Proprietors of six Isle of Man self-catering properties celebrated at a special presentation held by the Department of Tourism and Leisure today, where they were honored with Gold Accolades for providing top quality and service to visitors. Hon Martyn Quayle MHK, Minister for Tourism and Leisure, presented the awards at the ceremony which took place in the Millennium Room, Legislative Buildings.
The Gold Accolades were introduced this year, mirroring the scheme already operating in the UK by VisitBritain and, following assessments by the Island’s independent assessors ‘Quality in Tourism’, six self-catering accommodation premises achieved these prestigious awards. They are John and Shirley Kneale, Close Taggart Cottages, Ballaugh Curraghs for their two self-catering units, Andrew and Kathryn Scarlett, Ballakerkey Cottage, Glen Maye, Ian Fairbairn, Grenaby Cottage, who is the proprietor of The Hayloft, Ballasalla, Paul and Gill Fisher, Ballathona Farm Cottage, Andreas, and Fiona Anderson who runs Knockaloe Beg Farm Cottage, Peel.
The prestigious accolade is in addition to their star grading but shows that the proprietors have gone above and beyond expectations with their quality and cleanliness but, more importantly, their standard of service and hospitality.
Ian Fairbairn of Grenaby Cottage said:
‘We are delighted the Hayloft has been awarded a Gold Accolade. We believe it reflects the high standards of accommodation and service the Grenaby Estates team strives to provide for all our guests. The introduction of these new standard measures is good news for tourism on the Island as the Industry seeks ways to grow and improve.’
Shirley and John Kneale of Close Taggart Cottages have just completed their 14th successful year with Close Taggart Cottages. They said: ‘The original concept was, and still is, to offer a ‘special holiday for two’ in accommodation that we would be delighted to find anywhere in the world, and to treat our guests as we would be treated ourselves.’ John and Shirley have received many glowing references on their website including a comment recently made by visitors from Dorset saying, ‘Close Taggart is just like home, only better, like Heaven, only closer.’
Fiona Anderson of Knockaloe Beg Farm said: ‘As a family we all enjoy running a tourist business alongside the farm and meet so many delightful people, who we love showing off our beautiful Island to!’
Andy and Kathryn Scarlett of Ballakerkey Farm could see from the beginning that their farm had the potential to diversify and it could be developed as a successful business. They said: ‘Thanks to our vision, the support of the local community and the foresight of the Isle of Man Government, the future of Ballakerkey Farm and its associated tourist facilities have been secured for future generations to enjoy.’
The award winners will be entitled to display the Gold Accolade Award at their premises, alongside their star grading sign, and it is hoped that more accommodation providers will achieve the prestigious gold standard in the future.