The national winners in the 2012 AA Quality Assured Accommodation Awards programme were announced in Johannesburg last night. Only AA Quality Assured members are eligible to participate in this programme, which is now in its nineteenth year and the only established mechanism for consumers to voice their opinion about the quality of tourist accommodation in Southern Africa.
More than 61 000 consumers commented on approximately 800 establishments this year, either online, via eGuestSurv reviews, or by completing AA guest review forms. A total of 21 winners in different categories were announced, including guest houses, bed breakfasts, self-catering apartments, game lodges and different types of hotels (see list below). Guests commented on aspects such as service levels, the quality of facilities, cleanliness, ambience and food.
Convenor Vanessa Sand of Essential Travel Info says all information received from guests, whether positive or negative, is sent back to participating establishments: “This assists owners or managers to improve certain aspects of their operations or to maintain existing high standards. The awards programme is therefore a very effective tool to respond to the needs of consumers and gives establishments a definite marketing edge, particularly when times are tough in the industry.”
High scoring establishments were examined carefully and were visited by qualified and experienced assessors to verify that the scores were justified.
A full list of the national winners is available on www.accommodationawards.co.za.
The awards programme is supported by Essential Travel Info, BnB Sure, PG Glass and members of the Bravo Group namely Sealy Posturepedic, Grafton Everest and Alpine Lounge.
Winners by category, area and province:
Bed Breakfast: The Hideaway, Swellendam (WC)
Boutique Guest House: Fernwood Manor, Newlands (WC)
Boutique Hotel: Banksia Boutique, Rosebank (WC)
Budget Hotel: Stayeasy Emnotweni, Nelspruit (MP)
Country Retreat: Highgrove House, Kiepersol (MP)
Exclusive Retreat: Addo Afrique, Addo Elephant Park (EC)
Farm Stays: Rouxwil Country House, Caledon (WC)
Full Service and/or Conference Hotel: Indaba Hotel and Conference Centre, Fourways (GT) (Pictured above)
Game Lodge: Nedile Lodge, Welgevonden (L)
Game or Nature Reserve Experience: Mattanu Private Game Reserve, Kimberley (NC)
Guest House with Breakfast: Cycad Guest House, Polokwane (L)
Guest House with Dinner: Opikopi Guest House, Pretoria/Tshwane (GT)
Leisure Hotel: Orion Mont-Aux-Sources Hotel, Drakensberg (KZN)
Resort Hotel: Pumula Beach Hotel, Umzumbe (KZN)
Resort with Varied Accommodation: ATKV Klein-Kariba Holiday Resort, Bela-Bela (L)
Selected Service Hotel: Town Lodge Nelspruit (MP)
Self-catering Accommodation – Large: The Cycad Lodge and Chalets, Nelspruit (MP)
Self-catering Accommodation – Small: Emerald Cove Beachfront Holiday Chalets, Shelly Beach (KZN)
Self-catering Resort: Forever Resorts, Plettenberg Bay (WC)
Small Hotel/Inn: Orion Wartburger Hof Hotel (KZN)
Suite Hotel: Courtyard Rosebank, Johannesburg (GT)