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

Tel: 01752 276798

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.

The Ultimate Guide To Eating Out This January…

So.  It’s cold and wet.  We are all feeling the pinch on the purse strings and are at least one belt notch thicker. They call them the January Blues for a reason!

The month of January can be a drag, it’s true and there isn’t much we can do about it! Our tendency is to slouch on the sofa at any given chance and eat all of the left overs (no matter how random the concoction!) and watch films for the fourth and fifth time in our elasticated PJs!

But come hither! Chin up guys, because January is one of the best times of year for one thing at least – eating out at Steve’s Brasserie!

Steve’s Brasserie are offering some amazing deals to ease us into 2019 gently. Their menu offers up amazing dishes throughout the year, but January is the perfect time to feel fully sated whilst saving money. Before the seasonal change in February, Head Chef, Rob Dunne has promised his most delicious of dishes with some really hefty discounts.

Rob Dunne; Head Chef at Steve’s Brasserie and the New Continental Hotel:

“January is a month that we see a lot of our guests feeling like they may have slightly overindulged during the festive period! You can physically see some emerging from the other side, graving healthy, colourful food! Swearing off alcohol, fatty foods and sugar for good – or at least for the first few weeks of January! I love January. As a chef I get really excited with the wealth of lovely fresh produce, knowing that that is just what people are craving. I’m not talking kale smoothies and protein balls, but real flavoursome, quality ingredients.

Vegetables in January are still mostly roots such as potatoes, parsnips, parsley roots, chervil roots and swedes. All of the vegetables we saw donning the tables throughout December. January is when new season leeks begin to hit our suppliers in time for hearty bakes and stews; this coupled with the start of the vast citrus season from Europe and further afield, with blood oranges, Seville oranges and bergamot all starting to appear.”

The simple tones between the marriage of the two are what really sums up January for me; roasted root vegetables with a citrus vinaigrette spell out January in both taste and aroma.

In December, Steve’s Brasserie will be introducing FIVE amazing offers for dinners to use throughout January. Watch their Facebook Page for news and announcements!

They are deals NOT to miss! 

Steve’s Brasserie’s Christmas Opening Hours

Festive Fun Doesn’t Mean You Have To Pile On The Pounds…

Adam Domyslawski, Club Continental Manager, talks Christmas ‘Trimmings’!! 

I know you want me to say that this is Christmas; the green light is on to overindulge and eat whatever you want whenever you want…but no, sorry!

But don’t worry, you can still enjoy the festivities of Christmas and get through the days and nights without too much impact on your health or waistline!

Alcohol units can really mount up over Christmas. I’m not saying don’t drink at all, but there are some really simple tips, like replacing tonic waters with soda, and going for light beers that will really help.

Sadly, it will pretty much always come down to self –control! If this is a problem and you find it hard to stop once you’ve popped the drinking cherry (!) then you want to aim for low-calorie options; perhaps less-flavoursome drinks, but they will be by far the safer option!  If you have good self control, I would always say indulge in what you love, but just one or two!

Remember:

It’s not just the calories it’s the antitoxins and carbs too; make sure you have some days off alcohol to detox your body. It will really help that foggy, stodgy feeling! Inferably, a hang-over also leads to bad food choices the morning after too – so pace yourself and be mindful!

Christmas Dinner can contain anything up to, and over, 3000 calories – more than the entire recommended daily intake for a grown man!! This gigantic festive feast not only stacks up your daily Christmas calories, but can also contribute to other things too.

If you over indulge on Christmas Dinner you are far less likely to feel ready, willing or able to burn any of it off – even a game of charades may be asking too much! Not to mention the lethargy for the rest of the day, the indigestion and heartburn!

It’s worth remembering it takes your brain a while to register that your tummies are full!  Start with a small portion, meats and vegetables then give yourself some time and see if you are still hungry!

Remember:

You can still have the trimmings – it’s Christmas! But the sauces, stuffing and pigs in blankets are there for taste – not for filling!

TV Snacks are hard to avoid! Chocolates, nuts, dried fruits and anything else that dons the Christmas shelves at the supermarkets who then tell you your Christmas will only be good if you buy this box of cheesy puffs!

Again, it’s about self-control, and if you don’t have any, make sure you have loads of fresh fruit in the house and try playing games and keeping busy!

Remember:

Being busy having fun will stop your hand feeding your mouth!

The most important thing of all is to have a Merry Christmas, with great choices and happy memories.

 

Staff Share Their BEST Things About Christmas…

Christmas Time In Hospitality…

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

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

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

Top Five…

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Christmas Party

Train Like A Strongman…

 

Adam is our Club Continental Manager; but in addition to this he is also a competing athlete in his own right.

This year Adam has taken part in three competitions around the UK; and his fourth one will be this Sunday 18th November in Caerphilly, Wales.

We talk to him about what it takes to compete and more..!

This is going to be a very basic question to start the ball rolling! What is a Strongman Competition?

“Strongman competitions normally range from 5 and 6 events over the course of the day. They are designed to test static strength, explosiveness and muscular endurance. This means that training has to be adapted to accommodate all these qualities. Strongman competitions differ from other strength sports. It’s not like weightlifting or power-lifting, these only have two and three disciplines respectively. In power-lifting and weight-lifting the athletes have to be very strong in specific movements where as strongman demands a much more general level of strength and fitness”

Why do you compete?

“It’s a question I get asked all the time! There are so many reasons. Most of the exercises in strongman force you to use most of your muscle groups at once. It gives me a focus for my training and goals to strive for. I really enjoy the periodic tests that I put myself under to see how I’m progressing and improving and I thrive on the challenge. The journey that I go on in the training is amazing, it can be several weeks or months in advance, and I can feel my body and mind getting ready.”

So it’s not just because you like to flip tyres, pull trucks and throw balls?

“Perhaps a little (he laughs!) The ‘balls’ you mention are Atlas Stones!”

Most of us grew up watching the World’s Strongest Man on TV, with giants from all around the world moving insanely heavy and awkward objects! How many people will be competing on Sunday and is there a lot of rivalry between you all?

“This one is a Strongest Man Novice competition and there will be 20 people competing.  Like any sport, you all go in wanting to do your best. It’s what we train for and it’s a passion. The thing that makes strongman so accessible is that anyone can train for it, which is always exciting to be part of.”

What will the lead up to Sunday look like?

“My family and friends are hugely supportive. They understand that I love a challenge and the chance to push myself to my limits. It can be quite stressful; even though I love it!  Although I know that me pushing myself to my limits – can at times push those closest to me to theirs too!

Being in pursuit of excellence and perfection means early mornings and lots of training and ‘fuel’ planning. On Saturday I will eat well all day, really carb up and have a big meal in the evening followed by about 6-8 hours sleep and then a light breakfast in the morning.”

Good luck Adam! Thank you for sharing and happy training!

Bringing A Brighter Start To 2019…

The New Continental Hotel lights the way thanks to Nev, his ladders and a ‘lorra’ LEDs..!

We are now entering into that time of year where it always feels pretty dark outside! Many of us are doing our morning commutes before the sun has risen. Then finishing the day under the dark night sky!

With over 4,200 light bulbs in our Grand Old Lady, that means a very big switch on during this time of year..!

Nev’s BIG BULB-BINANZER…

Over the past 6 months, our Maintenance Manager Nev, has been VERY busy indeed! He has been working towards completing the big plan for the hotel LED changeover!

Now over half way through the BIG BULB-BINANZER, Nev has over 2,600 LED bulbs replacing the older halogen ones.

This lighting upgrade has taken a huge amount of work, not to mention a fairly hefty price tag, but we know it’s worth it; Nev explains:

man standing with his arms crossed in front of a christmas tree

“On average, just over 30 per cent of our organisation’s electricity costs come from our lighting, but a switch to lower-consuming LEDs will reduce this amount, in some cases we are told it could be reduced by as much as 80%.

Not only will it ultimately save the New Continental Hotel financially, but less energy use reduces the demand from power plants and decreases greenhouse gas emissions so is better for the environment too. So beyond cost savings, there are a numerous additional benefits that we can look forward to.”

Taking care of the environment is a responsibility that everyone should feel accountable for. Given that we have so many light bulbs, changing them is an effective way for us to make change happen for the better.

Some interesting facts that Nev has learnt during his LED mission for a brighter future…

Nev’s News..!

LED Lights Reduce Light Pollution:

LED lights have inherent directional nature which means that their light is highly focused. Due to this characteristic, LED lights contribute significantly towards reducing what is called as’ light pollution’, by reducing the unwanted scattered light in the environment.

LED Lights Emit Negligible Heat:

One of the most environmental friendly aspects of LED lighting is that these lights have very high electricity to light conversion efficiency, as high as 90% in most cases. This high conversion efficiency implies that there is minimal heat loss in the environment (or the bedrooms!).

LED Lights Have Long Life:

LED lights have a rated life of 30,000 to 50,000 hours which is many folds greater than the conventional counterparts. This longer life span reduces the need of bulb replacement after every few weeks, thereby reducing the need to dispose-off the old ones into the landfills.

LED Lights Are Safer:

LED lights are a product of advanced solid state technology which has imparted amazing durability to these light bulbs. These are completely sealed and are highly resistant to vibrations, impact and harsh weather conditions. Moreover, there are no glass parts and hence no risk of serious injury in case a bulb breaks.

LED Lights Do Not Add Noise To The Environment:

Unlike other lighting technologies, LED lights are designed in such a way that they do not generate any vibration or humming noise. So by replacing conventional light bulbs with an LED light bulb, we can help reduce noise pollution from the environment too.

LED Lights Have Smaller Carbon Footprint:

Greenhouse gas emissions associated with the LED lights are relatively far less than the conventional incandescent or Compact fluorescent lights. According to carful calculations, one LED bulbs, providing the same luminosity as one incandescent bulb emits 80% less greenhouse gases. The same calculation for CFLs suggests a reduction of 50% GHGs by switching to LED lights.

Our Events Team …

Why have one events planner when you can have two?!

Here at the New Continental Hotel, we love it when there is a new addition to the ‘Conti’ family. Not only new members of staff; but when staff have new members of their own families!

Katie returned recently after her 10 months maternity leave. Not only has her family grown but the events team too!

We ask Katie all about her new role as Mum and Events Planning at the New Continental Hotel.

” I have enjoyed every moment of motherhood so far and spending time with my beautiful little boy, but my goodness it feels good to be back at The New Continental Hotel doing the job I feel so passionate and proud of! What’s also amazing is I’m no longer alone! My colleague Claire and I are now a wedding and events team!”

Katie & Claire…

“Many of you will have already met Claire as she has been running events solo in my absence on top of already being a well established member of the New Continental Hotel team for many years. Now we are a combined force! Our primary goal is to enable each guest to relax and enjoy their special event; ensuring all aspects of their occasion is executed with smooth timing and flawless detail.

We understand that each guest wants their event to showcase their individuality, making attention to detail so important. Being devoted to working together as a team is really important whilst helping customise each event down to the last detail. For both of us, the most important thing is making sure it’s the perfect day, no matter what the event.”

Wedding & Events Coordinators…

“We feel very privileged to be Wedding & Events coordinators at the New Continental Hotel. The best part of our job is the relationships we build with our clients, as some events, like weddings are planned years in advance, so you get to build great relationships.

Weddings…

“It is an absolute honour to be part of one of the most special days in a couple’s life. We look forward to every wedding we do at the New Continental Hotel and are proud to be part of the outstanding service all our team provides for our guests.  We know that the “perfect wedding” is different for everyone. This is especially true as both Claire and I have each had a very different wedding experience of our own. Very different – but equally magical.  Therefore we completely understand how important the planning process is on the build up to your special day. We want to develop a relationship with each couple and their families, discussing their vision whilst keeping a budget in mind.

No matter what the wedding size, we will work together to make each couple’s dreams come true.

Events…

In addition to weddings, we also help plan the social gatherings and events at the New Continental Hotel. No matter what type of event we are coordinating, we thoroughly enjoy being part of each stage of the process and we are especially pleased to see clients and guests enjoying a successful event. By having two of us working closely together – our guests receive twice the understanding, knowledge and guidance to support them in creating their unique event and making your vision a reality.”

Get in touch…

“We are both very excited to be working together and look forward to hearing from you, so please do not hesitate to contact us on 01752 276783 to let us help you plan your next event.”

Why Apprenticeships Matter In Hospitality …

Why do an apprenticeship..?

Can you have a hotel without passion..? What is a holiday without exceptional service..? We must engage, empower and enable young people..!

Paul Doidge, Executive Chef for the New Continental Group explains why he is an ambassador and advocate for anything that gives young people a springboard that connects them to a future in hospitality…

The government initiative to fund three million apprentice places by 2020 has had a mixed response. So, after the first year we take a look at the benefits attached to apprenticeships. For both the New Continental Hotel, Plymouth and our sector.

As a family business we feel it is our duty to ensure guests have the very best experiences. Yet we also feel it’s our duty to do the same for our staff too. We aim to ensure our staff feel appreciated, empowered and enabled – as well as knowing their value and unlocking their potential.

Paul Doidge shares the facts…

“Apprenticeships are excellent for up skilling staff whilst also recruiting and retaining top, young talent. Recent research has shown us that 70% of apprentices stay with their employers once completing their qualification. This is really amazing statistics.  For us, apprenticeships aren’t just about the value they offer the apprentice, but also the value they give our business and sector as a whole. Having an apprenticeship programme is one of the best ways of creating a more motivated, passionate and satisfied workforce.

What’s more, it ensures growth in our sector and a future that is bursting with energy and enthusiasm.  With young people passionate about a profession within hospitality. There have been great strides  taken within our sector over the last 20 years, not only by us, but many amazing companies who are championing the industry. As a united front a huge change is coming, by us all sharing the same vision,  recruiting new talent and tackling the somewhat negative perception of working within the industry means we are making leaps and bounds in the right direction.”

What do apprentices do for our sector?

“For us, as an independent hotel,  apprentices help decrease the skills gap but also change the narrative over time on the positives and many benefits that chefs can reap from working within our sector. As the new levy moves boldly into its second year we can look forward to  incubating the next generation to attract, retain and develop new shining lights. This will help brighten all of our futures and is most definitely the way forward.”

What IS the levy?

“Like many changes, understanding them sometimes feels like you need a post doctorate to wade your way through the facts and figures! I am no expert, but working with City College Plymouth has helped me understand the essence of the levy.

Basically it requires all companies (with a pay bill of more than £3m) to contribute 0.5% of their payroll costs to the scheme. They then claim back for training. This amount is then topped up by 10% from the government. Businesses with pay bills below £3m don’t pay into the fund but they still have access to government subsidies of 90% of the cost of the apprenticeship, with the employers co-paying the additional 10%.

A year in and many are now asking for the Apprenticeship Levy transfer fund cap to be expanded from 10% to 50% to help support SMEs, as they make up of 90% of the hospitality industry.”

Do you practise what you preach?

“Although we are definitely not pretending to be experts in the field, we have had apprentices for many years and are pleased and encouraged that we are seeing apprentices lead on to successful, long-term careers in hospitality. What we also love to see is the numbers doing higher level apprenticeships have also increased. There is no doubt that like us, those businesses that are open to this real and purposeful way of working really do benefit.

By spending just a little  time getting to know the right apprenticeship provider, who are the experts, can bring you many benefits and we are so grateful for the support we get from City College Plymouth.”

Why is it important to have the right partners?

“The apprentices take what they learn from the classroom environment and apply it in a real and purposeful way. If both sides of the equation, the college and the business don’t collaborate well, then the programme will fail.  Speaking in terms of the world of  hospitality, by working tightly together there becomes more relevant and rigorous training and qualifications that really mean something.

The future within our sector cannot be depicted only by bricks and mortar as we strive for 5*, but by passion, enthusiasm and young people who understand their value and who are inspired to turn their passions into a profession that matters.”

More Than Just GREAT Wi-Fi..!

Where can you get great W-Fi In Plymouth?

“Around the world there are many cities that have become cultural icons; incorporating buildings, landscapes and other features of huge cultural significance. Keeping all of these both intact and alive can be a major challenge. It involves integrating conservation of the old in the development of the new. 

As a family business, we are sympathetic to the heritage and restoration of our hotel, a historic symbol in Plymouth. Yet blending the old world charm, a warm family welcome whilst offering the mod-cons is not always easy. But, it’s an ambition we strive to fulfil.

The Preservation of history…

It is vital, but not always easy, to preserve the historic culture of a city. The New Continental Hotel has a business history of over 30 years. It has a family culture that takes a long term view of business investment and relationships. The hotel, and its teams are dedicated to achieving innovation, growth and sustainability for Plymouth. 

Our business is connected to and very much part of a city that we are proud of and passionate about.  To be an entrepreneurial business with a great team at its heart is essential.  You need a team that work hard to build a business that can last for the long term. You also need a team who show pride of place in a city they love. In my eyes, this takes more than dedication and hard work: it takes vision, innovation, passion and an entrepreneurial spirit.

In an age when we talk about connectivity being as important as fresh white linen and hot water, Wi-Fi in any hotel is an essential offering for all guests. Whether they are on a leisure break and want to upload their pictures to social media or use it to settle their children to a film on Netflix at the end of a day; or indeed Businesses Travellers in need of global corporate connectivity – staying in touch is vital.

2016 at the New Continental Hotel …

In 2016 the New Continental Hotel launched our Enterprise Grade Wi-Fi in all of our public areas: our function and conference rooms, leisure club, bars and foyers as well as our in-house restaurant. This January we are thrilled to say that the entire hotel is now better connected, with a dedicated leased line of 30Mb also now providing great connection to our 99 bedrooms, across all five floors.

With the ability now to support higher Internet traffic and bandwidth demands as well as adding more access points on each floor, we have been able to blend the Victorian architecture and thick walls with modern technology; giving our guests a strong, consistent and reliable Wi-Fi signal throughout the entire hotel.

Being Connected …

It’s easy to be connected and to care about our city. The width and breadth of Plymouth’s offer for visitors takes a unique shape in comparison to other city destinations in the UK.  It has a wealth of history and heritage, its cultural heartbeat creates a rhythm that is rich and varied, with a plethora of opportunities for audiences of all backgrounds. This, coupled with its beautiful waterfront hook, extends to provide both a tremendous rural and coastal experience for its guests.  

What I love more than anything though, is that what has always been apparent in this marvellous city of ours, is the innovative dynamic and forward thinking people in it, the people who understand that although our past is something to be proud of; our future is just as bright and worth the investment.”

Elinor Eaton 
Development Manager
New Continental Hotel

 

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