Gold Award for Roman Baths
The Roman Baths, run by Bath & North East Somerset Council, has won gold in the South West Tourism Excellence Awards 2012-13.
The award, in the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year category, was officially presented to members of the Roman Baths team – Katie Smith, Stephen Clews and Barbara Beavan – by the stand-up comedian Lloyd Griffith at a prestigious ceremony held at Cornwall’s Eden Project on 8 February.
The Roman Baths is the only large visitor attraction in the Somerset and Avon area to receive a medal in the awards. It faced stiff competition from a very high standard of entries including The National Maritime Museum and National Trust Tudor house Cotehele (both in Cornwall), and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter. The South West Tourism Excellence Awards judging panel based its decision on recommendations from the category judges and mystery shoppers.
The Roman Baths achieved the highest scores for “commitment to excellence in customer experience”, “sustainability” and “commitment to excellence in improvements”. The official report highlighted a number of positive aspects of the Roman Baths visitor experience, including:
An iconic building in a memorable setting.
Following several years of major investment the museum and baths are very well presented and interpreted. Audio guides with a range of commentaries for different age groups, interests and languages are easy to use and informative.
Video presentations bring the various areas to life as they would have been in Roman times, with great effect.
Regular free guided tours with knowledgeable staff; and costumed characters entertain around the main bath.
The new Roman Baths Kitchen café, opened in May 2012, offers a good range of food throughout the day. Good service, quality furniture and a changing menu.
Councillor Cherry Beath (Lib-Dem, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “We’re delighted that the Roman Baths has improved on its ‘Highly Commended’ status in the Access for All category of last year’s awards by taking first place in the prestigious Large Visitor Attraction of the Year Award.”
Councillor Paul Crossley (Lib-Dem, Southdown) Leader of Council, added, “It shows Bath & North East Somerset Council’s continuing commitment to making this nationally important visitor attraction accessible and exciting for everyone to enjoy. The Roman Baths team has worked incredibly hard and rightly deserve this success. I also wish them the best of luck for the Visit England national awards which they now go forward to.”
A total of 300 entries were considered for the South West Tourism Excellence Awards, with all entrants undergoing a rigorous short-listing process and 164 going on to be visited by a team of over 30 judges and mystery shoppers.