Staff at a New Forest hotel are celebrating this week having scooped up a prestigious Business Innovation accolade at the national Springboard Awards for Excellence 2022 – adding to its already impressive array of award wins this year.
Balmer Lawn Hotel & Spa, which sits in the heart of the New Forest (recently voted the best National Park in Europe by Tripadvisor) took home the coveted prize to add to what’s been an incredible start to the year following earlier success at the Southampton Hospitality Awards and Guide for Brides Customer Service Awards.
Championing the outstanding businesses and individuals who continue to reshape and contribute to the hospitality sector, Balmer Lawn was crowned the winner of the Business Innovation award, which acknowledges the organisation that demonstrates the most outstanding opportunities and examples of successful initiatives to pivot their business model or update processes and systems that affect a positive change.
Balmer Lawn Hotel had an array of strategic moves that proved critical in its awards victory, though the delivery of the hotel’s outside concept, The Lodge, proved pivotal to its success in a challenging year.
The Lodge, which was built specifically to be a COVID-compliant environment to welcome guests safely back during the pandemic, successfully served 3,500 covers in its first three weeks before serving 7,812 covers in the first five weeks of outside dining in April 2021.
Further innovation included the development of an in-house, geo-located food ordering app that delivered sales of over £10,000 in its first quarter with no staff overheads. This completely transformed the food and drink offering at Balmer Lawn Hotel to cover previously unserviceable areas of the gardens and grounds.
Commenting on the win, Michael Clitheroe, General Manager at Balmer Lawn Hotel & Spa, said:
“Just to be recognised and shortlisted for this epic award – let alone win – is an achievement everyone associated with Balmer Lawn should be immensely proud of.”
“The Lodge has been an overwhelming success and we look forward to seeing it go from strength to strength. This has proven a lifeline to saving our 25-year-old business, which provides more than 100 jobs, while turning forecasted losses into profit.
When this type of award comes around it provides the opportunity to reflect on what we’ve overcome, and it fills me with pride that we’ve got such incredible things to shout about when it comes to Balmer. Even given the tough times of the past two years, we continue to move forward and grow. As a small privately-owned hotel, this just serves to add to our sense of success as we’re punching well above our purported weight. We’re absolutely delighted!”