A total of 12 Césars (inspired by famous Swiss hotelier, César Ritz) are given to hotels, inns and B&Bs which are outstanding in their particular category. How are César winners selected? The process begins with reports from readers whose judgement we trust. If a place starts to attract exceptionally good reviews, we send an inspector to stay anonymously for a night at our expense to see if it is a candidate for an award. Final decisions are taken by the Guide’s small editorial team. The Cesar Award winners are celebrated by the media, with articles appearing this year in The Daily Mail, The Express and The Mirror and many other regional papers and magazines. The Sunday Times has called the César awards ‘the Oscars of the hotel industry’. The awards are valued by hoteliers and travel writers because of the Guide’s reputation for independence.

Winning a César is difficult, sustaining it over the years no less so. Hotels keep their Césars for ten years, but only so long as they remain in the same ownership and maintain their original quality. Only four hotels, all César winners, have had an entry in every edition of the Guide since it was first published in 1978. They are ROTHAY MANOR, Ambleside, LASTINGHAM GRANGE, Lastingham, CURRAREVAGH HOUSE, Oughterad, and BALLYMALOE HOUSE, Shanagarry.

For the past few years, the Guide has also awarded Editor’s Choice certificates to hotels in a wide variety of categories ranging from romantic and dog-friendly to walking, family and gastropubs. These selections are made by the GHG’s editorial team based on reports from readers. No selection process is perfect, but we work hard at it and have been doing so for many years. In the end, it depends on how skilled the Guide’s team is at assessing a wide variety of different kinds of hotels and marrying the judgements of our readers and inspectors.