It was a wonderful night at the Dorset Tourism Awards last week. Held at the Lighthouse in Poole, over 200 guests enjoyed a delicious 3 course meal, entertainment and then lots of cheers as awards were presented and businesses were recognised for their contribution to tourism in the county.
It was great to see so many really small business being awarded for their achievements, lots of one man bands and family run organisations. The awards are all about recognising the little guys, not one big corporation or large chain to be seen! This was the second year that Mellulah made it to the final and Saira went along with her husband Stoo for a night of serious nerves and extreme delight!
Mellulah won Gold for the second year running in the Spa and Wellbeing Experience category. We also won Silver at the regional South West awards in February 2018 so we are on a roll it seems.
Judges for the Dorset Tourism Awards said their day with Mellulah was ‘an inspirational visit, we can not wait to go back’. As an entrant of the tourism awards, candidates go through a rigorous process. Last year Mellulah was invited to enter and we decided to go for it again this year. Firstly a lengthy entry form is filled out. Saira spent a few long days during the June heatwave, sat in the garden under a tree writing, deeply from the heart about the ethos of Mellulah and what it is all about.
As a very small business run by Saira and a team who come in to help on retreats when needed, Mellulah is all about LOVE. Saira didn’t hold back when she shared this ethos with judges, when asked why customers keep coming back to Mellulah, she wrote “
“Each guest who comes to me is important in a way that goes beyond my business mind. I have a real passion for the work I do and simply love the life I have created around Mellulah. This energy of passion comes across to all my yogis and clients, they all know I really care about their wellbeing and want to bring true and lasting change into their lives. I believe that my own experiences in life have taught me how best to help others, I have worked through some very difficult issues in my life with the practice of yoga, meditation, healing and participating in retreats. This makes me authentic in everything I do, I am not reading from a text book, I am a living example of how these can help a person to turn their life around. I believe that I empathise hugely with the people who come to me and they feel this, they feel loved, cared for and nurtured and I trust that by giving them tools to help them find harmony, they can do the same as I have and deeply heal.”
Saira shared her own story within the entry form, how she went from a young drug addict falling into abusive relationships to an older, happy, fulfilled yogi, it seems she won the hearts of the judges as well as those of many of her loyal retreat guests and therapy clients.
After the entry form has been read by judges, a short list is made and ‘mystery shoppers’ are sent out to check businesses in secret. Ours was sent during our August retreat at Middle Piccadilly near Sherborne. We found out at the end of a fabulous weekend that we had been shopped! Judges also go through all social media presence, read every review and all press attention. Then a long wait until October to find out if we made the finals and a heart pumping end to the process at awards night.
Saira was over the moon to win Gold again for herself and the wonderful team who work so hard to support her on retreats. Its also great news for all the guests who will hopefully feel even more confident about joining a retreat, a yoga class or coming for a therapy appointment with Saira. The best way to find out why Saira keeps winning is to come along and find out for yourself!