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

Tel: 01752 276798

Corporate Events; Looking Ahead…

2020; Our vision for the year ahead…

Every year, events shift and adapt depending on social, technological and economic trends. In the way they engage their audiences, and the lens through which they present and share their material.

As Plymouth’s largest independent hotel, our events team are passionate about having the right products to offer our corporate partners. They look closely at predicted trends; and use their vast knowledge and experience to decipher those they believe will take root.

Looking at trends and analysing data means that we are not only able to offer the right products, but the best service too. Our analysis doesn’t only benefit future bookings; it also allows us to optimise success rates for the here and now.

Many corporate events aim to sell, educate or inspire. Organisers require a venue that works with them to optimise results, producing the very best ROI’s.

Being generous with findings and moving with the times is essential; this article shares three trends that we envisage taking ‘root’ in 2020…

Staying Sustainable…

Next year’s Sustainability Summit 2020 will bring together industry leaders, policymakers, entrepreneurs and researchers from around the world to highlight the actions necessary to meet internationally agreed sustainability goals.

As yet delegates are not refusing to attend if there are paper handouts or literature on seats, but sustainability is a topic of debate and it’s getting louder.  Our hotel has a sustainability policy that empowers and enables our guests’ and our business partners to play an integral role in being greener, whilst not impacting on anyone’s experiences.

Going Digital…

In an age of connectivity, almost everyone on the planet is just one tap away from anything!

Like many cities, Plymouth’s digital scene is really gathering pace; more and more businesses are investing in innovative technology, transforming the way people interact. We see ‘Tech Experiences’ dominating the event landscape in 2020 more and more connectivity; global ‘live’ speakers and social media along with other digital platforms will continue to enhance and promote events.

Being Social…

Corporate events have always had a social aspect. Connecting and engaging with others offers real and purposeful outcomes; building partnerships not transactions.

We have seen a drive towards cross sector and community collaboration at events. We predict that this will increase and that there will be more social engagement and consultation style events in 2020, with drop-in style sessions, an increase in free inaugural advice workshops and open product and service Q&A’s.

New Continental Hotel; We Have It Covered…

Sustainability: Our sustainability policy is on our website. It not only tells you what we offer but has some great tips that we invite you to adopt in any venue you choose.

Digital: Offering Enterprise grade Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, access to some of the best tech and pro-active and engaged audiences on both social media and via our website, we can help you get better connected.

Social: Our five unique function rooms and break out spaces offer the perfect springboard to connect with the local community. With our city centre location, free parking and amazing coffee – we are the perfect choice for any event in Plymouth!

For more information: E:  events@newcontinental.co.uk T: 01752 276783 W: www.newcontinental.co.uk

2020 Holiday Planning | Plymouth …

Dates For Your 2020 Diary…

Money saving tips are everywhere this time of year. From utility switch overs to promotional offers for money off brands. The consistent message for all savings though is to plan, plan, plan!

2020 Break Away…

2020 is a big year for Plymouth. It marks the celebration of one ship that links four nations, spans 400 years of history and connects millions and millions of people.

From November 2019, an ambitious year-long commemoration will mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s pioneering voyage. It will include a creative, inspiring and unforgettable series of events – from breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime festivals to grand, thought-provoking artistic installations and a vast network of community events too. Over the year-long celebrations there will be something for everyone.

Plymouth really will be the place to be; but that does mean you have to get planning to get in!

It’s All In The Planning…

Planning your 2020 breaks away over the next few months is the best way of getting the best price, but also booking the best time off work!

There’s nothing quite like a long weekend – or the shorter working week to give us a new lease of life and something to really look forward to.

So why not crack out your calendar and get planning how you’re going to use all your days off in 2020? After all, it’s never too soon and Plymouth is waiting for you with some AMAZING events and activities to entertain EVERYONE!

2020 UK Bank and Public Holidays:

  • New Year’s Day:Wednesday 1 January
  • Good Friday:Friday 10 April
  • Easter Monday:Monday 13 April (England, Wales and Northern Ireland only)
  • Early May bank holiday:Friday 8 May
  • Spring bank holiday:Monday 25 May
  • Summer bank holiday:Monday 31 August (England, Wales and Northern Ireland only)
  • Christmas Day:Friday 25 December
  • Boxing Day: Monday 28 December

We know it seems like a long way off (we haven’t even got this Christmas out of the way yet) but if you’re a planner like us then you need to get ahead to maximise your time off and save pounds!  We have some amazing offers for 2020, and more being added. So, check availability and join us here in Plymouth for 2020 and a fabulous year of celebrations.

 

Illuminate Plymouth 2019…

Illuminate Plymouth | 28th November – 1st December 2019

Plymouth is an ambitious and inspiring city, which is so easy to fall in love with.  It is full of beauty and innovation at every turn. There is always something wonderful to see, do or be part of.

One of those things has soon become the city’s best-loved free outdoor event. It welcomes thousands of people of all ages each year. Running across four FABULOUS days  …

Illuminate Plymouth has added a real richness to Plymouth’s dynamic and eclectic programme of events and activities. It’s a series of dazzling installations and projections that not only make Plymouth shine brightly, also provide the most vibrant, fun and inspiring experience for EVERYONE!

The festival will run this year from 28th November – 1st December from the festival centre at Royal William Yard.

Yet this year there is more!

New for 2019 there will be additional light installations at the Barbican, the Watefront and Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park.

Illuminate is a free event. Open to families and people of all ages. The installations can be viewed by boat, on foot or  bike. You can wander around and explore the works at your leisure. Or perhaps follow one of the dedicated routes which enhance the experience.

This 4-day event will open the Mayflower 400 commemorations, and is inspired by the values of freedom, humanity, imagination, and future. The festival offers a host of workshops, installations, performances and projections with various opportunities for you to take part in activities or simply wonder at the spectacular illuminations.

Awe-inspiring…

Claire Honey, Project Manager for the festival, said: “In 2018, Illuminate stunned with incredible light installations, interactive artworks and spectacular projections from local, national and international artists. The festival was enjoyed by over 28,000 people across the four days. Now a multi-site festival we’re really excited to welcome new artists creating awe-inspiring light art to inspire visitors of all ages.”

Adrian Vinken OBE, Chair Mayflower 400 and Destination Plymouth, said: “Growing on the back of previous years’ festivals Illuminate has become a real highlight in Plymouth’s annual events calendar. It’s such a special event and we’re thrilled that this year it will act as the opening moment of the Mayflower 400 commemorations, not just in Plymouth but across the whole country.”

Proud Partners of Illuminate for the second year running. We are thrilled to be supporting people to stay and enjoy the totality of the festival. Our guests receive 20% off their stay by simply using the promotional code LIGHTS19.

 

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! 

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