New Forest Hotel wins fourth prize with praise for ‘Innovation, Resilience and Adaptation’

A New Forest hotel has won the awards in 2022. The Balmer Lawn Hotel and Spa won its fourth accolade of the year at the Beautiful South Tourism Awards, having won first in the ‘Resilience and Innovation’ category.

Located near Lyndhurst, the Balmer Lawn Hotel and Spa was built in the mid-1800s as a hunting lodge. Throughout its long history, it served as a military hospital during the First World War and became the headquarters of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division during preparations for the Allied landings in Normandy.

A fire in the late 1970s changed the exterior appearance of the property and in 1997 the hotel returned to private ownership under the care of Chris and Alison Wilson. The four-star hotel is now recognized for its positive influence within the tourism industry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The judges noted how the exterior concept, The Lodge, was specifically designed to be a COVID-compliant environment. The 3,500 people who dined at the Lodge in the first three weeks of reopening after the lockdown are testament to the hotel’s popularity.

The hotel has already won the Southampton Hospitality Awards, Guide for Brides Customer Service Awards and Springboard Awards for Excellence 2022. This latest addition to the trophy cabinet was welcomed by Michael Clitheroe, General Manager of Balmer Lawn Hotel and Spa .

Co-owners Chris and Alison won their fourth award of the year at the Beautiful South Tourism Awards

He said: “The Beautiful South Tourism Awards celebrate the best of the best and we are incredibly proud to win gold and be recognized as one of the leading innovators in post-pandemic tourism. With tourism in the UK having been hit hard over the past couple of years, we knew we had to find new and innovative ways to keep the business going and offer additional support to our local New Forest community.

“The development and construction of The Lodge has highlighted our team’s unique ability to adapt to fluctuating restrictions throughout national lockdowns and has demonstrated our speed in delivering major business benefits while demonstrating of resilience.”

Co-owner Alison Wilson recently spoke to HampshireLive about the importance of increasing the representation of women in leadership positions.

More information on the Balmer Lawn Hotel and Spa can be found online here.

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