Potters Resorts Five Lakes has been named the winner of the New Tourism Business of the Year award at the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024

The award recognises high performing new tourism businesses, demonstrating excellent understanding of their market, exceeding the expectations of their customers with clear plans for future development. 

Family-run Potters Resorts acquired the Five Lakes Resort in Maldon, Essex in 2021 and transformed it from a corporate venue into a unique all-inclusive, adult-only holiday destination, which opened to the public in May 2022.

The business has a 103-year history in Norfolk, offering all-inclusive short breaks at its five-star resort in Hopton-on-Sea, but the opening of the 320-acre Five Lakes Resort marked its first foray into Essex and the UK’s first and only all-inclusive, adult-only resort.

Following the acquisition, a £20-million refurbishment took place, including the creation of new kitchens, guest lounges, indoor and outdoor sports facilities and a brand-new state-of-the-art theatre, as well as three new restaurants.

Its spa facility and golf club, which itself has had a £1-million investment, remain open to non-residents.

The friendly staff team has more than doubled too, to ensure a top-notch service across the site, and since then Five Lakes has been fully booked year-round and has quickly earned a 5-star accreditation from Visit England.

Designed exclusively for retired empty nesters, the resort now offers weekend and midweek breaks for up to 400 guests.

Everything is included in the all-inclusive break price at Five Lakes, as a deliberate move from the business against an industry trend to charge for extras at every turn.

Sports, leisure and activities, day and night entertainment, including West End style shows, four meals a day and free branded drinks are all included.

The judges said Five Lakes Potters Holiday Resort “looked wonderful online and we looked forward to our visit”.

They praised the “very impressive” indoor complex and said “there was so much to do for all tastes with every game under the sun provided to entertain active guests and great facilities for relaxation too”.

They had high praise for the personal commitment of managing director John Potter, who they said “has taken huge personal financial risks to see this once weary property reborn in splendour”, adding that he “should be recognised as a titan of the trade”.

Commenting on the award, John Potter said: “It really is amazing – we had such a lovely evening.

“To take this back to the 800-odd strong team is going to be a great celebration waiting to happen all over again!"

The other finalists in this category were Fire and Feast Suffolk and The Bell Hotel, Saxmundham.

The winners of the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024 were announced at Snape Maltings, Suffolk on Thursday, February 15. To find out about all of the winners, click here.

For more information about the awards, please visit tourismawards.co.uk