After weeks of debate the winners of the hotels of the year awards have been announced with the best dining experience being chosen by our editor Jim.

The Best Kept Secret Awards had 11 categories – full list of winners below – and Jim chose the Dakota Forth Bridge Hotel as having the most outstanding food offering.

Jim said: “I was really proud to be invited to judge this category as I stay in a lot of hotels in my job and am often disappointed with the food on offer. But I can safely say the future is looking good if the shortlist had anything to go by with top names, including the amazing Simon Rogan, taking on hotel food.

“The Dakota Forth Bridge pipped it in the end though as it showed a truly deep understanding of what local produce they should be using to maximum effect and this showed it clearly in the shellfish and meat. It is quite a classic, even traditional menu with the ingredients clearly taking the lead role.”

Check back in a couple of weeks for Jim’s full review of this belting foodie venue.

The 2013 Awards saw over 6,000 nominations made by hotel-loving guests, as thousands of hotels ranging from quirky B&Bs to large chains fought for one of the coveted awards. A group of hotel experts including representatives made up the judging panel and selected the winners from customer nominations.  2013 saw the appearance of a new Best For Golf category, which saw hotels boasting spectacular championship courses competing for the title. Entries came from far and wide but the ultimate winner was the breath-taking Slaley Hall De Vere Hotel in Hexham, which was selected as the perfect place to stay and play.

With eco credentials at the forefront of every business’s mind, awarded the innovative practices of The Green House Hotel in Bournemouth in the Best Eco Credentials category. Best for Dining was of course the Dakota Forth Bridge Hotel taking this year’s honours.  The flawless and friendly service of The Robertson Arms Hotel in Lanarkshire helped the team scoop the Best Service category this year.

The Best Gadgets category came down to the wire once again this year, however it was the Citizen M Hotel in Glasgow that was the most switched-on and took home this year’s award for an array of mod cons, from their rain showers through to self check-in with touch screen terminals. With exceptional and unique design and finishes since its conversion from an old prison, the stunning Malmaison Hotel in Oxford was the winner of this year’s Best Interiors category. The Cartford InnHotel won one the UK’s favourite awards, the Best Breakfast category for their local produce and presentation being second to none – providing a scrumptious start to the day!

From extensive gardens growing fresh produce, to manicured mazes and elegant flower design, the Hundred House Hotel located in Telford won the Best Gardens and the St Brides Spa Hotel in Pembrokeshire was a clear winner this year for the Best View category with its spectacular coastal views.  For an indulgent and pampered stay, the Rockliffe Hall Hotel & Spa for the second time took the Best Spa category honours – for its bespoke holistic treatments and world-class facilities.  For the best night’s sleep, the Hypnos mattresses and cosy bedding also bagged the Heywood House Hotel the Comfiest Bed category for the second year in a row!  This year, the Hotel of the Year title which is chosen by’s Facebook community, was awarded to the Apex International in Edinburgh for many reasons including its spectacular facilities and views of Edinburgh Castle.William Wilson Photography

“The winners of the 2013 Best Kept Secret Awards are a testament to the quality and variety of hotels in the UK and the hard work and excellence that goes into making their guest stays truly memorable,” comments Lynda Matthews,’s Head of Marketing.  “We’re looking forward to showcasing the food, views, gardens, beds and more on our website so our customers can check out what won these hotels their accolade!”

Best Interiors
Malmaison Oxford

Best Breakfast
The Cartford Inn

Best For Dining
Dakota Forth Bridge

Best Gadgets
Citizen M Glasgow

Best View
St Brides Spa Hotel

Best Eco Credentials
The Green House

Best Spa
Rockliffe Hall Hotel & Spa

Best Garden
Hundred house

Best Service
Robertson Arms Hotel

Comfiest Bed
Heywood House Hotel

Best For Golf
De Vere Slaley Hall Hotel