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Habits In Hospitality | Trade Secrets Revealed!

Holiday In Plymouth

Are You READY…

In this blog, we pull down the sheets 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 the habits of hospitality!

There’s a lot to be said for UK travel – we live in the most amazing country in the entire world. Ok, 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 Strathmore House Apartmentsl, we may be biased; but Devon, in particular Plymouth, is truly breathtaking and 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 Explained:

Seasons in hospitality are depicted in three 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 business we NEVER set our prices by school holidays; by graduation, Firework Championships and Ocean City Sounds yes, but school holidays, no!

Here in Plymouth, Strathmore House Apartments 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, that way you 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 by contacting the accommodation provider or hotels directly or via their own PMS (the hotel/accommodations own reservation system – property management system on their websites)

Here in Plymouth, the Strathmore House Apartments Shoulder months are predominantly March (depending on Easter), April and October.

TOP TIP #2 | By booking directly, an accommodation provider will not pay any commission, so you will often find a direct booking the cheapest place to book. Hotels and Apartments may not be able to discount the rate given, but they can add value. Accommodation currency is a great place to start, most hotels especially 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.

Like us here at Strathmore House Apartments, many serviced apartment providers are linked with a hotel; ours is the New Continental Hotel which has a leisure complex (FREE for our guests) and a in-house restaurant.  

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 or apartment from a standard or Parking included in your rate (our parking already is!). Bare in mind that places tend to only do this for longer stays, over four or five 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, Strathmore House Apartments 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!

NOTES:

During the off-seasons, you will find the most amazing bargains; three nights for two, free breakfasts and overall just crazy low prices. Not so much for apartments, but hotels that are in holiday destinations will be running on fewer staff, so it’s important to know that by not paying for bells and whistles, you may find an extra few minutes wait for a Porter to carry your bags or less waiting staff at Breakfast. 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.

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 so much governed by the weather, so most UK breaks will have plenty to do and see even if the heavens open! But planning is essential 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 apartments and 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.

Fathers Day | Sunday 17th June

Fathers Day in Plymouth

Fathers Day Stays At Strathmore…

Fatherhood is not easy. Let’s face it, parenting of any kind is a full-contact sport that engages you physically, mentally and emotionally – and at times you feel like you have nothing left to give!

It’s an emotional roller-coaster and sometimes you just need to take a break…and that is more than OK!

Mothers Day is a widely recognised day that acknowledges Mum’s who all-too-often forsake self-care and time out for the sake of their families; it’s no surprise that Mothers Day gifts include spa breaks and time away from family, work and life responsibilities: but what about Dads?

Dad’s Fathers Day gifts can also recognise the hard working Dad Hero’s, those who football on a Saturday, coach on a Wednesday, stress over their little girls growing up too fast and the emotional burn as they hatch a plan to fight the ‘boys’ off the doorstep! Being a Dad has its stresses too and that’s why here at Strathmore House Apartments we look forward to welcoming parents on a break away from the norm!

Regardless of whether you are a stay-at-home or work-at-the-office parent, a single Mum or Dad or co-parent, you need to figure out how to make and have time for yourself and we think we have just the solution!

We recognise that a break away is essential and what better way than to celebrate Fathers Day and Mothers Day each year as a combined two day break; as parents we are all susceptible to the “putting everyone else first” – that fused with the challenge of modern working-parenthood life can be full on!

So parents, we urge you, check our availability today and make that booking for a two day retreat where you can just be you and have a few days where you can recharge, refocus and regroup…together.

 

Celebrating Volunteers In Plymouth…

Volunteers In Plymouth

There are a million reasons why we love our city and are proud to call it our home, and  we are so happy to be able to provide accommodation to guests whilst they fall in love with our city for themselves!

One of those million reasons will be highlighted next week during National Volunteers Week 2018; from the 1st – 7th June.

Plymouth is awash with magnificently inspirational leaders, advocates and stake holders; and the volunteers working hard in Britain’s Ocean City are most certainly among them.

Here at Strathmore House Apartments we understand only too well that a great city is about a great community; and a community that really cares about everyone’s tomorrow.

That is why it really is so important for us to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all of the volunteers in Plymouth.  Not only because many of those individuals are giving up their time to ensure guests visiting Plymouth have a great experience with guided tours and tourist information support, but because it really does showcase how wonderful and rich our city and community really are.

Be part of virtual high five to all those giving up their time in your city by getting involved with the national campaign on their themed days. Or why not share your volunteer pictures, say thank you or simply recognise the day by tweeting #VolunteersWeek. You can find out what’s happening visiting their site. 

So once again to all the volunteers in Plymouth – thank you so much.

 

Where Eight Become One Again…

Why do family holiday’s matter so much?

They matter because for most of us, our annual family holiday is our lifetime sanity help line!

The safety net that stops us as we hurtle towards the deck and aids us from becoming rocking wrecks in the corner!  OK! Perhaps a little dramatic – but I am sure we can all agree; a holiday is an escape. Our chance to run away from the 9-5’s, the early starts, the PE kits and football training – the normal, everyday LIFE, something a little less Argggghhh and a little more ahhhh!

It is the chance we look forward to, to reconnect with our family, to make plans for our future, to realign with the people we love the most, but perhaps forget to show the most often.

Once the car is loaded and the road trip begins the family dynamic snaps back into that sunny disposition. Our suitcases packed up and our worries left at home!

At Strathmore House Apartments, we know that although escaping is essential, feeling at home is crucial. That’s why all you need to pack are the things you need for you, we have all the things you need for life sorted!

Our home from home has everything; just fill the hangers with your clothes, the bathroom with your toiletries and the apartments with your laughter. Everything else will be waiting for you.

So gather your family. Pack up your car. Come make memories that will last a lifetime. Summer Holiday for a week in our Four Bedroom Apartment, where eight will soon become one again!

Wedding Guests In Plymouth…

We all love a great wedding! Quite possibly there is none better than those held in Plymouth; the backdrop sensational, the sights breathtaking and when you choose us for your accommodation provider – that’s utterly fabulous too!

Throughout the year we have hundreds of guests stay with us when they are asked to join loved ones celebrating their new chapters together on their Wedding Day. Nothing is nicer than being asked to witness something so magical.

The last family that stayed with us for a wedding was just last week, when they attended a wedding at the New Continental Hotel. They wanted an apartment rather than hotel room and being that we are just a short stroll away from the hotel; we were the perfect choice.

“We were invited to the wedding last summer and decided then that rather than travel down just for an overnight stay, that we would make a mini holiday out of it. Travelling from Bristol we didn’t have far to go, but we love Plymouth and so it made perfect sense to enjoy a few days, as well as an amazing wedding with a beautiful couple.

Strathmore House Apartments were stunning. They had everything we all needed and we will certainly stay again. The Wedding Day was amazing at the hotel, the food sensational and the drinks flowed! So walking home in just a few minutes was perfect!”

If you are joining a happy couple who are about to embark on a long and happy life together; Strathmore House Apartments could be the perfect base to glam yourselves up, get ready to dance the night away and celebrate love. What’s more, with our perfect location you may not even need a taxi!

Holidays Fueled By The Bean Scene..!

Like many, here at Strathmore House Apartments we all love to enjoy a great coffee…or two!

Maybe it stems from too many evenings watching that famous group of friends sitting in their local coffee house, enjoying a catch up! Although it’s now been more than 20 years since Joey, Ross, Chandler, Monica, Rachel and Phoebe came together after their daily grind; it’s still a vision that many of us hold when we think about catching up with ‘friends’ over coffee!

Plymouth is a destination rich with many wonders; sea air, sensational history, innovation and amazing individuals who aspire to create greatness here in Britain’s Ocean City for our visiting friends to enjoy. And although the whole of the UK has been swept away by the coffee current over recent years; many restaurants here in Plymouth also understand just how important a great coffee really is.

The Mission Bar & Restaurant is a prime example of a setting that has got it bang on the coffee! This 19th century Thomas Mission Hall, with its high ceilings and aromatic smells from the kitchen, is the perfect place to settle for a flavoursome coffee with friends, the perfect stopgap whilst exploring Plymouth. Cushioned between the city centre and the historic Barbican, neatly placed amongst the cobbles, their coffee and venue is the perfect blend.

This stunning, intimate, perfectly formed neighbourhood restaurant serves coffee from The Devon Coffee Company. Born in 2011, The Devon Coffee Company has grown from a co-operative of café owners looking to improve their coffee quality to a Speciality Coffee Roaster who supply and support 100’s of businesses across the South West.

The Mission serves their Arabica of the Americas; a Zesty Blend of Light and Dark beans to produce sweetness with a dry fruity finish. With ripe juicy black cherry, dried fruits and a syrupy caramel finish, its smooth and wonderfully rich.

So while you are exploring the delights of Plymouth why not pop in and try a cup; always served with a smile we are sure you will be impressed not only with the coffee, but the service and venue too.

The Mission Bar & Restaurant | Sir John Hawkins Square, Palace Street, Plymouth PL1 2AY  | Tel: 01752 229955  | Email: info@themissionplymouth.com | Open Tuesday – Saturday 12/3pm & 5/9.30pm

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MTV Presents: Ocean City Sounds…

Smeaton's Tower on Plymouth Hoe in Devon, UK - photo by Herbythyme

MTV Presents: Ocean City Sounds taking over Plymouth Hoe this summer 

On 26 and 27 July, Plymouth Hoe will host two nights of incredible live music in a new open-air music event, MTV Presents: Ocean City Sounds.

Indie titans Bastille will headline Day One on Thursday 26 July, performing a full 90-minute set to the crowd. The chart-topping, award-winning band have sold more than 11 million singles including ‘Pompeii’, ‘Things We Lost in the Fire’, ‘Flaws’ and ‘Good Grief’. Also performing is singer-songwriter Ella Eyre and rapper Professor Green and Club MTV favourites, R3WIRE & VARSKI will be getting the party started on the night.

Day Two (Friday 27 July) will bring Ibiza to Plymouth with a huge performance by legendary DJ Pete Tong and the Heritage Orchestra, conducted by Jules Buckley. They’ll perform their critically-acclaimed ‘Ibiza Classics’ show, which sees classic dance tracks performed in an entirely new way by the 65-piece orchestra and guest vocalists, all with a spectacular light show. It’s going to be a night filled with nostalgia, transporting you back to sunny holidays of the 90s.

Tickets are on sale now for £25 per day and there is an event pass offering access to both days for just £45. All tickets are subject to a £2.50 booking fee. Buy yours online now: www.theticketstore.co.uk/oceancitysounds or find out more at: www.oceancitysounds.co.uk.

We also have some availability at Strathmore House Apartments,  make the most of Plymouth and this amazing event and stay while you play!

 

The Love Doctor Is Calling…

Being In Love Is Lovely…

Sharing your life, making memories and having someone there at the end of a long day or week makes everything feel better and brighter. But even when we have found love, we shouldn’t be complaisant. We all need to make time to reconnect with each other and sparkle together. It’s too easy to let work, life, children and bills sweep us away from each other; to lose sight of our love. Demanding jobs, screaming toddlers and hectic social diaries leave little time for love. Sometimes months can slip by without engaging in meaningful conversations or simply enjoying a snugly night in.

Spending easy and fun time together is essential for love to blossom and here at Strathmore House Apartments, we love, love!

When couples spend a couple of nights with us, we love seeing sparkle return. The excitement in their eyes when they first arrive, with two precious days ahead of them, and two cosy evenings!

Once you have decided that a break away is what the love doctor ordered; the fun planning and packing adds to the anticipation of the mystery and magic ahead.

Relationships grow best when your mind and body is given time to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the very fabric of life; and with Britain’s Ocean City being packed with beauty and events no matter what time of the year, a break away is the perfect growing time for any and all relationships.

So, If you are looking for one of the most romantic getaways you will ever have, visit Plymouth for love and laughter and make happy memories you can cherish forever. Here at Strathmore House Apartments you can have the privacy you need and the space you deserve.  You can star gaze over the tides, have romantic outdoor picnics, enjoy private dinners, and relax in our luxurious apartments with a black and white move and bottle of something nice – or have a duvet day and simply be!

Whatever you need, whatever you want, here you can have it all.

Let us help you fall in love all over again! Two nights start at just £160 per apartment; but the value of alone time is priceless. X

 

Laugh Away The Grey Day…

 

TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT FOR FUN…

Head to the Mount Batten Centre this evening (27 April) as they host their second ‘Live at the MBC’ – Comedy Night!

They’re delighted to be joined by three comedians: Chris Brooker, Jon Wagstaffe and Doug Segal

Tickets are just £12 each and for just £4.95 extra you can opt to have food (hot buffet) before the show too! Tickets are still available just call 01752 44567!

The ‘Live at the MBC’ Comedy Night will be a great end to your week and the perfect antidote to this rather grey day! So, start of your weekend with friends, family, colleagues or team mates and join them from 8pm until late!

The Mount Batten Ferry will be running until 11pm.

Please note the Comedy Night is for over 18s only

Fish n’ Chips..!

Fish & Chips In Britain's Ocean City

Fish n’ Chip Supper!

Fish & Chips, a prominent dish on the cobbles of Britain’s Ocean City; with the aroma of salt and vinegar creating a nautical rumble in your tummy as you pass by! They say a little of what you fancy does you no harm; and by golly are we grateful for this ‘free pass’ to enjoy a battered cod upon a steaming portion of crispy chips!

There are a plethora of amazing restaurants to tantalise your taste-buds in Plymouth, but the odd take-away, eaten upon your lap looking out over the sound makes for the perfect of memories during your stay in our beautifully historic city.

Our top tip to guests visiting Plymouth between now and September 2018 is a visit to Rockfish, who are extending their “£3 local Fish Friday” deal! Here you can enjoy local fish and chips from the Rockfish Takeaway from 5pm each Friday, and although there is closures on the footbridge that leads you to their sensational restaurant and take-away, a discount option is available if parking in Lockyer’s Quay car park or if using the Silverline ferry.

Since the 17th century battered fish has been enjoyed by many; and why try fixing something that isn’t broken! Indulge, enjoy and feel Plymouth in every delicious mouthful!

 

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