Three local accommodation establishments were elected as the best in the country in their respective categories.
The 34 award categories in the 2008 AA Travel Guides American Express Accommodation Awards programme include different types of guesthouses and hotels, game lodges, self-catering resorts and lodges.
This programme is the only established mechanism for consumers to express their views about the quality of tourist accommodation in South Africa.
Local winners were Devon Valley Hotel as the best Boutique Hotel in South Africa, Summerwood, who is tops in the B&B Guesthouse style (large) and Allegria Guest House that won the country style retreat (small) category. Beauclair Guest House also a local finalist, was highly recommended in its category.
In Franschhoek, the Akademie Street Guesthouses came highly recommended and La Fontaine Guest House received the Steady Stars Assessors Award. Auberge Bligny, Gable Manor, Le Manoir, de Brendel and Maison Chablis Guest House were all finalists.
Convenor Vanessa Sands says 35 000 questionnaires were received. These commented on the guests` experience of service, cleanliness, value for money and quality of food at more than 1 200 AA Quality Assured or star-graded establishments.
High scoring establishments were visited by qualified and experienced assessors to verify those high scores.
“There is a major focus on the quality of our accommodation establishments, with a view to the Soccer World Cup tournament in 2010, and we believe the awards programme is an important component in the overall standard of industry,” Sands said.