Cobden bed and breakfast Heytesbury House has continued its winning ways, collecting silver in the hosted accommodation category at the 2021 Australian Tourism Awards on the weekend.
The business gained automatic entry into the national awards after its induction into the Victorian Tourism Awards hall of fame last month.
Kathryn Stubbings, who owns and runs Heytesbury House with her husband Andrew, said it was exciting to be able to repeat their 2019 effort when they won silver in the same category.
"I think it reflects the great, historic experience that guests get," she said.
Since the 2020 awards were cancelled due to COVID-19, that makes it silver two years running.
Mrs Stubbings said Heytesbury House's Victorian hall of fame gong - given to businesses that win their category three years running - meant they couldn't enter the awards again for three years, but they weren't going to rest on their laurels.
"We're always looking to improve the business in any way we can," she said.
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In 11 years the Stubbings - who had no previous accommodation experience - have taken Heytesbury House from three stars to 4.5 and completely renovated the period building.
"We never sought to win an award, all our development of the property was for the benefit of the community," Mrs Stubbings said.
But she said the awards process had made a huge difference to the way she and her husband ran the business.
"A lot of time goes into the awards process; you have to do a really detailed submission, which is followed by an intensive site visit.
"It's a really good process that forces you to look so hard at your business," she said.
Mrs Stubbings said it was a rigorous way to find out where your business stood in the accommodation industry.
"So for people like us who came to this with no training and no experience it's been really helpful."
She said guests valued the warmth and attention that came with having her and her husband on-site at all times, but the full cooked breakfasts made to order didn't hurt.
"We've also started offering evening meals for guests who want them," Mrs Stubbings said.
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