The finalists have been announced for the Self Catering Accommodation of the Year award, sponsored by, at the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024.

This category recognises self catering accommodation businesses providing truly memorable guest experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business. 

Bethnal&Bec Luxury Stays

Created by husband-and-wife team Vicky and Chris Saynor, Bethnal&Bec in Cottered in Hertfordshire comprises three luxury self-catering studios in the heart of the countryside.

The business was opened in October 2017, after Vicky and Chris repurposed the dilapidated stables attached to their house into two rural retreats, Bethnal and Bec.

The business thrived, and the couple had plans to convert another stable into a third retreat until Vicky was sadly diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. Navigating both cancer and the business over the next few years, Vicky and Chris were finally able to open The Foaling Box in October 2021.

All three adult-only cabins have been designed with luxury and comfort in mind and feature king size beds (super king size in The Foaling Box), outdoor jacuzzi baths and outstanding views. The Foaling Box also boasts a retro arcade games table.

The business prides itself on being inclusive and sustainable and stocks and sells products from 25 local suppliers.

The judges had high praise for the “stellar and beautiful selection of properties” at Bethnal&Bec. In terms of the business itself, they noted its “well-thought out business plan and the broad market that it appeals to”, as well as its “excellent” social media outreach, which Vicky and Chris are still working hard to enhance.

Eastern Daily Press: LandyCampers combines off-road thrills with glamping luxuryLandyCampers combines off-road thrills with glamping luxury (Image: Max Isham Photography)


LandyCampers, based in Dunmow in Essex, offers a unique camping experience that combines off-road thrills with glamping luxury through the hire of its converted Land Rover Defenders, Fern and Waffle.

Owners Max Isham and Bela Boehme were inspired to start the business through their shared love of travel and adventures when journeying across Europe in their beloved Land Rover Defender, Fran. They use their experiences to continually enhance their offering.

The business was launched in 2020, but when the pandemic struck Max and Bela utilised this time to refine their offering, leading to a surge in demand once restrictions lifted.

LandyCampers’ custom Defenders are equipped with rooftop tents and fully stocked with everything you need for an off-grid camping trip. Max and Bela also introduce guests to the East’s scenic beauty with their recommended travel plans.

The owners have also championed sustainability by forging eco-partnerships with businesses like Ecologi, which helps the business to offset its carbon emissions. To date this has involved the planting of over 2,000 trees and off-setting almost 100 tonnes of CO2.

The judges were impressed by LandyCampers’ “fantastic product and service”. They felt that the business is well promoted on its website and social media, and praised Max and Bela’s “fantastic” work towards sustainability.

They called the business’ plans for expansion “impressive” and said that its strategic partnerships “bode well for the future”.

Eastern Daily Press: The Suffolk Escape has four lakeside log cabins, and The Sheepyard Barn which can sleep up to 12 guestsThe Suffolk Escape has four lakeside log cabins, and The Sheepyard Barn which can sleep up to 12 guests (Image: The Suffolk Escape)

The Suffolk Escape

The Suffolk Escape was launched in 2013 on a family farm in Hintlesham, Suffolk. It provides a luxury rural escape for guests in its four lakeside log cabins and The Sheepyard Barn, which sleeps up to 12.

The log cabins each feature two large en-suite bedrooms, an open-plan living space, log stove and private hot tub, as well as a dining deck overlooking the lake and a patio with outdoor sofas.

The Sheepyard Barn was a later addition to the business, created after feedback from many guests identified a need for a larger property where multi-generational families and groups of friends could come together.

Owners Andrew and Sarah Bryce set about converting the barn into a luxurious self-catering accommodation. The large and modern yet rustic building features a private indoor pool, wood-fired pizza oven, large hot tub, timber-framed outdoor lounge and spacious open-plan living space.

The business’ passionate staff of four core employees and a dedicated cleaning team work to ‘wow’ guests every week with excellent service and a truly memorable experience.

Noting the increased booking levels that Andrew and Sarah have been able to achieve through repeat bookings, the judges said that this “is testament to the attention to detail” shown throughout The Suffolk Escape as well as the owners’ efforts to make sure that each guest’s experience is “excellent”.

The winner of the Self Catering Accommodation of the Year category will be announced at the East of England Tourism Awards ceremony at Snape Maltings, Suffolk on Thursday, February 15. For more information, or to purchase tickets for the event, please visit

To see the finalists in all categories, click ​here.