New Continental Hotel, Millbay Road, Plymouth, PL1 3LD

Tel: 01752 276798

The History Of Holidaying..!

It’s really no big surprise to us that the UK receives more than 30 million tourists a year!

Which ranks us in the top 10 most visited countries in the whole world! 

When you work in Tourism, you see first-hand how truly blessed we are here in Plymouth; with our hugely diverse landscape, sandy beaches just a short drive away, hidden coves, moorland and more!

With all this on the New Continental Hotels doorstep; we love hearing our guests’ talk of their explorations and their ‘Devon Discoveries’!

With 2020 now in sight, and the big celebration of the Mayflower voyage 400 years ago; we take a look back at holidays gone by. We make our own predictions when we ask:

“What might the future look like for travel?”

Jetting off to foreign lands will always hold a certain sense of adventure. Like for those that we will commemorate on the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower, who sailed from Plymouth to America; carrying the pilgrims who founded the modern United States.

They were off to foreign lands for an ‘adventure’ – but how we choose to ‘holiday’ has changed so much throughout time.

Travel…

The travel industry is a sector that will always undergo dramatic transformations; be that due to digital revolutions, fashionable trends, politics or the social and economic climate.

What has never changed though, is why we holiday; it’s to make wonderful memories.

That’s what we love to be part of, and that is why no matter what transformations take place; our passion for holidaying here at the New Continental Hotel and in Plymouth will never fade.

Holidays Gone By…

It was in 1841,  Thomas Cook started the holiday industry rolling with their ground-breaking offer of a shilling-a-head rail excursion from Leicester to Loughborough! Then followed swiftly in the 1870s, with the Lancashire cotton workers, who really helped develop UK holidaying. They saved all year to convert the traditional (unpaid) one-week holiday into seaside breaks. A chance for the whole family to come together and enjoy each other’s company; without the stresses of everyday life!

Then, 80 years ago in 1939, we saw holiday leave became a legal right for employees!  And by 1975 most people had at least two weeks’ paid holiday a year!

For the rich jet setters 1976 saw the supersonic aircraft Concorde enter commercial services; people could now cross the Atlantic in a record 2 hours 52 minutes!!

Fast forward to 1979; a year when for the first time in history we spent more on overseas holidays than on holidays at home!

Why was this?

Well, for £50 you could spend a week in the glamorous Majorca – with the sun on your back and hotel bedrooms that had balconies and ensuite bathrooms!

And, when we talk about an industry that can be transformed overnight by factors such as social media and digital revolutions; could it also be perhaps transformed by TV?!?

In 1975, a new comedy aired on BBC2; Faulty Towers! A hilarious comedy that neatly exaggerated bad hospitality in the UK..! Could that have helped galvanise holiday’s abroad Vs staycations?!

Perhaps – but the way we book holidays today would certainly look like science fiction to the holidaymaker of the 70’s;  actually, probably to those in the early 90s too!

Package holidays were sold mainly from high street agencies, the only reviews in the 90’s were from friends at dinner tables. Travellers had little real clue what to expect before they arrived. Internet access was limited and the Smartphone still in development, holidaying in the 90’s was a very different kettle of fish!

Now, in 2019, we can see another big shift!  The Staycation!

Our favourite for obvious reasons! Travellers searching for better value breaks, with a growing demand for interesting destinations closer to home. Destinations like Plymouth, that have a plethora of history, heritage and beautiful vistas!

Interestingly, here at the New Continental Hotel, we have also noticed a connection that we like to call:  the ‘nostalgic staycation’!

If we look back to the early 80’s, when the UK entered a recession – with falling output, rising unemployment and a fall in the inflation rate; if holidays were taken, they were taken in the UK and just a short drive away from home – due to fuel prices.

We have had many conversations with adults holidaying with us, those in their 40’s, who are bringing their family back to Plymouth to relive their childhood memories.

The time was tough for families – but the holiday memories were so magical they want their children to experience them.

2018 proved to be a really successful year for the staycation market; we have also noticed that this year  looks like more and more families, friends and couples are also choosing to holiday in Plymouth. And that makes us immensely proud.

We ask our guests what the ingredients are for a perfect holiday at home. Top is obviously a great location; but also an extra eye for the details that matter, whether it’s parking, or high speed Wi-Fi, or a warm family welcome. It’s these thoughtful touches that make our family owned hotel a winner for many holidayers; those from both home and away!

Throughout the years; tourism has been the lifeblood of many communities up and down the UK and many travellers are realising the fun to be had by discovering what’s on offer just beyond their doorstep.

Looking forward…

What can we expect in the year 2039 – 20 years from now? Perhaps we will be sitting on-board a pilotless plane; with a chip in our wrist that tells the robot with the trolley our dietary requirements, and the exact temperature we like our Gin? Maybe we will all have a programme that aids us when speaking languages. Or no luggage as hotels will know what we want and our disposal holiday wares will be waiting for us. Or electronic implants that pay as we check-in..?

Who knows what our holidaying will look like 20 years from now; but one thing I am sure we can all be certain of; holidaying will always be that moment in time that we make magical memories … together. Like those on the Mayflower setting off on their adventures. Regardless of where we go, or why we go, or how we get there, or what we experience along the way; holidaying will always be about togetherness.

Whatever the future has in store; the wonderful world of holidays will always be exciting, because we will be with the people we love.

So, here’s to the next two decades of Devon adventures; of Plymouth exploring; and a hotel that hopes to help you create wonderful memories in Britain’s Ocean City.

 

JOG Your Memory | Student Life | Join The Gym!

JUST £0.66p A DAY!

(Less than two pints of milk!)

Working out is a great way to relax and boost your mood; but studies also show that healthy, active students are more productive in lectures too.

Tiring as it sounds, thinking about adding the Gym to your already hectic schedules, what’s great about working out is it really will give you more energy to do all the things you love.

You may have noticed that the nights out and occasional takeaways have made you feel a bit sluggish.  Fitting exercise into your every day routine will make you feel so much better AND it really is easier than you think …

Club Continental Student Offer…

We ask our Club Continental Manager, Adam,  why the students he works with feel better since joining the Gym:

 

man standing with arms crossed“Physically active students perform better academically. The regular routine of healthy exercise really helps them perform at their best. It’s so much more than just the actual activity itself; more than improving  just the body through building muscle strength and endurance.  Keeping fit is one of the most important things you can do for your health yes; but also general well-being.  The students I work with have all said that by taking part in regular physical activity, they perform better academically.”

“I honestly think that now more than ever, students in higher education are under more pressure. Having to balance studies, finances and their social lives. I was reading in a report published  by the Office Of National Statistics that mental health issues for students are on the rise, particularly the feelings of loneliness and isolation.”

“So, yes it’s more than just trying not to be a couch potato, but it’s not necessarily about becoming a certified fitness fanatic either. It’s about students investing in themselves, in a healthy, positive way so they can be their best.”

 

If you’re thinking about joining a gym, to either get into better shape or just keep fit; we have the solution – without breaking the bank!
For less than the cost of two pints of milk a day, our special student discount is open to everyone over 16 years old and in education.

What are the other benefits?

No Commitment | you can hold or stop your membership at anytime.
No FEES | there is no hidden costs, no joining fee and no admin fee; just £20 per month.
Open For You | we are open 7 days a week!
Pay As You Go | we have a pay as you go option too!
City Centre Location | walking distance from all city colleges, training centres and the University.
FREE Parking | no need to worry about permits or city centre parking fees!
Enterprise Grade Wi-Fi | throughout the Club – you can be connected!
Be Social | it’s a great way to connect with Plymouth!
Be Motivated | our staff are PT trained and will always offer you free advice and guidance if you need it. So you can make sure you make the most out of every session.

So, with Club Continental you can stay healthy and fit without breaking the bank. You can burn off the calories from that occasional alcoholic beverage and takeaway without burning a hole in your pocket! You can clear your head on the treadmill, relax in the steam room or release some tension on the weights.

We work hard to suit your student lifestyle; no catch, just the opportunity for you to use all of our facilities and de-stress for £20 a month for as long as you want!

Student Facebook Competition T&Cs

Win 3 months FREE membership at Club Continental… Tell us in the comments section of the competition why you LOVE being a student in Plymouth for the chance to win 3 months FREE gym membership! TERMS AND CONDITIONS: 1.This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook. 2.Entrants must […]

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Wedding Trends 2019…

Do you ever go to a wedding and think, This is magical?

The colour scheme, the little touches, the detail, the planning; sometimes just the eye of the couple getting married who pulled it all together. Magical doesn’t have to mean expensive.

For some of us, an all-white bouquet would look like a giant golf ball; but to others the most beautiful creation.

Alas, sadly just following a ‘trend’ will not always give you the cosmopolitan wedding your heart desires; what trends do do is connect you with ideas and help you find your own solution.

Admittedly, planning a wedding that feels timeless, contemporary, and fun all at once is no small feat. One that is chic, stylish, elegant, sophisticated, glamorous , opulent, decadent and all those other words we want our wedding to be like is really pretty tough!

The trick to this  emotionally fraught process is to sidestep obvious wedding trend mistakes. These blunders that we have seen in the past! The table decorations that block anyone from making conversation. The real flower wall that lasts for 5 minutes before flowers fall out, the chocolate fountain that was a mistake from start to finish in a room of white and dry-clean only outfits!

If you are starting out with you’re wedding planning for this upcoming year, we may have some little hints that could offer some side-steps, some ideas or just some possibilities for your special day…

Welcome Gifts 

We love clever, personal and useful ‘welcome to our wedding’ gifts that greet guests in our hotel rooms when they arrive. It doesn’t have to be much, snacks, water, local tea and coffee, these are all practical and charming. But you can also go a little step further, perhaps some personalised by date or name flip-flops or survival bag with little goodies, a thank you from you for their time and effort to share in your day.

Bouquets That Stand The Test Of Time

We have seen many celebs opt for a smaller, more classic bouquet, and many of our brides have also done the same. Refined, elegant, and simple arrangements that don’t overshadow the bride and her dress are what we see as being hot this year.

The Perfect Palettes

From peach to coral and every shade in-between! NOT THIS YEAR! This year we are seeing a massive trend in rose gold, ivory, creams and rich fabrics rather than colours.

Dress To Impress…Yourself! 

Meghan Markle may have opted for the minimalist Givenchy dress, and so on the back of this there are dressmakers all over going for the simpler designs. Which is great, but doesn’t always mean it’s right for you. Don’t make your wedding dress a uniform. Pick the dress that is right for you, that makes you ‘wow’ yourself!  Wear what fits your style and personality.

Staying true to who you are is always in fashion; and that’s what your other half fell in love with.

Food Glorious Food

It’s tempting to try and over do it on the food front! 2019 sees more and more set menus with a silent vegetarian/vegan option. Massive choices for guests can slow down the flow of any event, and adds to the budget.  We are seeing more and more two, two and two options; the couples own favourite choices…’which team are you on!’

Who Gives A Toss

We would! It’s 2019. So your single friends in search of a significant other will all no doubt be swiping left and right rather than crossing their fingers to catch a Bouquets; but we truly believe this tend will be back in 2019. A tradition that will stand tall again.

Do Me A Favour

Wedding Favours are becoming less popular. Instead we are seeing more and more novelty table items; candles with the date on that people can take at the end of the night; individual flowers in the table decoration with the guests name on a mini peg and small luggage tag with a personal note. More creative, less expensive!

If you would like to find out more; do call us.

 

 

We would welcome the opportunity to show you around our hotel and share some of our Real Wedding pictures to give you a feel of the spaces.

 

How We Are Getting Ready For 2020…

Eating Up The Past! Our Kitchen Prepares For 2020 Celebrations…

We talk to Executive Chef Paul Doidge…

As 2020 approaches, the celebration of the Mayflower voyage 400 years ago is on the horizon, and we are really excited to be part of such a sensational moment in time.

This week, we take a look at what our amazing Kitchen Staff  are working hard on.  We will have many new additions for 2020. Today we look at the Kitchen Brigade and ask them what they are creating that will be an additional extra threading through Hotel Life in 2020. 

Our creations in celebration and memory of the extraordinary adventure…

So, with the theme ‘The Age of Exploration’ our amazing brigade are thinking about the many sailors and explorers on transoceanic voyages throughout the years. Brave individuals who made significant sacrifices to better our today’s. What are they thinking you ask? They are thinking ‘pickling’!

Yes! Pickling!

As one of the earliest mobile foods, pickles filled the stomachs of hungry sailors and travellers, but not only was it a great food source to store for long travels, it’s reported that Saurkraut also played an important role in helping prevent scurvy!

We ask our Executive Chef, Paul Doidge why ‘pickled food’ was such a good tonic:

“Fermented sauerkraut is basically cabbage which is finely shredded, layered with salt, and left to ferment. It may not look very appetising; but it is said to have played an important role in helping prevent scurvy aboard ships. Scurvy was a real and very prevalent disease,  resulting from a lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid). It’s said to have been responsible for an estimated two million deaths between 1500 and 1800 — on sailing ships around the world.”

Scurvy plagued sailors aboard long-distance sailing ships for centuries.  All-too common, and life -threatening, many explorers made sure they had pickled food in their diets, as well as Rum of course! Even on the storied expedition to the New World, Christopher Columbus reportedly made sure he had plenty of pickles aboard for his sailors!

With Paul on hand, we ask him why food plays such an important role in understanding our history:

“Food, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated means for understanding, teaching and celebrating our rich history. Especially here in Plymouth where the food scene has always been so highly placed in our community.  Cooking is one of those life skills we all need, throughout every decade. Throughout time, food and the craft of cooking has been a survival skill. Employed by every generation of human beings, extending way back to the beginning of time. Food is one of the few means by which we come to know our ancient ancestors. To me it makes complete sense for the talented chefs in Plymouth to help and play a  role in telling the tales from the Mayflower Voyage.”

“Food plays an essential role, not only in our lives today but also in understanding cultures and those days gone by. It’s a great tool to explore trends and culture. We recognise this in main when we holiday or travel; when you go to Spain you will try their local dishes like paella and tapas; you understand so much about how they live their lives. The same goes when you look to the past, to understand how they lived and in cases such as with the Pilgrim Fathers how they survived trying times.”

In keeping with all of this, our kitchen staff  are on their own adventures. They are doing things a little differently for some 2020 Continental Mayflower Pickles!

Watch this space! There is a lot more to come! 

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