides with the launch of the 2015/16 Beautiful South Awards, which provide the platform for national recognition - only recipients of a Beautiful South Award are eligible to represent the South East at the national awards.

Andrew Stembridge, Managing Director of Chewton Glen in New Milton, said: "The Chewton Glen is thrilled to be representing the South East in the Visit England Tourism Excellence Awards.

"This year marks the beginning of the celebrations of our 50th anniversary as a UK luxury destination, it makes me incredibly proud of our heritage and the vision of our owners that we continue to represent excellence and world class hospitality.

"We have a dedicated and passionate team whose aim is always to exceed our guests’ expectations and as a past winner of the ‘Large Hotel of the Year’ category we recognise the importance these tourism awards have not only on our own business, but in promoting tourism throughout the UK.”