Category: Cornwall Tourism Awards

Aug
08
2019

Press Release

The Old Barn self-catering cottage in Tregonetha has won the ‘Best Eco-Friendly Rental’ category of Schofield’s Holiday Home Awards 2019.

Described by the judges as a ‘a shining example of how self-catering accommodation providers can be sustainable, responsible and ethical in terms of their impact on the environment’, owner Stephen Chidgey beat off shortlisted competition from property owners in Wales, the Outer Hebrides and Northern Ireland to win the title.

Stephen believes in going the extra mile when it comes to all aspects of his hospitality provision. Having first bought The Old Barn in 1988, he gave the 250-year-old cottage a complete overhaul 25 years later.

“The building had damp, the roof was in poor shape and the windows and doors needed replacing,” he says. “Worst of all, was the energy consumption. I had an old oil-fired Aga and an oil-fired central heating system that were both proving hugely expensive and I didn’t want to go on paying those sort of bills – especially when I retired.”

Cue a transformation that Stephen designed himself. Sustainability was key so, as well as undertaking a complete refurbishment, he also had a ground source heat pump fitted under the garden, installed solar panels in the roof and harvested rain water for the washing machine and toilet. Unusually for a single self-catering property, Stephen also put in two electric charge points.

The makeover resulted in impressive business success, with high levels of bookings achieved every year since and a clutch of prestigious accolades that include winning several golds in the Cornwall and South West Tourism Awards.

“I’m totally committed to giving visitors the very best holiday experience possible and to be described as the UK’s ‘best eco-friendly rental’ means a great deal to me,” says Stephen. “I’m passionate about Cornwall and it irks me when I hear reports of people enjoying a less than perfect holiday because their accommodation hasn’t been up to standard. We’re lucky enough to live in a wonderful part of the world and it’s important that the facilities and service we provide for guests exceed expectations too.”

For more information, visit www.oldbarncornwall.co.uk

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August 2019

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Jul
07
2019

Press Release

The Old Barn self-catering cottage in Tregonetha has received a 97% score in Visit England’s recent 5-star gold assessment and been nominated for two more national awards.

The latest accolades follow regular gold awards in Cornwall Tourism Awards and the South West Tourism Awards over the last few years and see the property shortlisted in the 2019 Best Eco-Friendly Rental category of the Schofields Holiday Home Awards and in SME News’ 2019 Southern Enterprise Awards.

“I’m over the moon with these latest nominations,” said Old Barn owner Stephen Chidgey. “We work very hard to ensure the best possible accommodation experience for our guests and independent endorsements like these underline the quality of service we provide. I’m very proud of our exceptionally high Visit England assessment too.”

Beautifully designed and appointed throughout, The Old Barn’s impressive list of features include a grand piano, two electric vehicle chargers, a locally manufactured ground source heat pump, solar panels and rainwater harvesting. Nor does Stephen’s environmental entrepreneurship end there. He also came up with the idea of St Wenn primary school and church sharing a biomass boiler and project-managed the installation process – resulting in big savings for both and a Church Times award for Stephen, who was subsequently appointed sustainability and renewables advisor to the Diocese of Truro.

“Our local community plays a vital role in helping our guests enjoy their holiday and I believe it’s important to get involved and help as much as possible,” he said.

To vote in the Schofields Holiday Home Awards, visit https://www.schofields.ltd.uk/schofields-holiday-home-awards/ Winners will be announced on 7 August. Judging for the SME News awards will take place over the next two months.

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July 2019

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Sep
09
2018

Press Release

Awards help growth and learning, says Old Barn owner

Stephen Chidgey, the owner of a self-catering holiday property in Tregonetha, says entering and subsequently winning awards has increased bookings and improved the service he provides.

For a third consecutive year, The Old Barn has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Cornwall Tourism Awards. Recent accolades have included winning gold in the self-catering category in both 2016 and 2017 and following that success up with gold in the South West regional awards.

“I’ve learnt so much since I first started entering and the business has really benefited,” said Stephen. “It’s made me really think about every aspect of customer service and what was needed to set ourselves apart. I’ve also met other people in the industry through the workshops and other events that Robin Barker and his Services for Tourism team organise and that’s proved inspiring too.

“Tourism is vital for the Cornish economy and it’s in all our best interests to make our visitors feel valued and special. This year’s summer has been spectacular, but we can’t just rely on the weather to give people a good time.”

Every Cornwall Tourism Awards’ applicant gets feedback on their entry and there are three phases in the judging process. Winners will be announced on 1 November in a glittering ceremony being held for the first time in Truro Cathedral. There are 77 selected finalists and 26 award categories.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Stephen, who is up for a Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable award. “There aren’t many opportunities to get together with so many people working in the tourism business – and that’s why it’s a calendar highlight.”

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September 2018

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Feb
02
2018

Press Release

South West Tourism Gold Award for second consecutive year

It’s no mean feat for the owner of a self-catering property in a small Cornish hamlet to take on the best of the best across the seven counties of the South West and win but that’s exactly what Stephen Chidgey has achieved. Not only that, he’s done it for the second consecutive year.

Stephen owns The Old Barn in Tregonetha near Padstow. Comprising three bedrooms and two bathrooms, it is the Cornish holiday destination of choice for many visitors from across the UK each year. Nothing is too much trouble for Stephen and his team when ensuring guests have the most comfortable, welcoming stay possible and that attention to detail has resulted in exceptionally high bookings and a string of industry accolades. In addition to again winning gold in the Self Catering Property of the Year category of this year’s South West Tourism Awards, they include gold in the 2017/18 Cornwall Tourism Awards and, thanks to the Old Barn’s impeccable eco credentials, silver and bronze awards in each event’s Sustainable Tourism categories.

“To win gold at the South West awards for two years running is fantastic,” said Stephen. “We work really hard to act on the feedback we get and to go on improving because it’s never enough to think ‘that’s it, we’re the best, there’s nothing more to be done’ because there always is. As a small business in a rural hamlet, we’re hugely proud to have been judged better than all the competition across the whole South West region and to fly the flag for Cornwall once again.”

The 2017/18 South West Tourism Awards were held at The Riviera Centre in Torquay. There was a 7 per cent increase in entries and more than 450 people attended the evening which was hosted by BBC Spotlight’s presenter Victoria Graham.

The Old Barn has been nominated through for the Visit England Awards. Announcement of finalists is expected in March.

For more information, visit http://www.southwesttourismawards.org.uk/

Ends

February 2018

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