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Swinton Park wins Good Hotel Guide 2011 César Award

Date: 18th October, 2010

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Felicity Cunliffe-Lister, Desmond Balmer and Caroline Raphael at the launch of the Good Hotel Guide 2011
Felicity Cunliffe-Lister, Desmond Balmer and Caroline Raphael at the launch of the Good Hotel Guide 2011

Swinton Park has received a prestigious César award – the Oscars of the hotel industry – from the Good Hotel Guide, the leading independent guide to hotels of character and quality in Great Britain and Ireland. Swinton Park, Masham, is named Family Hotel of the Year in the 2011 edition of the Guide which will be published on 18 October.

Desmond Balmer, joint editor of the Good Hotel Guide, said Swinton Park “…stands out because of the efforts their owners make to meet the needs of their guests. At their family home, a listed Gothic castle, Mark and Felicity Cunliffe-Lister create a relaxed and unfussy atmosphere in which children are made to feel welcome. It is a rare treat to find such family-friendly surroundings.”

Felicity Cunliffe-Lister said: “This award means a great deal to us as we have always sought to make guests feel more at home than in a hotel. We have young children ourselves which has helped us understand the needs of a family who want to enjoy quality time together.”

The Good Hotel Guide nominates 10 hotels every year for the award, named after César Ritz, the most celebrated of hoteliers. These are for a mixed selection of places each of which is considered to be outstanding in its own class.

Facilities for families at Swinton Park include :

  1. Children’s Cookery Courses in holidays and Family Cookery Courses for private groups
  2. Indoor and outdoor play areas, bikes and kites
  3. Bird Hide by one of the lakes, and feeding the ducks every morning
  4. Bird of Prey Centre
  5. Spacious bedrooms with Holiday Heaven special offer, offering free accommodation and meals for children for families staying three nights or more
  6. Children’s menus, goody bags on arrival, baby listening, cots, z beds and high chairs.
  7. Good range of local attractions, castles and abbeys, with the Yorkshire Pass on sale at the hotel for discounted entry and special offers at local restaurants and shops.

The Good Hotel Guide 2011: Great Britain & Ireland will be published on 18th October 2010, price £20. It is available for £18 including p&p from The Good Hotel Guide, 50 Addison Avenue, London W11 4QP. Tel/Fax 020 7602 4182, email


Press enquiries : Felicity Cunliffe-Lister : 01765 680944 :

Notes for the Editor :

  1. Swinton Park is a 30 bedroom luxury hotel with 4 Red Stars and 3 Rosettes for quality of food. It is the ancestral seat of the Earl of Swinton and is owned by the Cunliffe-Lister family, who opened it as a hotel in 2001.
  2. The hotel has a cookery school, with day, evening and residential courses running all year. The residential courses are run by the TV Celebrity chef, Rosemary Shrager.
  3. The gardens, including the four acre walled garden, have been extensively restored in recent years. The walled garden now grows over 60 varieties of seasonal herbs, fruit and produce. The hotel is committed to keeping food miles to an absolute minimum, with the majority of all other produce sourced by the hotel coming from the surrounding 20,000 acre estate and Yorkshire countryside.
  4. The hotel has a carbon neutral woodchip boiler, eco-laundry and many other environmental measures in place – winning awards for its green policies.