Te Anau pair best hosts in the country
A Te Anau team can now boast that they are the hosts with the most after winning the Motel Association of New Zealand's top hosting award.
Radfords Lake View Motel owners Kerri and Steve James beat moteliers nationwide to win the 2013 New Zealand AA supreme host of the year award.
The recognition was a big boost for the pair, who had operated Radfords Lake View Motel for the past 5 and a half years, Ms James said.
"We're pretty stoked. We don't always get it right but we're pretty passionate about our area and we want to share it with our guests."
The award also recognised the hard work of motel staff who filled in for the pair during a year plagued by family illnesses, she said.
To determine which business won the award, the Motel Association of New Zealand collated customer reviews of motels throughout the country with the experiences of a mystery shopper.
Motel Association of New Zealand chief executive Michael Baines said the James had taken out the top prize by achieving excellence in all areas and offering "typical Southland hospitality".
"They'd hate to think of anyone going away disappointed."
The James were part of a culture in Te Anau that rewarded tourists who made the difficult journey to the town with outstanding service, he said.
Radfords Lake View Motel was up against two other South Island finalists for the award - 858 George St, in Dunedin, and the St James Apartments, in Hanmer Springs.
The Southland Times