Luxury cabins scoop top rural business award

Wednesday 17th November 2021 12:00 pm
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A LUXURY glamping business in the Forest which battled through Covid closures has been named as the top accommodation provider in the South West in this year’s Rural Business Awards.

Lorraine Robinson, who owns The Roost Luxury Glamping in Mitcheldean, says she is "delighted" to have scooped the top prize in the ’Best Rural Tourism Business’ category at the South West Regional Final of the awards, which celebrate the success of businesses across the UK’s rural economy.

The Roost, which consists of two cedar cabins set in 2.5 acres of meadow within a Special Area of Conservation, first opened in December 2019 and has become an increasingly popular with holidaymakers since then, despite a turbulent first 18 months in business.

Lorraine was forced to close just 12 weeks after opening due to the pandemic, and the business was further impacted by two more national lockdowns and tiered restrictions which followed in England.

Despite those restrictions, The Roost managed to pick up two ’Gold’ grading awards from Quality in Tourism and Green Tourism during 2020 and was rated as one of the top 15 ’Great Cabin Getaways’ in the UK by The Sunday Telegraph.

The business also won Gold in the the South West England Tourism Excellence Awards for ’Best New Tourism Business’ earlier this year.

Following her recent success at the Rural Business Awards, Lorraine said: "I am delighted to have won. It’s been such a challenging eighteen months of trading so to be named as best rural tourism business in the South West is a huge boost.

"The cabins have been consistently fully booked, with many being repeat customers.

"We are a very romantic place - there has been a least five marriage proposals and seven honeymoons on site so far.

"It all helps to raise the profile of the area too and has put the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley firmly on the ’must see’ tourist map!"

The Roost, which took Lorraine more than three years to bring to fruition at the previously neglected site in Mitcheldean, was described as a "champion" of sustainability by Forest of Dean MP Mark Harper during a visit to the site back in May, with all food waste composted, kitchen essentials locally sourced and an electric car charging point onsite to minimise its impact on the environment.

The adults-only site also boasts a pond and patches of "beautiful" wildflower meadow to benefit local wildlife.

The Roost will now go on to represent the South West at the national final of the Rural Business Awards, in partnership with Amazon, in February.

The awards, which are the brainchild of Leicestershire businesswomen Anna Price and Jemma Clifford, are organised "by rural businesses for rural businesses" with the aim of celebrating success and creating a "strong network" for business owners.

Co-founder Jemma Clifford commented: "We are very proud to be hosting the seventh annual Rural Business Awards in partnership with Amazon, especially after the past 18 months.

"On behalf of the Rural Business Awards team, I would like to say congratulations to The Roost Luxury Glamping for this very well-deserved win and wish them all the best ahead of the national final."

Another Forest business, luxury adults-only treehouse Hudnells Hideout, which is located in St Briavels, was picked as one of two runners up in the ’Best Rural Tourism Business’ category of the South West awards.

The treehouse, which is run by owners Sarah Orchard and her husband Adrian, has previously featured on Sandi Toksvig’s ’Extraordinary Escapes’ on Channel 4 and has garnered excellent guest feedback since it opened on Valentine’s Day in 2020.

More information about The Roost is available at www.theroostglamping.co.uk.

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