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

Tel: 01752 276798

Simon Say’s …

Back To School…

Next week sees the first full week of school after the Summer Holidays! There is nothing like a busy summer holiday in our sector. As parents ourselves though, we also know there is nothing quite like getting back to some sort of routine too!

Plymouth is a remarkable city to visit with your family.  With so much to see and do there are no limits to the memories you can make. It’s not surprising that so many families choose our city as their destination. It makes the perfect choice for a family UK Summer break.

Little ones all packed up and back to school this week. The obligatory ‘Back To School’ photo is posted. That means the busy Summer months are almost behind us.  Up next will be Christmas! However, before then we take the chance to sit down with our Operations Manager.

We do our own little summer de-brief!

Summer In Plymouth

Summer In The City 2019…

Summer is one of our busiest seasons at the hotel. Even though we love nothing more than welcoming all of our guests, all of the year, seeing families arrive in the summer is amazing. Knowing and seeing how precious their time is together, being united without work or life, it’s truly magical. With our family rooms and suites; central location; leisure complex; great Wi-Fi  and amazing food offer, we know that we can offer the perfect family holiday. Where everyone can really enjoy every precious moment together.

We also know that the needs of travelling families are a little different, different that is from the wants, wishes and desires of those who travel without the little ones in tow!

Simon Say’s…

Today we talk to our Operations Manager, Simon. We ask him: ‘What are the main differences when you have the next generation along for the ride?

Simon is a highly experienced manager within the hotel. A role that is challenging by nature as it involves constantly developing, redesigning and aligning with the needs of all of our guests. Operations Managers have a wide variety of tasks that they’re assigned, and even they can vary depending on the day! More than just his role on site; he connects his staff with the city. Through great mentoring and leadership he is always the first person to ensure that the New Continental Hotel is a business that is well rooted in city wide events. Always the first person to but an idea into action!

Simon and his teams work tirelessly to ensure all guests have the best possible experiences. Be that through our food and beverage offer; having adequate staffing at any one time; developing strategies for an overall better service … it’s honestly endless!

It’s an Operations Manager’s job to oversee the entirety of the hotel; making sure everything is running as smoothly as possible. As you can imagine, this is a constantly changing and challenging job, because our needs as guests are always changing and shifting shape.

Not only an Operations Manager, but also a devoted Dad of two, Simon understands the needs of our families all too well. Of course all guests have overlapping needs such as a desire for comfortable beds, good service, great food, happy staff … but there are some differences unique to our family travellers.

Family Travels…

What would you say is the biggest difference with a Family staying at the hotel opposed to a say a couple?

Generally speaking, families really do need more usable space. So they can all spread out! There is nothing worse for a family than a tight spot, with everyone getting ready on top of each other, with no room for toys or play!

Having on-site breakfast is always a bonus. You can slip out of your room, children still in PJs if they want, and have a leisurely breakfast to start the day right!

An activity within the hotel also helps. Our leisure club is perfect, we have a really nice warm pool for them to splash about in and some play equipment. This offers great and free entertainment for all the family to enjoy. It’s especially handy on those grey summer days, a great indoor activity to hide from the elements!   

What about the food offer for families?

As well as a bright breakfast room, we have Steve’s Brasserie. This is our in-house restaurant. We have a fabulously simple children’s menu with some great healthy choices as well as the classics like Chicken Nuggets. We take as much care in our children’s menu as we do our regular menus. The ingredients used is all of the same calibre, and our kitchen teams LOVE adding a little extra to the plate – a smiley pea face is a firm favourite!

What do you think makes us different to other hotels?

Our sector is fiercely competitive, more so than ever before given the current social and economic landscape. This is a big bonus for our guests.

Many hotels are all striving to offer the best experiences, best prices, best value, best service, best everything! What I think truly gives us our uniqueness, and perhaps helps us stand, is that we are  a family run business and we really  understand the needs of families.

PLYMOUTH…Britain’s Ocean City

With summer being busier, and rates slightly higher during this time of year, when would you advice families who want to travel to visit Plymouth?

 Like with any hotel, booking with them direct is always the best option. Checking their websites for special offers is always a great way to start. Not only to save money, but gain really tangible added value too.

Plymouth is a remarkable city, not only due to the sensational vista but also the rich history, cultural offer, amazing events and of course the sensational people that are so proud and passionate. Visiting Plymouth at any time of the year will offer a platform to grow great memories from.

Special Offers…

If Simon hasn’t got your fingers clicking on Plymouth yet, for your next holiday destination, maybe this will! We work tirelessly to ensure that we are offering great value all of the time. That is why our Offers page is constantly updated…

Christmas 2019…

Christmas is a great time to explore the city; especially with little ones. Here at the hotel we really want people to benefit from the offering that Plymouth has during this time of year; not only the beautiful lights and the amazing Christmas Market, but also the activities and events, mostly free, that are scheduled during this time of year.

Our Winter Break offer gives guests the opportunity to enjoy not only a winter break in Plymouth but also 15% OFF their entire stay! Guests can choose any of our rooms between 28th October  and the 23rd December and use the promotional code WB19 to get 15% off.

The Christmas Shopper promotion is also a great way to have more money for shopping with 20% Off your stay! Book any nights between Monday 16th and Friday 20th December and enjoy the festivities that Britain’s Ocean City offer. The promotional code for this is XMAS19

If you are thinking about planning ahead, then our Early Bird Offer will help you spring into 2020.  Book any rooms and any nights throughout January 2020 and receive 20% OFF your stay. Although this is a non-refundable and non-transferable rate, once booked and looking forward to your stay in Plymouth there wouldn’t be a reason to not check-in!

 

Hopes & Dreams Ball | 26th October 2019 …

Diaries At The Ready!

Plymouth is a city packed full of businesses and individuals all striving to make tomorrow better than today for everyone. Threaded through our city are charities and organisations all awakening everyday with an ethos, passion and commitment to transform the lives of so many people living in our beautiful city.

Working in collaboration is a sensational way for charities to gain support. Not only the financial support that will help empower and enable them to deliver their objectives; but also an opportunity to raise their profile and connect with others who want to help make positive change happen.

A Night Of Hopes And Dreams Ball…

On Saturday 26th October, here at the New Continental Hotel; Plymouth Quality Roofing and Glam Rooms are collaborating to do just that! They will be co-hosting an exceptionally special evening.  

A Night of Hopes and Dreams Ball will be a truly heartfelt evening, giving those who join them the opportunity to really help two incredible charities; CLIC Sargent and Shekinah.

This will be an exceptional evening supporting two amazing charities…

CLIC Sargent is a charity that fights tirelessly to stop cancer destroying young lives. There vision is to give everyone with cancer who is under 25, and their families, the support and help they need during their cancer treatment and beyond, including bereaved families living with emotional pain. 

Shekinah is a Devon and Cornwall based charity that provides sensational opportunities for people in recovery or seeking recovery. There are so many magnificent things that they do daily to achieve this which includes programmes and initiatives that offer very real and tangible support to homeless people; those living with drug and alcohol issues; mental ill health and so much more.

Two amazing charities, one sensational evening awaits you…

There will be fabulous food, exceptional entertainment plus of course amazing company!

This wonderful Black Tie event welcomes you at 7pm for drinks before the evening begins. Tickets are £45 each and tables of 10 are £425.

There will not only be a three course meal and entertainment – but an amazing raffle and auction too! Club Continental is one of the many companies that have donated to the raffle. There will be a 12 months complete membership on offer; so you can enjoy the sauna and steam room, relax in the heated pool or work out in the gyms – 7 days a week for an entire year!

Make a stay of it…

The New Continental Hotel are also offering an extra spacial room rate for those attending the Ball. This means that not only can you get ready with ease, but slip down to the Ballroom in all your glamour and then not have to worry about waiting for a taxi home!  You can also sample what the Club Continental Membership might be like with complementary access during your stay.

The support of people that attend this brilliant evening will mean so much to these charities. What’s more it will really enable them to cause and create the change that is needed.

To find out more about the event or to purchase your tickets and pledge your support email: plymouthqualityroofing@hotmail.co.uk or hello@glamrooms.co.uk

 

To book your stay and take up the room rate call 01752 276798 and quote: Hopes & Dreams Ball.

Help make life better for people whilst having a sensational time, let’s all come together and showcase the power of people in Plymouth and demonstrate what  a truly wonderful city by the sea we live in.

 

Best Bounty | All About August …

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 crabcodsalmon or sea bream; paired with amazing and sophisticated salads or stunning fresh vegetables – everything is just plump, juicy and divine!

Steve’s Brasserie…

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!

 

 

Working Out Single Use Plastic…

Single Use Plastic …

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!

Nest Steps…

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!

 

The Most Common Hotel Misconceptions…

EIGHT Misconceptions In Hospitality…

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…

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 have to, 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!

 

 

Brighten Up Your Day At Plymouth’s West End…

A Splash Of Colour & Some Hip Hop Dancing; What Could Be Better..?

Plymouth will have even more colour flooding our amazing city by the sea tomorrow thanks to the Plymouth City Centre Company’s plans to brighten up the West End. They have commissioned four artists to paint a carnival style mural tomorrow, Saturday 13th July 2019 on a big advertising hoarding at the corner of Market Avenue and New George Street opposite the market and KFC.

In preparation for the infamous West End Carnival that is taking place on Saturday August. This will not only be a celebration of colour and culture but also an equally proud moment for the  Plymouth Market which celebrates its 60th anniversary!

The event tomorrow will be well worth a visit. Starting at 10am and going through until 4pm. There will be live music and Hop Hop by Plymouth’s talented crew at Street Factory.

Plymouth does events so well that you will be in for a treat; plus – there are so many amazing independent traders and businesses in the area ready to welcome you … in full carnival spirit.

ENJOY!

 

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! 

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. 

Hold On To The 80’s..!

 

Martin Kemp – Plymouth Guildhall

Friday June 7th 2019

He’s a silver fox that knows the 80’s…could a Friday evening in Plymouth get much better!

Spandau Ballet star ‘Martin Kemp’ will be in Plymouth and taking to the decks on Friday June 7th!

Spinning all the best of the hits from the 80’s. Presenting one the biggest 80’s nights to hit Plymouth this summer!

Are you ready to party?

This 80s night is selling out across the UK! Dust of those dancing shoes, spread the word far and wide that we’ll be turning the clock back to the 1980s for a very special night at Plymouth Guildhall.

Spandau Ballet sold millions of records worldwide. Martin is a huge TV personality starring in the likes of The Krays & Eastenders alongside his famous role in Spandau Ballet. Martin also starred on the West End in the hit musical ‘Chicago’ whilst still finding time to appear in Channel 4s “Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls”

Book
NOW – while you can!

See you at the party!

It’s The Weather!

Don’t Blame It On The Weatherman!

The sun is shining, the sky is blue and there is a smile on everyone’s lips because we have another long weekend ahead of us!

BUT just how important is the sun when it comes to enjoying and exploring Britain’s Ocean City..?

There is no two ways about it. There is something magical that happens in Plymouth when the sun comes out. Alfresco Dining.  Socialising with a drink in hand as we catch up with friends. The sea a shining rug of elegance and beauty gently soothing the soul.

When the sun comes out in Plymouth, there is no place better to be.

We are at the point where Winter feels like it’s almost beat us! Our skin looks anaemic and our souls are tiered of the dark mornings and nights and the dreary wetness! Then, a hint of Spring hits the air. Flowers start to bloom in gardens and road sides and our skin feels the breeze for what feels like the first time in a decade!

We barely believe it. We delay the Winter/Summer wardrobe swap in fear it’s just a fluke! It becomes a conversation starter in queues, on buses at the hairdressers … or just about anywhere where anyone will listen!

“Lovely isn’t it”. “I can’t believe how nice it is”. “Do you think it will last”. “Be terrible again when the Kids go back!”…

Endless sound bites that have been generated, stored and whipped out at every opportunity!

What’s more. We desperately want to be outside ALL OF THE TIME! Our gardens look pristine but our kitchens become overgrown with dishes!

But boy does it feel good!

Just like saying ‘sorry’ when someone steps on your toe; we are programmed to blame, or to thank the weather for EVERYTHING!

The roads are busy today: It’s the weather. The restaurants busy today: It’s the weather. You look tired today. It’s the weather. I don’t feel great today. It’s probably the weather..!

As well as put blame on the weathers head, we also use it a gauge as to how good a holiday will be.

 

When you say where you are going on a vacation, peoples almost first response is usually:  “What will the weather be like?”

Now, you have one of three responses to that:

1) The weathers going to be really warm. The response) Oh, you’ll have a GREAT time.

2) Ahh, it’s ok, not great not awful.  The response) Never mind, it does you good just to get away sometimes.

3) Raining and cold. The response) Oh no that’s such a shame.

The one thing that we can not argue about is yes, when the sun is shining, Plymouth is truly beautiful…HOWEVER, when the sun isn’t shining  – Plymouth is truly beautiful too!

You see, the sun shining is a bonus yes, but it certainly isn’t the be all and end all of a good time in our city by the sea!

Here are some great treats; treats for the grey and cloudy, the damp and drab AND the sunny and bright  – because let’s face it, we could have all three of these weather types in any given week – so we better make the most of every second, every element and every memory whilst enjoying ALL that Plymouth has to offer!

When you have a good time in Plymouth, it won’t be the weather you thank; it will be the unique and the startling that has been embedded in our cobbles DNA! When you talk about your holiday to Plymouth – you will have a smile on your face no matter what the weather and  the sun will always be shining on the memories you make.

 

 

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