Wow, what a night! Another year, another Spectre-cular eviivo Awards night, and this year was an evening Sky-full of entertainment, awards and some tenuous James Bond jokes (we’re awfully sorry about that).
Guests arrived the opulent venue, the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms, which actually has a link to the James Bond franchise, as a scene from Spectre was filmed in part of the historic building! There were blackjack tables and Bond-inspired cocktails, to welcome guests to eviivo’s very own Casino Royale.
At the sound of the gong, guests filed into the luxurious ballroom and enjoyed a three course meal of lobster, rack of lamb and an exquisite dessert (as well as an abundance of fine wines of course). They were welcomed officially to the Awards by our presenters extraordinaire, Lee Bryan and Paul Saxby.
During dinner, the audience were delighted by musical duo, Bounder & Cad, who performed an excellent original song inspired by 007 and eviivo! There was also music from a Shirley Bassey tribute act and a wonderfully talented harpist.
And then it was time for the judges to reveal The Man (or Woman) with the Golden Gong for each award category. There was a total of 8 eviivo Awards, as well as 9 regional Hidden Gem Awards, and a handful of accolades from our partners in the travel industry, including Booking.com, Hotels.com, The B&B Association, The AA and Airbnb.
The first award presented was Quirkiest Place to Stay, which was judged by The Quirky Traveller herself, Zoe Dawes, and was swiftly followed by Budget With a Twist, presented by SunSavers Editor Giselle Wainwright.
Next up, the Direct Line for Business Outstanding Host Award was presented by Sam Chance from The Independent Hotel Show, and then it was time for eviivo’s brand new award, Bed, Breakfast & Beyond, to be announced by journalist, Beth Allcock. The inspiration for this new award came from the many excellent accommodation businesses that offer guests so much more than just a comfy bed and a scrumptious breakfast in the price of their stay.
We then took a break from our own eviivo Awards for our partners to announce their awards. First onto the stage was Roemer Visser, Regional Manager of Connectivity Partnerships at Booking.com, to present Booking.com’s High Performance Awards to The Staunton Hotel, The Applewood Hotel and Linton Apartments.
Next to present was Sarina Hilke, Senior Account Manager of Strategic Accounts, from Expedia Group’s Hotels.com, who announced the winners of the Hotels.com ‘Loved By Guests’ awards, which went to The Duke William Hotel, The Old Piggery Guest Accommodation and The Chocolate Box Hotel.
Airbnb were up next, and their Superhost awards were presented by Robin Clifford, Territory Manager for Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa. The Superhost Award winners were Old School House, Honeypot House and Emerald House Apartments.
Following Airbnb, The AA’s Simon Numphud took to the stage to congratulate once again three eviivo properties who won big at the AA Awards earlier this year. The Swan won The Inn of the Year, Woodlands Farm took the crown for Friendliest B&B of the Year, and Wold View House won the B&B Story of the Year.
Our final partner award turned into more than we had bargained for. David Weston of The B&B Association awarded the eponymous B&B Association Award to The Chimes B&B, and then hijacked the proceedings to give eviivo’s CEO, Michele Fitzpatrick, the Sector Support Award, for all of eviivo’s contributions to the independent accommodation sector. Michele was honoured to collect such a thoughtful award and she made sure to share the limelight with a number of members of the eviivo senior management team.
And then, it was back to the eviivo Awards once again. The next award was Multi-Property Wizard, which was presented by last year’s winner, Julie Moss from Arkells Brewery. Following soon after, Bill Lumley, Editor of Inkeeper and Luxury B&B Magazines, presented the award for Sweetest Homestay.
The audience was then in for a real treat, when TV Chef, Rosemary Shrager, took to the stage to present the video of the Tastiest Breakfast Award cook off, and announce the winner of Tastiest Breakfast 2019.
Last but not least, eviivo’s International and UK Hidden Gems were announced, and gathered on stage while the Star Amongst Stars Award winner was announced by the Daily Mail’s Travel and Property Editor, Mark Palmer.
After all of the awards were given out and the winners were photographed, there was one final act from Les Dressing Flash, who were a quick change duo, performing to a medley of James Bond anthems. Finally, the entertainment drew to a close and guests and eviivo staff took to the dance floor to dance the rest of the night away.
Well, that’s mission accomplished for the eviivo Awards 2019, you can read more about the Awards and the winners on our awards site. Congratulations once again to all of the winners and shortlisted properties, and we hope you enjoyed your evening as much as we did. We’ll be back next year for another Thunderball.