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

Tel: 01752 276798

We Are ‘Jolly Roger’ Ready!

Pirates Weekend!

It’s almost time…and we can not wait! 

There is just less than a month to go for the award-winning Pirates Weekend Plymouth! A weekend that offers a swashbuckling weekend of free fun for all the family to enjoy. What’s more; the sun always shines on Pirates!

This amazing weekend is organised by the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership Business Improvement District. It is one of THE most amazing weekends in Plymouth and this year takes place on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May. Britain’s Ocean City becomes alive with merry activities as the weekend unfolds across the Barbican, Sutton Harbour and West Hoe.

Meaning you wont miss a thing!

What’s It All About?

Well! What you can be sure of is two amazing days packed full of entertainment and activities. Including a pirate trail, storytellers, puppet shows, arts and crafts activities, street entertainment, amazing food and much more!

Sarah Gibson, Waterfront Manager and Chief Executive of the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, said:

“Pirates Weekend Plymouth won Silver at the 2018 Devon Tourism Awards for Tourism Event and Festival of the Year as the best family Pirates Weekend in the South West. Designed and funded by Waterfront businesses, Pirates Weekend Plymouth has activities linking the Barbican, Sutton Harbour and West Hoe Park, whilst Mount Batten Pirates powerboat experiences and PDSSA pirate sailing lessons will give visitors a treat to get out onto the water too.”

“In its eighth year, Pirates Weekend Plymouth is unmissable – so get yourselves dressed up as pirates and come along for two days of brilliant fun!”

What To Wear..!

What’s not to wear! We say go crazy with those head scarfs and eye patches; fancy dress is encouraged throughout the weekend; and new for this year is a Pirate Parade, sponsored by Lazy Jacks. Led by the The Drake Corps of Drums and the infamous Jonty Depp, all of Plymouth’s pirates will march through the streets of the Barbican together.

WHAT’S MORE…

Every young participant dressed as a pirate will be given a special gift!

Children can also follow a Pirate Trail around the Barbican and Sutton Harbour, this is amazing fun for them and you get to see the sights whilst they are totally entertained! This event is sponsored by Sutton Harbour Group.

You can find maps from the Tourist Information Centre for just £2, every participant will receive a prize for completing the trail and also be entered into a draw to win a Lego Creator set.

A full programme of shanty bands will entertain the crowds between 10.30am and 3pm each day. The area will be full of action in a number of locations: along Southside Street, outside Capn’ Jaspers and on board the Grayhound tall ship.

For more information about all the activities at this year’s Pirates Weekend Plymouth, head to visitplymouth.co.uk.

What we know for sure – you will have an amazing time!

 

Happy International Women’s Day from this Grand Old Lady! 

More than just a city centre hotel; a business; a workplace or a historic building. This Grand Old Lady represents courage, strength and willpower…

The New Continental Hotel. A Grand Old Lady who’s seen and survived horror and history. A location that many of us have used for celebrations and special life events.  A history that many of us have been part of, be it dinner & dances in the Ballroom or drinking in The Grapevine!

Not just a bricks and mortar city centre structure; but a Grand Old Lady who’s been part of many of our lives and who has witnessed centuries of change and challenge, yet has gracefully and seamlessly adapted and endured…

She is as much a part of Plymouth as the Plymouth people. As familiar to us as the face of a friend. Yes, she has seen struggles, but here she still stands. Waiting to see Plymouth’s transformations, waiting to be part of Plymouth’s future, knowing that she still has the spirit to be exactly what she needs to be, in a city she is proud to call home.

Isn’t that what incredible women need to do?

The strongest of actions for anyone is to love themselves; be themselves and shine amongst change. Building his or her own world, wearing their past pain with pride.

She has been through The Blitz, being in the hands of the receivers, being battered by storms and by the social climate! But continually in pursuit of opportunity; trusting in her value and knowing that she can be and do anything she wants; because she is proud of where she’s come from.

Happy International Women’s Day from this proud,  Grand Old Lady! 

Holidays in Plymouth event hire plymouth

 

 

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.

 

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! 

New Year; Striking New Suggestions…

The dawn of a New Year comes striking new suggestions for the hospitality sector from New Continental Hotel staff and customers…

Trends have to start somewhere. Change is made by people with passion. The future is bright when you have the right vision.  

We talk to our teams and our customers about what they want to see from our hotel and in the hospitality sector as a whole in the coming year; for 2020 and beyond.

There are two very different sides to hospitality; the side the customers enjoy and experience; and then the side the dedicated staff see!

We fuse the two together and look what beautiful patchwork we would both like to see for the future in hospitality in our New Year BIG SIX!

High AT ONE!

Plastic FREE

Plastic Free!

Both our staff and customers agree, seeing the straw being pulled from the nostril of the sea turtle on the BBC’s Blue Planet II made us all stop and think about the damage we are causing, without realising in most cases, to the planet.

Now, more united as a race than ever it feels, we all want to take stock and take action to try and undo and get smarter about the way in which we go about our day to day life. But not just that, 78% of the customers we asked said that they still want to be environmentally thoughtful when on holiday.

Single-use plastic was the main concern for travellers and our staff. Although massive steps were made in 2018; not just by us but many restaurants, hotels and bars, there is so much we can all still do.

The eradication of plastic straws was an amazing start. Led by Our Food & Beverage Manager Simon and his team, we were one of the first to make that stand. As a business we continue to assess what we are doing, what we could do and always ask if it’s really essential for business.

We have made bold pledges to phase out as much single-use plastic items as possible, both front and back of house.  Eradicating plastic completely we know might be a pipe-dream, but we are committed to continually asking the right questions.

Like many businesses and organisations across Plymouth, we at the New Continental Hotel were all super proud to be a Plastic Free Pioneer and a small part in Plymouth becoming the first UK city to be accredited by the global charity Surfers Against Sewage with Plastic Free Communities status for its waterfront district.

Here you can find our Environmental Policy

At TWO!

boy with goggles swimming in pool

Bobbing About On Your Holibob!

56% of customers asked said that one of the reasons they chose the New Continental Hotel was because it had a gym, pool, sauna and steam room. Now, we have never claimed to be a ‘spa’ hotel, with fancy pebbles and wicker furniture – and nor should we as that isn’t what we are.

What we are and what we have is a hotel with a leisure club that cares; inspires and installs confidence in everyone’s individual’s ability.

Our team of talented staff, led by Adam our Club Continental Manager don’t only have knowledge and experience, they have the passion. There doesn’t have to be fancy in life, there has to be generosity. Our Club Continental team are not only able, but also always willing to give unconditionally and always go above and beyond.

The time they give to both members and guests is truly incredible, and we know that this will continue to grow throughout 2019.

Wellness as an overarching concept is nothing new in travel and hospitality, but from our conversations with customers, we believe that 2019 will see a big rise in the number of people travelling and choosing very specifically to stay, or to get fit.

Find out more about CLUB CONTINENTAL 

In AT THREE!

Make Hotel Restaurants Great Again!

When you are on holiday in a new city you want to explore; especially if you are only in Plymouth for one or two nights.

As our Executive Chef, Paul Doidge says that he believes part of the exploration of Plymouth is the exploration of our cities amazing restaurants threaded throughout it’s DNA.  He admires the plethora of amazing and diverse restaurants in Britain’s Ocean City, and always encourages guests to try as many as possible.

We all understand too well that for our hotel guests there is a time and a place for hotel restaurants. Yet, knowing how talented our teams are; 2019 will be a year that we give Steve’s Brasserie the platform it deserves, as we would if it was a standalone restaurant.

Our Head Chef, Rob Dunne is working hard this year to really amplify the narrative about the greatness of his and his brigade’s food; and although a restaurant within a hotel he knows it too is worth trying!

Fighting At Four!

holiday packing

In The Air With Airbnb!

At the end of 2018, Airbnb was riding high for travellers as one of their main tools to book their holiday accommodation, and that doesn’t look like it will change in 2019.

Some hoteliers view Airbnb as a big threat; and yes, for some time many have either viewed it with downright hostility, or just ignored it with an ostrich mentality!

Here at the New Continental Hotel things are a little different, as we are not only hoteliers, we also have our sister company; Strathmore House Apartments too. We use Airbnb as a really successful tool for booking our 1,2,3 and 4 bedroom apartments on Elliot Street. Knowing how the platform works, having used it for some time successfully with our apartments, we decided to give it a go in 2018 for our hotel.

Prompted partly by an open letter wrote by Airbnb in March 2018. Here they tried luring hoteliers to step away from the major OTAs, enticing them with their lower fees and global community.

For six months we used Airbnb for our hotel; looking at it not as a rival, but as just another distribution platform. It just didn’t work for us as a hotel.

What it has done, is it has made us view things a little differently though.

There will always be a market for a wide selection of accommodation providers, and there will always be competition. What we believe, is that being part of success is success. We appreciate the guests that choose us, but we also appreciate there has to be choice.

Showing Willing At FIVE!

black and white phot of people toasting at a wedding

Getting Wed!

For over 30 years we have loved being part of couple’s special days. That will never change, but what we have noticed in 2018 and 2019 is that couples are stepping away from the traditionally popular ‘Summer Wedding’.

Now we see more and more couples opting for Spring and Winter Weddings instead.

What’s more there has also been a really large addition to the wedding calendar; mid-week weddings! . These have been great fun for us, as we get to see even more amazing couples, brides, grooms and wedding guests in the finest of fashion, filling the hotel with an atmosphere only a wedding day can bring.

TAXING At SIX!

IPhone and IPAD with pen on bed with wit

TAX Is Going Digital!

When hospitality talks tech, it’s usually in relation to technology  for the guests; features like keyless entry, room control systems and check-in and out technology. But back of house function are also really important and will no doubt speed in developments throughout 2019.

Keeping up with new and dynamic pricing software and AI booking engines can be a minefield at times, but let’s not forget about our poor accounts departments too – and we don’t just mean due to the techy invoices!

There is going to be a surge of energy in all accounts departments across all sectors gearing up for the ‘ TAX GOES DIGITAL’ manoeuvre in April.

Designed to be more efficient and to transform the tax system by 2020, this was the UK government’s original goal.

The plan is to introduce digital record keeping while also bringing in quarterly updating for landlords, the self-employed and businesses, covering self-assessment, corporation tax and VAT.

Wowsers right!?!

We have a headache just thinking about it! Whilst Development Managers and Marketers battled GDPR in 2018; 2019 TAX GOES DIGITAL looks like it may be a very similar fight for many Account Managers!

The year will no doubt be a full and fun one; with advances, changes and BREXIT! (You thought we had forgotten didn’t you!)

Whatever happens, there is one thing for sure; you can be certain that we will be here, doing our best to give our guests the best for yet another year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR. 

A good wander unveils the wonder of our beautiful city…

Whether you are here on holiday or a living Plymouthian; wandering really does unveil the true wonder of Plymouth…

 

Living In Plymouth |

Sometimes, when you live in a city your only experience of crossing it is a hectic commute, some frantic shopping in the city centre or drinks on an evening out. We all have a scalextric that we all seem to stick too, and so the scenery around us becomes a little like wallpaper. If this is the case, then we are all missing out!

Visiting Plymouth |

Our Ocean city is divine. The twists and turns; the cobbled streets; the history and culture. What we have as a city is truly breathtaking. A patchwork quilt of marvellous pieces; pieces that together make our city so great.

When you wander around our city, it becomes evident of its richness. Walking through the centre you will experience a platform that to the naked eye looks rather grey; but this city centre represents a deep passion and determination of a community intent on rebuilding their ‘Plymouth’ as quickly as possible after the destruction of WW2.

Around the Hoe and Barbican you have the hidden alley ways, the cobbled streets and a vista like no other. The highest concentration of cobbled streets in England stitch together stories that include Sir Francis Drake, Scott Of The Antarctic and surrounded by beautiful and iconic buildings that date back to the 15th century onwards.

Wandering The City |

Wandering around Plymouth really is the best way to see its wonder.  What’s more, getting lost is sometimes the best way to find what you never knew you were looking for!

Whimsical Wanderings & Moveable Feasts |

Some of us may like a more structured approach than simply getting lost on the cobbles. We may like some insider knowledge, interesting stories or just the company of other like-minded people.

That is where Whimsical Wanderings & Moveable Feasts makes for the perfect choice. There are other walking groups and tours in Plymouth, but what we love about Whimsical Wanderings & Moveable Feasts is that it is a bespoke walking, talking, feasting experience.

An experience that combines our cities culture and creativity; but also gives you a taste of our rich history and the amazing plethora of restaurants we have. This is all beautifully blended with the fabulous company of others. It incorporates not only the city but laughter and frivolity, interspersed with delicious food and drink!

Whether you are a seasoned walker – or simply looking for something new from your holiday; you will share with others (or alone if you’d rather) the perfect urban stroll.

Walking through the city, you will experience more than just a beautiful landscape. You will experience enchantment, tasty treats and memories that will last a lifetime.

 

 

For more information on a Whimsical Wander you can like them on Facebook or check out their website to hear more!

Staff Share Their BEST Things About Christmas…

Christmas Time In Hospitality…

Spending time with your family and friends surely hits everyone’s top spot! It’s true, you may get tired of hearing the same embarrassing stories about the time you did ‘that’ thing when you were five; or the stubbly kiss from your Great Aunt Winnie; the forced feeding of sprouts and then that deep, dark cringe when you hear ‘you’re next’ – for the annual game of charades!

…But, this all being said, there is something magical about Christmas and the way it makes us all warm up inside with fuzzy excitement at the very thought. Whether you have family traditions, cosy days in or you take it in turns to host; Christmas holds something very dear to everyone, including all of us here at the New Continental Hotel.

Working in hospitality means Christmas is busy, but staff at the New Continental Hotel LOVE Christmas. The twinkly lights, the smiley faces, the late night shopping and everything in-between and we love nothing more than sharing our Christmas with friends; both old and new.

Top Five…

We wanted to share our top FIVE favourite Christmas things, things that have already got us excited about the coming weeks!

At FIVE: Dec the Halls! We have so many beautiful Christmas Trees and decorations scattered lovingly throughout the hotel from November, with carols playing softly in the background and lights down low; the dark nights and warm hotel glow spell ‘Christmas’ to us all!

At FOUR: The Smell of Christmas! The best and truest of all treat for the senses; the smells from the kitchens! So hard to describe but oh so good! The mix of mulled wine simmering, stock bubbling, meat roasting and just love lingering; when it hits your nose, your brain instantly realises that it’s almost time! It’s almost Christmas!

At THREE: Friends gathering! The foyer is full, the bar is packed and friends and family unite. The love felt during this festive time sends pulses throughout the hotel and we LOVE it!

At TWO: Christmas Party Nights! When you see the glamorous entrance of those who have worked hard all year round and are now celebrating the successful end of their year together with fine food, great company, dancing shoes and the odd pop of a champagne cork! They are the nights we remember!

At ONE: Christmas Day! When people choose to crack their crackers with us! Christmas Day at the hotel is by far the most magical day of the year. Even Father Christmas chooses to spend an hour with us!

 

Christmas Party

Illuminate 2018 – Plymouth Shining Brightly

Proud To Be The Official Hotel Partner…

What we love most about our beautiful city is the people so passionate about making it shine…and shine it really will this weekend! And what’s more – you still have two nights to enjoy it!

Royal William Yard | FREE ENTRY | 17:30 – 22:00

Illuminate is a spectacular light-based festival that connects all of the Mayflower 400 destinations across the UK and internationally.

In 2017 Plymouth’s Illuminate celebrations saw parts of Royal William Yard turned into a spectacular display of light-based art installations and projections. This year, we truly believe, it’s even brighter!

In 2018 Illuminate has definitely grown; it’s showcasing projections and light art installations from local, national and international artists. It provides a vibrant, fun and inspiring experience for everyone. It has become a signature event in Mayflower 400’s programme; and an annual large-scale light festival that will be a highlight in Plymouth’s event calendar.

This weekend the Royal William Yard is lit up with light installations, immersive visual art and light projections. Illuminate, an event marking the anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, has grown for 2017, and taken on a new location in Plymouth’s historic former victualling yard.

If you have yet to experience it, then it’s a real must see event in Plymouth. Crowds  have the chance to walk around and see some fantastic light installations and projections around the yard as well as being entertained by music, food stalls, glowing candyfloss and the amazing settings offering food and fun around the yard.

For more information visit the Illuminate Festival website and you can download the Illuminate Map here!

Have a bright weekend – and be lit up by Plymouth!

Being Dependably Independent…

We ask an important question to hopefully discover the truth behind the differences in an independent Vs a chain hotel…

“In a world full of choices and when everything feels possible; what is it that we really want and why..?”

There is one thing for certain; Plymouth is a city destination like no other. Thousands of holiday makers, business travellers and guests visit our ocean city each year. Each choosing (for varying reasons) the best place for them to lay their sleepy heads.

According to figures from STR almost 40% of the hotel rooms in the UK are independent.  Whereas more than 60% of hotel properties are chain hotels.

What has Plymouth got..?

Plymouth has a good number of hotels and accommodation providers to choose from, both chains and independents. If with all this choice you are still struggling to decide where will be your home whilst visiting our spectacular city, let us perhaps help. Here is our little insight into why we love being Plymouth’s largest, independent hotel.

We know that in and around the city there are some fantastic chain hotels. For some travellers this is exactly what they are looking for. Knowing that having stayed and enjoyed their time in one hotel in say Manchester, they can expect the exact same experience here in Plymouth. As independent hotels, we have the autonomy and creative freedom to offer our guests originality over uniformity, which for some is an important difference.

Is it about cost..?

When it comes to cost, hotels are governed more by seasonality and city events rather than simply independent Vs chain. Rates per night in most cities vary only mildly. This is in some cases due to the increase in the supply chain, with a huge investment being made in new developments. Competition dictates your rates. Both independent and chains alike are feeling the current struggle to strengthen their direct bookings, and what really helps independent hotels is that they can give more value and incentives to their guests. This is due to there being no rules imposed from the top, no strict framework included in any agreements. So by booking direct with many independent hotels, you are getting much more but for less.

What about management..?

A big topic of conversation for many of our Managers is the differences managing within an independent hotel verses that of a chain. You would imagine it could be easier to manage within a chain hotel. It feels as if everything you have to do is following strict patterns. You would also think that you would have access to stronger commercial tools and assets. Yet what we love more than anything here at the New Continental Hotel is the autonomy we have, This autonomy ensures we can take each guests experience as an individual, making it personal, bespoke and all with a warm family welcome.

The strategy and management plan within a chain hotel is very often the same, regardless of their location. Independent hotels are different; which means managing such a hotel can requires much more discipline, creativity and lots of innovative thinking! We truly believe that our guests appreciate the effort invested in creating an original strategy, with the small touches making a big difference.

Is loyalty about a card..?

With corporate and business travellers, many are attracted to the larger hotel chains with the loyalty schemes and national corporate partnerships. It’s much harder for an independent hotel, yet what we are so proud of  is the amount of loyal guests, guests that have been staying with us for 20 years in some cases!

We stand tall and proud as an independent hotel…

Supporting our staff, community and guests to have the very best experiences in Plymouth. We have worked hard to create a brand that is professional, friendly and unique. When all of these elements are together in harmony, a coherent image of the hotel is born, be that for a chain or an independent hotel.

The independent hotel market in Europe has a massive impact in terms of employment, tourism and contribution to local economies. It can be easy to feel like a lesser hotel when compared to the big chains, but for us, what’s truly important is that no matter which hotel a guests chooses, they have a warm welcome, to a fabulous city and make memories that last a lifetime.

Who knows what the ongoing deadlock on Brexit negotiations will unfold, but one thing we do know, we will carry on regardless!

 

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