Hotel chiefs search for success in our business awards

23 June 2017 9:22AM

Relaxation and indulgence are key words in Mike Dunbobbin's vocabulary.

As the owner of one of Cumbria's top hotels and spas, Mike's philosophy is simple: “When you come to us you are escaping the everyday and entering a world of calm and well-being.”

Mike and his wife Angela have owned Appleby Manor in the Eden Valley for 17 years during which time they have seen it develop into an award-winning, highly successful visitor destination.

This year for the first time the couple are entering the Appleby Manor in the Best Tourism and Hospitality business category in the in-cumbria Business Awards.

No strangers to the awards, they won the environmental honour three years ago.

Mike says: "Yes we have entered the CN awards before but this is the first time we have gone for the tourism category.

"We view these awards as very prestigious and believe that entering them raises our profile and enables us to get further recognition.”

At the turn of this year Appleby Manor reported a 41 per cent jump in turnover since it opened its £1m new Garden Spa at the end of 2015.

The Garden Spa, built in the grounds of the four-star hotel at Appleby, features a hydrotherapy pool, thermal suite, five treatment rooms and a manicure and pedicure area.

It was one of the first carbon-neutral spas in the UK having installed a biomass boiler to reduce energy use and its own bore hole to reduce water use.

The spa helped the hotel to awards success in 2016, including Silver Star status from the AA, a top accolade in the Candis Spa Awards and a shortlist in The Cateys, regarded as the Oscars of the hospitality industry.

Mike adds: “Last year was overwhelming for us. The spa has been a fantastic development and we’re now seeing travellers from across the globe paying us a visit to experience the range of treatments we offer."

Mike, 46, and 50-year-old Angela opened Appleby Manor in 2000 having previously run the Dryfesdale Country House Hotel at Lockerbie.

Today the couple – who have a son 20-year-old Ethan and daughter Chelsea, 19 – employ 67 people.

in-cumbria Business Awards judges will look for a business which can demonstrate innovation, commitment and leadership resulting in the success of a tourism or hospitality enterprise. To qualify for the award, it must fall into leisure, hospitality, tourism or visitor attraction.

They will look for:

Outstanding performance relating to commercial success and evidence of growth and investment.

Creation of employment together with staff training and development

Delivery of innovations and improvements

Evidence of customer satisfaction

The awards will be presented by the BBC's media editor Amol Rajan, who is also a former editor of The Independent, at an evening of celebration at the Halston Hotel in Warwick Road, Carlisle on November 9.

To enter go to

* Appleby Manor has been recognised by Australian-based HotelsCombined following a survey of guest reviews.

The hotel has been given a Recognition of Excellence customer service honour after scoring 9.1 out of 10 based on 1186 reviews by guests and travel industry experts.

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