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

Tel: 01752 276798

A Roma Bar Chat | This Time About Being CYBER Safe

The Roma Bar – It’s All About The Chit Chat!

Elinor Eaton, Development Manager for the New Continental Hotel and Strathmore House Apartments shares her Roma Bar Chit Chat!

It’s a current landscape that is vastly different from the one we knew twenty years ago, when many of us were already in our professional field.

Twenty years ago, for many businesses it was all about the shop front. You would put adverts in the local paper and join networking groups nearby and hope, with all your might, that people would need what you sold. Some extended their markets by sending sales people out on the road, with samples and a notebook of prices. They would be armed with Carbon Paper at the ready for orders; then they would whisk them back to the office, pack up the items and deliver them to their customers.

Twenty years doesn’t feel like that long ago; but the change we have seen, some gradual some instantaneous, is vast. Innovations, new ways of thinking and new needs, met with the inception of the Internet has created a very new platform for business.

A business became no longer dependent on its local customer base for its survival; nor so much on an individual member of staffs knowledge of a product or service. Things were at our fingertips and very different to our old norm!

The internet quickly became a vast and beautiful entity that allowed us all unprecedented access to information, the likes of which we had never seen before, or even been able to imagine!

A FAX was a magical thing; EMAILS just blew minds!

Roll on twenty years and we have never before had as much access to knowledge as we do today, and that’s all thanks to the internet. Yet with this creation, for many of us, has come with it a huge amount of uncertainty and some fear. It empowers and enable us to work smarter; but we have to be smarter too…in areas that still sometimes feels like something from a science fiction novel!

I felt like I was at a pretty ‘ok’ level of understanding and knowledge when it came to cyber-safety. As a hotel we work with a local company called Acronyms who support us on all levels of IT, including our Wi-Fi and guests safety.  Yet last week, when I sat in on a very interesting chat in the Roma Bar, I realised that although we all use the internet now for work and in our every days, and we all have very different levels of understanding when it comes to our safety.

I was sat with a lady and  gentleman who shared similar roles; out on the road having meetings and making sales – but they had very different backgrounds.

My Meeting With Jess & Richard…

Although I was due to finish work for the day and was on my way out, for 30 minutes we spoke at length about the ‘trials and tribulations of a road warrior in 2019’.

Interestingly the gentleman, Richard, had worked his way up from warehouse to road, and Jess straight from University.

They sat sharing a drink (and our Enterprise grade Wi-Fi) whilst both tapping away,  their finger tips recording their days events onto their screens.

This is not a new scene here at the New Continental Hotel. We have an amazing collection of sensational business people who share our hotel and facilities each week; but last week what I was struck by was a unity between these two people, despite very different beginnings, thoughts and skill sets.

Cyber-Security…

As they asked me to join them, the conversation started with the Business landscape and obstacles in Plymouth. Then moved on to what I saw the future looking like both socially and economically. This then sharply moved on to a conversation that has intrigued me for some time now – cyber-security when out and about.

Our guests, be they here for leisure or business, are the most important thing to us, and their safety (in all respects) matters greatly. We are all told daily, with startling headlines and victims reports that for many ‘criminals’ – travellers and their online identities are at risk.

Your online presence is a cookie jar for those who know how to access it” and “Your lack of knowledge is a playpen for the technical criminal

Although we all know that even for the most seasoned of IT literate beings, just being present and online can provide a rich source of gratification, profit or power to someone who wishes to abuse it.

One Persons Wisdom Shared; Is Another Persons Gain…

Jess had studied at The University of Nottingham and although professed she was no expert, seemed to know a great deal about cyber defences and keeping her and her business safe.  Although not her Mastermind specialist subject; listening to her talk and seeing how intent Richard was at listening to what she had to share – I knew others may feel the same.

What was clear from our conversation was that holiday makers and business travellers were at risk just as much, if not more so than those people at home. In part because it was easier for their cyber defences to be on the back burner; off their minds as they head for a ‘jolly holiday’ or because, if they were business travellers, they had reports to write and return and tight deadlines!

Richard asked Jess a great questions:

When you are a business traveller you need to be connected, so how do you stay safe or at least SAFER when you are?

Cyber Hygiene!

‘Cyber hygiene’ as Jess put it was the first thing she mentioned; not only making sure your software is updated, but also changing your passwords before you travel. Each week she changes her passwords to complex words or phrases that are hard to guess. Jess also said she adds two-factor authentication. As this adds an extra layer of protection from hackers on her travels for work.

What was interesting was that she felt a responsibility not only to her own safety but her employers too. Quite rightly we talked about the responsibility we all have now to keep our companies safe.

We are living in an age where certain information is far more sensitive than money – and we wouldn’t carry around any amount of our companies cash without the correct security practises in place!

Social Platforms!

Richard didn’t have personal social media accounts. But another key element that came from the conversation was about the use of social media when you are on the road. As a hotel setting with love seeing people check-in and upload their photos, and we know that for many businesses they share posts, check-in and thank customers and new contacts for time and such like.  Jess said that although she does do this, she always waits until after her trip to share information through social media, that way she has the control.

Access!

Most employees now will have a VPN. This securely allow themselves to access data on a network and upload information, save and store safely. Even if you do have this; Jess also said that it’s always worth disabling your automatic connection to Wi-Fi networks – on all your devices when travelling. This prevents you accidentally joining public Wi-Fi without having a chance to check the network.

Jess said she never uses public Wi-Fi anymore, or any that doesn’t require a password.   Turning off your Bluetooth when you aren’t using it also came up.  Hackers can connect to a device and quickly download user data through this connection.  Like an open window, they can then access personal information and send messages or join infected networks.

All so scary!

Our conversations ended and we said our goodbyes. Yet the conversation left me thinking a few things – and not all about cyber safety!

Times change; things move on and we all adapt – but the constant is that strangers are just friends we haven’t made yet! No matter what our backgrounds or our journeys we all have things we can share. It was far from a one sided conversation. Richard gave Jess and I great advice that only comes with wisdom baked over time.

If you make the time to listen, even just for 30 minutes you can learn so much. And, if you take the time to switch off your Bluetooth you can be a little safer too!

These points will no doubt seem very basic to many. Yet my hope is that if just one person disables their automatic connection to Wi-Fi or turns off their Bluetooth (like Richard did!) it was well worth sharing our Roma Bar chit-chat! 

Like A Lazy Sunday Lie-In? No Need To Feel Guilty…

Summer Sunday lie-Ins At The New Continental Hotel…

We simply couldn’t wait for National Sleep In Day on the 26th October! The day the clocks go back and we all get an extra hour in bed.

So we thought to ourselves: “How can we give our guests an extra special treat this summer?” 

We introduce to you: Our Lazy Sunday Summer Lie-Ins!

Every Sunday this summer we will be serving Breakfast until 10.30 am.

Being in bed for half an hour longer isn’t just about a quantum of sleep. It also means that there is no rush to your table. No need to hurry your enjoyment when eating your freshly cooked to order Breakfast!

“There’s nothing quite like the occasional weekend lie-in after a long week at work, but especially a lie-in when you’re on holiday!

I’m a good morning person when I have to be – with the help of coffee! But there are times when I like to enjoy the fact that I don’t have to struggle to stir when the alarm goes off!

The Lazy Sunday Lie-In is great news for people like me, people who enjoy a leisurely wake up and the occasional hit of the snooze button!”

Says Elinor Eaton, the Development Manager at the New Continental Hotel and Strathmore House Apartments.

If like Elinor you like a little lie-in at the weekend; don’t feel guilty or alone!

There has been some research that suggests that people who sleep in on the weekends are actually healthier than their early bird counterparts! So, this Sunday enjoy your guilt-free lie in – remember if the experts say it’s good for you, then it must be!

What’s more, we have some amazing offers. So, not only can you have a lie-in, you can have a great nights sleep for less! 

Are You The Organiser..?

What Role Do You Play..?

In every friendship group or social circle, there is that one person that you look to, the ‘organiser’.

The  person that you can rely on; they spend their lunch breaks and evenings researching the perfect break away or evening out. Getting the best price accommodation; the restaurants that will take groups; menu options that everyone will like; drinks that aren’t too expensive; all the travel options. That person that will go the extra mile with personalised straws or goody bags for the train ride!

Like that organiser in your friendship group – there is also that organiser at work. Organising the work nights out, the family summer BBQs and the works Christmas Party!

It can be a gruelling task as the organiser. The amount of work it takes can go unnoticed. It’s not that its not appreciated – because it really is – but the time it takes in an unknown quantity for some people if they haven’t been ‘the one’ themselves before.

For many people who take on this role as an organiser, their natural aptitude is to organise things but more importantly, it’s about seeing people having fun, letting their hair down and making memories.

Does This Sound Familiar..?

Experience tells is that ‘organisers’ are the people who text you first. The people who coordinate the calendar. They are the names and bodies behind the bookings.

They say that there are 7 key aptitudes when it comes to being an events organiser; both socially and professionally:

  • Great communication Skills
  • A People Person and Team Player
  • Willingness, Flexibility and a Positive Attitude
  • Highly Organised and Efficient
  • Head For Numbers
  • Attention to Detail and Pride in Work
  • Determination to Succeed, Stamina to Work Hard

Christmas With Us …

What you may not find on a Myers-Briggs kind of personality indicator is the human need for a little thank you and praise along the way. This is NOT at all the reason that people take on the role; but we know that genuine appreciation is a priceless gift that makes most people (we could go as far as to say ALL people) feel great.

We Want To Say Thank You…

That’s why here at the New Continental Hotel, since 2012, we have said a BIG Conti thank you to the organisers of our Christmas Party Nights. Be they parties for work groups or friends. If you are making a booking for 25 or more people, you get a FREE THANK YOU GIFT from us.

The organiser of any Party Night of 25 or more receives…

An overnight stay on the night of their party. The stay comes complete with Breakfast the next day and full use of Club Continental. So, you and a friend or loved one can get ready in style and relax without the worry of a taxi being late. You can make a casual but elegant entrance – even when it’s pouring outside! Then you can enjoy the flow of a beverage or two before heading to your room without the wait (or expense) of a taxi home. Wake up to a fully cooked breakfast and then head to the pool, sauna and steam room to relax and recharge, or work off  the night before in our air-conditioned gyms.

Indulge in the festivities and let us support you every step of the way.

We will help you make sure that everyone has the most amazing time and we promise we will help take the stress out of Christmas!

Call our events team now to check availability: 01752 276783.
It’s NEVER too early to ‘organise’ Christmas! 

 

Summer of Fun planned for Plymouth City Centre

Summer In The City…

Plymouth is so alive in the summer months and this year is no different.

This summer, Plymouth will have yet another packed programme of family friendly events; thanks to a new festival of fun organised by the Plymouth City Centre Company.

This really will be a summer full of entertainment for all the family. The Plymouth Summer of Fun kicks off on the 6th July, with Plymouth Summer Circus. This is a free day of circus entertainment and workshops on the Piazza.

Summer in Plymouth

Plymouth Summer Of Fun…

Every weekend, during the school holidays, there will be events and activities for everyone to enjoy. Steve Hughes, the Chief Executive of the Plymouth City Centre Company, said:

  “The summer holidays are a fantastic opportunity for families to come together and spend time having fun.

 “Whether you’re looking to enjoy a circus spectacle, get involved with some hands on activities, bring the little ones along for story time or challenge your friends and family to some ping pong, Plymouth Summer of Fun has plenty going on to bring you in to Plymouth City Centre.”

Plymouth Summer of Fun really does promise to bring a variety of entertainment across the holiday period, from circus workshops to dance, story time, arts and crafts and sport, all rounded off with the grand finale of the West End Carnival and 60th Anniversary of Plymouth Market on 31st  August.

Summer In Plymouth

Plymouth Bike Day…

What’s more, if you’re a fan of Plymouth Bike Nights don’t miss Plymouth Bike Day on the Piazza on 27th  July. This is a local ‘meet’ for bikers from Plymouth and South East Cornwall in support of local charities.

Pete Batten, one of the Bike Night organisers, said:

 “The Plymouth Motorcycle Club and their supporters are really excited to be working alongside the Plymouth City Centre Company to bring the very popular Plymouth Bike Nights events held on the Hoe Promenade for the last nine years into the City Centre for the first time as ‘Plymouth Bike Day’ to the Piazza.”

Also attending will be Devon and Cornwall Air Ambulance charities, the Chestnut Appeal, British Heart Foundation, Devon Freewheelers Blood Bikes along with many of local motorcycle traders displaying the very latest new motorcycles.

Below you will find the full programme of events, but to see all of the details simply visit: www.visitplymouth.co.uk

The full Summer of Fun programme:

6 July

Plymouth Summer Circus, Piazza

Higher Beings Circus Workshop, Piazza/Sundial

Tea Dance with a Twist, Plymouth Guildhall

Plymouth Vegan Festival, Plymouth Guildhall

8 July

Plymouth Library Storytime Event, Drake Circus

13 July

Street Factory Dance Performances, Frankfort Gate, Place de Brest and outside Drake Circus Cornwall Street entrance

Creation Station Summer workshops, Coffee#1

Plymouth Libraries Summer Reading Challenge Launch, Central Library and other Plymouth Libraries

20 July

St Luke’s Midnight Walk, Piazza

22-26 July

Plymouth College of Art Craft Week, Drake Circus

27 July

Misael Cordero: Cuban Salsa Event, Drake Circus

Plymouth Bike Day, Piazza

 29 July

Plymouth Library Storytime Event, Drake Circus

31 July – 1 August

Ping! Plymouth Ping Pong Event, multiple locations across the city centre

3 August

Higher beings spring art workshop, Frankfort Gate/Waterstones New George Street Building

Creation Station Summer Workshop, The Ground Coffee House

Plymouth Dance – Dance in the City Event, Piazza

5-11 August

Plymouth Pride Activities and Parade, Piazza, Sundial and Drake Circus

7-27 August

Plymouth Libraries: Lunch at the Library, Central Library and other Plymouth Libraries

14, 21 & 28 August

Theatre Royal Craft and Dressing Up Event, Drake Circus

17 August

Higher Beings Giant Dragon, Frankfort Gate

24 August

Fool’s Paradise – Phileas Fogg, Hula Hooper, Treemendous, Various city centre locations

31 August

West End Carnival and Market 60th Anniversary, The West End and Plymouth Market

Toy and Train Fair, Methodist Central Hall

7 September

Tea Dance with a Twist, Plymouth Guildhall

 

 

All The Seasons – All The Savings!

In a week where it feels that we have enjoyed all the seasons (!) we thought we would talk about ALL the seasons too – with an offer for every single one!

Summer In The City…

We are told it’s coming – and we CAN NOT wait!  Plymouth is truly spectacular in the Sun. So many cobbles to explore and vistas to enjoy! Beautiful alfresco dining and drinking to hand; chips for your laps whilst you soak in the rays and of course, a glorious boat trip or two is always a must!

This June we have some great last minute deals; you can save 15% on your stay or look out for our Single Day Summer Promotions. These are single nights for two people in either a double or twin room, with Breakfast, scattered throughout June, July and August for just £60!

Plymouth’s Autumn Air…

There is such a bustling atmosphere during Autumn in Plymouth. Whether it’s a weekend city break or a mid-week stay, you’ll be in awe as you explore our beauty. From our iconic architecture, rich culture and unique (and sometimes hidden) charms.  You will also love our rich and diverse cultural offer, our high street shopping and lively events.

Our ‘Monday’s Are Not For Moderation’ offer is a fantastic  way to feel the Autumn Air on your skin, for just £60 per person you can enjoy DINNER, BED & BREAKFAST – with full access to our leisure complex!

Winter is a great time to enjoy Plymouth…

There is always so much going on in the winter. The Christmas Markets being one of them!   There really is something special about a Festive Market; it gets you in the mood for Christmas and is a pass to indulge in all the hearty comfort foods – without guilt!

Cinnamon in the air, carol singers in the background and mulled wine in hand – you can roam around aimlessly and find heavenly home-made gifts and treats with your pathway sparkling with fairy lights.

There is nothing like booking a break in advance. That way you have something to look forward to AND being an early bird will normally save you money.

Our winter offer; get three nights for the price of two!

Spring This Way…

So, we have heard that Plymouth is lovely at any time of year, but many say Plymouth  is at its prettiest in spring. Daffodils and crocuses cover The Hoe – the sea shining and cherry blossom filling the parks.  March-April offer some of the very best deals when it comes to accommodation in Plymouth; released the summer before you can always find great value, amazing promotions and heavily discounted rates. So not only can you fill your Spring with beauty – you can save pounds whilst you do!

Terms and conditions apply, all offers are subject to availability and change. 

Check Availability