Staff and the family owners of north Norfolk’s Searles Leisure Resort are celebrating this month after it was crowned as Norfolk and Suffolk’s perfect park destination.
The Hunstanton business was the overall winner in the parks category of a prestigious new awards scheme with judges describing Searles as having an unbeatable “happiness factor”.
Sponsored by major media group The Eastern Daily Press and Hoseasons, the Norfolk and Suffolk Tourism Awards 2018 made its star-studded debut in February.
The competition is designed to highlight the region’s top tourism performers, and drew almost 300 VIP guests to the glittering finals at Edmunsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds
Popular BBC TV presenter David Whiteley who hosted the event said that Searles Leisure Resort had emerged as the stand-out holiday park winner.
Stepping into the spotlight to receive the award were brothers Paul and Andrew Searle who, with their sister Joanna, are directors of the long-established business.
The park first began welcoming campers over 60 years ago onto what was then a farm, and it has since grown to become one of Eastern England’s largest and best-loved holiday centres.
It provides more than 800 holiday home and touring pitches, including luxury lodges to buy and rent, plus a raft of family-friendly attractions and outdoor activities.
The citation from award judges noted that Searles is “an outstanding park that embraces its role in the community and pushes the boundaries of excellence in all areas of its operation.”
They continued: “Searles is a park which truly creates happiness for all ages, and offers a wide range of facilities to meet the needs of all it customers.
“The park performs well in all areas and keeps reinvesting to better the experience for its guests both throughout the summer season and with special events and themed breaks during the winter.”
Searles is also a highly regarded local employer with around 200 staff, and provides valuable training and skills development opportunities especially to younger workers.
Paul Searle said that the park’s loyal and hardworking team deserved a big share of the credit for its achieving the overall Norfolk and Suffolk park tourism award:
“These awards place strong emphasis on the quality of the hospitality provided to guests, and delivering this is largely in the hands of our employees.
“Their determination to ensure that everyone visiting Searles enjoys a first-class experience is the reason why we get so many repeat bookings each year.
“We are hopeful of another record-breaking season in 2018, and this award gives us a flying start which I hope will also benefit the regional generally,” said Paul.