Lorraine rules The Roost with national business award

By Jake Chown  
Thursday 10th March 2022 12:57 pm
Lorraine Robinson
(The Roost )

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AN eco glamping business in the Forest which has won a host of accolades since it opened two years ago received the biggest award of the lot last week when it was named as the ‘Best Rural Tourism Business’ in the UK.

Luxury holiday cabins at The Roost in Mitcheldean have received national recognition through a number of channels in the last few years, including tourism awards schemes and newspaper ‘best of’ lists, but the business has now received the biggest honour of all with a win at the National Final of the Rural Business Awards for 2021/22.

The national awards are judged by a panel of industry experts and celebrate “the successes and vital contributions” of businesses to the UK’s rural economy.

The Roost, which was set up by owner Lorraine Robinson in December 2019, won the Regional Final of the Amazon-backed awards last year and was rated as one the the top 15 Great Cabin Getaways in the UK by The Sunday Telegraph in 2020.

The site consists of two cedar cabins set in 2.5 acres of meadow within a Special Area of Conservation.

The business was described as a “champion” of sustainability by Forest MP Mark Harper during a visit last May, with all food waste composted, kitchen essentials locally sourced and an electric car charging point onsite to minimise its impact on the environment.

It has become an increasingly popular destination for holidaymakers despite a turbulent first 18 months, in which Lorraine had to battle through multiple Covid closures and restrictions having been open for just 12 weeks before the pandemic struck.

The business also picked up two ‘Gold’ grading awards from Quality in Tourism and Green Tourism in its first year before winning Gold in the the South West England Tourism Excellence Awards for ‘Best New Tourism Business’ in 2021.

On her latest win, Lorraine said: “I can’t tell you how delighted I am to win this award- it’s great for me and for The Forest of Dean area to have this recognition. “The first eighteen months of trading were tough – having to close only a few months after opening was difficult, so I feel really proud for what has been achieved in just over two years of business. We have been consistently fully booked, with many being repeat customers. Sited in a wildflower meadow, rich in biodiversity, the cabins are a very romantic and manage to marry luxury with sustainability – so it’s a real win win.”

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