Bollywood Meets the North-East

Seeing as The Spires Serviced Apartments is based in Aberdeen, we thought it made a rather fitting start to begin our Bollywood series by focusing on the connection between our favourite Granite City and Bollywood.

It was a rather surprising fact to us here at The Spires that not only have numerous Bollywood movies been filmed in Scotland, but one was actually filmed in our very own city of Aberdeen. We tell no lies, Aberdeen city centre briefly featured in Main Solah Baras Ki, a 1998 film directed by Dev Anand about a director looking for the perfect star for his feature movie leading him to embark on a romantic adventure that takes him all the way to Scotland; and Aberdeen! Sites featured in the movie include everyone’s favourite high street, Union Street (points if you recognised it in the photo posted below!), as well as Back Wynd Stairs, Union Bridge and St. Nicholas Centre.

Main Solah Baras Ki also was filmed at Loch Ness; Urquhart Castle and Drumnadrochit: Nessieland. Further filming also took place at the Inverness castle/esplanade where famous Bollywood actress Sabrina, the leading lady, sang on a bench and on the high street. Another Bollywood movie to feature Inverness and Loch Ness was the contemporary thriller Three: Love Lies Betrayal which filmed at similar sites as Main Solah Baras Ki well as Inverness Town House. Jacobite cruises also made an appearance with the main characters sailing across the lake.

If you fancy living some of the action and romance from Main Solah Baras Ki, why not make a trip out of it! Stay with us, The Spires Serviced Apartments, for the Aberdeen venture of the journey and we can help you source accommodation while you carry out the Inverness leg. While you are here in Aberdeen, why not take a one-hour daytrip to Montrose and its coast which was featured in Cape Karma, a 2007 Bollywood thriller focused on the turmoil of a men who fell in love with a married woman? The Indian Cottage and the George hotel, as well as some of the Dunninald Estate, acted as backdrops to the thrills.

Similarly, take day-trips to Dundee where further action in Cape Karma unfolded. Alternatively, venture out to Edzell, where Aarzoo, a 1999 movie, used The Glenesk Lodge and Inglis Memorial Hall as the setting for the lead character’s home, played by no other than acclaimed Bollywood star; Madhuri Dixit.

Whilst in Aberdeen, why not add to the Bollywood experience by sampling some of the Indian cuisine that Aberdeen has to offer? Shri Beemas Indian Restaurant Bridge of Don is rated #3 out of 517 restaurants in Aberdeen and two other Indian offerings in the top ten are Monsoona Healthy Indian cuisine (#8) and Cumin Tandoori (#10). With 40 different restaurants, there is no shortage of options!

Get started on your Bollywood 2015 adventure now with The Spires Serviced Apartment.

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Berger & Wyse 13 Sep

Travelling with teens can be fun!

We are still stuck in the dreary dark winter months – so it’s often the time when thoughts turn to booking the family summer holiday. As a mother of teenagers I listen enviously to the newer parents in the office discussing their plans with babies and younger children. Yes toddlers can be a handful but I’d swap travelling with a tot for travelling with a disgruntled teenager any day!

Making the right choices for your holiday can make all the difference though – get it right and a successful holiday with your teenagers is fantastic. There’s nothing better than discovering that away from the daily pressures of school, work, friends etc. that you do still really enjoy each other’s company. My boys wouldn’t be seen dead shopping with me in our home town but put us in another city and it’s a guaranteed success!

So what makes for the perfect break with teens? – Obviously it will depend to an extent on the individual preferences and interests of everyone on the trip. There always needs to be a little give and take on all sides. But generally one of the fundamentals is Wifi. If you’ve ever been stuck without Wifi on a cruise ship with a 16 year old you’ll know where I’m coming from with this one! Make sure that not only is Wifi available but that it’s going to be reliable. Lots of hotels offer free wifi but this may be patchy at best. Generally those imposing a small charge offer a more guaranteed level of service.

Most teens prefer physical activities to more passive sightseeing. Trailing round city landmarks wouldn’t normally get a teenagers vote but done on a Segway this can become one of the highlights of your holiday. Best to plan ahead as much as possible – this doesn’t mean that every minute of each day needs to be scheduled but if a Segway trip in Aberdeen was a great success then find a Segway operator for your next trip to Birmingham, Edinburgh or wherever.

One of the most important decisions on any holiday is where to stay. Your choice of accommodation can make or break the trip and that’s where serviced apartments really hit the mark. Teenagers love privacy so having their own bedroom and possibly even their own bathroom will make all the difference. Hotel breakfasts are normally only served until 10am – insisting your teen makes it down for this is a sure fire way of getting the day off on the wrong foot! Having the convenience of your own kitchen means breakfast can be at any time of day and not having to dress for breakfast is more relaxing for everyone. Keeping a fridge full of drinks and snacks will save you a fortune too.

Writing this I’m realising that I only travel with one teen now – the elder son now being 21. He still chooses to come on holiday with us whenever he can albeit usually with his girlfriend in tow now too. Think that means we’ve done something right?

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Have a Bollywood Adventure….In Scotland!

Did you know that the featuring of UK locations and landmarks in films and television will lead to 20% of viewers being encouraged to discover the destination themselves? When you think of films set in Scotland that fully highlight its beautiful and unique landscape, the films that would normally come to mind may be Disney’s Brave, or some of those iconic scenes in Skyfall. However, Sunshine in Leith is not the only film to feature colourful musical and dance numbers on the streets of Scotland. It is not a connection that many are aware of, but it is true, many a Bollywood film has been set and filmed in Scotland. In fact, over 23 Bollywood films during the past two decades have utilised and captured the landmarks and landscape of Scotland to help weave their story. This has entailed many a famous Bollywood cast and crew creating iconic moments against some of Scotland’s most famous sights. For all you know, you may have bumped into famous Bollywood actors such as Salmon Khan and Shah Rukh Khan when they were in Scotland filming or you may have been an unwitting extra!

It is a pertinent time to consider this connection because this year VisitScotland is capitalising on the 34,000 Indian tourists who are expected to visit Scotland this year. VisitScotland has done this by creating a campaign that will promote Scotland as the Bollywood destination; where Indian visitors can see in person the sights from their famous Bollywood films filmed in Scotland and to live their favourite character’s stories themselves. This has been achieved through the creation of a Bollywood Map which details and documents all the cities and landmarks where Bollywood films were set as well as provides helpful itineraries to help Bollywood fans make the most of their Scottish adventure.

In this series of blog posts, we will look be looking at the Bollywood connection with our respective serviced apartment locations of Aberdeen, Glasgow, Birmingham and Edinburgh. We will consider the films that have used these locations as part of their story-telling and look at all the landmarks that were featured so you, our blog followers, can go watch the films if you had not already seen them, and check out the locations yourselves and put yourself in the place of the heroes and heroines. Remember to bring your selfie sticks!

It will be a fascinating journey and nothing can beat seeing the movies, quite like living them.

Check out the VisitScotland map here: http://www.visitscotland.com/bollywood.

social media global

Taking the Social Media Revolution Global

When I said I was beginning a social media revolution, I could never anticipate how far I would take it. Initially, I tested the waters on a regional/national basis, but now the power has gone to my head and I attempting to break the international markets too when it comes to social networks.

This week has been a very exciting, and culturally enlightening, experience because I have attempted (emphasis on the word attempted) to put The Spires Serviced Apartments on the international social networking map. This has entailed me trying to register The Spires on foreign social networks, such as those frequented in the emerging economies of China, India and Russia, and create profile pages. As exciting as this is, it actually is very challenging when taking into account the small issue of language barriers. A lot of it is the case of randomly clicking icons and hoping for the best; I think most communication will have to be done via graphics. However, as they say, a picture says a thousand words! Consequently, it is quite a time consuming issue and requires a bit of determination although hopefully I will conquer it eventually. If I get as much as one view from China or India, I will consider that a job well done. Overall, international social networking is definitely a very engrossing task and it is intriguing to learn how there is more to social networks than just Twitter and Facebook; each country in fact tends to have their own social network site.

Consequently, it has been quite a busy social-media week overall which also entailed me trying to develop a social media strategy as well as utilise new social networks such as Pinterest. It is weird when I think I am getting paid to pin pretty pictures on boards; I still feel guilty when people walk past my desk and I am sitting on Twitter or Facebook-I swear it is all work-orientated! Other tasks this week have been the continuance of phone calls with the finish line hopefully in site; it must have been quite a phone bill I have racked up by now.

However, next week is a new week; the start of a new month and hopefully a new season; Spring! I look forward to seeing what March holds for me at The Spires Serviced Apartments and what new tasks I can sink my teeth into.

Till next time,

Alex

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One Month Old

The fact that this week marks the completion of my first month at The Spires Serviced Apartments is exceptionally crazy; where has the time gone?! Fortunately, I am still really enjoying myself and feel quite at home now in the office; it is almost hard to imagine not working here.

Last week, I continued with my email marketing databases (I now know the names of more oil & gas firms than I ever thought possible) as well as my phone calls to update the company database; I am rather worried about the phone bills I will have been accumulating. Last week was also a rather busy learning experience as I was educated in the use of Google Analytics and email marketing tools like Dotmailer. I also learnt how to alter the design of the company webpage and so am slowly accumulating even more power over the company’s online presence which can be a bit daunting, but is ultimately very fun.

A task that has been particularly engaging has been the development of our new Bollywood blog series that is running in association with the VisitScotland campaign. The campaign aims to encourage people to visit Scotland to live out their own personal Bollywood adventure by visiting all the landmarks that played as backdrops to iconic Bollywood movie moments. It has been really enjoyable getting to help write the blog because I get to use a bit of creativity, and it is also really interesting seeing just how many Bollywood movies have been filmed here: including in Aberdeen! I had never even suspected a single Bollywood movie had been filmed in Scotland, let alone over 20; a little bit of trivia for you all. Consequently make sure to check out the blog here: http://www.thespires.co.uk/the-spires-blog-when-bollywood-meets-scotland.html.

Hope you all enjoy the last week of February!

Till next time,

Alex :)

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Weeks 2 and 3: Let the Social Media Revolution Begin

It is immensely crazy to think that I am somehow nearing the end of my third week at The Spires Serviced Apartments. It only just goes to validate that old saying of how time really does fly when you are having fun…and making lots of phone calls!

For the past two weeks, I have mainly been focusing on creating a database of contacts for an email marketing campaign; sourcing potential contacts in Edinburgh and up-dating Aberdeen account contact details. Therefore, if you happen to be working on reception in Oil & Gas related firms in Aberdeen, the odds are at some point this week you will have heard from me over the phone you lucky things.

Amongst all the spreadsheets and databases, I have also been keeping on top of The Spires Serviced Apartments’s company Facebook and Twitter and have somewhat been bombarding followers with posts; which I hope are being enjoyed. If you want to boost my ego and show your support, please feel free to like or retweet anything The Spire’s happens to post to share the love. Likewise, if you are reading this and have not followed us on any of our social media platforms, go do it now! I am hoping to expand out and start maximising the use of LinkedIn and Pinterest/Instagram so watch this space; I am slowly attempting my social media revolution. The worrying thing is how addictive monitoring social media gets, especially when you are able to analyse how many viewings your posts get; only I could get competitive with myself!

I am definitely learning a lot working at The Spires Serviced Apartments and enjoying the variety of tasks I have to complete. Already I can feel my skills set growing and hopefully this is a development that will endure. I am definitely feeling a lot more comfortable here and getting in to my routine; the shell-shock of working the 9-5 life has abated. It has also been enjoyable getting to know all my colleagues, they really all are very lovely and I do not think I could have asked for more supportive workmates.

Hope everyone has a lovely week and an even lovelier Valentine’s Day <3

Till next time,

Alex

first day

#Newbie

#Newbie Hello lovely readers, I am Alex and I am a third year Tourism Management student undertaking a 24 week placement as a Sales Administrator at The Spires Serviced Suites and Apartments. Today marks the end of my first full week at The Spires and as inferred by the posting of this blog, I did survive.

The first day in particular was filled with feelings of anxiety and anticipation-as well as a lot of paperwork! I am pleased to say despite the nerves, I have thoroughly enjoyed my first week, with the whole team appearing as a very lovely lot with there being a lot of laughter and banter between all the hard work. I was made to feel extremely welcome and that no question asked was too inane (and trust me, I asked a lot!). There will definitely be a lot for me to learn and I already have a list of tasks to crack on with so I know I will not be left idle! I am really looking forward to being responsible for activities like keeping an eye out for potential prospects and opportunities that The Spires Serviced Apartments can capitalize on. Similarly, playing a part in managing the social media marketing of the company (hence my witty title) is definitely a task I am eager to sink my teeth into.

Overall, I am really excited to see what the next 23 weeks bring and hopefully, I can convey all the emotions experienced, and progress made, on my journey at The Spires Serviced Suites and Apartments through this blog. I am not sure what chaos I can cause, hopefully none database related, but I know I have a big learning curve ahead of me and I embrace the challenge. Thank you for reading and have a lovely weekend! :)