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.
New Continental Hotel Partners With Best Western Great Britain Brand…
It’s been an incredibly exciting two weeks for everyone at the New Continental Hotel.
On Tuesday 15th October 2019, the New Continental Hotel joined the Best Western Great Britain brand; to sit within their Sure Hotel Collection.
As a proudly independently operated hotel, Best Western was the perfect choice. The partnership enables the hotel to remain independent and keep complete autonomy over the running and direction of our growth; and allows the flexibility to maximise our independence…
“We are delighted to join Best Western’s new Sure Hotel Collection. We were looking for a brand that would allow us to continue operating independently but could give us access to all the benefits that come with being part of a global brand. With Best Western’s new range of soft brands, it makes the perfect fit.
Plymouth is a popular destination for leisure and business travellers alike and we look forward to welcoming new and regular guests to our property under the new Sure Hotel Collection umbrella.”
Bobbie Hajiyianni, New Continental Hotel
As the hospitality sector becomes more venturesome and advanced, it affords more opportunities and opens more doors to exciting possibilities. If you have the right offering, one that is not only well executed but also led by passion, and you have access to the right support.
It’s the perfect formula…
The combination of our family hospitality, our knowledge and experience, our loyal and dedicated staff and our pride for Plymouth; fused with their distribution, access a global loyalty scheme and benefit from new sales, marketing and revenue technologies is a truly exciting collaboration. Not only for the hotel, but for Plymouth too.
The Best Western brand empowers independent hotel owners to take all the opportunities and really thrive; and we’re excited to see what the future holds…
Rob Paterson, CEO at Best Western Great Britain, added: “We’re delighted to welcome the New Continental Hotel, Sure Hotel Collection to our family of brands. Best Western now has brands to suit every guest, from economy to luxury, across over 260 locations in Great Britain. We look forward to working in partnership with the team at the hotel to showcase and celebrate their hotel both locally and globally.”
What we are perhaps most excited by is the access we will have to a range of tools and expertise to support in driving tourism to Plymouth.
What will not be changing is our determination to provide a consistent and reliable experience to ALL of our guests…
As a Grade II Listed hotel, full of charm and centrally located, the hotel has always been popular with business travellers and leisure guests alike, but with the support of Best Western we are certain that not only will more guests connect with the hotel, but with Plymouth as a destination too.
Next week sees the first full week of school after the Summer Holidays! There is nothing like a busy summer holiday in our sector. As parents ourselves though, we also know there is nothing quite like getting back to some sort of routine too!
Plymouth is a remarkable city to visit with your family. With so much to see and do there are no limits to the memories you can make. It’s not surprising that so many families choose our city as their destination. It makes the perfect choice for a family UK Summer break.
Little ones all packed up and back to school this week. The obligatory ‘Back To School’ photo is posted. That means the busy Summer months are almost behind us. Up next will be Christmas! However, before then we take the chance to sit down with our Operations Manager.
We do our own little summer de-brief!
Summer In The City 2019…
Summer is one of our busiest seasons at the hotel. Even though we love nothing more than welcoming all of our guests, all of the year, seeing families arrive in the summer is amazing. Knowing and seeing how precious their time is together, being united without work or life, it’s truly magical. With our family rooms and suites; central location; leisure complex; great Wi-Fi and amazing food offer, we know that we can offer the perfect family holiday. Where everyone can really enjoy every precious moment together.
We also know that the needs of travelling families are a little different, different that is from the wants, wishes and desires of those who travel without the little ones in tow!
Today we talk to our Operations Manager, Simon. We ask him: ‘What are the main differences when you have the next generation along for the ride?’
Simon is a highly experienced manager within the hotel. A role that is challenging by nature as it involves constantly developing, redesigning and aligning with the needs of all of our guests. Operations Managers have a wide variety of tasks that they’re assigned, and even they can vary depending on the day! More than just his role on site; he connects his staff with the city. Through great mentoring and leadership he is always the first person to ensure that the New Continental Hotel is a business that is well rooted in city wide events. Always the first person to but an idea into action!
Simon and his teams work tirelessly to ensure all guests have the best possible experiences. Be that through our food and beverage offer; having adequate staffing at any one time; developing strategies for an overall better service … it’s honestly endless!
It’s an Operations Manager’s job to oversee the entirety of the hotel; making sure everything is running as smoothly as possible. As you can imagine, this is a constantly changing and challenging job, because our needs as guests are always changing and shifting shape.
Not only an Operations Manager, but also a devoted Dad of two, Simon understands the needs of our families all too well. Of course all guests have overlapping needs such as a desire for comfortable beds, good service, great food, happy staff … but there are some differences unique to our family travellers.
What would you say is the biggest difference with a Family staying at the hotel opposed to a say a couple?
Generally speaking, families really do need more usable space. So they can all spread out! There is nothing worse for a family than a tight spot, with everyone getting ready on top of each other, with no room for toys or play!
Having on-site breakfast is always a bonus. You can slip out of your room, children still in PJs if they want, and have a leisurely breakfast to start the day right!
An activity within the hotel also helps. Our leisure club is perfect, we have a really nice warm pool for them to splash about in and some play equipment. This offers great and free entertainment for all the family to enjoy. It’s especially handy on those grey summer days, a great indoor activity to hide from the elements!
What about the food offer for families?
As well as a bright breakfast room, we have Steve’s Brasserie. This is our in-house restaurant. We have a fabulously simple children’s menu with some great healthy choices as well as the classics like Chicken Nuggets. We take as much care in our children’s menu as we do our regular menus. The ingredients used is all of the same calibre, and our kitchen teams LOVE adding a little extra to the plate – a smiley pea face is a firm favourite!
What do you think makes us different to other hotels?
Our sector is fiercely competitive, more so than ever before given the current social and economic landscape. This is a big bonus for our guests.
Many hotels are all striving to offer the best experiences, best prices, best value, best service, best everything! What I think truly gives us our uniqueness, and perhaps helps us stand, is that we are a family run business and we really understand the needs of families.
PLYMOUTH…Britain’s Ocean City
With summer being busier, and rates slightly higher during this time of year, when would you advice families who want to travel to visit Plymouth?
Like with any hotel, booking with them direct is always the best option. Checking their websites for special offers is always a great way to start. Not only to save money, but gain really tangible added value too.
Plymouth is a remarkable city, not only due to the sensational vista but also the rich history, cultural offer, amazing events and of course the sensational people that are so proud and passionate. Visiting Plymouth at any time of the year will offer a platform to grow great memories from.
If Simon hasn’t got your fingers clicking on Plymouth yet, for your next holiday destination, maybe this will! We work tirelessly to ensure that we are offering great value all of the time. That is why our Offers page is constantly updated…
Christmas is a great time to explore the city; especially with little ones. Here at the hotel we really want people to benefit from the offering that Plymouth has during this time of year; not only the beautiful lights and the amazing Christmas Market, but also the activities and events, mostly free, that are scheduled during this time of year.
Our Winter Break offer gives guests the opportunity to enjoy not only a winter break in Plymouth but also 15% OFF their entire stay! Guests can choose any of our rooms between 28th October and the 23rd December and use the promotional code WB19 to get 15% off.
The Christmas Shopper promotion is also a great way to have more money for shopping with 20% Off your stay! Book any nights between Monday 16th and Friday 20th December and enjoy the festivities that Britain’s Ocean City offer. The promotional code for this is XMAS19
If you are thinking about planning ahead, then our Early Bird Offer will help you spring into 2020. Book any rooms and any nights throughout January 2020 and receive 20% OFF your stay. Although this is a non-refundable and non-transferable rate, once booked and looking forward to your stay in Plymouth there wouldn’t be a reason to not check-in!
There is nothing quite like the countdown to the Summer Holidays.
Everyone is feeling the wind-down in the air and we are all busy planning our family time; packing it full of activities that everyone will enjoy.
The long stretch of the summer holiday can (more so than any other school break) create some financial stresses though. We try to keep everyone entertained week after week after week! It can not only be daunting, keeping everyone happy, but also can be traumatic on the purse strings if we aren’t too careful!
Plymouth isn’t only a remarkable city to visit because of its riches and beauty. There are the many trails and walks too; most popular perhaps along the Barbican, to the Hoe, with children’s activities and play-parks scattered like enchanting pit-stops.
Then you have the stunning area around Richmond Walk, Devils Point, Royal William Yard, Mount Batten and too many others to name! All full of beautiful areas for picnics and ball-games, friendly cafes and ice-cream vans, passing ships and statues to admire and above all else; a city famous for its warm welcome to all guests and visitors alike.
Not only is Plymouth alive with greatness on every turn, but there is also a HEAP of amazing activities, events and days out you can all enjoy and plan into the holiday diary which either won’t cost you a penny – or that are fabulously priced!
It’s true to say that there isn’t a week when you can’t do something fun for nothing; but there are also a great many amazing offers and deals that you can take advantage of too.
So Much To See & Do…
The National Marine Aquarium is the largest Aquarium in the UK, and is located here in Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City. The NMA is run by the Ocean Conservation Trust and all money goes towards their Ocean Conservation initiatives. There are always great events and activities and you really can spend days learning, exploring and growing. Entry to the Aquarium gains visitors a free annual pass, you can then come and go as you please, and use their new garden and attend Ocean Giants without paying again!
There are amazing Boat Trips that capture the pirate in little ones whilst gently learning about Plymouth’s history. There is nothing like the view of Britain’s Ocean City that from the waves.
Culture also plays a massive part in Plymouth’s DNA. With THE premier arts organisation in the South West; the Theatre Royal Plymouth; lots of outdoor theatre; open-air cinema at Tinside Lido and so much more! There really won’t be a moment of boredom from anyone!
So, what could be better?!?
We’ve scoured the width and breadth of Plymouth and the local areas to compile a list of ideas that are free or what we think are great value and that can all be part of your holiday planning starting point! BUT don’t think that’s all that Plymouth has to offer! Here are some great places to unearth action packed days for you and your family this Summer.
In the meantime; here are some that we rather liked the look of! Don’t forget, we also have some amazing offers to stay and play in Plymouth too!
Month By Month…
The Squiggly Wiggly Giant Squid – FREE
Between May and September 2019 you have a challenge at the Royal William Yard…That is should you choose to accept it!
A playful Giant Squid has made its home at the Yard and has brought six friends along too! By collecting a free trail passport from any cafe and restaurant in the Yard, you have to find all its friends and collect six letters to spell a nautical word and then claim your reward!
A truly gorgeous setting for this fun activity that the entire family can enjoy; you can easily spend a few hours exploring and enjoying the beautiful area and art instillation; designed by illustrator Jack Viant; graduate from Plymouth College of Art. With bars and restaurants you might choose to eat out, or take a short walk to beautiful picnic spots, or a ferry back to the Barbican. So much to do, see and explore!
Shopping Is In Bloom This Summer at Drakes Circus! - FREE
The stunning flower installation is back, transforming the Centre into a spectacular meadow and spilling out onto the streets with a wildflower canopy suspended above Old Town Street.
Not only are the streets lined with petals; but there is a fun-filled summer planned too! There is a range of activities alongside that are not only unique, but great for learning whilst having fun too!
On the 22nd & 25th July you can have a go, with the help of Plymouth College Of Art at designing and printing your own tote bag or tea towel using screen printing techniques. Or perhaps you would rather do something a little more active with some Ping Pong In Plymouth; with free table tennis courtesy of the Plymouth City Council’s Sports Development Unit.
There is SO much to do – the colour isn’t only in the flowers; it’s in the memories you will make.
Elmers BIG Parade PLYMOUTH - FREE
As PROUD supporters of this amazing project we are thrilled to share this amazing free activity.
For 10 weeks this summer a parade of 40 fabulously colourful, unique elephants will be taking you on a trail around the beautiful city of Plymouth and surrounding areas. From the hustle and bustle of the city streets to the peace and grandeur of the Hoe, Elmer’s Big Parade will navigate you around Britain’s Ocean City.
You can download the APP or pick up MAPs and have an entire day of FREE fun, exploring Plymouth and finding the beautiful elephants scattered around Plymouth.
Stoke Village Summer Fun day - FREE
When we talk about ‘old-school-community’ this is exactly what we think. Bunting, stalls and happy smiles; this is a fun day like we did in the old days! A full day of entertainment is planned, bringing the village alive and offering a warm welcome to non-village folk too!
You can look forward to stalls, inflatables, live music, fabulous food and entertainment, as well as a dog show! What could be better!?
Who Will Be The Next Town Crier? FREE.
Now then! Here’s one that might not have sprung to mind without a little hint! Help Plymouth choose the best Town Crier for our Mayflower 400 celebrations! It’s on the Thursday 25 July and kicks off at 6pm with some Morris Dancers!
You don’t have to be part of the competition, nor do you have to know someone that is; this is an evening like no other! Starting at 7pm, each entrant will perform 3 elements and a panel of judges, plus the public themselves, YOU, will choose the winners. There will be entertainment and a bar and it should be a loud lot of fun!
EcoFest - FREE
On the 20th July at Tavistock Meadows, just a short drive from Plymouth, there is a free festival including eco-friendly stalls, talks, poetry, arts and crafts, live music, forest school, a film showing, drumming, face painting, yoga, children’s activities and much more.
Summer Of Fun - FREE
Enjoy a Summer of Fun in Plymouth, with free entertainment for families to enjoy taking place every Saturday in July & August 2019. Expect to find a variety of entertainers, workshops and performers appearing on the city streets.
Ocean City Blues N Jazz Festival - FREE
The Ocean City Blues N Jazz Festival returns for a third year to the Parade on the Barbican, between the 9th and the 11th August. It’s a firm family favourite and you can not only enjoy great music; but sensational food, views and an atmosphere like no other!
If you haven’t been before you should definitely go; if you’re staying during the festival talk to reception and they will help you navigate the 8 minute walk!
This is your chance to see a live brass band concerts this summer on Plymouth’s historic harbourside. Listen and watch the sensational sounds of the Soundhouse Brass, Plymouth’s award-winning brass band. They will be playing live concerts on the city’s historic waterfront in Sutton Harbour ALL summer and it’s a truly captivating experience.
Every Thursday evening in August, Soundhouse Brass will be performing on the harbourside in the heart of Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City, for visitors and locals alike to enjoy.
Enjoy spectacular pyrotechnics that will illuminate Plymouth Sound as six top firework companies battle it out over two nights, each putting on an awe-inspiring ten minute display in an attempt to be crowned the winner.
Head to Plymouth Hoe for the best view and enjoy the show.
Plymouth Pride - FREE
On Saturday 10th August, the colourful loud and proud Pride Festival returns to Plymouth, celebrating and promoting the diversity that exists within the LGBTQ communities.
All are welcome to join them to show support and acceptance of our diverse people and talent but also have so much FUN!
The Parade departs from the Jigsaw Garden (Nr. Drake Circus) at 11am with pre parade activities starting at 10 am. The Parade will make its way through the City Centre to the iconic Plymouth Hoe for the main festival with live music, fun fair, children’s rides, selection of food, licensed bar and lots of fun activities for people of all ages.
ROLEX Fastnet - FREE
Now this is truly a sensational event in the Plymouth diary and one NOT to miss! Join in the fun at the Fastnet Race Village, at Plymouth Yacht Haven on Tuesday 6 to Thursday 8 August to celebrate the finish of this historic race.
There will be live music, family friendly activities, tasty local food and opportunities for you to try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding.
Plymouth Hoe Bike Nights - SMALL DONATION
The 2019 Plymouth Hoe Bike Nights are held on Thursday evenings from 6pm until 9pm during BST on Plymouth Hoe Promenade on the following dates: 04/04, 18/04, 02/05, 16/05, 30/05, 13/06, 04/07, 08/08 & 22/08. Where you can expect to see hundreds of different type’s motorcycles, motorcycle trade stands, fast food catering and on selected dates a live band.
You’ll have a ‘roaring’ time!
West End Carnival & 60th Anniversary of Plymouth's Market - FREE
This summer Carnival has well and truly landed in Plymouth; specifically the enchanting West End Of Plymouth as the sights, sounds and smells of Carnival comes alive!
Plymouth City Centre Company and Plymouth Market will host a day full of FREE family fun on Saturday 31 August around the West End of the city centre.
An Evening With Ann Cleeves - FREE
Perhaps not for the little ones, but this is set to be an award-winning kind of evening!
Join prize-winning crime writer Ann Cleeves, the author behind ITV’s Vera and BBC One’s Shetland.
Ann will be discussing her latest book – The Long Call – the captivating first novel in a brand new series set in North Devon.
Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. Although free you do need to register.
Park Fest - FREE
Park Fest 2019 is part of a series of events through the South West celebrating all things park life!
As well as the usual park activities from football, tennis, table tennis and rugby we are taking over Devonport Park on September 8th 2019 with a full day of Live Music, inflatables, market stalls, story telling and a whole host of entertainment!
Plymouth Seafood Festival is back for its 8th year in 2019 and is set to bring The Barbican and Sutton Harbour alive with entertainment, activities and dishes to celebrate the city’s fantastic caught seafood.
Plymouth is the first city in the world to be awarded the Fish2Fork Blue City status for its commitment to sourcing sustainable fish. Between Saturday 14 to Sunday 15 September 2019 there will be opportunities to watch inspirational, regional and celebrity chefs who will delight you with their tantalising dishes at the Cookery Theatre. Wonder the array of local food and craft stands and be entertained.
Doggy Day Out - SMALL TICKET FEE
The perfect day in the most beautiful setting at Mount Edgcumbe, Cremyll. Have-a-go activities, dog displays, live music and so much more. No need to take a four legged friend, it’s just great fun for all the family.
Wild Tribe - SMALL TICKET FEE
Let your imagination go WILD!!!
Wild Tribe Children’s Festival will pitch up again around the Soapbox Children’s Theatre in September 2019. This fun packed festival brings art, science and the environment together in the form of entertainment, workshops and activities. The theme for this year is tiny to huge exploring the tiniest things in life from insects and plankton to the bigger picture including dinosaurs and space.
We hope you found this useful and look forward to welcoming you and your little ones to Plymouth soon! Happy Holidays!
A Splash Of Colour & Some Hip Hop Dancing; What Could Be Better..?
Plymouth will have even more colour flooding our amazing city by the sea tomorrow thanks to the Plymouth City Centre Company’s plans to brighten up the West End. They have commissioned four artists to paint a carnival style mural tomorrow, Saturday 13th July 2019 on a big advertising hoarding at the corner of Market Avenue and New George Street opposite the market and KFC.
In preparation for the infamous West End Carnival that is taking place on Saturday August. This will not only be a celebration of colour and culture but also an equally proud moment for the Plymouth Market which celebrates its 60th anniversary!
The event tomorrow will be well worth a visit. Starting at 10am and going through until 4pm. There will be live music and Hop Hop by Plymouth’s talented crew at Street Factory.
Plymouth does events so well that you will be in for a treat; plus – there are so many amazing independent traders and businesses in the area ready to welcome you … in full carnival spirit.
We are proud to be in the midst of so much action. Plymouth’s events and activity programming month on month is extraordinary. Full of everything from family fun to whimsical wandering.
Here are our top tips on what to do in Plymouth this August…
ELMER’S BIG PARADEA parade of 40 fabulous and colourful Elmer’s; these unique elephants, sponsored by local businesses supporting St Luke’s Hospice are scattered around Plymouth, making a sensation trail to help you explore Plymouth and raise awareness for the amazing work of our local charity.8th July – 16th September
OPEN AIR CINEMATinside Lido is open for star gazing; both those in the sky AND on the big screen! Don’t miss this UNIQUE opportunity to visit an open are cinema by the sea.1st August – 3rd August
PLYMOUTH HOE BIKE NIGHTSThe 2019 Plymouth Hoe Bike Nights are held on Thursday evenings from 6pm until 9pm. Here you can expect to see hundreds of different type’s motorcycles, motorcycle trade stands, fast food catering … AND on selected dates – a live band.8th August – 22nd August
CHAMBER PHILHARMONIA COLOGNEThere is one sure thing, you will be moved. The Chamber Philharmonia Cologne present their annual concert at St Andrews Minster featuring: Vivaldi, Mozart Bach, Saint-Saens and Borne. This is a night you will never forget.21st August
OPEN AIR THEATRE – GANGSTA GRANNY By David WalliamsTake a rug and a picnic for this amazing open-air showing of Gangsta Granny by the fabulous David Walliams at Devonport Park.25th August
WEST END CARNIVAL & PLYMOUTH MARKETS 60TH ANNIVERSARYThis summer we are bringing the sights, sounds and smells of Carnival to the West End. Plymouth City Centre Company and Plymouth Market will host a day full of FREE family fun around the West End of the city centre.31st August
These are JUST SIX of our chosen things to do this AUGUST – but there are SO many more! Visit Plymouth’s amazing What’s On Page this link will take you directly to the whole of Augusts events. Simply CLEAR FILTERS to find out more about the rest of 2019 and beyond!
Elinor Eaton, Development Manager for the New Continental Hotel and Strathmore House Apartments shares her Roma Bar Chit Chat!
It’s a current landscape that is vastly different from the one we knew twenty years ago, when many of us were already in our professional field.
Twenty years ago, for many businesses it was all about the shop front. You would put adverts in the local paper and join networking groups nearby and hope, with all your might, that people would need what you sold. Some extended their markets by sending sales people out on the road, with samples and a notebook of prices. They would be armed with Carbon Paper at the ready for orders; then they would whisk them back to the office, pack up the items and deliver them to their customers.
Twenty years doesn’t feel like that long ago; but the change we have seen, some gradual some instantaneous, is vast. Innovations, new ways of thinking and new needs, met with the inception of the Internet has created a very new platform for business.
A business became no longer dependent on its local customer base for its survival; nor so much on an individual member of staffs knowledge of a product or service. Things were at our fingertips and very different to our old norm!
The internet quickly became a vast and beautiful entity that allowed us all unprecedented access to information, the likes of which we had never seen before, or even been able to imagine!
A FAX was a magical thing; EMAILS just blew minds!
Roll on twenty years and we have never before had as much access to knowledge as we do today, and that’s all thanks to the internet. Yet with this creation, for many of us, has come with it a huge amount of uncertainty and some fear. It empowers and enable us to work smarter; but we have to be smarter too…in areas that still sometimes feels like something from a science fiction novel!
I felt like I was at a pretty ‘ok’ level of understanding and knowledge when it came to cyber-safety. As a hotel we work with a local company called Acronyms who support us on all levels of IT, including our Wi-Fi and guests safety. Yet last week, when I sat in on a very interesting chat in the Roma Bar, I realised that although we all use the internet now for work and in our every days, and we all have very different levels of understanding when it comes to our safety.
I was sat with a lady and gentleman who shared similar roles; out on the road having meetings and making sales – but they had very different backgrounds.
My Meeting With Jess & Richard…
Although I was due to finish work for the day and was on my way out, for 30 minutes we spoke at length about the ‘trials and tribulations of a road warrior in 2019’.
Interestingly the gentleman, Richard, had worked his way up from warehouse to road, and Jess straight from University.
They sat sharing a drink (and our Enterprise grade Wi-Fi) whilst both tapping away, their finger tips recording their days events onto their screens.
This is not a new scene here at the New Continental Hotel. We have an amazing collection of sensational business people who share our hotel and facilities each week; but last week what I was struck by was a unity between these two people, despite very different beginnings, thoughts and skill sets.
As they asked me to join them, the conversation started with the Business landscape and obstacles in Plymouth. Then moved on to what I saw the future looking like both socially and economically. This then sharply moved on to a conversation that has intrigued me for some time now – cyber-security when out and about.
Our guests, be they here for leisure or business, are the most important thing to us, and their safety (in all respects) matters greatly. We are all told daily, with startling headlines and victims reports that for many ‘criminals’ – travellers and their online identities are at risk.
“Your online presence is a cookie jar for those who know how to access it” and “Your lack of knowledge is a playpen for the technical criminal”
Although we all know that even for the most seasoned of IT literate beings, just being present and online can provide a rich source of gratification, profit or power to someone who wishes to abuse it.
One Persons Wisdom Shared; Is Another Persons Gain…
Jess had studied at The University of Nottingham and although professed she was no expert, seemed to know a great deal about cyber defences and keeping her and her business safe. Although not her Mastermind specialist subject; listening to her talk and seeing how intent Richard was at listening to what she had to share – I knew others may feel the same.
What was clear from our conversation was that holiday makers and business travellers were at risk just as much, if not more so than those people at home. In part because it was easier for their cyber defences to be on the back burner; off their minds as they head for a ‘jolly holiday’ or because, if they were business travellers, they had reports to write and return and tight deadlines!
Richard asked Jess a great questions:
When you are a business traveller you need to be connected, so how do you stay safe or at least SAFER when you are?
‘Cyber hygiene’ as Jess put it was the first thing she mentioned; not only making sure your software is updated, but also changing your passwords before you travel. Each week she changes her passwords to complex words or phrases that are hard to guess. Jess also said she adds two-factor authentication. As this adds an extra layer of protection from hackers on her travels for work.
What was interesting was that she felt a responsibility not only to her own safety but her employers too. Quite rightly we talked about the responsibility we all have now to keep our companies safe.
We are living in an age where certain information is far more sensitive than money – and we wouldn’t carry around any amount of our companies cash without the correct security practises in place!
Richard didn’t have personal social media accounts. But another key element that came from the conversation was about the use of social media when you are on the road. As a hotel setting with love seeing people check-in and upload their photos, and we know that for many businesses they share posts, check-in and thank customers and new contacts for time and such like. Jess said that although she does do this, she always waits until after her trip to share information through social media, that way she has the control.
Most employees now will have a VPN. This securely allow themselves to access data on a network and upload information, save and store safely. Even if you do have this; Jess also said that it’s always worth disabling your automatic connection to Wi-Fi networks – on all your devices when travelling. This prevents you accidentally joining public Wi-Fi without having a chance to check the network.
Jess said she never uses public Wi-Fi anymore, or any that doesn’t require a password. Turning off your Bluetooth when you aren’t using it also came up. Hackers can connect to a device and quickly download user data through this connection. Like an open window, they can then access personal information and send messages or join infected networks.
All so scary!
Our conversations ended and we said our goodbyes. Yet the conversation left me thinking a few things – and not all about cyber safety!
Times change; things move on and we all adapt – but the constant is that strangers are just friends we haven’t made yet! No matter what our backgrounds or our journeys we all have things we can share. It was far from a one sided conversation. Richard gave Jess and I great advice that only comes with wisdom baked over time.
If you make the time to listen, even just for 30 minutes you can learn so much. And, if you take the time to switch off your Bluetooth you can be a little safer too!
These points will no doubt seem very basic to many. Yet my hope is that if just one person disables their automatic connection to Wi-Fi or turns off their Bluetooth (like Richard did!) it was well worth sharing our Roma Bar chit-chat!
Summer Sunday lie-Ins At The New Continental Hotel…
We simply couldn’t wait for National Sleep In Day on the 26th October! The day the clocks go back and we all get an extra hour in bed.
So we thought to ourselves: “How can we give our guests an extra special treat this summer?”
We introduce to you: Our Lazy Sunday Summer Lie-Ins!
Every Sunday this summer we will be serving Breakfast until 10.30 am.
Being in bed for half an hour longer isn’t just about a quantum of sleep. It also means that there is no rush to your table. No need to hurry your enjoyment when eating your freshly cooked to order Breakfast!
“There’s nothing quite like the occasional weekend lie-in after a long week at work, but especially a lie-in when you’re on holiday!
I’m a good morning person when I have to be – with the help of coffee! But there are times when I like to enjoy the fact that I don’t have to struggle to stir when the alarm goes off!
The Lazy Sunday Lie-In is great news for people like me, people who enjoy a leisurely wake up and the occasional hit of the snooze button!”
If like Elinor you like a little lie-in at the weekend; don’t feel guilty or alone!
There has been some research that suggests that people who sleep in on the weekends are actually healthier than their early bird counterparts! So, this Sunday enjoy your guilt-free lie in – remember if the experts say it’s good for you, then it must be!
What’s more, we have some amazing offers. So, not only can you have a lie-in, you can have a great nights sleep for less!
In a week where it feels that we have enjoyed all the seasons (!) we thought we would talk about ALL the seasons too – with an offer for every single one!
Summer In The City…
We are told it’s coming – and we CAN NOT wait! Plymouth is truly spectacular in the Sun. So many cobbles to explore and vistas to enjoy! Beautiful alfresco dining and drinking to hand; chips for your laps whilst you soak in the rays and of course, a glorious boat trip or two is always a must!
This June we have some great last minute deals; you can save 15% on your stay or look out for our Single Day Summer Promotions. These are single nights for two people in either a double or twin room, with Breakfast, scattered throughout June, July and August for just £60!
Plymouth’s Autumn Air…
There is such a bustling atmosphere during Autumn in Plymouth. Whether it’s a weekend city break or a mid-week stay, you’ll be in awe as you explore our beauty. From our iconic architecture, rich culture and unique (and sometimes hidden) charms. You will also love our rich and diverse cultural offer, our high street shopping and lively events.
Our ‘Monday’s Are Not For Moderation’ offer is a fantastic way to feel the Autumn Air on your skin, for just £60 per person you can enjoy DINNER, BED & BREAKFAST – with full access to our leisure complex!
Winter is a great time to enjoy Plymouth…
There is always so much going on in the winter. The Christmas Markets being one of them! There really is something special about a Festive Market; it gets you in the mood for Christmas and is a pass to indulge in all the hearty comfort foods – without guilt!
Cinnamon in the air, carol singers in the background and mulled wine in hand – you can roam around aimlessly and find heavenly home-made gifts and treats with your pathway sparkling with fairy lights.
There is nothing like booking a break in advance. That way you have something to look forward to AND being an early bird will normally save you money.
So, we have heard that Plymouth is lovely at any time of year, but many say Plymouth is at its prettiest in spring. Daffodils and crocuses cover The Hoe – the sea shining and cherry blossom filling the parks. March-April offer some of the very best deals when it comes to accommodation in Plymouth; released the summer before you can always find great value, amazing promotions and heavily discounted rates. So not only can you fill your Spring with beauty – you can save pounds whilst you do!
The sun is shining, the sky is blue and there is a smile on everyone’s lips because we have another long weekend ahead of us!
BUT just how important is the sun when it comes to enjoying and exploring Britain’s Ocean City..?
There is no two ways about it. There is something magical that happens in Plymouth when the sun comes out. Alfresco Dining. Socialising with a drink in hand as we catch up with friends. The sea a shining rug of elegance and beauty gently soothing the soul.
When the sun comes out in Plymouth, there is no place better to be.
We are at the point where Winter feels like it’s almost beat us! Our skin looks anaemic and our souls are tiered of the dark mornings and nights and the dreary wetness! Then, a hint of Spring hits the air. Flowers start to bloom in gardens and road sides and our skin feels the breeze for what feels like the first time in a decade!
We barely believe it. We delay the Winter/Summer wardrobe swap in fear it’s just a fluke! It becomes a conversation starter in queues, on buses at the hairdressers … or just about anywhere where anyone will listen!
“Lovely isn’t it”. “I can’t believe how nice it is”. “Do you think it will last”. “Be terrible again when the Kids go back!”…
Endless sound bites that have been generated, stored and whipped out at every opportunity!
What’s more. We desperately want to be outside ALL OF THE TIME! Our gardens look pristine but our kitchens become overgrown with dishes!
But boy does it feel good!
Just like saying ‘sorry’ when someone steps on your toe; we are programmed to blame, or to thank the weather for EVERYTHING!
The roads are busy today: It’s the weather. The restaurants busy today: It’s the weather. You look tired today. It’s the weather. I don’t feel great today. It’s probably the weather..!
As well as put blame on the weathers head, we also use it a gauge as to how good a holiday will be.
When you say where you are going on a vacation, peoples almost first response is usually: “What will the weather be like?”
Now, you have one of three responses to that:
1) The weathers going to be really warm. The response) Oh, you’ll have a GREAT time.
2) Ahh, it’s ok, not great not awful. The response) Never mind, it does you good just to get away sometimes.
3) Raining and cold. The response) Oh no that’s such a shame.
The one thing that we can not argue about is yes, when the sun is shining, Plymouth is truly beautiful…HOWEVER, when the sun isn’t shining – Plymouth is truly beautiful too!
You see, the sun shining is a bonus yes, but it certainly isn’t the be all and end all of a good time in our city by the sea!
Here are some great treats; treats for the grey and cloudy, the damp and drab AND the sunny and bright – because let’s face it, we could have all three of these weather types in any given week – so we better make the most of every second, every element and every memory whilst enjoying ALL that Plymouth has to offer!
When you have a good time in Plymouth, it won’t be the weather you thank; it will be the unique and the startling that has been embedded in our cobbles DNA! When you talk about your holiday to Plymouth – you will have a smile on your face no matter what the weather and the sun will always be shining on the memories you make.