2016: Top 16 Things To Do

It might be a few weeks late but welcome to the brand new world that is 2016! In honour of celebrating this time of new beginnings and new opportunities, we thought we would look at some of the must-do activities and festivities in our respective locations so that we can get your 2016 travel bucket-list rolling.

Aberdeen

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SPECTRA 2015 

http://www.visitaberdeen.com/whats-on/calendar/spectra-aberdeens-festival-of-light/?date=2015-02-19

  1. Footdee – while irrefutably the beach is a prominent attraction in Aberdeen, make sure to explore the idyllic village located by the sea known as Footdee, or more affectionately by the locals, as ‘Fittie’. A well-preserved fishing village, Footdee is truly charming and unique and takes you to times gone by.
  2. Park & Gardens – looking for an oasis of calm among the hustle and bustle of city life? Make sure to discover the parks that have helped Aberdeen win the accolade of “Britain in Bloom” a record breaking number of times. From the tropical winter gardens in Duthie Park that houses the UK’s largest collection of cacti to the fairy tale wonder of Johnstone Gardens complete with bridges and waterfalls, there is plenty of natural beauty to be admired among Aberdeen’s silver exterior.
  3. Dolphin Watch – a little known fact but apparently Aberdeen is one of the prime locations in Europe in which to view dolphins at play in the sea. Therefore, flock to the harbour during the summer months to witness our beautiful friends with fins. There is even a Dolphin Adventure Cruise!
  4. SPECTRA – in collaboration with Scotland’s focus Year of Architecture, Innovation and Design; SPECTRA is Aberdeen’s very own stunning Festival of Light which takes places in Union Terrace Gardens. With international artists and Scottish collaborators engaging in displays and exhibitions that focus on light, sound and interaction; it is perfect for anyone of any age and will truly bring the city to life!

Birmingham

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SPECTRA 2015

http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/lifestyle/food-drink/birmingham-street-food-guide-whos-7607752

  1. Jewellery Quarter – a fan of all things that sparkle and glitter? Well, make sure not to miss the world-renowned Jewellery Quarter which is home to one of the largest concentrations of firms involved in the jewellery trade and has over 200 listed buildings; testament to its rich heritage. Full of culture and history, the Jewellery Quarter is a vivacious trendy urban destination that cannot be missed.
  2. Grand Central – it is undeniable how Birmingham is a prime retail destination and the opening of Grand Central last year only substantiated that reputation. With over 60 premium retailers including the UK’s flagship John Lewis, you could spend one weekend in this shopping centre alone!
  3. Street Food – Birmingham is becoming one of the emerging cities in the UK for serving high quality street food; who needs a formal Michelin experience (although Birmingham offers a tasty abundance of these too!) when you can have convenience and food on the go. There is a weekly street food event on Fridays where you can sample all kinds of tempting treats from burgers to waffles. Make sure your stomach does not miss out!
  4. Music Festivals – As well as an emerging food destination, Birmingham is starting to become a city known on the map for its music festivals. With highlights including the Moseley Folk Festival; the Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul Festival and MADE Birmingham, there is plenty of musical festivities to keep audiences of all kinds singing and dancing away.

Glasgow

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SPECTRA 2015

https://film.list.co.uk/article/15259-gaelic-film-festival-announced-as-part-of-celtic-connections/

  1. Celtic Connections – One of the prime highlights of Glasgow’s winter calendar, Celtic Connections sees over 2,100 musicians descending on the city to engage in one of the most renowned folk, roots and world music festivals. It is a thrilling 18 days full of ceilidhs, art exhibitions and concerts that celebrate Celtic music and its cross-cultural connections – definitely one not to be missed.
  2. Glasgow International – A biennial festival celebrating contemporary art, Glasgow International is globally renowned and cements Glasgow’s reputation as a leading participator in the visual arts. Occurring in various locations across the city, Glasgow International celebrates the best of both local and international contemporary art and is perfect for audiences of all ages and kinds.
  3. Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design – This year sees Scotland celebrate the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design; and where better to celebrate this focus year than in Glasgow – a city renowned for its gorgeous and iconic architecture; primarily courtesy of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. As a result of this focus year, there will be a year-long Festival of Architecture occurring in Glasgow meaning that all throughout the year there will be engaging events to participate in and to really get to know Glasgow.
  4. Glasgow Film Festival – One of the UK’s largest and most established film festivals, Glasgow Film Festival is definitely one not to be missed! With renowned Glasgow venues such as Kelvingrove Art Gallery holding specially themed screenings, it is a film experience like no other.

Edinburgh

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Maison de Moggy 

http://uk.askmen.com/top_10/travel/animal-cafes_3.html

  1. Edinburgh Heritage Food Trail – In collaboration with Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site, the Food Trail devised in 2015 is a new (and tasty!) way of getting to know Edinburgh and its rich history. Covering cooking schools, farmer markets and even the Palace of Holyroodhouse, it is a journey across Edinburgh and back in time like no other.
  2. Edinburgh Festivals – One of the world’s leading festival cities, it is irrefutable that a prime reason to visit in 2016 is to participate in one of the plethora of festivals on offer. From an International Film Festival to festivals celebrating everything from Jazz and Blues to Books to Science, not even counting the summer highlight of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, there is definitely a festival for everyone!
  3. The Real Mary King’s Close – Sometimes all the excitement is not to be found above ground, but below. Take a tour of the hidden streets lurking below the bustling city that have been in existence since the 17th century by tour guides costumed as people from the past; there is no shortage of horror stories to regale.
  4. Cat Café – Scotland’s inaugural cat café, this is the perfect café to visit if you are a fan of furry moggies! Aptly titled, Maison de Moggy, you can eat cakes and have a warm cuppa while in the warm presence of some furry, cuddly friends.

Serviced Apartments: Share an Apartment, Share the Benefits

The future of business travel.

2016 looks to be the year of the serviced apartment provider with it even beginning to be described as a ‘mainstream’ form of accommodation by Booking.Com; thus inferring its rising star status. One of the reasons that can be attributed to the meteoric rise of the serviced apartment is its increasing prominence in the business travel sector as many employers come to appreciate the value for money and space that serviced apartments offer; particularly in this time of budget cutting. Moreover, the lack of a minimum stay policy means that companies can be ensured that their employees have a safe place to stay for as little as one night, to even as long as a year. However, the jewel in the serviced apartment crown is undoubtedly the apartment sharing benefit that it offers employers which means that colleagues can share an apartment and can share the price. As a result, apartments are particularly popular with contractors and the following benefits that apartment sharing provides; only advocates this:

  1. Cost-Effectiveness: Even as the number of people who share the apartment increases, the price does not. This is because we charge per apartment, not per person. Therefore, when colleagues share, it is much more cost-effective as it really is a case of more, for less. Whether you want two bedrooms to hold two colleagues or a set of twin rooms so that four colleagues can be accommodated, we have it covered.
  2. Combat the Loneliness: There can be nothing worse than returning to an empty hotel room, however when colleagues share an apartment you always have someone to return to. Between the kitchen and the lounge, there is plenty of space for you and your colleagues to hang out in; which is particularly useful for any impromptu business meetings around the dining table.
  3. Have Your Own Space: Serviced apartments may be useful for social purposes, but they are also beneficial for space and privacy because we all know that everyone needs time to themselves. Our exceptionally spacious apartments complete with kitchen and lounges mean that you are not all cramped in one room. Similarly, we also offer two-bedroomed apartments, meaning you have your own space to retire to at night and have an abundant supply of closet space for all your work clothes.
  4. Be Your Own Chef: With our fully-equipped kitchens that come complete with a fridge, freezer, oven, microwave and toaster, you can make dinners worthy of a Michelin starred restaurant for two; saving on restaurant bills. Likewise, if you and your colleagues have conflicting dietary habits, then there is plenty of cabinet space for keeping your rations separate.
  5. City Centre Locations: Located in the bustling city centres of Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Birmingham; you are not at a loss as to places to visit when you sign off from work. Therefore, if you are in need of some ‘me’ time there are plenty of places to visit whether it is a refreshing pint or an indulgent glass of wine in a pub or a walk through a park to clear the mind.

Make sure to visit http://www.thespires.co.uk or phone 0845 2700 0900 today to join the masses in reaping the benefits of apartment sharing!

Serviced Apartments: The Solution to Business Travel Blues

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People often think that there could be nothing better or more glamorous than travelling the world as part of your career. However, the reality is that many business people are actually frustrated with having to travel for business, particularly as more often than not, it is not necessarily to international trendy cities but simply to the other side of the same country. A survey carried out by British Airways uncovered the top five motives that encourage business travellers to not be particularly fond of travelling for work and they are as follows:

  1. Being Away From Family – 64%
  2. The Long Hours – 58%
  3. The Stress of Connecting Flights – 44%
  4. A Lack of Internet – 24%
  5. Being Unable to Work – 16%

However, these are not the only issues; there are a few other common gripes which have been highlighted by http://realbusiness.co.uk/article/32343-the-five-worst-things-about-business-travel–and-what-do-to-about-them With a lot of the customer base of serviced apartments like The Spires being corporate, this is already indicative of their ability to be a business travel lifesaver. Although, there is not much we can do to solve the issues of connecting flights, we do have your back covered when it comes to easing the pain of the other prolific gripes. Therefore, this reflects how serviced apartments should be your prime choice of accommodation when travelling for business.

Say Goodbye to Loneliness!

For instance, we know how hard it is to be away from the family, however with our spacious apartments that can accommodate up to 6 persons, we offer a simple solution: bring your family with you! With fully-equipped kitchens and lounges as well as bedrooms which can be either twins or doubles (select locations only), our accommodations could not be any more family friendly; particularly as we can provide cots and high chairs for the little ones. Therefore, if you are staying for an extended period of time, The Spires can almost act as your second home from home; complete with dining tables for everyone’s favourite family dinners. You will all be fighting over the remote in no time.

Likewise, on this note of all the space our apartments can provide, this means it is also possible for colleagues to share an apartment; without the trauma of having to share a room. This will help to keep costs down as well as will fight the feeling of loneliness – it is a win-win for the both the employer and employee.

Needing some space and a breather?

You have been in an office and in meetings all day long and the last thing you want to do is go out and socialise but at the same time you do not like the thought of returning to a bare hotel room. Well, serviced apartments can help with this.  With a lounge, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom; you are not confined to a single room but have plenty of space in which to spread yourself out and relax. Our apartments are minimalist and stylish yet still retain that familial feel meaning that you feel perfectly comfortable and welcome. Therefore, why we cannot unfortunately prevent your long hours, we can help to make your downtime as leisurely and relaxing as possible. Likewise, we have a noise policy in place and so you never have to worry about not getting a good night’s rest; particularly when combined with our sumptuously comfy beds.

A Lack of Internet?

In this technological age where we are all digital natives, we know that one of the biggest worries is being disconnected. However, when you stay at The Spires, you do not need to be in fear of this because we have a very secure and reliable WiFi connection. While there is a charge, this is because our WiFi is very high quality and robust. There is nothing worse than the promise of free WiFi at a hotel which you can never access or face exceptionally slow speeds, and that is never the case here. Therefore, you do not have to live in fear of the WiFi cutting out but relax and know you will always get a secure and rapid connection which means you can keep in contact with both the business world and your family/friends.

Unable to Work?

There is nothing worse than being confined to a hotel room where you hardly have room to unpack your suitcase let alone spread out your work documents – you can almost go stir-crazy from being in such a confined space. However, with serviced apartments you have more than just a bedroom but a lounge and dining table. This means not only do you have enough room to spread out your papers and files, but can you sleep in a room separate from your work and laptop and you can also work in comfort on one of our cosy couches. Likewise, both in the lounges and bedrooms we provide ample cupboard and drawer space so you never have to be at a loss as to where to put your belongings.  Therefore, whether you want to relax or work, our peaceful apartments provide the perfect ambiance which enables you to be at max productivity.

Scared of Eating Alone?

Nothing makes people quite as self-conscious as eating alone in a restaurant, however when you stay in a hotel room, you do not have much choice because you do not have any cooking facilities. Therefore, unless you are happy with cold supermarket dinners constituting of sandwiches and crisps or take-aways; restaurants seem to be your only saviour. That is, unless you stay in a serviced apartment. With fully-equipped kitchens that include a microwave, toaster, oven, fridge, freezer and more, you can make dinners worthy of a Michelin starred restaurant or you can simply just do a high quality beans and toast. Either way, our kitchens are the perfect solution to the self-consciousness of eating in a restaurant; the expense of eating out and providing the freedom that enables you to cook to satisfy your own dietary requirements.

Location, Location, Location

Surveys have also revealed that business travellers are fearful of that generic stay in an airport hotel where your nearest attractions are the hotel bar or the airport itself. However, all our apartments have exceptionally city central convenient locations meaning that you are right in the midst of all the attractions, be them culinary, cultural, natural or retail, and are potentially not too far from your work location too. Therefore, when you are tired from all your meetings but want to see the local sights, or just to have a refreshing pint, our apartments provide the perfect location in which to enable this.