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. 

Habits In Hospitality | Secrets Revealed…

When IS the best time to book a hotel?

In this blog, we pull back the covers and reveal ALL the secrets that could save you POUNDS!

We may all be aware of the four seasons; even if the good old British weather doesn’t always comply!  But what about the three hospitality ones!?

Perhaps not all of us are so aware of the cost saving travel we could unearth if we got to know a little more about the habits of hospitality!

There’s a lot to be said for UK travel; we live in the most amazing country. We may not get all the vitamin D we need from sun exposure, but even on grey days, the UK is still pretty amazing.

Here at the New Continental Hotel, we may be biased; but we think that Devon (in particular Plymouth!) is truly breathtaking. To ensure as many people regardless of their budget get to experience a little sea, city and moor in their life; we are sharing our Industry Secrets!

Seasons in hospitality are depicted in three main terms; 

Peak, Shoulder and Off

Peak Season (or High Season) is basically when the destination that you have chosen is at its most popular – it boils down to simple supply and demand! However, this can sometimes change! You see Peak Season can be set by many factors; weather, events, activities and more. More often than not it’s also set by the school term-times too. As an independent hotel we NEVER set our prices by school holidays; by graduation, Firework Championships and Ocean City Sounds yes, but school holidays, no!

Here in Plymouth, the New Continental Hotels Peak Season is predominantly May – September.

TOP TIP #1 |

If you are choosing Plymouth as your holiday destination, a really great place to start your planning is on the Visit Plymouth website. Look at the events that are scheduled; they do advance scheduling so all the way to a big year for Plymouth which is 2020. Make sure you also like destination pages on social media. You then get instant updates and news without sharing your data and receiving too many unwanted emails!

 

Shoulder Season (or Mid Season) is the time between the Peak and Low Seasons. Prices here are literally an average between Peak and Low. Normally this season is when you can negotiate great rates. It’s always best to contact the hotel directly.

Here in Plymouth, the New Continental Hotels Shoulder months are predominantly March (depending on Easter), April and October.

TOP TIP #2 |

By booking directly, a hotel will not pay any commission, so you will often find a direct booking the cheapest place to book a hotel room. Hotels may not be able to discount the rate given, but they can add value. Hotel currency is a great place to start, most hotels like to give you this as it means that your spend will stay in their hotel. Hotel currency is often a voucher to spend in their restaurant or bar or on treatments if they have a spa.

Upgrades in the Shoulder months are also more tangible as occupancy is lower, so they have more flexibility with their availability. Perhaps an upgrade to a Superior Room from a standard or Parking included in your rate. Bare in mind that hotels tend to only do this for longer stays, over three nights, but well worth a conversation!

 

Off Season (or Low Season) is when the prices are the very lowest you will find. It’s when hotels are predominantly running at a low occupancy, so have less staff working which is reflected in the pricing structure. This is when you can really grab yourself a bargain!

Here in Plymouth, the New Continental Hotels Off Season is predominantly November – February.

Top Tip #3 |

Besides paying less, visitors who come to a tourist spot like Plymouth during the off-season will enjoy less crowding, and a more laid-back atmosphere. But there are things you need to keep in mind and plan around. Whilst off-season travel is great for the purse-strings, it’s really important to remember that this could mean a change in opening hours, menus and transport links such as ferry’s. If there is a certain attraction or museum that you want to visit, call them first before booking your accommodation and check when (or if) they are open.

Also be mindful that heavily populated tourist areas, like Plymouth, use the off-season months for renovations, so could be closed or planning to change their opening hours to accommodate any facelifts or nip and tucks!

NOTE | 

During the off-seasons, you will find the most amazing bargains; three nights for two, free breakfasts and overall just crazy low prices. But hotels that are in holiday destinations will be running on fewer staff. With this in mind,  it’s important to remember you may have to wait a little for a Porter or waiting staff. Hotels sometimes will only offer their non-refundable rates during this time too, these can save you around £10-£15 per night, but it does mean that there is no chance of a refund should you not be able to make your booking.

So, a quick recap…

Off Season discounts on beds, food and more WILL save you pounds!

No matter what the season, booking your accommodation directly will give you the best rate.

Destinations in the UK are not really governed by the weather. What that means is most UK destinations will have plenty to do and see even if the heavens open! Planning is essential though, so you don’t get disappointed during your stay with a change in opening times.

Travelling in the shoulder and off seasons means that you do not have to have everything booked in advance. There are always hotel rooms available almost anywhere in the country. So if you just fell in love with a place or meet awesome like-minded travellers, you can go with the flow and your plans can be flexible. Or if you simply choose to stay an extra night – all that’s stopping you is you!

Travelling in the off season months gives you a real chance of getting tickets or reservations that might otherwise prove impossible during peak season without pre-booking months in advance.

Plymouth celebrates its winter seasons with a bunch of pretty awesome small festivals and events and community markets – and there is a lot going on in spring and autumn as well. So if the “lack of major Plymouth events” was a bother to you, be reassured, you won’t get bored in the shoulder and off season months in Plymouth!

If you are looking at staying in Britain’s Ocean City at any time, call us, we would love to welcome you to our beautiful city.

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

Tel | 01752 276798 Email | reservations@newcontinental.co.uk Web | www.newcontinental.co.uk

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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