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

Tel: 01752 276798

Plymouth Half Marathon 2019 …

Britain’s Ocean City Half Marathon | Sunday 19th May 2019, 08.30

Running Sunday’s Plymouth Half Marathon will be a host of individuals, businesses and groups who have put hours and hours into training and preparing. Primary schools who have taught that through dedication and commitment comes great things.

The Plymouth Half Marathon isn’t just about footsteps to the finish line, it’s about taking footsteps in your life that make you stronger, more focused and part of something great.

Many of our amazing staff are not only dedicated to our guests’ experiences, but also to our city; taking part in city events like the Plymouth Half Marathon.

Staff Have Their Say…

Our Wedding Coordinator talks honestly about how she felt before she took part. Here she shares some very heartening advice:

“The pit of my stomach slowly started to churn as I noticed the signs going up around the city, advising people of the road closures for the half marathon. Suddenly, suddenly it all became rather real!

After months of training and fundraising for a charity very close to my heart – race day arrived!

After checking for about the 10th time that my kit was packed, my watch charged and plenty of fluids were on board  … off we go to join the thousands of people in exactly the same boat as me!

All I need to remember is that I have done my training. Now I just need to enjoy the next 13.1 miles!!

There are so many expectations from so many different people, each of us with different reasons for doing it, but all of us having exactly the same goal – to cross that finish line. 

This is your moment and no one can take it away from you, and when you are climbing up that last hill and its hurting just keep saying; “pain is temporary – but pride is forever.”

Have Fun…

As an independent, family owned hotel, we pride ourselves on the support that we give our staff when they are passionate about things, and prepared to work hard for what they love. Be that CPD, returning to work after illness or indeed activities and events such as marathons.

We know that there can sometimes be a negative stigma associated to employees having a ‘busy’ life outside of work.  Especially hobbies or passions that involve burnout style training. But we truly believe that if our staff are happy outside of work, or training hard for something they love, it will not negatively impact their ability to do their job, put positively enable them to do it better.

We would like to wish EVERYONE taking part the very best of times.  May you enjoy the footsteps that lead you to the finishing line and the pride we are sure you will feel when you finish.

Please check the following link to find out more about the Road Closures on Sunday 19th May 2019.

Just a few pictures of some of our amazing team…

 

 

Inside & Out…

How many times, when we see someone that looks fit, thin or strong, someone who wears their clothes well and who can shop in any high street store do we stop and think WOW! Their life must be perfect..!?

But what is ‘perfect’? What kind of ‘perfection’ is it that we are striving for?

As we are in the middle of Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, we wanted to highlight that sometimes, just sometimes our outsides don’t always match our insides.  And sometimes, just sometimes, we are just sensitive people living in a broken world. A world by where how many likes on our profile picture or how many times we are told we look pretty or handsome or thin today can confuse us because…

…if people say our outsides look ok – why is it we don’t we feel ok on the inside?

Here at Club Continental we care about your inside as much as we do your physical appearance … your ‘outside!

You matter to us. How you feel – that matters to us.

We know that being strong with a six pack on the outside, won’t naturally mean you don’t have days, weeks or perhaps even months that you wont feel ‘weak’ on the inside.

As people we think (wrongly in most cases!) that other people will feel more comfortable, more relieved if we don’t tell them the truth! When they say ‘you look well’ or ask how you are, we say ‘OK’.  Sometimes to make them feel better; sometimes because that’s our script – the script we stick to be it true or not!

Each year, thanks to the work that many amazing organisations and individuals do around Mental Health and well-being, we are making progress as a society. Many staff and members within our Club community are talking more openly about issues that affect their mental well-being. It could be stress, addiction, bullying, relationships, health conditions, money worries…and everything else in-between.

The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is body image. How we think and feel about our bodies, about our outsides!

It’s a great time for everybody to show their support and take a minute to think about our mental health – but also those we work with, our friends and our families.

As an independent gym, hurtling towards our 30 year Birthday – being older and wiser we have learnt that putting in a little extra time to talk, to chat and to just be still for a moment, is just as important as working up a sweat.

We all know that working out is great for our body and mind; that exercise helps positive changes in our brains; it reduces tension and stress whilst boosting mental energy through endorphins.

But what about ‘Working Up’ a conversation with someone you know who might be strengthened by your chat?

Going to the gym is often about our outsides.  But here at Club Continental we want to highlight and support people to improve, grow and see their internal strength too.

Join us #workupaconversation as well as a work-out.  Take note of how people may feel on the inside, as well as how they look on the outside.

Thanks for listening, here’s to talking and may we always #workupaconversation!

Get Involved In Plymouth’s Dementia Action Week…

A holiday is an amazing treat; but also for some it’s critical.

Plymouth’s Dementia Action Week (20 – 26 May 2019)

In 2015, we become the first dementia friendly hotel in Plymouth. Something that we are all extremely proud of.

Many of us within the team have had our lives touched by dementia and knew that by working with Claire Puckey, Plymouth City Councils Dementia Friendly City Co-ordinator, would help us offer a better service for those needing a break away.

The UK should be so proud of the vast steps that have been made;  years ahead of most countries when it comes to offering the services required for a safe retreat for those travelling with a dementia patient.

We know that it is critically important that caregivers, family and friends, who are often either on duty or call 24 hours a day, get a break away for their own health.

For that reason we took steps to get better at offering an environment that was the best it could be. Not easy with an old listed building like ours! But for us, not being able to change everything didn’t mean we didn’t want to do what we could with what we had.

We Claire’s help, we took the steps we could to be the best we could. With Plymouth’s breathtaking scenery, history and riches, we wanted to make sure that it was a city that was accessible… to everyone.

During Plymouth’s Dementia Action Week there is so much to get involved in; from Tea Dances with twists to activity day clubs.  For more information or to see how you can get involved, click here!

shortbread with lavender

From The Kitchen:

A member of the New Continental Hotels staff shares something that helped them with a family member.

When my Nan was in the early stages, I loved to be in the kitchen with her. Where I remembered her at her happiest.  We would do simple things, I would help and we would just potter around together, mostly making a mess – sometimes making something edible!!

I was told about shortbread by a carer; that because it contains minimal ingredients and is easy to mix together, roll out and cook – it’s a tasty treat that is easy and satisfying!

For someone like me – when cooking is not my strength – this was perfect for me to take the lead on!

It made for a great afternoon activity; and the best bit was we could sit and enjoy our offerings with an afternoon cup of tea together!

 

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!

 

Don’t Hide From Easter…

Can you have a healthy Easter..?

With miles of shelves stacked with chocolate eggs and sugar-rich sweets; hot cross bun mountains and  beer and wine displays galore; going anywhere over Easter can be an open invite to take a break from temptation and indulge in Easter and Bank Holidays treats.

Like a bully in the playground, they can taunt you until, the next think you know, you’re packing the foil-covered bunnies away in the cupboard!

BUT its so difficult to see past all the unhealthy treats when it comes to Easter and Bank Holiday…

It can be hard, and we don’t need to tell you how to replace the treats with healthy options, we all know that a carrot with hummus is much better for us than an eleven inch chocolate bunny with Haribo eggs from its cute little basket!

So we ask the question “Can you really have a healthy Easter?”

Many of us have a long weekend to look forward to, four days off with family and friends; BBQs, nights out, lazy days…and we know that time for celebration often includes some indulgence.

Taking a break from the usual routine and enjoying some relaxation time is essential for our minds and our bodies, but, if you’re anything like us, we don’t want to completely fall off the fitness train and then need to run the track to get back on!

Simply put, we know that we will indulge; you know that you will indulge too! And for some it will be just a little, for others a little more! But how do we stay on track, not undo too much of our great work, but still have a great time?

Tips we love you will already know.  But like muscles getting stronger with repetition, what you practise grows stronger. So yes, it may be things you know; but re-read, remember and realise …

You are stronger than you think and there are no bullies in the playground!

Quality over Quantity…

Don’t think you CAN’T indulge in any of your cravings this Easter. Frankly, a little of what you fancy does you no harm! We all need the odd treat – but be advocates for quality over quantity.

Rather than be pounced on by the big yellow supermarket sign: 8 eggs for £10! Opt for a single egg; one you will feel you have really worked for; treated yourself too. One you sit down to enjoy, piece by piece, moment by precious moment.

Remember: You don’t need to fill your kitchen cupboards because the supermarket tells you too! 

It doesn’t have to be all about the chocolate!

When you think of indulging and treating yourself, for many of us, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t always chocolate. Chocolate is a familiar ‘friend’ because Easter (and clever marketing) has infiltrated our minds!  If you think about it as an important time to celebrate and to reward yourself, we all need rewards!  Have something to look forward to. But that isn’t always in the chocolate form!

Seeing other people treat themselves to things reminds us that we deserve it too, and it’s all too easy to think that our ‘indulgence’ can be mirrored by theirs – or clever marketing!

I bet chocolate, for many, wouldn’t be a reward!  For some of us, 30 minutes to ourselves, in a place we love with an indulgent Magazine or a great Podcast is worth so much more  than a cream egg!

Really think about what you need, what you want to indulge in and stretch for it, make it happen and enjoy it – whatever ‘it’ is.

Enjoy the moments…

The weather’person’ says we are in for a weekend hotter than Egypt! So make the most of it! Time with the family where exercise is part of the family fun.

And if the sun really does shine like they say it will, it’s perfect timing to indulge in the great outdoors, rather than the bag of Mini Eggs!

Go for a country walk or bike ride. Visit some historical sites. Play a game of football in the park, or maybe even take yourself to your nearest beach for a spot of volleyball!

Be together, on your feet, out in the air making memories.

And let’s face it, if we are eating and drinking a little more than usual this weekend, the more we are on our feet – the better!  

Be prepared and don’t get hungry!

Meeting friends for a drink hungry, inevitably means you are more likely to over indulge in a light bite or appetiser to accompany the Gun & Tonic!

Family buffets and BBQs full of chocolate and pastries will be so much harder to decline if you haven’t fuelled yourself on nutritious goodness beforehand or gone prepared with some healthy treats that everyone can enjoy.

Make sure you have a healthy breakfast, eat a high fibre or protein snack before the goodies are in your eyeline, and you are far less likely to overindulge.

ENJOY!

You have no reason not to have THE best weekend. Don’t feel you have a mountain to climb or that you have to hibernate, blindfolded with your arms tied behind your back to get through the four-day weekend!

Know that you do have control.  You can make the right choices and you are doing an amazing job.

Here’s to you.

Here’s to a Happy Easter with everyone you love making memories that will last forever and pounds that you can work off next week!

Membership at Club Continental: where people matter 7 days a week. 

A Hotel Porter…

A tree doesn’t make a forest…

Yes, that’s true, but by golly a Hotel Porter with the personal touch will always make an impression!

Our Hotel Porter are exceptional, they perform a valuable role for us at the New Continental Hotel.  In fact, many guests would say that our Hotel Porters can make an integral first impression to their overall stay. After all, they are part of the front of house team, and will typically escort you (or just your bags!) to your room and make sure you have everything you need to fully enjoy your experience in Plymouth.

It’s an incredibly varied role, suited to fit individuals who enjoy a day of differing tasks and diverse requests! Key to all things for our Hotel Porters is providing a high level of service for all of our guests, those staying with us and those attending events.

But what is it really like, being a Hotel Porter at the New Continental Hotel..?

We ask Luke, who is one of our Full-Time Porters, to share what happens during a busy hotel day.

Hotels In Plymouth

“Welcoming guests to the hotel and to Plymouth is an amazing part of my role; especially when I am supporting the reception team and checking them in and out. It’s great feeling useful to guests; when they need to have their luggage taken to their rooms or simply providing them with some ‘local’ knowledge on the area and attraction that they may enjoy. Knowing that I have helped to make a guests stay memorable and enjoyable is certainly a great feeling.

I also love transforming our function rooms in preparation for events, working behind the bars and just supporting all the departments in the hotel when they need me. My job is so varied, every hour provides me with new tasks, challenges and opportunities.

It really isn’t a career I even thought about, I didn’t even know existed,  it was complete happenstance that I stumbled upon this job and now I look at it as a really great career path, one that really suits my personality too.” 

What does it take..?

A Hotel Porter has to have a can-do attitude. Be a team player and ultimately use his or her initiative with a pro-active approach to ensure we always give our guests unique and fabulous options; to really be able to make the most of their time and visit to Plymouth.

We are looking for a warm and welcoming porter where service comes from the heart and has a passion for working with people to ensure guests leave with lasting memories.

With a natural intuition for what creates amazing service, you will work closely with our Front of House and Housekeeping teams to ensure that our Guests have a seamless arrival and stay, and your duties will be wide and varied.

What next..?

So…are you looking for an amazing opportunity to further your hospitality career? Or perhaps make a change and try something new? Then why not send your CV now? Take one step closer to being part of our hotel family at the New Continental Hotel.

 

Contact Us

 

National Apprenticeship Week…

Before we start:

As we are now in the middle of the annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships, we wanted to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to the team at City College Plymouth, their amazing students and to our apprentices, those with us now and those who have flown the nest to amazing new careers in hospitality.

Today we take a sneaky peak at the life of an apprentice chef…

It’s always hard saying goodbye to an apprentice. But when you know you have played a part in connected them to their future and to a career that they are passionate about; it really helps with the farewells!

Growing up, our natural aptitudes and interests often lead us to pursue certain careers. Sometimes we follow our parent’s footsteps, join the family business or simply look for the best paid jobs!

Sometimes we look to the future, to see where there might be growth in a specific sector. Perhaps we look at predicted skill shortages, or staff predominately made up of a generation starting to retire, with no one snapping at their heels to replace them!

However, sometimes, you are lucky enough to know what you love to do, what you’re great at and then consider the merits of a career based on your value; turning your passions into a profession!

Now isn’t that something!

As Plymouth bounds forward with growth and regeneration, as the city centre continues to develop and as Plymouth is growing in popularity as a destination, there has never been a better time to be in the tourism and hospitality sector.

Today we specifically look at ‘Chefs Life’ and see how, over the past seven years, we have been working closely with some amazing young talent.

The kitchen is intense, fast paced and dynamic. There can be long, stressful hours. It takes bags of energy, passion and charisma and it’s anything but easy! It’s full of pressure and high expectations of you…

…we aren’t really selling it here are we!

OK! Let’s help with that!

Staff Have Their Say…

We ask our Executive Chef, Paul Doidge why he feels that hospitality, specifically the kitchens, makes such a good springboard to connect young people to a career that will grip them and keep them inspired:

“ For the past seven years, I have seen many apprentices join us and leave connected to their dream of being a chef. All a step closer to their goal. Being in the thick of the action and really empowering and enabling apprentices is a massive part of all of our responsibilities; ensuring that the future of our craft has innovative new chefs emerging, learning and growing in confidence.

Becoming a chef is a career with surprisingly broad appeal. You can travel the world with it, teach with it, care with it; you can work across all sectors and you have a skill that many are envious of.

Almost everyone cooks at some point in their life; unlike plumbing or carpentry for instance; on a fairly regular basis the majority of people will prepare and serve food. When you’re good at it, you and everyone you cook for instantly knows. It’s a natural aptitude that is unlocked. Perhaps in your own kitchen, a friends or at school; access to the tools are readily available and accessible. Let’s face it, very few people will ever say ‘I’d rather you didn’t cook for me’!   

We have an apprentice currently that knew he was an amazing ‘chef’ from a really young age, after cooking at school and home and gaining rave reviews. For me, to nurture and extend that passion and energy with additional skills,  sharing my knowledge and experience,  is one of the many pleasures of my job.

Plenty of jobs require skills that you’ll never use outside of the office. Being a chef is an amazing professional talent that can also be used and shared in our daily lives.”

Find Out More…

Would you like to fin out more about the opportunities in the New Continental Groups Kitchen for apprentices? Then please email: nikkif@newcontinental.co.uk with an introductory email.

If you are still wondering if a #chefslife is the life for you; then perhaps this may help: 5 Reasons Why A Chefs Life Is A GREAT Life! 

Family Car Journey | The Survival Guide!

Create The Perfect, Fun Family Car Journey…

As the great Easter getaways are being planned, the roads will soon be full of families making their Easter road-trips!

Q) Are your toes already tingling at the thought?!?

Many of us here at the hotel are parents. Parents of babies, toddlers, teens and proud Grandparents too.  Most of us have had (or have) regular challenges when it comes to car journeys – both long and short!

Finding your own way to make it is essential – we all have different needs and varying tolerance levels – especially when driving! 

We want you to arrive in Plymouth full of beans – not full of fury! So, we asked some of our amazing parents and grandparents who are staff here at the New Continental Hotel, if they would share some of their tips, on how to keep both children and parents happy on their car journeys!

These tips are great for either nipping down the road to swimming lessons (which can be just a gruelling sometimes!) or making the four hour motorway trip to visit family!!

We welcome many families during the Easter Holidays and sometimes, as they walk through the foyer, after their family road trip, we can feel their pain!

Parents who are wearing the signs of being road warriors; and children eager to get out of the ‘tin can’ and stretch those legs!

 

We all have our own techniques; for some it’s taking  favourite toys; making regular ‘adventure stops’ or travelling at night!

Here are some of the methods staff at the New Continental Use…

Charlie | Head Of Housekeeping | Grandchild

Charlie is a super proud Nana! And although her Grandson is now almost old enough to drive her around; Charlie is a big fan of her IPad and so we asked her to search for something that could offer some ‘techy’ aid for the travelling family!

Her tips for surviving a car journey – load your IPad with these FREE APPS!

Talking Tom Cat

Talking Tom Cat is a virtual pet cat that’ll keep children engrossed for long periods of time, making him purr when they stroke him and drink when they pour him a glass of milk. He’ll distract them, make them laugh and I am sure offer hours of entertainment! You may want to turn the volume down a little – he repeats what they say in a rather high pitch voice! They will love it – but the adults in the car not so much (especially after the first few times!)

Pineapple Studio Jigsaw Puzzles

This is a great traditional style game; I really liked it because it cleverly fused old with digital! The electronic jigsaw – no need to hunt the car for pieces at every pit-stop with this one! This app features Toy Story, Twilight, Cars, The Simpsons and other options. I think it will be a winner – if only for 20 minutes or so!

Nursery Jam

Music is a winner and this is a really great, fun, creative app.   It lets you compose your own music by tapping objects. I really liked it!! It might be a bit noisy though! So, although it will keep them happy  – I might consider the option of headphones!

Claire | Events Coordinator | 6 Year Old Daughter

Claire is one of our super organised Mums. The Mum we all aspire to be like. The Mum that stays up late to bake for the PTFA and who knows her way around great Tupperware!

Being both super organised and a regular road trip maker; her tip for surviving a family road trip – plenty of snacks (and wet-wipes!)!

“We travel a great deal to visit family and friends – by both car and ferry.   So we have learnt lots of tricks to keep our little one happy!  The tried and tested favourite for us is making sure we pack lots of healthy snacks (and some treats of course!)  Some might say I pack enough to feed an army – but you can never be too prepared!”

Here are some great ideas – many that are favourites in our four wheels!

Boots also do some great Tupperware, with lids that really keep things in!

Katie | Events Coordinator | 18 Month Old Son

Katie is what we call ‘the cool Mum’ – she is fun and always busy doing fun and creative things with her little man.

Her tip is to prepare your spotify for the journey!

‘I have quickly learnt that: a) I may never listen to my own music in the car again and b) to get over the embarrassment of bobbing along to ‘The Wheels On The Bus’ for a happy car journey! No more shame at traffic lights when my son and I are rocking along and laughing at each other for taking the tunes a little too seriously! Nor do we mind when we make it to the shops and we still have the soundtrack playing – just without the music as we dance down the cereal aisle!

For us, a silent car journey just doesn’t cut it! We need tunes and laughter! There are some great pre-made soundtracks – or create your own – which is fun in itself!”

Simon | Operations Manager | 7 Year Old & Baby

Simon is one of the best Dads; you know the ones, the one we all wish we had had!

He is hands on, cool and always wants only the best for his little brood!

Empowering his little ones and making sure they enjoy being educated. That’s what matters so much to him; hence his journey tips being educational but FUN!

Learning Games!

“My 7 year old loves nothing more than to be armed with her special clipboard and selection of pencils and rubbers and her fun car games. Games we can all play along with – if she lets us!”

Simon has let us in to his secrets and so we have created some templates so you too can let your little ones get bossy – we mean busy (!) – in the car!

Alphabet Hunt

Scavenger Hunt

Paul | Executive Chef | 12 & 8 years old

Paul, like Simon, is one of those amazing Dads. Amazing, but also one who might be considered a little ‘Competitive’! Often sharing his stories with us in the staff room of Monopoly battles at Christmas and Nerf Gun fights on Sunday’s!

Proving that being a great Dad is all about having fun…with a little healthy competition!

So…little surprise to any of us; his survival tricks for car journey is a game of Guess Who!

“Having fun and play times are perhaps the greatest setting for making memories, learning social skills and integration but also having fun!  With two children we all know that the back seat can be a frenzy of squabbling and ‘Dad he did this’ and ‘Dad she did that’s’!

So, I like to add a little fun for distraction,  with a dollop of healthy, family competition to the mix things up a bit!!  Guess Who is perfect!

It’s a great alternative to the ‘I Spy’ game – which has to be said, can be a bit distracting as the driver!

Guess Who! The player thinks of a person; it can be a famous fictional person, like Andy from Toy Story or Carl Fredricksen from UP! It can be a singer, like Ariana Grande or Bob Marley! Or perhaps an actor, sports person or even a member of the family!

The person who thinks of the ‘who’ then has to honestly answer up to 10 questions from the other players. With the answers they then have to try and ‘Guess Who’ that person is!

If the person is guessed, the passenger that guessed it gets one point, they then start another round. If the famous person is not guessed, the passenger can then think of another person … AND get the one point!

No cheating though!”

A BIG thanks to all our staff for taking the time to share their tried and tested trip survival tactics!

Long trips with children are always a little daunting – but they are worth it once you arrive in Plymouth. And hopefully our staff have given you some great tips to make it survivable!

All you need to do now is plan your next trip to Plymouth and thank us in person!!!

We would love to welcome you and share our city – as well as our tips – with you soon!

Safe Travels. Happy Journeys.  Family Fun Holidays.

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. 

Five Minutes With | What An Event..!

New Continental Hotel, PlymouthFor us, our teams are an integral part of how and why we do what we do.

We know that there is no way we would be able to achieve and deliver without a truly passionate bunch of people supporting, empowering and enabling our objectives.

Our staff are our backbone and we take five minutes to talk all things ‘events’ with one of our Events Co-ordinator.

Five Minutes With Katie | lady sat on a rock in the sun surrounded by green grass

How long have you worked in the Tourism & Hospitality Sector?
It has been over 4 ½ years now. It has gone by so quickly and I have learnt so much.

How does it feel being part of the New Continental Hotel Family?

Just that! – Part of a family! Because it’s a family run business, you are made to feel like part of a large, supportive family. This gives you an even greater sense of pride in everything that the hotel achieves. It’s the main reason I love working here. I know for a fact it’s the main reason that so many members of staff have been here for so long. I feel I’m amongst family and friends.

There are lots of changes planned for Plymouth in the gear up to 2020, how might this affect you and your department?
Hopefully in a very positive way! It’s an exciting time for the city bringing in a lot of new and exciting opportunities. I feel the hotel is a major part of Plymouth’s rich history and hope this alongside our excellent facilities and central location will entice potential new clients for us as well as older ones who want to hold their events in an iconic Plymouth destination.

What does your day look like..?

Tell us about a day in your life?
No day is the same as no event or function we hold is ever the same so the preparation and planning varies on a daily basis. On a typical day I will be preparing for an upcoming event- creating place cards, table plans, creating function sheets so that each department knows what needs to be done for this event. Communicating with the function organiser to make sure all their needs are being met. I also show around lots of potential wedding couples and event organisers- showing them our function rooms and what we can offer to their event- going through menus and printing etc. Always researching or working on the next blog too!

What’s the most rewarding/enjoyable part of your job?
Seeing an event successfully come together; whether it is a wedding, corporate event or any other type of function.

Knowing we’ve all worked together to make sure every aspect of the event either matches or exceeds the client’s expectations. I also love seeing a wedding couple that I have been working with and getting to know get married and say ‘I Do’. It’s a huge honour to be part of someone’s big day and helping to create wonderful memories for them.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’m not very good at looking too far into the future. I’m a very ‘of the moment’ type of person but I hope to be happy, healthy, providing all I can for my family whilst doing all the things I feel most passionate about. Plus working hard to achieve my goals whilst supporting others.

What’s your advice for those wanting to enter hospitality..?

What advice would you give anyone looking to get into our sector?
A positive and friendly ‘can do’ attitude will help you go far in this industry. A willingness to do all you can for people plus be willing to go the extra mile for customers. Good customer Service is essential. Bing able to think on the spot to resolve issues quickly whilst providing excellent service to all clients and guests is key.

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