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Best Deals For 2018…




Our Best Travel Deals For 2018…

If like so many of us you’re keen to keep the January Blues at bay; we may have just the ticket! 

Plymouth is awash with amazing events, productions and activities that will feed all kinds of interests. With sensational shows at the Plymouth Pavilions, incredibly ground breaking theatre at the premier Arts organisation in the South West on the stages of the Theatre Royal Plymouth, as well as unique and wonderful wonders at the Barbican Theatre and much, much more.

Perhaps even just a winter walk along the Hoe, some quirky treats from the Barbican independent traders or some last minute bargains in our sensational city centre.

Whatever your escape may look like; we have just the place to use as your base, to lay your head and be looked after with a warm, family welcome.

Returning once again for the second year, our ‘Welcome Back’ offer is once again giving guests the opportunity to get away with our 3 for 2 night offer. You can book any Friday, Saturday and Sunday night together in January, February or March 2018 – and you will only pay for two!

Call now and let us help you explore, enjoy and escape to Plymouth; Britain’s Ocean City. 

Welcome Back

Posted in Events, History, Hotel's and Tourism, New Continental Hotel, Plymouth |

Twinkle Twinkle House Of Mine..!



Prepping your home for Christmas parties and overnight guests can be hectic; we ask our amazing housekeeping team for their very best top tips to make things that little bit easier…

 Spillages!

“There is always a spillage over Christmas, but don’t worry! While the stain is still fresh, pour table salt on it, this helps soak up the stain and makes it much easier to wash out.”

Stinky smells!

“Whether it’s extra men in the house, kitchen odours or wet dog! At Christmas it’s not all winter spice and all things nice! If you use coffee grounds in a small cup or bowl this really helps to get rid of bad smells. – and works really well for the fridge and bathroom too!”

Shine that silver!

“Plain, white toothpaste is the perfect solution for polishing your family silver that only comes out this time of year! You can also use it to clean your toilet if you hate chemical smells!!”

Old news!

“Cleaning windows, so you can see the snow falling (!) is an essential Christmas chore , but instead of using paper towels, clean windows with newspaper and you’ll never see streaks again!”

Visiting friends!

“When you have friends staying in your guest room, there really isn’t anything nicer than a fresh scent to great them! If you use tumble dryer sheets in their drawers and wardrobe, the entire room us awash with freshness, and they’ll really thank you for it!”


Thank you to our amazing Housekeeping Team for their tips and also their super hard work throughout the year. 

Posted in Christmas, Events, History, Hotel's and Tourism, New Continental Hotel, Plymouth, Staff Have Their Say |

We Wish You A Merry Christmas…


A very Merry Christmas from all of us…

Well, another year is nearly over and we will soon be saying goodbye to 2017 and welcoming in, 2018!

As we fast approach the end of the year, by many measures it has been another exciting year for Plymouth; packed with wonderful events, great shows, activities and festivals – along with a massive amount of hard work and passion from inspiring individuals who work so tirelessly to make Plymouth shine.

We’ve been a company blessed by many things; good business, great employees and loyal customers, and before the year draws to a close, I just simply want to say “thank you”.

Thanks to all of you that work hard each day to make a difference in the experience of each guest within our city, thank you to my staff that have passionately worked alongside me and thank you to all of our guests that continue to bless us by choosing our hotel, either for overnight stays or those that let us be part of their amazing memories through their special occasions.

Please enjoy Christmas in Plymouth, and from our family to yours, have a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with peace and happiness, laughter and fun.

Bobbie Hajiyianni  
Posted in Christmas, Events, History, Hotel's and Tourism, New Continental Hotel, Plymouth |

Ding Dong Debt Is Getting High..!



Just six days before Christmas, I’m assuming all that’s left to get now is the food!!

STOP! REWIND!

If you are super organised and efficient, no doubt you are all wrapped and ready for Christmas with just the last minute food shop to go; if like most of us you still have a way to go – Nikki Field, Accounts Manager at the New Continental Hotel, is here to share some of her top money tips!

Q) What is your biggest tip this Christmas?

Pay in CASH!

It’s just too easy to slip over budgets by £5 here and £10 there –this all mounts up to big overspending. One great way to force yourself to stay on point and budget is to work out what you can afford to spend. Take that amount of cash with you and a calculator and head off to the supermarket with the knowledge that when the money is gone – it’s gone! No overspending! It sounds like a nightmare – but this really is one of THE best ways to get what you need and want, without spending what you can’t afford.

Q) The presents and gift wrap all add up – how can you spend less but give more?

Get Creative! We tend to buy gifts just to give – without thinking so much if they will like it or use it! Consider giving gifts that are homemade or packed with good gestures. If you always buy gifts for your neighbours, perhaps instead invite them in for a drink and home baked treats.

Set a budget and stick to it, don’t forget too that most people would rather have a lovely card with a personal message than you spending money you haven’t got.

Q) How can you have the perfect Christmas on a budget?

Planning the perfect Christmas is the stumbling block. We see ‘perfect’ in the commercial sense! First work out what you can afford before you start planning anything – then consider what it is that makes you smile when you think back at Christmases gone by. I bet it won’t be the gifts; but the games, the fun and the laughter.



 

Posted in Christmas, Events, History, Hotel's and Tourism, New Continental Hotel, Plymouth, Staff Have Their Say |

Festive Fun Doesn’t Have To Mean Fat..!



Adam Domyslawski, Club Continental Manager, talks Christmas ‘Trimmings’!! 

I know you want me to say that this is Christmas; the green light is on to overindulge and eat whatever you want whenever you want…but no!

You can still enjoy the festivities of Christmas and get through the days and nights without too much impact on your health or waistline!

Alcohol units can really mount up over Christmas. I’m not saying don’t drink at all, but there are some really simple tips, like replacing tonic waters with soda, and going for light beers that will really help.

Sadly, it will pretty much always come down to self –control! If this is a problem and you find it hard to stop once you’ve popped the drinking cherry (!) then you want to aim for low-calorie options; perhaps less-flavoursome drinks, but they will be by far the safer option!  If you have good self control, I would always say indulge in what you love, but just one or two!  

Remember:  it’s not just the calories it’s the antitoxins and carbs too; make sure you have some days off alcohol to detox your body. It will really help that foggy, stodgy feeling! Inferably, a hang-over also leads to bad food choices the morning after too – so pace yourself and be mindful!  

Christmas Dinner can contain anything up to, and over, 3000 calories – more than the entire recommended daily intake for a grown man!! This gigantic festive feast not only stacks up your daily Christmas calories, but can also contribute to other things too.

If you over indulge on Christmas Dinner you are far less likely to feel ready, willing or able to burn any of it off – even a game of charades may be asking too much! Not to mention the lethargy for the rest of the day, the indigestion and heartburn!

It’s worth remembering it takes your brain a while to register that your tummies are full!  Start with a small portion, meats and vegetables then give yourself some time and see if you are still hungry!

Remember: You can still have the trimmings – it’s Christmas! But the sauces, stuffing and pigs in blankets are there for taste – not for filling!

TV Snacks are hard to avoid! Chocolates, nuts, dried fruits and anything else that dons the Christmas shelves at the supermarkets who then tell you your Christmas will only be good if you buy this box of cheesy puffs!

Again, it’s about self-control, and if you don’t have any, make sure you have loads of fresh fruit in the house and try playing games and keeping busy!

Remember: Being busy having fun will stop your hand feeding your mouth! 

The most important thing of all is to have a Merry Christmas, with great choices and happy memories. 

Posted in Christmas, Club Continental, Events, Hotel's and Tourism, New Continental Hotel, Plymouth, Staff Have Their Say |

Adam Domyslawski Talks Christmas…


Who doesn’t feel slightly stressed this time of year..?

Trying to clear your inbox and finish projects ready for the New Year; planning the perfect Christmas and buying the right gifts; worrying you won’t fit into your Christmas jumper after all the office mince pies..! The list can feel endless! But you’re not alone! A new survey from smallbusiness.co.uk reveals today that more than 50% of respondents felt stresses in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

A whopping 54% are with you! And it’s so easy to see why. Although our favourite time of year here at the New Continental Hotel; Christmas, in addition to all the usual everyday related stresses can bring with it a whole heap of additional challenges and obstacles that we have to smile through!

Adam Domyslawski steps out of Club Continental to help me figure out how we can stay stress free this Christmas.

 “An unhealthy diet and a lack of regular exercise and sleep can have really adverse consequences on your well-being; both physically and mentally at any time of the year; but at Christmas we indulge that little bit more, sleep that little bit less and find it hard to find the time for our usual routines. The ingredients to a disaster! ”

 “Stress isn’t just a state of mind; it really impacts your physical being too. It can exacerbate nearly every pre-existing condition and can lead to the development or worsening of anxiety, depression and much more, stress really isn’t something to joke about.”

“It’s a real chicken and egg situation though I know! The more you are stressed and the busier you are, the less likely you are to look after yourself. But it’s essential to find the time to think about you and your body this time of year.”

“When you get on an aeroplane and they do their safety procedure in case of an emergency; they tell you to put your mask on before assisting anyone else. Hard to do; as your instinct is to help others first – but what help will you be if you haven’t helped yourself first? It’s the same principle with health and fitness – if you aren’t healthy and fit both physically and mentally – no one will have a good Christmas and your work load for next year will simply increase.”

“The key is to remember that it is essential that you find enough time in the day for you. Plan your meals so that you don’t panic and hunger buy, but instead you have it with you and ready when you are. Also, take the time to think through a little fitness throughout your week.  It can be parking a little further from the office or shops, taking the stairs or simply making the time for you to work-out. It’s really essential that you find a way – even if during this crazy month it’s less than normal – a little can go a long way!”

Posted in Christmas, Club Continental, Events, Hotel's and Tourism, New Continental Hotel, Plymouth, Staff Have Their Say |

What’s On In Plymouth This Christmas..?

 


The answer is sooooo much! Not only are we a beautiful ocean city, but we also have a really rich plethora of amazing Christmas fun on offer; and this year is no different! Here are just a few things happening…

November 26th-January 7th

The Waterfront Snowflake Trail has returned, a great activity for the entire family to enjoy. Wrap up warm and take the trail guide (you can get one, along with a map at reception) for a wonderful walk across Plymouth’s stunning waterfront. Whilst enjoying the beauty and amazing local shops and cafes you can look out for the Snowflakes, make a note of their name on your guide and be in with a chance of winning some AMAZING prizes. More information can be found here.

November 30th – December 21st

Plymouth Christmas Market, the city centre Piazza is completely transformed as Christmas arrives! 50 beautiful log cabins selling unique, hand crafted wonders. Amazing food smells filling the air making everyone hungry! Nothing says Christmas like Plymouth’s Christmas Market!

Saturday 9th December

Tavistock’s Pannier Market’s annual festive market is back! It’s a truly beautiful place to explore, with rich history and wonderful architecture. The annual market offers lots of fabulous activities and the stalls and traders will help you feel fabulously festive!

Sunday 10th December

Plymouth will be awash with running Santa’s! Yes; that’s right! Throughout the city centre from 11am on Sunday 10th December you will see hundreds of people dressed up for the 7th year running; doing the jolly Santa Fun Run! Everyone will be raising funds for Dam Hannah Rogers and Jeremiah’s Journey, two local charities. Even if you aren’t running – the atmosphere is amazing. The Fun Run starts at 11am from Drakes Circus shopping centre.

Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th December

A great two day event at the Royal William Yard with live music, workshops and delicious food! What’s more at the brilliant Ocean Studios there will be a makers market for you to buy some truly wonderful Christmas gifts from our local talented makers. 

Posted in Christmas, Events, Hotel's and Tourism, New Continental Hotel, Plymouth |

Christmas’s Gone By…



It’s not just how our Grand Old Lady stands today that we love so much, but how she has played such a vital role in the ever changing city around her large footprint.

Working within the hospitality sector, we get to share what we know and what we love about our hotel and a city we care so much about; which means our passion grows and our knowledge has to keep up!

It’s interesting what you have to find out in order to answer guests intrigue and questions, and as a hotel it really is our responsibility to know our hotel and city well; not only what’s happening today but also, what happened in our yesteryears!

1756 – 1820 | Millbay Area

In the first half of the century there was very little here, in the Millbay area, John Smeaton had cleared a channel and erected a little wooden jetty in the bay’s south west corner in 1756, to set up base for the workings of the Eddystone Lighthouse; but then this quiet quarter of Plymouth steadily grew and in the 1820’s, with the build and development of Union Street, and the continual growth of the Millbay Docks area; followed by the GWR’s Plymouth terminal, things soon changed!

1886-1930’s | George Fowler

With the completion of the Millbay Railway in April 1849, visitors were now arriving into Plymouth by both train and boat in high volume, the demand for accommodation grew considerably and in 1886 The Albion Hotel opened its doors right next to the train station (which was located roughly on the site of the Plymouth Pavilions and you can still see remnants of its large stature there today).

Neighbouring on to The Albion Hotels eastern side was the Royal Eye Infirmary.  Taking over what was the beautiful Georgian Buckland House in 1844; owned by Mr & Mrs C Bartlett. Although adapted and expanded, in 1900 the building became too small for the Royal Eye Infirmary and so in 1900 it moved to a purpose built home near the train station on the Mutley Plain side of town – now converted into flats but still a beautiful example of Victorian architecture.

George Fowler, who had owned The Albion Hotel for almost 20 years at that time, as well as owning The Union Hotel in Penzance and The Portland in London, was much like his friend Mr Harry Selfridge; an innovative, energetic and creative businessman always looking for great marketing opportunities and partnerships.

George expanded The Albion into the building that was the Eye Infirmary, renaming it for a very brief time ‘Fowler’s Hotel’. The application was approved on the 10th April 1900 and architect B Priestley-Shires set to work with George on the new look hotel; by 1904 the two hotels were in business under the collective banner of The Albion and Continental Hotels. The Albion, which stood as an impressive square construction now completely adjoined to the Continental Hotel thanks to the skills and hard work of Mr. B Priestley-Shires, was still known as the busiest of hotels in 1927 – due to the fact it had a licence when the Continental Hotel did not.

The name The Albion Hotel and Continental Hotel, after the brief ‘Fowlers Hotel’ branding; survived throughout the 1920’s until the early 30’s when it was then passed over to  the then hands of The Trust Houses Ltd. who went on to make many of the renovations that you can still see today.

1930 – 1970’s| Trust House Ltd.

Nightclubs, jazz clubs and cocktail bars started to flourish in Plymouth from the early 20’s. The hedonistic lifestyle portrayed in books and films such as ‘The Great Gatsby’ was perhaps for some, an escape from reality. Our Grand Old Lady, with Richards help, took part in this exciting way of evening entertainment. In February 1936 our beloved Ballroom was built; reported at the largest open indoor space at that time outside of Theatres and purpose built entertainment settings in the city.

The dream was to have as much live music as possible, with a large dance floor ‘on springs’, concealed lighting, air purifiers and enough space to seat 350 people in one sitting. Under the Ballroom was what we think to be the only heated indoor car park outside of London, with room for 50 cars (now Club Continental) and upstairs an American Cocktail bar; with chrome stools, a semi-circular bar and ‘pleasant’ lighting – and was reported to be the first bar that women were marketed to directly as guests welcome without a male companion!

Above the Ballroom was also the addition of 12 new bedrooms, complete with gas fires!

1970 – 1977 | Hickmet Hotels and The Receivers!

The heyday of our Grand Old Lady appeared to be over, come the 70’s; with the caravanning and camping scene growing in population, although the city was still a popular holiday destination, the competition of hotels was fierce and so times were harder than ever before.

Hickmet Hotels, led by Mr. Nevvar Hickmet, took ownership of the Continental Hotel in 1970. Hickmet Hotels also took lease of The Grand Hotel in Birmingham just a couple of years later in 1972, and even after a £500,000 of refurbishment of the striking Birmingham hotel, trading conditions proved difficult, and they fell into receivership in 1976.

A similar fate  happened with the Continental Hotel, although hard work went into making the hotel a venue that competed with the ‘West End’, and known to many as the ‘Tavern In The Town’; with sensational acts, dancers and musicians, in 1974, sadly the hotel fell into receivership.

1977 – 1984 |Plymouth Hotel Group

Once again, the Continental Hotel changed hands in the 70’s, this time to a hotel group that already owned a hotel in Plymouth; the Duke Of Cornwall Hotel.

1984-Present Day | Hajiyianni Family

The Hajiyianni family had been involved in the hospitality industry in Plymouth for two decades before acquiring the Continental Hotel in 1984.  

Steve Hajiyianni was always enchanted by the Continental Hotel’s impressive Italianate style design and its premier location; the jewel in the cities maritime crown, with its rich history and impressive footprint. In 1974, Steve tried unsuccessfully to purchase the hotel from Mr. Nevvar Hicket – he had to wait a further ten years for his dream to come to fruition. Mr Hajiyianni’s patience and determination paid off and he became the proud owner in 1984 when he purchased the hotel from the Plymouth Hotel Group.



We have done our very best to extract all of the correct dates and information for this blog; from various sources.
If you have any more information, photos or stories you can share – we would love to hear from you. 




Posted in Christmas, Events, History, Hotel's and Tourism, New Continental Hotel, Plymouth |

Looking Back Helps Us Look Ahead…


Laying our head on the pillow of 2017; and looking ahead to 2018!

For a little over four months, the New Continental Hotel’s Directors and senior staff have been analysing the last twelve months of business, and looking ahead to 2018.

New trends, as we see them, emerge and we take this time to celebrate our successes of an exciting 2017, whilst looking ahead to the brand New Year of 2018.

Looking back!

Many hotels in 2017 started to face the inroads from Airbnb; the new millennial traveller patterns; politic shifts and new policies; as well as many other forces that seemed to bombard us throughout the year.

With last minute cancellations on international tour bookings, that had been booked for months and months in advance, as well a big shifts in corporate spending behaviours.

There were many challenges but an abundance of opportunities.

A great deal of inward thinking, as well as a little reinvention and innovation happened in 2017; not just for the New Continental Hotel, but among many of the resurgent independent hotels that we know.

The thing we all have very much in common, is that through hard work and passion, and surprising strength over recent years, even in the face of these social and economic challenges, we have carried on with our desire to ensure guests visiting our cities have the very best experiences.

Looking ahead!

It’s abundantly clear that there are many of the shifts that we saw in 2017  here to stay; although we also know that there will be new trends and the arrival of many new challenges too. We can’t possibly arm ourselves with the resources to tackle all of them at once, or even foresee what they all may be,  but if we keep to our rooted ethos and strive forward with our main objectives – 2018 will bring many a happy memory for everyone.

Keeping things local!

High on our strategic priority list as always is to ensure that we enable our guests to create unique and local experiences during their stay; from exploring our rich plethora of cultural activities, experiencing our many amazing small businesses, to enjoying our local history and heritage.

Hotels are in the best possible position to not only boost the local economy, but to also allow pride in place to be seen by all. Our job is to share what we love about a city we are proud to call home; so 2018 will see us collaborating even more with local businesses and organisations who share our love and admiration for our beautiful Ocean City.

Elinor Eaton, Development Manager for the New Continental Group explains more:

“All of our guests look for local experiences; making memories is paramount and we have so many wonderful settings and experiences to share. It’s vital that New Continental Hotel staff hold local knowledge to be able to make great, bespoke recommendations; we hold theatre brochure briefings and have staff newsletters with discounts and offers, to really keep staff in the loop of the city. We intend to expand this and amplify what we do throughout 2018, so it is a year of even more signposting and sharing of knowledge.  Many large commercial companies see the importance of recommendations; just look at sites such as AirBnB, who have now started offering experiences on their website to better assist their customers.”

The changing patterns of booking!

Nowadays, with ever changing technology and purchasing habits, people don’t really require a travel agent to book their tickets or hotel stays, over the years it’s slowly changed and advanced into individuals becoming their own travel consultants.

We believe that in 2018 there will be greater expectations from our customers, to see us providing more specific packages and benefits, which cater personally and specifically to their requirements and which are accessible to them as individuals to book direct.

Our aim is to continue to cater for varied preferences with offers that are simple and fully incorporate these changes in demand. 

Success breeds success!

Cross-sector collaboration has always been key to the New Continental Hotel. Working together to build a city that truly shines; even the hotel community in Plymouth work well together, with their connections and the sharing of best practice. Our aim is to continue to work with other sectors, organisations and businesses to be friends supporting visions and ensuring our guests have the very best experiences during their time in Britain’s Ocean City.

 

Posted in History, Hotel's and Tourism, New Continental Hotel, Plymouth, Staff Have Their Say |

Head Chef; Rob Dunne, Talks Turkey..!

 

Rob Dunne, Head Chef at the New Continental Hotel celebrates his fourth Christmas here;  and second as our Head Chef. What this ‘young man‘ doesn’t know about Christmas in the Kitchen, isn’t worth knowing!

From Turkey to Mint Clouds and everything in between; we take him out of the kitchen on the Friday before the busiest weekend of the season, to delve in and find out: ‘What is it really like to cook up a feast at Christmas’…



Rob Dunne

Firstly, what have been the changes over the last four
Christmas’s at the New Continental Hotel?

Since I started, this has always been a ridiculously busy time in both the kitchen and the hotel in general; over the last four years we have been blessed with a team of fantastic and talented chefs, and although busy, we all love the atmosphere, energy and fast pace that this time of year offers. It’s when and where we are at our best.

Change wise, not much to be honest; we are really fortunate that we have great suppliers and an amazing team that have over the years built and perfected tremendous partnerships and systems that really work. We change with the times to make sure we are always offering what our guests want; but that’s not a change as we see it; it’s more like kitchen evolution!

We love that our guests expect beautiful salmon; juicy turkey with all the trimmings; devilishly-indulgent chocolate cake and Christmas puddings – but we also enjoy having the opportunity to be creative and innovative at this time of year; offering mouth-watering Christmas treats with a difference!

 Without giving away any kitchen secrets; what’s been the most fun you’ve had with a dish this Christmas?

Geeky I know, but it’s all fun! However, without ‘spilling the beans’, let’s just say the Mint Cloud on the Dark Chocolate Pava is our 2017 innovative jewel in the crown!

What’s been your 2017 best asset this Christmas?

Our apprentice! She has absolutely been integral to keeping energy and enthusiasm for our craft high – but also never seizing to amaze us with her ability to deal with the high volume, big numbers and massive amounts of prep on a daily basis. I think I can speak for us all when I say she has made us very proud.

Feeding hundreds of people must be tough – what’s the hardest thing about it?

Probably not what you would think! Working in such a tight team, and with a massive amount of planning, the ‘doing’ is what we do best. The hardest thing is probably the work we do in February; planning the menu and ensuring we have, what we hope will be, something for everyone.

For us it’s really important to offer food that everyone will be able to enjoy. For people that want to step out of the traditional Christmas Dinner, to those with dietary requirements. The main thing is balance; making sure we offer high quality, seasonal ingredients whereby every item on the menu is designed and created with real care and attention to detail.

So, knowing you are eager to get back in your kitchen! Last question, what would your one top tip be; to ensure people at homes Christmas dinner goes well?

Well, as not everyone can have our amazing KP’s, it would have to be to prepare as much as you can, as soon as you can!

Christmas in the kitchen can be as magical as Christmas at the dining room table or around the tree! Work backwards, from eating the meal, to plating the meal, to the morning and days before the meal. Spending an hour to think it through, will save the frazzle on the day itself and give you time to enjoy what’s happening outside of the kitchen!

Thank you Rob; we know how busy you are. Any last words before you get back to the kitchen?

Just I really hope everyone that joins us for their Christmas Party Nights have an amazing evening; and to everyone else: Merry Christmas from all of us! 

Posted in Christmas, Hotel's and Tourism, New Continental Hotel, Plymouth, Staff Have Their Say |