Taupō's Whakaipo Lodge has received national recognition at the Bed & Breakfast Association New Zealand's annual excellence awards.

At an awards evening held via Zoom on Saturday, the lodge, owned by Garth and Angie London, was awarded the Vision Insurance 2020 Overall Supreme Bed & Breakfast of the Year and Vision Insurance 2020 Exceptional Bed & Breakfast of the Year.

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The Vision Insurance Bed & Breakfast Awards Programme celebrates excellence in hospitality in the bed and breakfast and hosted accommodation sector.

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Incoming president Donna Brooke said all finalists in this year's awards were worthy of a special mention.

"I have never been prouder of being a part of the NZ B&B community than I was reading this year's entries. The incredible care and hospitality shared with guests to their homes was inspiring. The business acumen of these home hosters showed that we have truly come of age in New Zealand.

"It stood out that these tourism operators are offering an all-round experience - not just a room in a house. If this year's entries are anything to go by we are in great shape in New Zealand."

The Overall Supreme Bed & Breakfast of the Year is chosen from the winners of three categories - Exceptional Bed & Breakfast of the Year, Rising Star Bed & Breakfast of the Year and Essence of Bed & Breakfast of the Year.

In awarding Whakaipo Lodge the overall award, the judges commented: "Everything about Whakaipo Lodge resonates with their core values of professionally hosting their guests and treating them as the most important people in the world.

"This also extended to their local community where they involved and supported people through the Whakaipo Lodge experience. It was clear to see the advances Garth and Angie had made with their business by testing and reviewing every decision to create a very professional business model.

Whakaipo Lodge owners Garth and Angie London. Photo / Supplied
Whakaipo Lodge owners Garth and Angie London. Photo / Supplied

"Their commitment to sustainability both with Whakaipo Lodge and the environment at large is truly inspiring. Whakaipo Lodge epitomises what bed and breakfast hosting is and what we all should be aiming for."

The Vision Insurance Bed & Breakfast Association Award Programme is made up of three Awards – Supreme B&B Business of the Year, Rising Star Bed & Breakfast of the Year (open to those who have been operating two years or less) and Essence of Bed & Breakfast of the year.

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2020 Rising Star Bed & Breakfast of the Year was awarded to Brooke and Tim Trenworth of Relax at Red Earth Gardens, Tuakau.

2020 Essence of Bed & Breakfast of the Year was awarded to Gary Mitchell and Robert Day of Ribbonwood Country House, Cheviot.

The programme is judged by Tourism Industry Aotearoa's Chris Roberts and the Association's president and vice president. Covid-19 restrictions meant the annual Gala Awards Dinner was cancelled but the association was determined to celebrate the hard work that goes into entering the Awards competition and held the awards via Zoom.

Other Award winners were:
· Exceptional B&B of the Year Highly Commended – Ribbonwood Country House, Cheviot
· Exceptional B&B of the Year Highly Commended – Warblers Retreat, Albany
· Rising Star B&B of the Year Highly Commended – Aston Road Villa, Waikanae