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Award winners Tom’s Eco Lodge with Red Funnel’s Kevin George (L)

There was cause for celebration for business winners at the Red Funnel My Isle of Wight Awards on Wednesday night, for making the Island a ‘special place to visit in 2016’.

The proud winners were announced at this week’s awards event at The Cow Co at Tapnell Farm after over 34,000 votes were cast for Isle of Wight businesses across 24 categories.

The awards, established by Red Funnel 5 years ago, are the only visitor-voted tourism awards on the Island and recognises tourist businesses that make an outstanding contribution. Red Funnel CEO Kevin George announced the winners, with David Thornton of Visit Isle of Wight compering and reading out the nominees.

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Kevin George said:

“We were delighted to see an excellent range of businesses triumph this year at Red Funnel’s 2016 My Isle of Wight Awards.

“These businesses are vital to the tourism economy and help make the Isle of Wight such a special place to visit, while providing people with unforgettable memories.

“It is great to recognise these businesses for their incredible efforts throughout the whole year, as well as for what they do to make the Isle of Wight a cherished destination.”

The awards featured a range of categories, including Best Rustic Camping Experience, Most Luxurious B&B and Best Place for a Shin Dig.

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In total, 54 businesses were shortlisted for the Danish-themed awards ‘Get Hygge’ – ‘hygge’ referring to celebrating together in a cosy environment, hence the décor of candles, furs, warming hearty food, wine and great company.

Alix Robinson, editor of My Isle of Wight, said:

“It was fantastic to celebrate with so many fabulous Island businesses last night, who all work so hard to ensure visitors to the Island have an amazing time.

“My Isle of Wight is the Local’s View, revealing hidden Islanders secrets on the best places to stay, things to do and places to eat, and this translates through into our awards where any business we hear about, no matter how big or small, are celebrated if they offer excellence and add a unique element to the Island experience.”

Tom Turney, of Tom’s Eco Lodges and Tapnell Farm, said:

“We were so proud to have won four awards across the Eco Lodge, Eco Pods and Tapnell Manor areas of the business, and it was made even better for having so many members of our team there. It’s a real team effort at Tapnell and everyone here works together as one. An award for any of us is an award for all of us.”

Winners of the 2016 Red Funnel My Isle of Wight Awards:

• Best Place for Family Fun
Winner: Blackgang Chine

• The Ultimate Hotel Experience
Winner: The Royal Hotel

• Best Cuppa & Slice of Something Nice
Winner: Chessell Pottery

• Best Event to Lie Back & Soak Up the Sounds
Winner: Isle of Wight Festival

• Best Place to Go Glamping
Winner: Tom’s Eco Lodges

• The Best Homemade Burger
Winner: The Smokehouse Burger Company

• Best Shop to Pick Up that Something Special
Winner: Oasis

• Most Luxurious B&B
Winner: Little Gloster

• Best Eaterie With a Sea View
Winner: The Crab Shed Steephill Cove

• Best Place to make a Furry Friend
Winner: Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary

• Most Unique Place to Stay
Winner: Tom’s Eco Lodges

• Best Fish & Chips in Your Hand
Winner: Corries Cabin

• Best Land-Based Activity Provider
Winner: Island Gems Fossil Hunts

• Best Place to Hook Up (Caravanning & Touring)
Winner: Ninham Country Holidays

• Best Pit Stop Whilst Out Adventuring
Winner: Off the Rails

• Best Way to Explore Outdoors
Winner: Walk the Wight

• Best Place for a Shin Dig
Winner: Tapnell Manor

• Best Gastronomic Experience
Winner: The Pointer Inn

• Best Water-Based Activity Provider
Winner: Adventure Activities IOW

• Best Rustic Camping Experience
Winner: Compton Farm

• Best Oldy-Worldy Pub with Island Ale
Winner: The Spyglass Inn

• Best Place for Arts, Heritage & Culture
Winner: Osborne House

• Cosiest Hideaway
Winner: Tom’s Eco Pods

• My Isle of Wight Local Produce Champion
Winner: Garlic Farm

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