THEY ARE the most highly-prized awards open to tourism-related businesses in the region.

Now visitor attractions across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are celebrating after winning a fistful of accolades at the 2017 Beautiful South Awards.

Winners include the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, and its former managing director, Ken Robinson, plus two of the New Forest’s top hotels.

The customer service superstar award was won by Sunil Kanjanghat, general manager of the Montagu Arms Hotel in Beaulieu, while Careys Manor Hotel and SenSpa at nearby Brockenhurst took gold and silver in two of the other categories.

The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton and Romsey Visitor Information Centre were also among the winners.

Founded by the previous Lord Montagu, the motor museum landed the tourism event of the year title following the success of the 50th International Autojumble.

Judith Maddox, Beaulieu’s events manager, said: “We’re thrilled to have won this very special gold award.

“The autojumble is our longest-running and best-loved event and is close to the hearts of thousands of motoring enthusiasts across the world who make their annual pilgrimage to Beaulieu.”

Commercial director Stephen Munn added: “Winning such a prestigious award is a perfect way to mark 50 years of this very special event.

“We’re proud of the affection with which International Autojumble is regarded - and the boost it gives the New Forest economy.”

The anniversary event attracted more than 36,000 visitors and boasted 2,378 stands crammed with motoring treasures and elusive spare parts that aim to keep classic cars on the road.

Careys Manor and the Montagu Arms were presented with a total of seven accolades at the awards ceremony.

James Hiley-Jones, managing director of Greenclose Hotels, which run both establishments, said: “We’re delighted to have achieved such high acclaim from the Beautiful South judges.

“We’re passionate about what we do and driven to achieve the very highest standards in customer service to deliver nothing short of excellence for our guests.

“I’m extremely proud of our teams at both hotels and it’s testament to their hard work that we continue to be voted among the best in the region.”

Run by Tourism South East, the Beautiful South Awards salute the best B&Bs, hotels, holiday parks and visitor attractions as well as recognising businesses go the extra mile in terms of accessibility, sustainability and excellent customer service.

The judges take a raft of factors into account, including visitor feedback, online coverage and value for money.

Nigel Smith, chief executive of Tourism South East, said: “The Beautiful South Awards are the highlight of the year for the south east’s visitor economy.

“They are a reminder of the amazing wealth of fantastic tourism businesses and experiences South East of England has to offer.

“This year the overall standard of entries was higher than ever, making it extremely tough for the judges.”

Hampshire award winners:

Access and inclusivity:

Gold - Flat Spaces, Ropley.

Silver - Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.

Bronze - Hovertravel, Ryde.

Cafe/tearoom of the year:

Silver - Little Kitchen Bistro, Headbourne Worthy.

Customer service superstar:

Gold – Sunil Kanjanghat, Montagu Arms Hotel, Beaulieu.

Silver – Chloe Baker, Tom’s Eco Lodge, Yarmouth.

Bronze – Mike Whitewood, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Dog-friendly business of the year:

Gold - Wallops Wood Cottages, Droxford.

Silver - Forest Holidays Blackwood Forest, Micheldever.

Holiday park/holiday business of the year:

Gold - Hoburne Naish, New Milton.

Silver - Sandy Balls, Fordingbridge.

Bronze - Whitecliff Bay by Away Resorts, Bembridge.

Large visitor attraction of the year:

Silver - Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Whitchurch.

Large hotel of the year:

Silver - Lainston House, Sparsholt.

Bronze - Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa, Brockenhurst.

Outstanding contribution to tourism:

Winner - Ken Robinson.

Restaurant/bistro of the year:

Bronze - Terrace Restaurant, Beaulieu.

Self catering business of the year:

Silver - Tapnell Farm, Yarmouth.

Bronze - South Winchester Lodges, Winchester.

Small visitor attraction of the year:

Silver - Tapnell Farm Park, Yarmouth.

Silver - Brickworks Museum, Bursledon.

Small hotel/boutique accommodation of the year:

Bronze - Montagu Arms Hotel, Beaulieu.

Sustainable tourism award:

Silver - Tapnell Farm, Yarmouth.

Tourism event/festival of the year:

Gold - 50th International Autojumble, Beaulieu.

Bronze - Hampshire Food Festival.

Tourism experience of the year:

Silver - SenSpa at Careys Manor Hotel, Brockenhurst.

Bronze - Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.

Venue and business tourism award:

Gold - Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa, Brockenhurst.

Silver - Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth.

Visitor information service of the year:

Gold - Romsey Visitor Information Centre.