ALL that is great and good in Dorset’s tourism sector was celebrated at an awards event last night. 

The 11th Dorset Tourism Awards celebrated 260 winners and sponsors at the ceremony held in Weymouth on February 1. 

Highlights include Bournemouth-based Alexander Lodge scooping B&B of the year, the Lighthouse in Poole winning business events venue of the year and Wareham Forest Tourist Park being crowned the best campsite. 

Others recognised included wedding venue of the year Highcliffe Castle, Bournemouth Beach Lodges winning self-catering accommodation of the year and Wimborne’s Old Thatch pub coming second for pub of the year but first in east Dorset.

Poole’s St Tropez Lounge won restaurant of the year. Chef and co-owner Frederic said: "I am deeply honoured by this recognition.  

“Our dedication to utilising locally sourced ingredients and collaborating closely with our suppliers has been my priority in my culinary journey." 

A special Unsung Hero award was given to the Tank Museum’s Rosanna Dean. 

Awards organiser Robin Barker, of Services for Tourism, said: “I want to add my congratulations to businesses that have literally wowed our independent judges.   

“To deliver excellence in these times is a huge testament to their commitment and dedication.” 

Co-organiser Nell Barrington added: “It has been a fabulous evening celebrating with the best tourism and hospitality businesses in Dorset.   

“Congratulations to every one of them not only for their award this evening but for everything they do, all day every day.” 

Successful businesses in the Dorset Awards will now be fast-tracked into the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in March and possibly into the national VisitEngland awards later in the year. 

Winners in our area: 

Accessible and inclusive tourism award: 

Silver: National Trust – Corfe, Purbeck Estate, Swanage 

Bronze: Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth and The Tank Museum, Bovington 

B&B and guesthouse of the year:  

Gold: Alexander Lodge, Bournemouth 

Business events venue of the year: 

Gold: Lighthouse, Poole 

Silver: The Tank Museum, Bovington 

Bronze: Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth 

Cafe and tearoom of the year:  

Silver: Compton Acres Café Tearooms, Poole 

Bronze: Pause Cat Café, Bournemouth 

Camping and caravanning park of the year:  

Gold: Wareham Forest Tourist Park, Wareham 

Silver: Norden Farm Campsite, Wareham and South Lytchett Manor Caravan and Camping Park, Lytchett Minster 

Casual dining award: 

Gold: MezeBag – Baraca Restaurant, Bournemouth 

Silver: Lolas Restaurant, Bournemouth 

Ethical, responsible and sustainable tourism award: 

Silver: Pause Cat Café, Bournemouth 

Experience of the year:  

Gold: Treetop Adventure Plus – Moors Valley Go Ape, Ringwood 

Bronze: Sea Train Adventure – City Cruises, Poole 

Future of Hospitality award: 

Gold: Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth 

Holiday park of the year: 

Silver: Durdle Door Holiday Park, Wareham 

Large hotel of the year:  

Gold: Holiday Inn, Bournemouth 

Silver: Christchurch Harbour Hotel, Christchurch 

Bronze: The Nici, Bournemouth 

Large visitor attraction of the year: 

Silver: The Tank Museum, Bovington 

Bronze: Lighthouse, Poole 

Pub of the year: 

Silver: The Old Thatch Pub, Wimborne 

Restaurant of the year: 

Gold: St Tropez Lounge, Poole 

Bronze: The Jetty Restaurant, Christchurch and Upper Deck Restaurant in Christchurch Harbour Hotel. 

Self catering accommodation of the year: 

Gold: Bournemouth Beach Lodges, Bournemouth 

Small hotel of the year: 

Silver: Kings Arms Hotel, Christchurch 

Small visitor attraction of the year: 

Silver: Museum of East Dorset, Wimborne and Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth 

Tourism event/festival of the year: 

Gold: Arts by the Sea Festival 2022, Bournemouth 

Silver: Tankfest 2023, Bovington 

Bronze: Swanage Regatta and Carnival 2023, Swanage 

Unsung hero award: 

Gold: Rosanna Dean, The Tank Museum, Bovington 

Visitor information service of the year: 

Gold: Swanage Information Centre, Swanage 

Silver: Upton Park Visitor Welcome Centre, Poole 

Wedding venue of the year: 

Gold: Highcliffe Castle, Highcliffe 

Silver: The Italian Villa at Compton Acres, Poole 

Bronze: Kings Arms Hotel, Christchurch