It stands to reason that some of Plymouth’s best bars are located inside our amazing hotels.
At the New Continental Hotel our sophisticated Roma Bar holds echos of Art Deco styling. It has high ceilings; a mirrored bar fascia; marbled style tiles and gold finishes. It creates a destination of style and escapism … all in the heart of Britain’s Ocean City.
The Roma Bar at the New Continental Hotel provides a relaxed and open environment. It really is the perfect place for an informal drink; a catch-up with friends or a debrief with colleagues after work. What’s more, EVERYONE is welcome!
Unwittingly, at first glance it might seem that our chic little bar has taken inspiration from the hotels rich history.
In 1936 Richard, an influential London business man, reported as friend with Mr Selfridge himself, was part of the Trust House Ltd. The company who owned the hotel at the time. Richard designed and developed many areas within the hotel that you see today, and some that have since passed. One of his passed creations being the American Cocktail Bar, which was located near the Ballroom.
It was the first of its kind outside of London; equipped in the latest style of the times. It was furnished with chrome stools and chrome tables. It had a semi-circular bar and was a place that women were welcome – even when unaccompanied by a man!
The toilet-rooms also sounded like they paid homage to the decadence of 1930s Shanghai! They were decorated in a scheme of primrose and pink glazed tiles with plush gold finishes. There was also a separate cloakroom and ladies powder-room; with a full-time assistant on hand for your every whim!
The cocktails were named after the best-known authors of the time. Guests were offered an unsurpassed range of hand-rolled cigars that came with ‘the full service’! There were staff on hand for the cutting and lighting of your cigar; either at the bar or at your table!
The experience did not end there!
For the VIP’s, they were offered a space in the heated indoor car park! Also the first of its kind outside of London!! The parking was a service reported at being ‘very acceptable’ to many. It offered spacious underground parking for 50 cars which was beneath the Ballroom (also Richards creation) and it meant that access could be granted to the Cocktail Bar and hotel via a private stairway. So, there was no need to go outside of the building in all your evening finery!
The Central Location…
The Cocktail Bar was a hideaway which was popular for many. There are reports of customers sipping on the many whiskeys on offer and botanical cocktails as they ‘escape reality with pure fantasy’.
It would also seem there was a great working relationship between Mrs. Hoyle and the Trust House Ltd. Mrs. Hoyle was in charge of The Palace Theatre at the time and it would seem that collaboration was in the air even back then! They would share patrons and market shows for each other. Partly due to location no doubt, but also after the Ballrooms completion in February 1936, when it became heavily programmed for weekly live music events and dances.
The dream was to have as much live music as possible to lift spirits in Plymouth, with a large dance floor ‘on springs’, concealed lighting, air purifiers and enough space to seat comfortably 350 people in one sitting. Under the Ballroom was the heated indoor car park, now Club Continental.
The Roma Bar Today…
Although many features of the American Cocktail Bar are now only in the words of historical documents and newspaper articles, the Roma Bar has echoes of the relaxing and welcoming old world bar.
It is still a perfect destination to meet friends or colleagues; perhaps meeting before a show or an evening meal at Steve’s Brasserie. Open to all, not only yo residents, the Roma Bar is open daily from 5.30pm and is in the perfect city centre location. Perhaps to take a breather after shopping, work or sightseeing and to step away from the bustle of Plymouth, yet being close enough to step right back into it again.
So, make some time to perhaps enjoy one (or two) of the 13 Gins on offer (including of course Plymouth Gin) and soak up the history that is hidden within the DNA of our beautiful, historic city centre hotel.
Flavourful dishes, freshly prepared are the order of the day here at Steve’s Brasserie…
Years ago, hotel restaurants were considered a last resort for many a traveler. Today, they’re destinations in themselves…
No longer just an on-site amenity, hotel restaurants are attracting tourists and locals alike; and Steve’s Brasserie is no exception.
Not confined to the accommodation we provide; our warm welcome extends much further than that here at the New Continental Hotel. We are extremely proud to offer seasonal and seriously tasty food on all of our menus in Steve’s Brasserie. Menus that are a celebration of nostalgic favourites and of course the West Country’s amazing natural larder and local suppliers.
We’re now in the eighth month of the year, how time flies! In such a busy city like Plymouth, it’s not surprising to see so much change already in 2019 – and no doubt there will be more before the year is out! A constant in Plymouth since 2010 is Steve’s Brasserie. Adored by regulars and a real hit with our guests. Perched under the New Continental Hotel on Millbay Road; Steve’s Brasserie is open Monday – Saturday from 5.30pm and welcomes everyone.
Whether you are visiting for dinner before heading out to see a show, or enjoying a special romantic meal for two; Steve’s Brasserie is the place to be.
Taste the finest locally sourced food, cooked to perfection and served in stylish, relaxing surroundings. If you’re a fan of great food, then the New Continental Hotel and Steve’s Brasserie is somewhere you should definitely try.
With our high standards of cooking and presentation in beautiful surroundings, and a relaxed atmosphere, you can spoil yourself with a three course meal from our Main Menu. Or, perhaps try something divine from our Early Evening options, a treat before you take your seat!
Book A Table Now…
The New Continental Hotel is a well-known, centrally located setting, and Steve’s Brasserie offers a tempting range of dining options. With all your food needs sorted, all you need to do now is book your table!
Call or message us today, let us book you in and prepare yourself for an evening of succulent steaks, sizzling King Prawns, perfect pasta, vegan and vegetarian delights or mouthwatering burgers. There are plenty of other options too; from sensational beer battered fish and chips to a five bean chili with sweet potato wedges and rice, tasty starters and delicious desserts.
Join us at our hotel restaurant for an indulgent evening of food, wine and the warmest of welcomes.
For just a second, as you read these words, picture yourself beside the sea. Watching the waves gently break upon the sand; feeling the warm breeze whilst gazing to the horizon.
Or perhaps imagine yourself sat by a heated indoor pool. The warm air around you enveloping you safely, mesmerised by the light dancing across the pool surface. Then, think about the calming feeling of the water around you, lifting you, holding you up as you swim.
Do you feel relaxed? Us too!
There’s something very therapeutic about being in, or being near the water. So, we ask Adam, our Club Continental Manager, what the science might be behind the tranquil calm that we feel when faced with the turquoise wonder…
Here’s what he had to say about it…
I am a huge fan of knowing why our body and minds do what they do. Although no scientist or expert, I am fascinated!
Simply form a personal perspective, taking some time out to go for a swim or be near the water gives me some much needed time out of my crazy daily schedule! Plus, it gives me space to rejuvenate and refresh; so that I have a more positive outlook on the day – or the week ahead.
I tap into a sense of comfort…
I find it clears my mind and helps me think more rationally. Daily stresses can be overwhelming, so finding what works for you, to help you escape for a moment will be the best thing you have ever done for yourself. What’s more, you deserve it!
A swim helps me stay cool, calm and collected so that I can perform at my best; whether in a sporting competition, in everyday life or at work.
Swim England Say…
In 2017 Swim England commissioned major new research into the health benefits of swimming. The Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Swimming report is an independent study that fully explores the impact of swimming on physical, mental and social well-being. It’s an amazing research document that gave me a great insight into the ‘why’s’ behind the swimming benefits I feel.
Like all exercise, swimming releases endorphins in your brain. These are natural feel-good hormones that increase positivity and bring about a sense of well-being and happiness. More than this though, the report found evidence that regular swimmers live longer. It helps older people stay mentally and physically fit, and participation in swimming lessons can help children to develop physical, cognitive and social skills quicker.
Starve The Stress…
People have always said that swimming reduces stress, that it calms us. The new research suggests that swimming might actually help to promote the growth of new brain cells in parts of the brain which break down during chronic (long-term) stress. So, stepping us even closer to providing the scientific evidence that explains why swimming could enhance our ability to manage and cope better with stress.
With or without the science, what we do know for sure is that swimming is a particularly good way, for the majority of us, to relax our body, soothe our mind and reduce anxiety.
Swimming is a form of exercise you can do by yourself, which is great because you can go when you want and you don’t have to rely on anyone else. Yet Club Continental offers you the space to be alone, but the opportunity to be among friends. The Club is a great place to meet new people, having a little minute chat whilst in-between lengths is a great way to connect, helping knock down any feelings of isolation, that many feel in their normal every day.
Oh So Blue…
Although I have never come across any concrete scientific proof that being in blue spaces improves or enhances mental well-being, I’m pretty sure it does! The colour blue is calming and is abundant throughout the natural world. When the sky is blue I always feel happier! You might also have heard of the term ‘biophilia’ – this means the ‘love of nature’ and refers to our inbuilt desire to be near and connected with nature!
Whether you rely on the science or just your own sense of well-being after being by or in the water; swimming really is a great way for EVERYONE to stay physically and mentally fit. Club Continental is open 7 days a week; and you don’t need to be a member! Pop in and see either me or a member of my team to find out more.
Aah, August! Probably a favourite summer month for chefs…produce wise that is!
Suppliers are heaving with fresh local produce. The month brings the best bounty of the season—ripened tomatoes, juicy melons, sweet corn on the cob, amazing plump aubergines and broad beans. These are just a few of their favourites.
Here at the New Continental Hotel, we love watching our amazing chefs work. They are always creating mouth watering, seasonal dishes. Yet August feels like a really great month to watch them use some of the truly incredible ingredients there is on offer.
An Amazing Month…
I’m not sure there is anything better than seeing our chefs whip up some of Augusts’ sensational seasonal foods; once again they create some super-delicious summer recipes for the hotel, and of course Steve’s Brasserie.
Whether it’s delicious dinners, sweet treats or sensational starters – whatever the dish – August is a GREAT food month!
With an abundance of seafood’s like crab, cod, salmon or sea bream; paired with amazing and sophisticated salads or stunning fresh vegetables – everything is just plump, juicy and divine!
An amazing August starter at Steve’s Brasserie for example is the King Prawns with lambs lettuce, pickled fennel and a creamy cocktail sauce – prawn perfection!
August is also a great month for British Lamb born in the spring. With time to have grazed properly outdoors on the best grass of the year, they have matured enough to develop a ‘true lamb’ flavour.
With this in mind, a great meat treat from the August menu at Steve’s Brasserie would be the home cooked lamb stew. Served with the crispiest fried new potatoes…it really is delicious!
We MUST not forget the great vegetarian options though. August is a month with so many lovely foods in season. Hedgerows of berries and lots of juicy fruits like peaches and apricots. But it’s not just fruits that come into their own this month. August brings us heat-loving aubergines and other wonderful vegetables.
Any vegetarian dish is a delight in August, with not just all of the vegetables, but the herbs that are in season too.
Although every month offers a bewildering number of new seasonal dishes to eat, drinks to imbibe, and great foodie events to attend; August really is a unique time in the year.
What’s more – here is a SPECIAL AUGUST OFFER if you’re thinking about eating out at Steve’s this AUGUST:
OFFER | Celebrate tomato season with a pizza...or TWO!
Some people are tomato fiends; others are crazy about the tangy, juicy little red balls of wonder!
Either way, there aren’t many people that don’t love a GOOD pizza!
Our tomato sauce, smeared all over our freshly made, pizza ovened pizzas is a true miracle mix!
The Margarita is a firm favourite! With the tomato sauce and herbs, the fresh mozzarella, garlic and of course some chefs secrets…it’s a real winner!
August is the peak of tomato season, so what could be better than a nice slice (or two!) of our amazing PIZZAs!
BEST BOUNTY | Pre-Book your table Monday-Thursday this August and QUOTE BEST BOUNTY and get a Margherita Pizza for just £5 when you purchase ANY OTHER pizza!
Over the last months, plastics have been a hotter topic than ever before; sparked primarily by Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet. People and businesses around the world have been moving quickly; trying to help reduce the amounts of plastics they use.
Here at Club Continental things are no different. Adam (the Club Continental Manager) and his team have been busily working hard to ensure that they are doing what they can so that they don’t add to the shocking statistics. They do not want to add to the amount of single use plastic waste that ends up in our oceans.
Today, we take 10 minutes out of Adams busy schedule to hear why he feels so passionately about the cause…
We’re removing all single-use plastic from Club Continental…
As participants in the leisure and fitness industry, we have a responsibility to work with other sectors to tackle this problem head on. No one starts their day thinking that they want to add to the plastic crisis. Yet, we are all living in a rapid social climate, trying to fit so much in to our day, so because of this we look for convenience. Sometimes it’s just easier to rely on others to help us make the better choices.
Here at Club Continental we know our members want to help make a difference. Plastic has a real and direct impact on our health; the environment and all of our futures. It’s something that I feel we as a gym need to help address.
Over the last 30 years I have witnessed single use plastics becoming the norm within the gym environment. I hope that our new initiative (to be launched on the 1st September 2019) will inspire others in the industry to audit and overhaul, where possible, their own green policies in a similar way.
Things are changing…
What’s amazing is many within the sports arenas and sectors already have made significant change. We saw Wimbledon this year making a massive step. Many Premier League clubs are urging their players to use their influence to empower and mobilise their supporters to consider their environmental impact. Plus many gyms around the world are totally eradicating single use plastic from their vending machines, protein and shake bars and changing rooms.
To me it makes absolute sense for organisations to adjust their policies and strategies to support their members, staff and guests to tackle the issue. We want to make it as easy as possible for them to see that together, we ARE and we WILL make a difference.
From September 1st we will be removing all single use plastic from Club Continental. The main area of change that our members and guests will see this happen is by the removal of the plastic cups used with our water fountain.
I am enormously proud of the effort my team puts into helping people achieve their goals; they are all mindful and considerate – whilst motivating and supportive. So, when I mentioned my concerns after calculating the annual plastic cup consumption for the Club, they all supported me. When you realise that each plastic cup has a lifespan of around 35 seconds; you know things simply have to change!
Our next step as a Club is to deliver other sustainability initiatives – such as energy and water reduction. I know that I will have the support of our members and friends. I know this because I am sure they will want to help make tomorrow better than today on all counts.
Adam and his team are in the process of created an amazing resource for anyone that wants to help them on their quest. Like Club Continental on Facebook to access this awesome PDF that will be coming soon!
No matter what, your wedding day will be fabulous.
It’s a day when you are love struck; you have found your happy ever after and you are about to be part of the ‘I Do’ crew. All of the planning has paid off and you are all set for the most magical day of your life.
Many couples spend months, perhaps years even planning their day, and the first thing, once you have found you soul mate, is to find the right venue for you.
There are a number of requirements that many couples note as important to their decision making; one is definitely the location. Couples want to make it as easy as possible for their friends and loved ones to join them. Then of course the GREAT British weather has to be considered! That is why we at the New Continental Hotel are a popular choice.
But choosing a city centre location can mean that you don’t always have the grounds to incorporate nature. So how can you have it all…?
You bring the outside in!
Here at the New Continental Hotel, we have many couples who love us for our location, our hospitality and our attention to detail; but they also know that it’s really important to them to have nature too.
If you’re thinking of a wedding at an indoor venue, this can be a smart option. No weather concerns, no cold evening receptions, and they are of course perfect for winter weddings. If you are worried that you might be missing out on the beauty of the outdoors at your indoor wedding, then please don’t! There are so many ways that you can bring the beauty of nature indoors in really safe and clever ways.
Here are some fun options that we have loved seeing over the years that have cleverly brought an outdoor feel, to an indoor wedding…
Flowers are an obvious go to…
Flowers are such a beautiful way to add colour and a spot of nature to your indoor wedding.
There are endless ways to incorporate your flowers to make the inside feel more “outdoorsy.” We have seen beautiful potted plants, especially herbs as centrepieces. We have seen beautifully crafted arches and flower walls. Ceiling instalments have also been a beautiful addition to the dressing of the room, as well as floral favours with seeds. Baskets of flowers just scattered around the edge of the room and so much more.
You’re colour scheme can dictate your flowers, or your favourite flowers your colour scheme. We had a couple that loved Daisies’ as they had a real significance to their meeting; so they had splashes of yellow with hessian – simple, elegant and chic. Adding natural fabrics is a great way to add nature too. Fabrics such as hessian and linens can make great table runners and can complement an outdoor-themed indoor wedding in an instant.
The colours you choose…
When we think flowers, we naturally think colour!
The colours you choose can make a real difference to the overall feel of your wedding. If you create a palate, thinking about everything you love about the outside, it’s a great place to start. Here at the hotel, natural greens, tans, and greys, instantly transform the room into a lush, nature-filled environment. Then the rich autumnal colours, the oranges and burnt yellows adds depth and beauty. Having plenty of leaves and greens incorporated in any arrangements always makes things feel lush, natural and elegant.
Whilst both the flowers and colours you choose will all help bring the outdoors in, you don’t have to stop there!
Utilising water can also create an amazing natural feel and it’s great when lights hit and the colours are reflected on the walls in the evening…we are in Britain’s Ocean City after all!
Water centerpieces are a great option; from shallow bowls to large, wide glass vases once filled with water, you can create floating lily heavens, or rose petal ponds, or simply add small flowers to recreate a floating garden look – water is a great addition.
Natural items are also a really great way to add nature! Silk, wood, sand, pebbles, slate…the possibilities are endless and beautiful!
Let Us Help…
Having a wedding in an indoor space is a practical option, and here at the New Continental Hotel we do all we can to help your day go your way. When it comes to how you want the room to look, we will work with you every step of the way. Having your dream wedding is our intention and no two weddings are ever the same. If you are looking for a venue and have ruled our a city centre location, perhaps come and just have a look, see if we can help you bring the outside in!
We all have misconceptions in life: Long distance relationships never work; Men are better drivers than women; A good holiday is a foreign holiday; Girls are easier than Boys…the list is possibly endless!
In most cases a misconception is based on hearsay. If someone tells you something enough times, it’s like water dripping onto granite, it will eventually wear a hole! Or having one bad experience; that we then take as a given; ‘I ate out in France and it was terrible, I hate French Food!’
In life, we should never deny a bad occurrence. Yet what we don’t want to do is turn that single event into our overall perception; a perception that then becomes our perspective. Instead we should take a step back. Ask a few more questions and then make our decision on a fully rounded observation. BUT IT’S HARD! It’s just so easy for our perception to become our reality…
But why does it matter what our perceptions are?
Well! When it comes to misconceptions, they could cause us to miss out on some amazing adventures and making terrific memories. All thanks to either the words of others, or a single experience.
We need to try and have an open mind; easier said than done! We need to try and look through another lens and we always need to find out more, just to be sure!
So what are the common misconceptions when it comes to hotels?
That all depends on what stories have we told ourselves through past experiences or what we have let filter into our consciousness by others!
But here we look at some of the most common misconceptions that we hear within our industry, to hopefully help you make the most of new adventures near and far…
Weekend stays are always more expensive.
While it is true that some hotels charge higher rates on weekends, this is not always the case for every hotel.
It largely depends on the clientele that it serves. For example, there will be some hotels in a city that cater handsomely for business travellers. So they will have high demand Monday-Friday. With this higher demand during the week days, their rate card will be higher compared to weekends. Therefore this will push up prices for those busier times.
In any one city there could be numerous hotels, some much cheaper on the weekend than others purely because their main demographic is a business traveller. Other hotels may be more expensive at the weekend because their main guests are leisure guests. All of these hotels could be offering a similar location; and of course a bed for the night; but perhaps different facilities or services which attract different kinds of guests.
GOOD TIP | Many hotels would say that there quieter day is Sunday. It sees the back of the weekend, but the working week has yet begun. You can therefore find many amazing offers for weekend stays that have a heavily discounted Sunday night rate included – or perhaps even a free Sunday stay.
Here at the New Continental Hotel, we have a great many weekend offers to take advantage of – even in the Summer months.
Hotels charge for everything and you have lots of additional costs.
This is NOT always true at all; especially here at the New Continental Hotel. We have a huge amount of added value that we don’t charge our guests for. Included in the room price is of course tea, coffee and biscuits in every room and (divine) hair and body washes.
We also offer guests complimentary use of Club Continental (our in-house leisure complex with indoor pool, gyms, sauna and steam room) as well a FREE enterprise grade Wi-Fi. We do have a small charge for parking at just £3 for 24 hours. Other parking for that duration in the city ranges from £6 – £50. Plus with many there is lots of walking!
GOOD TIP | If you book direct, you can usually get more value and also more information on any additional costs that you may incur.
Your identity and credit card information is stored on your electronic room key card.
No, it isn’t. Not at the New Continental Hotel anyway.
When new technologies and room card keys were first used, there were rumours that hotels were encoding room key cards with guests’ personal information, including credit card numbers.
A prospective identity thief with a card reader could gain access to ALL of your private data by fishing your discarded room key card out of your wastebasket, your wallet or your tab holder.
The fact is that most hotel cards are like ours, simply encoded to get you into a certain room on the days of your stay. There is no room number on our key cards itself either, so if it is lost we simply deactivate the lost card remotely and with your ID activate a new one for you.
Some hotel room key cards do have an internal guest profile number and an indicator that suggests if you have a credit card on file to authorise purchases to your room. If that is the case it is always worth treating that card like you would a voucher card, and taking the hotel number with you when you go out for the day.
GOOD TIP | If you do loose you room key card call the hotel can deactivate it immediately.
A hotel uses all of your personal information to bombard you with marketing.
This is simply a VERY BIG NO!
Like all businesses, charities and organisations that take any of your data, we must all have Data accountability and be fully compliant with all GDPR laws and regulations. We use methods and practises to keep your data safe and be transparent with how and why we use and store it.
Putting all the jargon to one side, we do need to take and store some personal information on our guests for legal reasons. Also to ensure we are able to deliver a good service. BUT WE DO NOT use this information to push products or services their way.
We will send an email before a guest stays, with their confirmation. Then one post stay, to make sure everything was as they expected and hoped for. BUT we DO NOT market to them unless they have explicitly agreed to receiving our discounts and offers for future stays.
If asked we will always delete all data belonging to a guest as soon as the reason for storage no longer applies.
We ask for an email address to access our Wi-Fi, but only to verify users and guests as legitimate users. This is not automatically used for marketing unless guests have again authorised and requested that we do so.
5. All hotel rooms in a certain price range are the same.
Regardless of whether it’s a big brand or an independent hotel like ours, no two rooms are exactly the same in almost any hotel. Of course, that doesn’t mean that a hotel is lying to you when it just shows a handful of rooms on their website, it just means it is nion impossible for a hotel to show every single room – unless it is small enough to do so.
For example here at the hotel we have 99 rooms. All different and in some cases extremely so. In the extreme cases we do show these in different room types such as; Standard Double, Standard Twin, Standard Single, Superior, Four-Poster, Family. But not every room can be shown as there are just too many!
As a listed Victorian hotel, every floor has structural differences, thanks to stairways and an elevator shaft and just quirky uniqueness’s! There are different room sizes and obviously different views, but we just can’t show them all.
GOOD TIP | If you want to know what your room looks like, just ask! It may be a room on their website that they can direct you to, or they could have a picture on their booking system that they can send. If they don’t have either of these, most hotels would be happy to take a picture and send to you. We find that for some guests who suffer from anxiety they really need this, in order to know what they are arriving to.
6.All hotels have rooms with good views.
Sadly this isn’t the case.
As a city centre hotel that was built in the 1800’s, we have had many buildings pop up around us! So not every room in the hotel has a jaw dropping view anymore!
From some windows around the hotel you may see bits of our large car park or of our rooftop, others have the beautiful curve of the crescent and the south end of town. Yet what we lack in every room having a divine view, we make up for in our amazing city centre location.
With Plymouth’s breathtaking vista – you are never far from a great view. The New Continental Hotel will give you the perfect setting to explore our beautiful city by the sea.
7. Staff working in hospitality expect tip top tips.
We have all read recently that the big-name restaurants and hotel chains have come under attack for their unfair tipping policies. Ranging from allegations that management take a percentage of tips, to service charges that never make it to the waiting staff’s pockets.
Reading this opened up a big debate among staff here at the New Continental Hotel and among many settings in the sector.
Many of the staff who have worked at the hotel for years noted that they remembered a time when the tips they made enabled them to live a better lifestyle. As these tips made up a large percentage of their wages. Therefore you had staff competing on service to get the best tips possible.
Wages in hospitality are on the rise and certainly on par with many other professions now. Plus we also have a different ethos, one which is naturally more driven by passion; which together has led to things changing.
Staff want to ensure everyone gets the best possible service and experience, not driven by a cash tip, but by their own passion and purpose in a profession they love.
Within our small (but perfectly formed) teams, we concluded that there is no longer an expectation for tips. Although obviously heartening when a tip is given, staff who were asked said that they actually find a hand written note or a mention on Trip Advisor just as rewarding.
8. Hotels use white linen because they have to.
This was a real statement given by a real customer, just last week.
He was talking to a chambermaid who was wheeling her trolley full of beautifully white linens down the corridor. He stopped for a brief conversation about servicing his room. Within the conversation he mentioned how happy he was that hotels now had to use white linen!
Although we do not haveto, white sheets are one of the most effective ways for hotels to prove their standards of cleanliness. White linens also make other colours in the room pop; such as cushions and throws, art work and vases. Also, when you have to buy as much linen as we do here at the New Continental Hotel, white is just about the easiest colour to match!
Our chambermaids and housekeeping staff work tirelessly to make stays for our guests the best they can possibly be. Having all the same size, and the exact same appearance, means they don’t need to worry about matching the mattress sheets with the top sheets, pillow cases and duvets. Because there are no patterns or shades to match up – it makes it a little easier on them!
Also, you can just throw them all in the same giant washer and wash them all, then make up the beds as needed, from the same giant pile of beautifully clean sheets!
End of an era as Betty retires after more than 30 years at the New Continental Hotel…
BY | Elinor Eaton, Development Manager
From serving up afternoon tea and Sunday Roasts; to leading service on special occasions and silver serving international stars. Betty has been the Queen of hospitality at the New Continental Hotel Plymouth since the 80’s.
You ask anyone that knows Betty and they will tell you that for as long as they can remember, she has been a part of the fabric of Plymouth’s hospitality trade and community. Feeding and watering thousands upon thousands of guests’ at the New Continental Hotel hasn’t been a ‘job’ for Betty; it has been part of her very being and aside from her family, one of her biggest of passions.
The Day Has Come…
But this August, at the young age of 80, Betty is shelving her piny to embark on a well-earned retirement.
The decades haven’t all been about business for Betty though; many customers are now lifelong friends. Not least because everything that Betty has ever done has been about the experiences had by those she has served. She has always had a truly genuine desire to make customers happy and at home in Britain’s Ocean City.
Betty has been involved in hundreds of charity events over the years. From Charitable Dinner & Dances to serving at functions for under-privileged children and, on occasion, ensuring the very best of times has been had by donning a fancy dress outfit for a themed party night or two! Of course we cannot forget her infamous Mother Christmas costume. Every year Betty is in charge of ensuring little ones have the most magical Christmas at the New Continental Hotel.
It’s A Sad Day…
Bobbie Hajiyianni, Director at the New Continental Hotel explains what an asset Betty has been to hospitality in Plymouth:
“One of the greatest pleasures for me as the Director of the New Continental Hotel is our wonderful workforce. They are by far the biggest asset not only to my hotel, but for our city. Every member of staff gives 110% in a very testing sector. I feel so fortunate to have them not only as part of my team, but grateful for their passion and enthusiasm.”
Betty is no exception to the New Continental Hotels passionate team; she along with so many others is a constant engine of passion; ignited by the desire to ensure all of the hotels guests’ have the best experiences. That they are all truly looked after and cared for.
Hospitality In Plymouth…
Bobbie continues: “When my Father & Mother bought the hotel in 1984, I’m sure they could only have dreamt that 35 years on, we would still be employing staff that shared their ethos and passion for hospitality.”
Betty is not only an exceptional member of staff and family friend at the hotel, but has proved herself to be an exceptional human being, with an integrity of character that is beyond reproach. Bobbie adds: “She has certainly helped put Plymouth on the map! I have no doubt that her footprint will be felt for years to come. Betty has been able to truly make a real difference to our guests stays, and for that our entire family will be eternally grateful.”
As Plymouth canters in to 2020, tourism and hospitality will continue to be a key driver in how our city is seen by those that visit during the Mayflower 400 celebrations and beyond. In a rich and valuable sector, it is facing an ever-increasing labour shortage crisis:
“Betty is not one to be selfish with her time or indeed work in a silo. Her passion has always been contagious. Joining us with her many years of experience and knowledge, she instantly began to share her skills and passion with our teams. Betty has a gift for challenging ways of thinking; requiring us all to explore different, new and improved practices to ensure our customers are always happy and that we always strive to do better.”
A Local Hero…
Like so many in Plymouth’s Hospitality sector, the training and mentoring of younger staff has a huge amount to do with not only amazing settings like City College Plymouth, but also the people that are already in the midst of the industry.
“Betty has trained and mentored hundreds of people within the sector over the years, perhaps even thousands. Her true legacy will be what she has given to those that she has taught and inspired.
If ever there was a local hero who exemplified the highest standards of professionalism and passion within Plymouth’s hospitality sector, it’s Betty Davis. She can recite with pride the riches that Plymouth has to offer, and knows the names of all the wonderful people that have stayed with us over the years. That’s because for over 30 years she’s cared; she has been proud of Plymouth and delighted to show our city off to those visiting.
She will be missed; but she will never be forgotten by anyone she has worked with, trained or served.”
Although I have never been married myself; I have had the privilege of attending a lot of weddings in my life! So, upon reading the research from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) I thought it would be interesting to share my thoughts.
Let’s unfold together the latest changes in the way those that choose marry, choose to do so…
I love a wedding!
Not only are they full of beautiful outfits and great food; weddings are also full of so much love and laughter. And of course the odd happy tear or two! They are also full of amazing imagination and creations, helping couples express their love for each other; but also their unique personalities.
No two weddings I have ever attended have ever been the same. Odd when you think about it! Weddings in its simplest terms are two people in love joining together for a future of happiness.
Yet they are all so very different!
Like every person is different! Yet all made up of two eyes, a nose and a mouth, we are still unique beings. And isn’t that wonderful? How dull life would be if we all looked the same – and how sad it would be if every wedding was a replica.
When you see peoples personalities expressed on their wedding day, their love for each other makes even more sense. It’s like looking into their love scrapbook, seeing the pieces that unite and bond them. It’s truly breathtaking.
The venue a couple chooses also says so much about who they are as a couple and what matters to them. When I was younger and dreaming of my wedding day, I would often think of myself walking barefoot down an aisle, scattered with grape veins in a vineyard in France, strolling to the gentle tunes of Sade at dusk. Sometimes my fairy tale would take me to a morning on a sunny beach, wearing diamante flip flops and linen, saying ‘I do’ to the sound of the waves gently stroking the sand.
And interesting, I wasn’t alone!
Many others were also conjuring up the idea that they too were going to step away from a more traditional wedding.
Researchers from the ONS have provided an interesting insight into what those inaugural dreams of a less traditional take have done to the current landscape for the wedding sector.
They have reported that the UK has seen a record low in religious ceremonies. They say that only 25% are choosing this more traditional day and the rest of the couples are having a more social event.
The New Continental Hotel…
This echoes our annual report for the New Continental Hotel during the years 2018/2019. We have seen an increase in civil weddings and a rapid decrease in couples joining us for a celebration after their religious ceremony. Just 2% of our couples in 2018/2019 chose a church wedding.
This doesn’t mean that weddings and marriages are less meaningful or spiritual now; it simply means that couples are choosing to express themselves and their love for one another in other ways. More and more venues have a premise licenses, there are 20 approved wedding venues in Plymouth alone. Also, not only is the choice plentiful more couples with differing cultures and religions are coming together, and so looking for something that will fit both their beliefs, dreams and desires.
For some couples, the religious ceremonies that are conducted at churches, in front of those closest and dearest and in the eyes of God will be the perfect setting for their futures to start. In the same way that those who chose a less religious day, equally as magical and sacred, choose a civil ceremony so that they have more freedom to personalise readings
What we have now more than perhaps ever before is more freedom and choice. Personalising these special days to reflect personalities and love for each other.
Here at the New Continental Hotel we have seen a huge increase in our mid-week wedding packages. Telling us that not only are couples choosing their way and their venue – but their day too. No longer thinking it must be a Saturday but working on a day that ticks all of your boxes as you tie the knot and start your lives together as a married couple.
Love, although different for everyone, needs its own ways and roots, and with the choices we now have, love can really bloom.
Congratulations if you have found your one and you are planning your forever together. If you’re thinking of a wedding day all under one elegant roof, then talk to our amazing Wedding Coordinators today and let them show you how our hotel can be yours for the day.
Being kind is not a new phenomenon. Kindness has become a definite movement and it’s heartening to see more and more people reaching out, being nice and taking the time to make a difference. No matter how big, OR how small.
Working in hospitality, we are surrounded by ‘good’ people every day. To work in this sector you have to have many natural aptitudes; and kindness is definitely one of them.
What that doesn’t mean is that you become complaisant to kindness. When you see people taking the time to go above and beyond, taking a genuine interest, it still fills you with a warm glow.
Kindness In Hospitality…
Hospitality in my eyes, has its very own gene pool of staff. Just as we need in life to produce a happy society – with human communities made up of an array of characters and human bands – hospitality needs that too!
We have the strong and silent; the fast and curious; the nurturing and empathetic; the clever and witty; the quiet and shy; the patient and determined; the funny and generous…with the common thread throughout being kind and passionate.
From The Top Down…
From our Directors and leaders through to team members, we have a perfect and eclectic mix of characters; all who are kind and all who are generous with their time in order to help each other, our guests and our community alike.
Something that placed a clear lens over this beautiful mix happened at the end of June; and it happened thanks to a perfect stranger.
Meeting The Perfect Stranger…
They were not guests staying at the hotel, but they came into the foyer clutching a beautiful black & white photograph. Greeted by our receptionist they told of their tale, an enchanting narrative that captured our receptionist and instinctively she wanted to help.
Within minutes, the Director, our Development Manager and receptionist were busy trying to fill in the blanks with their local knowledge and of course Google!
Meet Henny Korver | New Friend and Dutch Journalist…
The gentleman was a Dutch journalist called Henny Korver. He had visited Plymouth several times when younger in the 70’s. He came to document the Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race (STAR) from Plymouth to the USA. Inaugurated in 1960 and celebrating 60 years in 2020.
During Henny’s stay all those years ago, he frequently visited a pub in Millbay Docks. With so many happy memories and friends that welcomed him – he had never forgotten their kind hospitality and friendship and wanted to go back. He wanted to revisit the city that captured his heart and take a stroll down memory lane.
But all Henny had was his memories and a photo; he couldn’t remember exactly where it was – or what it was even called.
The idea that he might be reunited with the places he held so dear seemed impossible. Plymouth is a city that’s regeneration and changes caused Henny disorientation. With only a few hours left in Plymouth to find what he was looking for, and nearing the end of his search, he felt like he may not find his little piece of Plymouth.
Then he found us!
Resembling the image captured on the photo he came in to ask, on the off chance, if this might have been the hotel that he had stayed in during the 70’s. Then perhaps he could trace his steps back and find his memories. Sadly we weren’t the hotel, but we were keen to help!
So, using Google and our own memories of Plymouth we set Henny off with a route and a potential place, ringed in red on our hotel map!
We all hoped that Henny would find his little piece of Plymouth – but never thought we would find out. That was until we received an email from Henny Korver & Eline Verburg from their home in Alkmaar, The Netherlands.
They Did It!
In the email they shared their thanks and told us how this part of their trip, visiting Plymouth, was a real highlight of their holiday. And that Henny indeed found what he was looking for.
Although there is no ‘hard’ evidence to suggest that we are all hard-wired for kindness, here at the New Continental Hotel it’s safe to say that helping people enjoy their time in our city IS what we are hard-wired to do! Helping people and offering kindness leaves us all thinking and feeling ‘I’m so glad we did that’.
Simple acts such as holding a door open for someone, can really change someone’s day, smiling or simple human interaction makes the day a little better. Here at the New Continental Hotel, we lead by example and have Directors that empower and enable kindness and generosity because they give it so full heartedly themselves.
It’s been called the Virtuous Circle, whereby one good deed begets another and little by little we make the world a better place to live. A ripple effect occurs and little by little people become happier.
For us, receiving the email and photos from Henny & Eline was exactly what we needed to remind us that kindness takes just moments – but the happiness it gives lasts a lifetime.
To the two that were strangers and who are now friends…
From all of us here in Britain’s Ocean City to you in The Netherlands, and with the Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race uniting us – we hope to welcome you back soon to make new memories in Plymouth.