A Shipston-on-Stour hotel has scooped a major industry award from the Sunday Times.

The George Hotel Shipston on Stour: Tom Ruck & Ian FergussonThe George Hotel Shipston on Stour: Tom Ruck & Ian FergussonThe George Hotel in High Street has been voted independently as the ‘best value rural hotel in the UK’ in the newspaper’s worldwide annual Value for Money awards.

The gong, which was announced in the Sunday Times travel magazine, praised the hotel’s ‘funked-up but friendly’ design, restaurant and value for money in ‘such a pricey patch’ around the Cotswolds.

Hotelier Ian Fergusson said the award came ‘completely out the blue’ and that he was thrilled for his staff.

“This was completely unexpected because you are not told that the inspectors are coming – and that in itself is pleasing because it shows the quality of the staff and hotel on an everyday basis,” Mr Fergusson said.

“These awards are highly-regarded and when you flicked through the other winners, there were hotels in San Francisco, Bangkok, Marrakesh, London – some of the biggest tourist locations in the world, so it’s humbling to be in such good company.

“When I came to the hotel three years ago it needed to be turned around – the style of the place, the quality of service and the prices, which were inflationary.

“We’ve tried to make it a contemporary yet comfortable place to sleep, eat and drink and we feel that this rewards a lot of hard work from everyone at the George.

“There is still investment going into improving the rooms and giving it a unique character – things like re-opening our chimneys so there’s that cosy warmth at the hint of a chill.

“The local community has also played a massive part in helping us to improve – many of our biggest nights are things we have developed through local interest, such as the champagne Fridays and live music nights, so I’d like to thank the customers for their support too.”

Mr Fergusson took over the George in November 2007, along with Leamington Spa’s Episode Hotel.

Pic: Tom Ruck and Ian Fergusson of the George Hotel

Source: Advent Communications