Brief introduction to accommodation awards

The Top Travel Awards accommodation awards program was established to boost the marketing potential of high quality accommodation establishments.

The main advantages of this event:

  • Submitting your entry or nomination is free
  • Properties that do not qualify still receive a free listing
  • Properties who qualify as Nominees, and even more so Gold and Platinum awards have marketing content and bragging rights for a long time
  • The low participation fee, levels the playing field for small and newly established properties
  • Free listings for properties who prefer not to participate

Establishments are granted Nominee status after being evaluated, and then participate while broadcasting their achievement, ultimately vying for Gold and Platinum awards in various regions and categories.

Examples of how the artwork can be used.

The basic process is as follows:

  • An establishment gets nominated or enters themselves.
  • We ask the establishment to submit their details and other information that will help the entry, to be evaluated to become a possible nominee.
  • The details from each establishment are reviewed, and the successful candidates are then informed of their success by email.
  • Potential nominees can then pay the administration fee to become full-fledged nominees, and are then able to use their awards artwork to promote their establishments.
  • After reviews have been tallied three weeks after judging has been finalised, the winners are notified.
  • Winners are then able to further bask in their renewed winning status and promote their achievements.
Infographic 1-1 500

Several chances to win an award

  • After entrants have been screened to become nominees and paid their administration fees, nominees can immediately start making use of the status they have achieved.
  • Winning establishments will receive either Gold or Platinum status, but can also receive category, regional and sub-regional awards.
  • Besides the numerous categories that cater for the vast array of unique offerings, as well as the regional awards, there are also awards that can be won by individuals for the establishments, such as the marketing department, or the friendliest reception desk.


Examples of how the artwork can be used.

Frequently asked questions regarding the event

  • There is no fee involved in applying. Being accepted as a nominee is a big honour, and you will be able to make waves with your nomination status, even before winning an award.
  • To be able to take part in this program, a property must enter themselves, or be nominated by either themself, guests, tour operators, travel agents or any other third party. These entrants are then vetted, and only those that are on the top of their game are accepted and become nominees.
  • Once you are accepted as a nominee, and have paid the administration fee, you can start reaping the rewards of your achievement. The sooner you get accepted, the sooner you can start reaping the rewards.
  • The administration fee per entry is R3500 including VAT if you enter during the regular entry period.
  • There has been an explosion in the hospitality industry, and while online reviews can be useful, there will always be a need for unbiased accreditation from a third party.
  • This awards program was launched for the first time this year, so participants will be able to participate in the inaugural event, while reaping the rewards.
  • This program was born out of a need to market establishments that often go unnoticed, and to bring their strengths to the fore. The goal is to discover new talent, while nurturing traditional well-established services and pushing boundaries in the industry.
  • Entering for the awards and then accepting your status as nominee, will set you apart from most of the competition. Then, winning an award will confirm your standing in the community.
  • There are many accommodation establishments, and most are chosen by clients using very little to guide them. The aim of this program is to provide trusted guidance that would not otherwise be available.
  • Being a nominee is already an achievement that distinguishes you from many other establishments, and with which you can boast for years to come.
  • The names of all the establishments that took part in the event are never revealed in a formal list, only the names of the winners. Once you are accepted as a nominee, your online listing will be live to provide information for future customers.
  • There is no financial risk to enter or be nominated.
  • The administration fees are some of the lowest in the industry, to allow start-ups, young people and very small establishments to take part.
  • Once an award is won there are no additional fees, unless you want to purchase optional marketing items such as trophies, flags or plaques.
  • Being accepted as a nominee is already an achievement that comes with no risk. It is up to the property whether to participate further to be able to make use of this honour.
  • Our event platform is run completely online to keep costs low.
  • There are no expensive and unnecessary ceremonies for hardworking, goal driven winners to attend.
  • This event is not affiliated with any other industry body.
  • The event is a totally independent entity.
  • The criteria, standards and methods employed during this event are independent from other events, and proprietary.
  • This event is not affiliated, member of, part of, or in any other way connected to any other event anywhere in the world.

Timeline for the 2022 entries

General Entries - 14 February to end of 30 April 2022 - R3800 including VAT
Review period - 1 April - 31 May 2022
Results announced - 17 June 2022

FAQs regarding entry

  • Being nominated or entering does not cost the establishment anything, and it is up to each establishment to accept their final status, and decide whether or not to participate.
  • The administration fee for full participation is R3500 incl. VAT. Being accepted as a possible nominee is already an achievement, and that is without having wagered anything.
  • Establishments can print their own signs to make guests aware of their superior status, and to encourage them to review them.
  • Nominees receive a digital award artwork kit to promote their status and to encourage clients, former clients, and industry professionals to review them.
  • Additional marketing items can be purchased by the winners, if needed.
  • Establishments may offer complimentary overnight stays to be reviewed, but it is totally at the discretion of the establishments, and the acceptance of these stays are dependent on the availability of the judges.
  • The establishment must have been run as a commercial accommodation provider for more than a year.
  • The establishment must have enough credible online references.
  • Entries must fit the specifications for the categories entered.
  • The decision to be honoured as a nominee is the sole prerogative of the event management.

FAQs regarding maximising your winning status

  • Nominees will be able to use digital artwork to display their new status on social media, their websites, in email signatures and in all marketing media. Have a look at the digital award artwork here.
  • Winning an award serves as validation to those who worked towards, and achieved, excellence, and is the culmination of the staff and owner’s dream of attaining the pinnacle of success.
  • Guests will rate online reviews of individual establishments based on their experiences. Guests will do this by scanning a QR code, which can be prominently displayed throughout the establishments, to access the review section, which can easily be filled in.
  • Entrants that do not win an award will not be mentioned. It is up to each individual property to enter this event.
  • Instant local and national status, credibility and credentials in both the short and long term with potential customers and within the industry.
  • Acknowledgment as a true leader among peers.
  • An independent award for excellence and commitment.
  • A webpage dedicated to the establishment, including photographs and videos supplied by the property, and the ability to directly contact the establishment directly.
  • Social media posts promoting establishments and inviting reviews.
  • Respect and loyalty from both guests and industry peers.
  • Status as an industry leader, and mover and shaker.
  • Once an establishment agrees to participate, and has paid their administration fee, they can immediately start marketing their achievement, even if the review dates are still months in the future.
  • Participation provides staff with a goal to achieve the highest echelon in service, an attitude that can have a long-lasting effect.
  • Winning an award levels the playing field between small and large establishments, which would not normally have been possible when competing on budget alone.
  • Content for newsletters, public relations, social media posts, website, print media, as well as bragging rights.
  • By participating, the property is automatically approved for the next year’s event, setting them apart from the rest and saving administration and red tape.
  • A badge of commitment to improving service.
  • Recognition of the staff’s efforts from investors and stakeholders. Your participation is tangible evidence that you are being recognised for having achieved high standards.
  • Provide feedback to establishments to improve their service.
  • Quality standard to hold other establishments too.
  • Pride in local establishments that do well.
  • Guidance towards choosing top quality establishments.

Examples of how the artwork can be used.

FAQs regarding the process of entering

  • We encourage establishments to nominate themselves, or they can be nominated by a member of the public, travel journalists, travel agents, tour operators, the event research team or somebody else in the hospitality industry. Just go to this page to nominate your property, or for somebody else to nominate you. Alternatively you can lookup your property using the search function on the main page. If you do not see your property, simply submit all your details at this page.
  • The event research team will take the time to find suitable candidates to nominate, but all other nominations are done through the website. No type of nomination is superior to another, and all nominations go through the same stringent vetting process.
  • Potential nominees will be contacted to gather more information, to evaluate the property and assess their suitability as a nominee.

Additional information that will be helpful during the evaluation process includes:

  • Photos of your unique facilities.
  • Examples of innovations in marketing, service and design.
  • Client testimonials, if available.
  • Other industry awards you may have won.
  • Press articles that are very favourable.
  • Documentation showing unique features or programmes you run.
  • Any other documentation that will support your chances of winning.
  • Preliminary judging of proposed entrants is based on online ratings and material submitted, to ensure that unsuitable establishments are not included.



  • Once you are nominated, you are invited to submit your entry details. Once you are vetted and qualify as a possible nominee, the property will receive a administration fee invoice, which must be paid within two weeks. Nominations should ideally be accompanied by two jpeg images showing the outside of the establishment, and three of the room interiors.
  • You will also need to upload six high resolution jpeg images showing the exterior, interior and highlights of the property. These images will become the property of this events program and could be used in any promotional material.
  • First of all, you have to pay the administration fee. Once your fee has been paid you will receive the digital award artwork kit to flaunt your status.
  • Please incorporate all the marketing material at your disposal into your website, Facebook and Instagram page, as well as email signatures and print media, to let the whole world know.


There are a lot of costs involved in hosting this event. When you understand the scope of this endeavour, you will realise that it is more involved than handing out golden stars. There is staff needed for all the different aspects, travel costs, graphic design cost, website hosting, web design, content curation, custom programming, administration, marketing, research and communication with entrants.

Entry is free, although the whole process of evaluating possible nominees requires effort, and qualification as a nominee is not guaranteed at all.

If a property does not want to participate, they can request a free listing.

We have really gone all out to support the accommodation industry, creating this marketing tool to uplift the industry, specially priced low for small establishments and new entrants can compete with bigger players on a level playing field. If you bear all this in mind, the effort and money spent you will realise that this event was created for the long haul.

  • Both present and past guests, as well as industry professionals can rate your establishment.
  • All establishments are on a level playing field. Size is not taken into consideration.
  • An internally audit is conducted to confirm that the results are correct.
  • All payments are made online, unless other arrangements have been made with management. To arrange for EFT, please contract Sanet van Heerden at [email protected]
Here are examples of the optional flags (1,8x1.2m) that can be ordered by winners.

FAQs regarding judging

  • Winners are determined by using a combination of the review scores, and those of the judges.
  • The winners are judged purely on merit, using both recognised and innovative criteria to make a fair assessment.
  • The event management meticulously reviews all the data and research collected, as well as the supporting documentation to determine the winners. To win an award there must be sufficient proof of commitment to quality and service.
  • Depending on the final scores, the winning establishment will receive either a Platinum Award (80-100) or a Gold Award (60-79). For platinum winners, there will also be regional and sub-regional awards in different categories.
  • There are no award acceptance fees.
  • You only pay the administration fee to participate (R2990, including VAT if you enter during the early bird stage, or R3500 including VAT if you enter later) once you have accepted your nomination, and you decide to participate. Additional marketing items can be purchased at the entrant’s discretion, but this is not a requirement.

The final evaluation of establishments is done using a combination of online reviews, and the judges scores.

  • Participants are judged by guests that have frequented the establishment, by scanning a QR code and doing an online evaluation. Properties can place online links to the review page, and can email the link to guests, former guests, and industry professionals.
  • The number of reviews is not taken into consideration, just the actual scores, which will be weighed using a proprietary algorithm.

Criteria will include:

  • How secure guests felt at the establishment.
  • How well the establishment is situated.
  • The quality and cleanliness of the room.
  • The quality of sleep.
  • Level of service.
  • Friendliness of staff and management.
  • The level of value for money that patrons perceived.
  • How likely patrons are to recommend the establishment to a friend.

How do guests, former guest and other parties reach our page to review us?

The easiest way is to send the website link to your page via email or social media platform  to all current and past guests, people in the industry, and suppliers that know you well, to review your establishment.

You can also include the image of the QR code in emails, and in printed documents used throughout your property. This will enable guests and other people to easily access the website to review your facilities and service.

QR code?

On the web page created for you you will see a QR Code on the right-hand side. You can right click this QR code to download the image, and you will then be able to print it, include it in emails, and display it within your establishment. Guests with smartphones can scan this QR code to go directly to the web page to review your establishment.

This is the QR code for this page for example:
QR Code

This is where you will see the QR code on the website, and right click on it to save it as an image.

Scanning the QR Code

Reviewers are welcome to simply follow the link to your page to review your establishment. They can also scan the QR code using their smart phone to go directly to your page to submit reviews.

Apple phones

Instructions on how to scan the QR code can be found here.  Follow this link to view a video that explains how the process works.

Android phones

Many Android phones have a native QR code scanner, and some have a dedicated app installed to scan QR codes for a link to the website.

For phones that do not have a native app to scan QR Codes, the best alternative is to install Google Lens from the App Store.

Watch this video for general instruction on how to scan QR codes. 

The first part of the video shows how to scan a QR code with an iPhone, however, if you have an Android phone, you can skip to 3:15. To avoid installing QRTiger, you can opt for the Google Lens app instead.

  • To ensure unbiased assessments, properties are judged in random order, with no specific reference to specific properties. Some properties have unique features, which can lead to establishments being inadvertently identified, however, this is not the intention of the rating system.
  • To the extent possible, entries are kept anonymous, except when it comes to criteria such as:
  • Reputation
  • Personnel traits
  • Personal experience

Criteria for judging general categories will include:

  • Uniqueness
  • Guest experience
  • Character
  • Feel
  • Charm / emotional connection
  • Website of establishment
  • Facilities
  • Cultural fulfilment
  • Lifestyle
  • Green facilities
  • Business criteria
  • Location
  • Activities
  • Food quality
  • Venue design
  • Judges will be people who have worked in the hospitality industry, and have an intimate knowledge of the industry, including private individuals and seasoned professionals.
  • These people will, at no time, judge establishments that they have personally been part of.
  • No feedback will be given except for confidential communication alerting establishments of situations that could have legal consequences, or cause reputational damage.
  • To prevent impartial and objective judging, no details of anonymous site visits will be made available.
  • The size of an establishment is not considered in isolation. The primary requirement is that nominated establishments must meet the category criteria. The size of the establishment will not be taken into account, apart from the requirement that the service must be adequate for the size of the participant.

Here are examples of how the optional plaques (200 x 350 mm) that may be ordered by the winners, will look if mounted.

FAQs regarding site visits

  • Site visits will be on an ad hoc basis. Site visits, even if not arranged ahead of time, are compulsory if requested, at a time that suits the establishment in question.
  • Not all establishments will receive site visits.

There will be three types of site visits

1. Anonymous visit
  • This will comprise of either a walkthrough or overnight stay, depending on the judge’s schedule. The stay and all other expenses will be paid for in its entirety by the promotor/event management. An arranged tour will not be necessary.
  • These visits will not be announced.
2. Pre-arranged walkthrough visits
  • Announced site visits are pre-arranged, where the facilities are visited for inspection by judges, without any overnight stay or use of facilities that require any financial expenditure on the part of the establishments. If the judge makes use of any of the paid facilities, such as the restaurant or spa, this will be at the expense of the promoter.
  • Announced site visits will occur on an ad hoc basis, while the identity of the other judges will remain secret to prevent them from being influenced.
3. Overnight stay
  • Although not compulsory, nominees may offer judges an overnight stay of up to two nights for two adults and a child, including meals and drinks, for evaluation purposes. These stays will occur as early as possible up to the close of the evaluation period, and will be subject to availability of the judges. The stays booked early will most likely be made use of.
  • If there are recreational activities, spa or other treatments on offer that must be evaluated, these can also be included.
  • Nominees will receive an official letter from the event management to finalise the judges’ stay, and will include details of the judge’s identity for verification purposes, as well as a signed agreement outlining the scope of the complimentary stay and facilities offered.
  • For special categories, the events management will require photographs or documental proof.
  • The more information that can be gathered, including testimonials, photos and videos, the better.

FAQs regarding winning an award

  • Winners will be notified by the event management by email.
  • Winners will receive a certificate to certify their award. and will have the right to make use of the new award artwork featuring their award, in connection with the year of the award, for as long as they see fit. The use of this award is subject to the signing of a non-exclusive licence agreement.
  • Winners will be able to use the award artwork in all print and digital media, in connection with the year of the achievement. The name of the establishment and the award will also appear on the Top Awards website.
  • Winners will receive a digital certificate, which they can display on social media, their website, as well as at their establishment. Winners will also be able to order a trophy, plaque, stickers and flags online.

Winners will be able to take advantage of their award in the following ways:

  • An award inspires confidence and loyalty in guests.
  • Establishments will be able to display artwork in advertising, fliers, business cards and all promotional material.
  • An award will validate the daily effort of staff and personnel, which will increase their job satisfaction for having reached this pinnacle of achievement. The award will recognise staff achievement, and will increase job satisfaction, morale, and productivity. Staff will take pride in this achievement.
  • The award artwork can be displayed on Facebook and other social media for marketing purposes, and to remind everyone of the achievement.
  • Flags, mini-flags and stickers can be purchased to display the award outside and inside the establishment.
  • Physical trophies and plaques can be purchased and prominently displayed in establishments at the entrance and other focal points.
  • Staff will be able to display the trophy artwork and achievements in email signatures.
  • An award serves as a seal of approval.
  • Winning serves as an endorsement by paid guests as to the quality of the guest experience.
  • An increased awareness of the establishment, as well as a boost to your credibility, which will lead to increased bookings.
  • A press release will be sent to major media outlets.

To commemorate your achievement, and to assist with further promotion, winners are additionally able to order the following items at their own discretion:

  • Physical trophy
  • Brass plaque
  • Window stickers (100x150mm)
  • Small flags
  • The cut-off date for orders is three days after the results are announced. The local delivery date will be approximately three weeks after that date.
  • Delivery will be subject to the preferred delivery method. This will be within a week if you use DHL or a similar service.
  • The results will be released on 25 August 2021.
  • To minimise costs and time requirements, it has been decided that an award ceremony will not be held.

The prices (subject to change), excluding delivery costs, are as follows:

  • Flag – 1.8 x 1.2m – R1800 incl. VAT
  • Brass plate – R3500 incl. VAT
  • Trophy – R3900 incl. VAT

The prices will be evaluated again.

This is what the optional trophies will look like. The final design may be different depending on the award and availability of glass trophies.

Examples of how the artwork can be used.

What do we gain by being a nominee?

By using the artwork in your email signature, displaying it on social media, adding it to your website, and displaying the certificate in your reception area as well as online, will provide exposure that will greatly enhance the trust and respect of guests, and set your establishment apart from the competition.

Have a look at some uses of the artwork here.

Participants will receive a “digital media marketing kit” to help market their establishment. This kit contains all the digital media needed to promote your status as well as the link to your tailor-made digital review page.

Entrants receive a link to a QR code in a digital format to direct voters to review the establishments on tailor-made pages.

Participants receive an online listing with the ability for guests to contact the establishment directly.

At their own discretion, participants have the right to use the licenced artwork, in conjunction with the year of being selected, for years to come.

Participants are encouraged to promote their achievement and to stimulate the completion of reviews by means of promotional campaigns.


  • Projecting the awards logo and your achievement on the side of a building by night.
  • Adding the logos to billboards, banners and posters.
  • Branding your company vehicles to include logos and the achieved award.
  • Adding the logo and branding to business cards.
  • Adding artwork to bottled water.
  • Adding artwork to house wine.

This kit contains the following artwork, which can be utilised to market the distinction of being accepted as a nominee, and to promote the participation of guests and former guests to ensure your success:

  • Awards logos, together with the year and nominee status, which can be used on social media and websites.
  • “Review us” action buttons, and banners of various sizes and colours to be used on social media and on websites.
  • Email signature addons to declare your status and to encourage people to submit reviews.
  • Social media templates where you can add pictures of your establishment to promote your status.
  • Instructions on how to make the most of your promotional toolkit.

Have a look at some of the uses of the digital media here.

  • Guests will see that the establishment is willing to be rated and judged against peers.
  • They recognise the nominee’s confidence in their own ability, and the status of being a leader.
  • They see that the property has already been selected amongst other establishments as a front runner.
  • Participation will impart the respect and loyalty of guests.

FAQs regarding Categories

There will be gold and platinum awards for all deserving establishments, however, the trophies will be unique to every region, with no runners-up.

Yes, you can enter up to three main categories and three subcategories that best suit your strengths. Establishments may only win one achievement award.

There are very wide and overlapping definitions of the main types of accommodation:

    • Accommodation
    • Backpackers
    • Bed and breakfast
    • Boutique Hotels
    • Camping
    • Caravanning
    • Children friendly
    • Farm accommodation
    • Game lodges
    • Glamping
    • Guest houses
    • Hotels
    • Honeymoon
    • Houseboats
    • Lodges
    • Pet friendly
    • Self-catering
    • Special needs
    • Wedding

Establishments are encouraged to enter up to three categories that play to their own strengths, highlight their unique locations, designs and facilities. This gives them the best chance to shine and market the establishment.

The guidelines to the main categories, purposely leave room for interpretation. Properties are allowed to use their own judgement and choose categories that they feel conformable with.


  • This is a very broad category, and is therefore highly competitive. If an establishment’s strengths are truly general, this would be the category to enter.


  • This category caters for types of accommodation chosen by people who opt for low cost travelling, often do not have their own personal transport, and who often travel with a minimum amount of baggage, often packed into backpacks.

Accommodation can vary widely from dorm style living to private suites.

Bed and Breakfast

  • Owner’s usually live on the premises.
  • Breakfast must be available and can be the only meal offered.
  • Can have up to five rooms, sometimes more.
  • Services offered by owners and staff, which can be available 24 hours.
  • If en suite bathrooms are not available, exclusive use of a bathroom must be available to guests.

Boutique Hotels

This category largely depends on the what the owners of the property consider the property to be. If they consider themselves a boutique hotel, they are welcome to use this designation, irrespective of the guidelines.

  • These are buildings that have been converted, or specifically designed, to provide accommodation.
  • Owner’s usually do not live on the premises.
  • All meals are normally provided.
    More than five, but no more than 20 rooms.
  • Must have public areas exclusively for use by the guests.
  • Guest services are normally provided 24 hours a day.


  • This is for providers of general camping facilities, be it stands, tents or small accommodation facilities that are very close to nature.
  • Please see the categories for caravanning and glamping as well.


  • This category is for camping facilities with a strong focus on providing stands and facilities for guests who make use of caravans for camping.

Children friendly

  • This category is for establishments who pride themselves on being very children friendly, and thereby a haven for parents. Facilities would primarily be safe for children in all aspects and provide activities to keep them entertained in a safe manner. The emphasis is on “safe”, as this is a very important criterion.

Farm accommodation

  • Accommodation provided on a working farm.
  • Can vary from self-catering to bed and breakfast, and other meals.


Properties can choose to enter this category, irrespective of the definition, if they feel comfortable with this category.

  • These are houses or buildings that have been converted or specifically designed to provide accommodation.
  • These are in recreational areas, such as hunting, rural or mountainous regions.
  • Owner’s usually live on the premises.
  • Provide breakfast, but may also offer other meals.
  • Usually more than five, and up to 20 rooms.
  • Must have public areas exclusively for the use by guests.
  • Services are offered by owners and staff, who may not be available 24 hours a day.


  • This category is for providers of luxury camping accommodation.

Guest houses

  • These are houses or buildings that have been converted or specifically designed to provide accommodation.
  • Owner’s usually live on the premises.
  • Can be self-catering. Usually provides for breakfast but may also offer other meals.
  • More than five, but no more than 20 rooms.
  • Must have public areas exclusively for use by guests.
  • Services are offered by owners and staff, who may not be available 24 hours a day.

Honeymoon accommodation

  • These are establishments that cater specifically for newlywed couples.


The interpretation of this category is very broad, and properties are allowed to use their own judgement, if they fit into this category.

  • These are buildings that have been converted, or specifically designed, to provide accommodation.
  • Owner’s usually do not live on the premises.
  • All meals are normally provided.
  • Usually have more than 20 rooms.
  • Must have public areas exclusively for use by the guests.
  • Guest services are normally provided 24 hours a day.


  • This category is for accommodation provided on moored, or free-floating water vessels.
  • Vessels can be captained by owners or the guests themselves.


  • These are buildings that have been converted, or specifically designed, to provide accommodation.
  • All meals are normally provided.
  • Must have public areas exclusively for use by the guests.
  • Guest services are normally provided 24 hours a day.

Pet friendly accommodation

  • These are establishments that cater for owners of pets, be it dogs, cats or other.
  • Depending on the rules of the establishment, pets are allowed to sleep within the facility.
  • Pets are safe from other animals.
  • Pets are either allowed to roam free or may be required to be leashed.

Self-catering accommodation

  • Can be any accommodation facility where equipment and facilities are provided for guests to cater for their own needs.

Special needs

  • These are accommodation venues that provide facilities to cater for guests who have disabilities or special needs.
  • This includes ramps, special bathroom facilities, and the ability to move around safely in a wheelchair.

Wedding accommodation

  • This category is especially for accommodation providers that host weddings and provide accommodation for wedding guests. This category does not include properties that are primarily wedding hosts, and that cannot provide accommodation for a large percentage of the guests.


  • Subcategories consider the establishments strengths, and therefore the particular category that the entrant chooses to enter. Additional photos as well as evidence from hotel management is required to substantiate the unique characteristics that make the establishment eligible for these coveted awards.



  • Activities general
  • Eco safari
  • Golf
  • Leisure
  • Ski
  • Watersport
  • Yoga and wellness


  • Business general
  • Conferences and events
  • Conventions
  • Corporate events
  • Function venues
  • MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions)


  • Heritage
  • Historical
  • Cultural


  • Gym/exercise
  • Pools
  • Private pool
  • Spas
  • Spa retreats
  • Technological facilities
  • Tented camps
  • Tented safaris facility
  • Treetop facilities
  • Wellness
  • Hot springs
  • Private beaches
  • Theme parks
  • Ocean views
  • Serviced apartments
  • All-inclusive facilities


  • Breakfast
  • Café/tearoom of the year
  • Casual dining
  • Culinary
  • Food and beverage talent
  • Gourmet
  • Bar of the year
  • Restaurant

Social responsibility

  • Responsible, ethical and sustainable award
  • Environmental practices


  • Managed group
  • Management company
  • New group – less than five years


  • Adults only
  • All-inclusive family facility
  • Eco friendly
  • Family
  • Healing retreat
  • Holistic retreat
  • Hot springs
  • Lifestyle
  • Pet friendly
  • Romantic
  • Women’s retreat
  • Hideaway


  • Air transit/airport
  • Beach
  • Bush
  • City
  • Coastal
  • Country
  • Diplomatic
  • Game
  • Karoo experience
  • Mountain
  • Prime location
  • Safari
  • Scenic environment
  • Seaside
  • Winelands
  • Desert
  • Forest


  • Manager
  • Marketing manager
  • Newly appointed hotel manager
  • Owner managed
  • Public relations manager


  • Design
  • Luxurious lobby
  • Luxury interior
  • Modern design

New and Innovative

  • Rising star – less than five years
  • Innovation award


  • Unique facility
  • Unique experience

Value, luxury and cleanliness

  • Value
  • Luxury
  • Luxury suite
  • Cleanest and most hygienic facility


  • Destination wedding
  • Honeymoon
  • Wedding
  • Wedding venue

Winners will be announced in different areas

The provinces are divided as follows:

  • Western Cape
  • Eastern Cape
  • Northern Cape
  • North West
  • Free State
  • KwaZulu Natal
  • Gauteng
  • Limpopo
  • Mpumalanga


Awards will also be awarded in South Africa, sub regions and cities/towns, depending on individual achievement and the number of establishments in an area.

Use of Photographs

All photographs, video and other digital media are to be provided by the entrants. The organisers have a right to selectively use, or not use content.


Text copy to be provided by the entrant, where needed. The right to edit and modify content is reserved by the organisers.

By submitting digital media for this event, you award full rights to the use of the material to this event’s organisers for any purpose.

Site visits

By entering this event you agree to provide organisers with a walkthrough of your premises at a time that might be unscheduled, at your convenience.

The organisers have the right to retract the status of entrants, should evidence come to light that damages the credibility of the event, either through bad service or association.


The identity of the person or establishment that nominates a property will not be made known to the public.

FAQs regarding rules

  • The terms “management”, “event management”, “event”, “the event”, “organizer” and “promotor” are used interchangeably and refers to the Top Travel Awards organised by Tank Town Promotions (Pty) Ltd.
  • The term “site” and “website” refers to www.topawards.co.za
  • All information submitted by establishments, including photos, details, logos and any other digital media is referred to as “information”.
  • The terms “The Top Travel Awards”,”Top Travel Awards ZA”, “Top Travel Awards South Africa”, “TTA”, “event”, “event management”, “Top Travel Awards”, “awards program” and “the awards” refer to the “Top Travel Awards” managed and owned by Tank Town Promotions (Pty) Ltd. The event management team has the final say in all matters and will determine the “nominee/s” and “winners”, “winner”, “member”, “listed member”, “contestant”, “entrant”, “property”, “establishment/s” refer to a company/companies/properties that are listed on the website, but not necessarily nominees or winners. Eligibility is entirely at the discretion of the event management.
  • “Nominee/s” are establishments that have been vetted by event management , to become “nominees”, i.e., establishments who compete to become winners.
  • “Winner/s” are establishments that were vetted and qualified by the event management to become nominees, paid their admin fee and through the process of the event, “reviews”, “judges’ evaluation”, and scores determined by event management, were judged to be winners within the time allocated.
  • “Award” refers to the title of the category that a winner was awarded. The title of “Nominee”, when bestowed an establishment that have paid their administration fee, is also considered an “Award”
  • “Platinum” Award is given to establishments that score 80+.
  • “Best of” awards are given to establishments that are awarded Best of Class within a specific region.
  • A “Gold Award” is given to establishments that score 60+, but below 80.
  • The terms “artwork”, “digital media”, “awards artwork”, “digital awards artwork kit”, “logo” and “logos” are used interchangeably to refer to digital artwork that belongs to Tank Town Promotions (Pty) Ltd, who grant non-exclusive use thereof, without fail in legible combination with the year of the award, to properties that have paid the participation fee, have been granted the use of the awards and the accompanying artwork subject to signing and abiding by a non-exclusive license agreement.
  • The terms “administration fee”, “admin fee”, “entry fee”, “participation fee” and “registration fee” are used interchangeably to designate the fee required to be paid to the event management to participate in the event once the entrant has been vetted to become a potential nominee.
  • The use of award artwork and award designation (inluding nominee status) is subject to the signing of a non-exclusive licence agreement.
  • By accepting an award the winner endeavours to maintain their standard of service and amenities, and will immediately stop using the award if an event occurs that prevents them from maintaining their previous standards.
  • There is no limit to the amount of rules an establishment may have.
  • Event organisers reserve the right to recategorize entries at their discretion.
  • If no establishments qualify for a particular category, the related award may not be presented. All awards are at the discretion of the event management.
  • The establishment will be liable for the once-off administration fee. Only paid entrants will be able to make use of the main benefits of this event.
  • Online reviews on the establishment’s website, or the website of any organisation they belong to, will not be considered as criteria to judge entrants.
  • Only after paying an administration fee, receiving an award, signing of the non-exclusive licence agreement, and abiding by the agreement may an establishment make use of their award.
  • All reviews, data collected, voting statistics, evaluation results and any other data regarding the evaluation process will be kept private and will not be shared with any person not part of the event management.
  • Payment of the administration fee does not guarantee a further award.
  • Duplication of entries are not allowed.


  • If an establishment is alone in a category, they will still be considered for an achievement award, but will not be able to receive a “best of” award.
  • An exception to category rules may be granted by the event management, and is entirely at their discretion.


  • To be able to be considered for an award, establishments have one month to pay the administration fee, once accepted as a potential nominee.
  • The promoter has the right to cancel a potential participant’s participation if the payment of the administration fee is delayed without approval of the promoter.

Online reviews

  • A participant that is suspected of vote or review rigging, through their own, or through another person’s doing, will be disqualified, along with their entries, and will be disbarred from future participation.
  • Vote rigging/review rigging will include making use of a third-party service to acquire reviews. No money will be reimbursed to participants who are disqualified.
  • A participant that is suspected of making use of automated software to create reviews will be disqualified.
  • The IP addresses of reviewers will be recorded, and only one review per IP address will be accepted.
  • All reviews done through a proxy or VPN will be disqualified, and if this practice is considered to be malicious, the participant will, at the discretion of the event’s management, be disqualified.
  • Administration fees are not refundable.
  • Refunds for merchandise will only be given if the order for the merchandise is cancelled before the required cut-off date.
  • When an entry is submitted on time it will be reviewed, and if payment is made on time, it will be accepted as a nominee. No other warranties of any kind are made regarding the entry.
  • No feedback regarding the review process, scores received, or how judges came to their final decision will be entered. The decision of the event management is final.
  • All information on the website concerning each establishment is to be provided and maintained by each entrant.
  • We will try our utmost to have the most recent information about your establishment online. If there is an error please alert us, and we will make the necessary correction.
  • Photos that are submitted may not be doctored, or electronically edited, and must be realistic depictions of the facilities, without excessive use of filters.
  • All submitted images will be screened, and only images that pass this review will be displayed. The review is at the sole discretion of the organisers, and their decision is final.
  • By entering the event and submitting photos you agree to have the photos displayed on the website, and for marketing purposes.
  • Entrants agree that images entered may be displayed on the website or marketing material, but can at any time ask for it to be removed. However, marketing material (including newsletters) that has already been dispatched, and which is not part of the website, cannot be retracted once sent. No errata, retractions or changes will be made unless decided by the promoter.
  • The establishment must have been in operation as a commercial accommodation provider for more than a year.
  • Information submitted will not be treated as confidential, and can by disclosed by to any other party without further consent.
  • The decision of management is final and binding, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • The winner(s) agrees to permit the use of their name and images in any marketing material relating to this event.
  • Any establishment may only win one achievement award.
  • The event management choice of winners is final, and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the details of scoring, evaluation or broad decision leading to the decision.
  • The promoter reserves the right to not accept entries that are deemed inappropriate or unsuitable. This decision is solely the prerogative of the promoter, and cannot be challenged.
  • Failure to accomodate reasonable attempts to organise a walkthrough, will result in the property not being independently verified, and failure to receive an award.
  • By taking part in this event, you grant the event a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free licence (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute your participation in any and all media or distribution methods.
  • The event management reserves the right to rescind any award, at their sole discretion, without prior notice.
  • The judging process may be adjusted from time to time without prior notice, and it is up to the participants to monitor the website for any changes.
  • The promoter reserves the right to change any aspect of the event, without prior notice, and publish these changes on the website.
  • To a large degree, the preliminary and final evaluation process is hosted electronically, and the promoter will not be held liable for any error that occurs.
  • By participating you agree to the non-exclusive license agreement.