Stay with Confidence in 2017

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One of the hardest decisions when organising your holiday or business trip is undoubtedly deciding where to stay. This is because while your accommodation might only be a place to rest your head at night, it is still important that you feel safe and comfortable in it to ensure that you make the most out of your trip. There are so many stresses associated with travelling and so booking the perfect accommodation can greatly alleviate some of those anxieties, particularly regarding security and even convenience of location. However, booking the perfect accommodation is a lot easier said than done because nowadays there is a whole deluge of possibilities covering everything from hotels to even now families renting out their private residences. Therefore, sometimes it can be very tiresome trying to work your way through all the possibilities to see which are legitimate options that really do deliver all that they say on the tin. Consequently, this often leads us to review websites like TripAdvisor as what better evidence could you acquire than the feedback of those who  have braved the path before us? However, while invaluable, reviews are very subjective and so what is one person’s cup of tea may not be another’s. Subsequently, this is where the benefits of Quality Accreditation schemes really come into play as they help to ensure that accommodation operators are meeting a certain benchmark in regards to performance and service standards.

When you think of accommodation and indicators of quality, often times you think of the ‘star’ rating system – with the ultimate travel dream being stays in luxurious and sumptuous five star resorts. However, did you know that aside from the ‘star’ rating system, the serviced apartment industry actually has its own trade body, The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (The ASAP) which plays a pivotal role in ensuring guest confidence when booking serviced apartments and in maintaining overall supplier standards? The call for this monitoring and control over and above the star rating system is that the serviced apartment sector is dynamic and rapidly growing. Therefore, as this sector is still developing and we are striving to inform consumers that serviced apartments are an alternative to traditional accommodation types which offer their own unique benefits, it is integral that there are measures and standards in place to ensure that guests are delivered the certain standard of quality that they are promised. Therefore, this is where The ASAP with their leading global Quality Accreditation Programme plays a critical role as not only do they provide accreditation for operators like The Spires, but they also assess agents, buildings and apartments to ensure that all parties are commited to  industry best practise and to ensure that quality can be measured and compared across the whole sector.

Therefore, while you may be nervous about booking a serviced apartment because you may have never stayed at one before, please be assured that The ASAP and its accredited operators such as The  Spires are out there to ensure that you receive the experience you are promised and that you can subsequently book, and stay with confidence. Wherever you see The ASAP Quality Accreditation Marque, you know that you are safe to proceed with booking as it means that the operator has passed The ASAP’s Quality Assessment which does not just cover the standards of the physical establishment you will stay in, but also the booking process and the health and safety credentials of the premises to ensure the ultimate in security, comfort and service experience.

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The ASAP stamp of quality approval on our website

If you are worried that the accreditation programme is just a tick-box scheme, we can assure you that the Accreditation Programme is more than that as the marque is only gained after a series of checks including an overnight stay so that an assessor can fully walk in the steps of an guest and understand the experience they will be delivered. Likewise, there are actually over 250 service quality and regulatory measures that need to be met so it is not something that can be gained through the completion of a form. Moreover, the accreditation criteria is updated annually to ensure that it remains relevant and in keeping with developments in customer experience offerings as well as with developments in the law and with health and safety regulations.

Therefore, with a new year comes a new year for change and so why not try staying somewhere different like a serviced apartment? It offers all the comfort, modernity and style of a hotel, while also being a convenient, spacious and cost-effective alternative. Likewise, due to their offering of modern equipped kitchens and stylish lounges, serviced apartments also  provide that priceless home away from home feel which you just cannot get in a hotel. We know that change can be scary, however when you choose to book with an quality accredited firm like The Spires, there is no need for fear as you know that a professional assessor has approved it and can attest to its service standards. Therefore, make 2017 the year you book and stay with confidence – you deserve it.

For more information about The Spires Quality Accreditation by The  ASAP, visit http://theasap.org.uk/memberships/quality-accreditation-programme/stay-with-confidence-quality-accreditation/

New Year, New Resolutions

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The Christmas decorations are slowly being returned to their dusty homes; the fridge is no longer the keeper of an army’s supply of festive foods and the radios have ceased playing the iconic Christmas classics because as much as we would love for it to be Christmas every day, sadly that is not the case. Christmas Day and New Year’s Day have come and gone with their abundance of good food, good company and good times and this of course means it is that sorrowful point of the year where all the goodwill and celebrations have ceased and we have to return desolately to our desks. However, while January can be a tough slog, what with the cold weather and the Christmas bills still cowering in our wallets, nevertheless it is still a brand new start meaning all kinds of potential lie ahead. Whatever adversity or struggles you faced in 2016, now you have a blank page upon which to write a whole new chapter and to start all over again.

Therefore, this is where New Year’s resolutions come into play because a new page means a new opportunity to change our ways. We have all heard of them and we will have all probably devised a few over the years with the best of intentions. However, it is irrefutable that while resolutions are fairly easy to come up with, they are a lot more difficult in practise. The reasoning is because normally resolutions are often related to cutting something out of lives, and that ‘something’ is normally a vice or indulgence – the things that bring us a lot of joy and pleasure, even though we know they are bad for us. Therefore, resolutions tend to pertain to goals like losing weight by cutting out bad food or to stop smoking. However, while the results of such resolutions are undoubtedly rewarding, it can be hard to get excited for the process as they require a lot of discipline. Therefore, how about balancing out your tougher resolutions with a goal that is fully rooted in fun, fulfilment and adventure with no discernible negatives? This goal will allow you to see things you may have never seen; to meet people you may have not otherwise met and to create memories that will last a lifetime. Guessed what it is yet? If not, we can only be talking about the New Year’s resolution of travelling of course!

Ok, so we know what you are thinking, travelling is expensive and normally resolutions can be associated with cutting costs. However, travelling really does not have to be all that costly when you consider staying a little closer to home and engaging in a staycation. So often people talk of wishing to travel more but this does not mean that you have to dig out your passport and fly somewhere exotic. Travelling can simply be visiting the hidden gems that are only a few hours away as even in our own hometowns, there are wonders that we will have not experienced. Sometimes the most enlightening thing we can do is experience our home town and home country through the eyes of a visitor because then we realise all the potential fun, history, beauty and culture there is to soak in which we often can otherwise ignore.

It is undeniable that most people wish they could travel more as everyone loves new experiences and to escape from their home for just a few days. However, we appreciate that time and money are both inhibiting factors that can get in the way of the dream.  Therefore, this is where a city-break staycation can come into play. You can get all the excitement and cultural enrichment at a fraction of the cost and potentially without even having to take time off work. With locations in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow, we have apartments in some of the UK’s biggest and best cities full of world-class dining, attractions and entertainment. People from all over the world flock to experience the heritage and beauty of such locations and so should we! This has been validated by the fact that Scotland made Rough Guide’s 2017 list for one of the Top 10 ‘Must See’ Destinations. Not only will you get to escape from your daily routine just for a few days but you will always get to experience something new. Do not believe us? Check out just some of the fun and excitement that lies ahead in our respective locations in the coming months:

Aberdeen

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Spectra Festival, Aberdeen

Festivals

Spectra – 9th Feb – 12th Feb 2017

Aberdeen Jazz Festival – 15th Mar – 19th Mar 2017

Look Again – 27th Apr – 1st May 2017

May Festival – 26th May – 28th  2017

Aberdeen International Youth Festival – July 2017

TechFest – 26th Aug – 25th Sep 2017

North East Open Studies – 9th – 17th Sep 2017

True North – September 2017

DanceLive – 12th – 28th Oct 2017

Sound – 26th Oct – 12th Nov 2017

For more details, visit https://aberdeenfestivals.com/ 

Birmingham

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Birmingham Weekender

Chinese New Year – 29th Jan 2017

Muller Indoor Grand Prix – 18th Feb 2017

Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships – 7th Mar – 12th Mar 2017

Birmingham Pride – 27th – 28th May 2017

ICC Champions Trophy – 1st Jun – 18th Jun 2017

Aegon Classic Birmingham – 17th Jun – 25th Jun 2017

Colmore Food Festival – 30th Jun – 1st Jun 2017

Dinosaurs in the Wild – 24th Jun – 24th Aug 2017

Birmingham Weekender – 22nd Sep – 24th Sep 2017

Birmingham Comedy Festival – 6th – 15th Oct 2017

Birmingham International Marathon – 15th Oct 2017

Edinburgh

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Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Six Nations Rugby – Feb – Mar 2017

Edinburgh International Science Festival – 1st Apr – 16th Apr 2017

Imaginate Festival – 27th May – 4th Jun 2017

Edinburgh International Film Festival – 21st Jun – 2nd Jul 2017

Edinburgh Jazz & Blue Festivals – 14th Jul – 23rd Jul 2017

Edinburgh Art Festival – 27th Jul – 27th Aug 2017

Edinburgh Festival Fringe – 4th Aug – 28th Aug 2017

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo – 4th Aug – 28th Aug 2017

Edinburgh International Festival – 4th Aug – 28th Aug 2017

Edinburgh International Book Festival – 12th Aug – 28th Aug 2017

Scottish International Storytelling Festival – 20th Oct – 31st Oct 2017

Glasgow

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Piping Live!

Celtic Connections – 19th Jan – 5th Feb 2017

The Glasgow Tattoo – 19th Jan – 21st Jan 2017

Cirque Berserk – 24th Jan – 29th Jan 2017

The Glasgow Film Festival – 15th Feb – 26th Feb 2017

Gin Festival Glasgow 2017 – 3rd Mar – 5th Mar 2017

Glasgow Book Festival – Mar 2017

International Comedy Festival – 9th Mar – 26th Mar 2017

Glasgow Science Festival: Glasgow Explores – 8th Jun – 18th Jun 2017

Summer Nights – 3rd Aug – 13th Aug 2017

Piping! Live – 7th Aug – 13th Aug 2017

Total BWF 2017 World Badminton Championships – 21st Aug– 27th Aug 2017

The Mackintosh Festival – 1st Oct – 31st Oct 2017

Have we managed to sell you on the resolution of travelling more in 2017? If so, we can further help cut the costs associated with travelling because with apartments that are capable of holding up to six persons but that are not charged per person; our serviced apartments are the perfect cost-effective alternative to hotels. This is particularly true when you consider how that as our apartments come complete with a fully-equipped kitchen and lounge, you can further cut down on the costs associated with dining out. Never tried a serviced apartment before? Well, it looks like you just found another new resolution! Book today at www.thespires.co.uk, email info@thespires.co.uk or phone 0345 270 0090.

Images
http://jaco.co/SPECTRA-Aberdeen-Festival-of-Light
https://www.visitengland.com/experience/free-events-in-september-birmingham-weekender
http://www.cntraveller.com/recommended/cities/edinburgh-festivals-guide
https://www.scotsmagazine.com/articles/things-cannae-miss-piping-live-2015/