Time to Fly the Nest

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You have been there for them every step of the way from first words to first steps to first days at new schools, and now it is time for that first goodbye. After a year of enduring the hormonal teenage moods induced by stressful exam periods and maybe even touring the country as you scouted all the open days known to man, the moment you may have been dreading/anticipating in equal measure is finally here as your young one flies from the nest for the first time in search of a new adventure. This is because while it is the middle of the year, August/September are actually months associated with new beginnings as many young adults across the nation embark on the exciting, enlightening journey of higher education.  They are going to make new friends, experience new things and learn new lessons (both in and out of the classroom!) and most of the time this will be away from the sanctuary that is the home they grew up in as every new beginning requires a new setting. However, before you can even say that tearful goodbye, you actually have to move them out which considering they have had 16/17/18 years to accumulate all kinds of interesting possessions as well as wardrobes which contain enough clothes to cloth a small nation, is a lot easier said than done. Therefore, it is undeniable that numerous car/train/bus journeys from A to Z transporting their entire haul will become a hard, stressful reality. Consequently, it is no surprise that moving out your offspring is a somewhat arduous, timely task which may require the assistance of a few extra pairs of hands.

Therefore, we have a suggestion which will hopefully ease some of the stress and the pain as you settle your loved one into their new home. While you are making those various treks from ASDA to their new student pad, what about renting out a serviced apartment for the family so that you could have all the space you could need during the transition? With apartments in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh, we are located in some of the biggest and most-establishment student hubs in the nation. Moreover, we do not just mean we are located in the inconvenient outskirts, we mean we are literally in prime city central hotspots such as Hanover Street (Edinburgh), Merchant Quarter (Glasgow), Mannofield (Aberdeen) and even on the doorstep of the Mailbox in Birmingham. Therefore, staying with us means you could not be closer to university accommodation to help ease all the packing/unpacking woes and it also means you can take a few moments for some exploring during those tearful goodbyes. With apartments capable of holding up to six persons and the inclusion of fully-equipped lounges and kitchens as well as separate bedrooms, you can bring grandma, grandad, aunties, cousins, younger siblings – whoever wants to be a part of this exciting time. There is plenty of space for the whole family and it just means you have that extra space and comfort to say your goodbyes properly and not feel time-bound and rushed to drop your offspring off at the kerb with their 20 plus bulging suitcases.

Of course, goodbye is not really goodbye as there may be plenty of times across the four years where you want to stop by and visit (ok, spy on) your hard-working offspring to see if the ratio of partying to studying is in check. Likewise, while you can begin the higher education adventure with us during Freshers, you can also see witness its heavenly completion with us because serviced apartments are great for graduation time when the whole family pack descends and requires a place to stay (just you wait to see how many people clamour for one of those exclusive golden graduation tickets). University and college are full of so many special times from that exciting induction week to prize-givings and to all kinds of events in between. Therefore, make sure not to miss a minute of it by booking a stay at The Spires whenever the time comes to say ‘hello’ again.

For more information on our apartments, visit http://www.thespires.co.uk or email us at info@thespires.co.uk

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Let the Summer of Events Begin!

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Image: http://www.fabulousferns.com/graduation/

Alas the time for throwing caps or confetti in the air is nearing as we approach one of the busiest events season after Christmas: summer. With the sun hopefully making a glorious appearance, it is the time for all manner of exciting fun and celebrations with the jubilant spirit rising high due to an influx of graduations, prize-givings, weddings and just the general vibrancy of the summer spirit. Yes, alongside the refreshing taste of poolside cocktails or that nostalgic smell of sunlotion, other senses that characterise the glorious summer festivities include rapturous audience applause, the sights of black mortar boards flying through the air and the sequins, sparkles and lace embellishing an array of specially bought outfits.  Synonymous with these events are family and friends because who better to celebrate these momentous occasions with than with your nearest and dearest?! However, for those of us with the slightly more extended families, we all know the struggle and expense of trying to accommodate everyone in alternative options such as hotels, or in enduring the stress and strain of having everyone located under the one roof. Therefore, we have the perfect solution to keep the celebrations just as joyous and jubilant as they should be – serviced apartments.

Capable of holding up to six persons, serviced apartments are perfect when you need to accommodate family members of all sizes and ages. There is nothing worse than the feeling of booking family somewhere impersonal to stay, however complete with modern, fully-equipped kitchens and lounges, our apartments have the perfect home from home feel. Therefore, instead of having everyone cramped under the one roof, fighting over kitchen utensils, the remote and most importantly, the bathroom, you can have them stay in their own apartment where they can even have up to two-bathrooms. Likewise, there is no one having to stay on uncomfortable and unreliable air mattresses or on the lumpy couch, because our de-luxe apartments can hold up to six persons and can include two bedrooms complete with either double or twin beds. Available with cots and high-chairs on requests, our apartments can truly enable anyone to stay so whether it is young or older family members, all are more than welcome!

Being located in major city destinations such as Aberdeen, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh which are renowned for their multitudes of stunning event backdrops or their prestigious educational institutes, it is undeniable that they are right in the centre of the events season. Therefore, with our apartments being conveniently located right in the city centres and our Aberdeen location in particular having its own car park, you do not have to worry about them struggling to make their way to the venue as they are surrounded by all the transport links they could need. This also means your family and friends can make the most of their stay by experiencing all the action on the doorstep, whether that is the dynamic food, attractions and sights that typify our locations, because why just come for the one day – make it into a cheeky city break.

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Although located in major bustling city destinations, the high prices often associated with that can be negated as serviced apartments are a cost-effective alternative. As mentioned, our apartments are capable of holding up to six persons and therefore as you pay per apartment, and not per person, you can make significant cost-savings while having increased space over traditional options. It is a win-win situation all around! Likewise, further savings can be made when you consider how our apartments include a fully-equipped kitchen as well as washing machines and tumble-dryers meaning that if any last-minute outfit mishaps occur, our apartments are adorned with the necessary equipment to handle it without reverting to expensive laundry services. Moreover, if any of your friends or family have any unique dietary requirements, they can satisfy these requirements and save money by shrimping on restaurant bills and making their own meals.

Weddings, graduations and prize-givings – you want to remember them for the right reasons; not for arduous stress and drama. Therefore, to ensure the ultimate special occasion which lives on in the memory and heart, make sure to book at www.thespires.co.uk

*Disclaimer: in order to enable maximum comfort and to provide the perfect night’s sleep for all our guests, parties or large gatherings are strictly prohibited under our policy

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.

Welcome to The Spires Serviced Apartments Edinburgh!

Welcome to The Spires Edinburgh

One of the greatest highlights of 2015 thus far for The Spires has undoubtedly been the opening of our brand new Edinburgh apartments. Located on Hanover Street, the latest stunning additions to our apartment portfolio are conveniently located right in the middle of all the action. Therefore, whether you are travelling for business or for leisure, you are located right near to all the major shops, visitor attractions, restaurants and transport links – making for the ultimate travel experience.

Convenience, cost-effectiveness, flexibility and space; these are all the elements we love the most about serviced apartment living. To really get a feel for the serviced apartment experience, make sure to follow our insight into what a stay at The Spires Edinburgh is like:

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Welcome to The Spires! Whether you stay for one night or for even up to a year, we welcome all lengths of stay and want to create an ambiance and setting that makes you feel like you have found your home from home – no matter how temporarily.

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As much as we love our friendly, welcoming Front of House team to greet all guests, we appreciate that is not possible. However, if you do arrive out with reception hours, do not fear as we have an Express Check-In system that we will let you know all about in advance. Therefore, on arrival all you will need to do is pick up your keys and you will be quickly on your way!

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Welcome to your new home! As only you have the key to your apartment, you can feel instantly safe and secure – your privacy is everything.

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Regardless of what apartment you have chosen to stay in, you will always be greeted by ultra-modern, spacious and stylish surroundings that have been tastefully designed to shelter you from the hustle and bustle of the busy Edinburgh streets. With the potential to hold up to six guests maximum in our ‘plus’ apartments, discover all about the different kinds of apartments we offer:

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Our Studio Apartment

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Our One-Bedroom Apartment

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Our Two-Bedroom Apartment

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Our Two-Bedroom Plus Apartment

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Make yourself at home – there is plenty of space to do it! Whether you want to spread out your belongings or just yourself after a long day, you will not be short of room.

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New to The Spires or to the beautiful and historic city of Edinburgh? Then make sure to read our Guest Directories which await you in all of our apartments. Including information about our apartments, important numbers and providing a helpful insight into the city, this handy guide will introduce you to the city and to our apartments so you feel instantly at ease.

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Let’s get cooking! With our fully-equipped kitchens including a fridge, oven, freezer and other crucial cooking appliances, you can cut back on those restaurant bills by being your own personal chef. Whether you want a quick snack or a gourmet dinner, you have the space and appliances to do it all.

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Alone or with family and friends, there is nothing quite like a home-cooked meal after a long day’s travelling or work.

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Sit back and chill. With a sleek TV and DVD player, as well as complimentary DVDs available at reception, sometimes it is nice to have a quiet night in.

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Every good bedroom requires an en-suite bathroom to match; all of which our two-bedroom apartments offer in addition to the main apartment bathroom. With complimentary Taylor of London’s products to greet you, there is enough room that not everyone has to fight over the bathroom!

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Of course the showpiece of any apartment: the bedroom. Sumptuously comfy and with stunning views to match, there is no denying how easy it is to get a good night’s rest when you stay in our Edinburgh apartments.

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Looking for a room with a view? We may be biased but we do believe there is no city as aesthetically stunning as Edinburgh. Urban, natural and historic: the city has it all. Our top floor apartments in particular offer exceptionally gorgeous views across the Firth of Forth.

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One of the best advantages of serviced apartments are that while you have much more space than a hotel room, you still reap the benefits of services such as housekeeping so your apartment is always kept in tip-top form.

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Of course there is no neglecting the most important meal of the day – breakfast. When you choose to purchase our Breakfast inclusive rate, you will be greeted with a continental breakfast each morning that will get your day off on the right note.

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Whether you stay for a night or longer, it is never easy saying goodbye. However, we want to make your departure just as easy as your check-in so if you need to leave for an early morning flight, make sure to take advantage of our Express Check-Out system.

We hope this goodbye is only temporarily and so you return to see us whether it is in Edinburgh or in our other three bustling locations (Aberdeen, Glasgow and Birmingham). Make sure to let us know how your stay went on Trip Advisor and make sure to keep in touch with us via social media, @TheSpiresSuites is where it is at!

Can you picture yourself here living out the serviced apartment experience? Make sure to learn more about our Edinburgh apartments at http://www.thespires.co.uk/edinburgh-serviced-apartments-and-suites/apartments-and-suites.html, to ‘Like’ our dedicated Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheSpiresEdinburgh/?fref=ts and to get pinning with us on Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/thespiressuites/.

The Simple Art of Smiling

We use them each and every day. In fact, I am 99% sure you will have used one today, if not even in the last few hours since lunch. It is a symbol universally known that can be understood in every language and by people of essentially any age: the smiley emoji. Of course, one cannot mention the smiley emoji without using a visual example…..

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We all use this useful little guy countless times throughout our life but where did it come from? Well, as part of today’s history lesson, I am going to take you back to Massachusetts in 1963 where a gentleman by the name of Harvey Ball, who was a commercial artist, first coined the image that was going to become renowned around the world as part of a task to boost employee morale at a local firm through the design of an happy face…and it only took him 10 minutes (your piece of trivia for the day!). It may have only taken 10 minutes to create, but it is an image that has become iconic and will undoubtedly be passed through a plethora of generations; reflecting how simplicity and a smile can be the quickest and most effective solutions to any issue.

However, as a response to the fear that the smiley face was becoming over-commercialised, and so it was not an act being reproduced genuinely between person to person, Mr. Ball made the executive decision to create “World Smile Day”. This beautiful day is dedicated to the simple art of smiling and to ensure that on at least one day in every year, we take the time out of our day to put a smile on someone’s face and to therefore restore happiness across the world.

Being in the hospitality industry, there is almost no symbol more synonymous with our offering than the smiley face because our ultimate goal is to create lasting memories for our guests that leave them walking out of reception with you guessed it, a smile. If our customers leave without a smile, then we have not done our job right. Therefore, we present to you our lovely readers, the 10 things that have us smiling this season at The Spires and hopefully our smiles will in turn put one on your face too so as to spread the cheer.

  1. Customer Satisfaction

Being in the hospitality industry, one of things that makes us smile the brightest is going as far as we can to deliver the ultimate guest experience and to know that we have succeeded in making our guests smile in return. That is why Trip Advisor reviews are such a key reason for our happiness as it is great to hear first-hand how our guest’s stay was and what made their stay (hopefully!) enjoyable. It helps us to determine what to keep on doing and what to improve upon. Having worked in the Front of House, I can personally attest to how there was nothing that brightened my day quite like knowing I had put a smile on one of my customer’s faces whether it had been through the simple act of giving them directions; generating a WiFi pin (something which never fails to raise a smile!) or merely giving them the key to their apartment. There is no feeling quite as potent or as powerful as knowing you have impacted someone’s day in a positive way, and it is amazing how it is the smallest things that can have someone flashing those pearls.

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  1. The Apartment Collection

-This is the latest development at The Spires and has seen us moving up in the world by become a serviced apartment agent as well as a serviced apartment operator. As a result, we are now a one-stop-shop for all our customer’s serviced apartments needs and so whether they want to stay in the UK or even in far-flung locations like Asia or Australia, we can make it happen. Therefore, we are smiling as we have expanded our business and are therefore in a position which enables us to better meet and serve the rapidly evolving needs of our customers. It is great to know that wherever our customers choose to go, we can play a part in creating the ultimate vacation for them. To learn more and understand why we are smiling, check out our dedicated website to “The Apartment Collection – By The Spires” – www.theapartmentcollection.co.uk.

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  1. The Spires in Edinburgh

-If there is anything that has had us smiling this season it has been the much anticipated opening of our newest location: The Spires Edinburgh. With a mix of Studio, One-Bedroom, Two-Bedroom and Two-Bedroom Plus apartments, we can cater to a wide range of accommodation requirements and whichever style of apartment you stay in, you are guaranteed a luxury experience due to the tasteful, refined surroundings of our modern and beautifully designed apartments. Conveniently located only minutes away from the action of some of Edinburgh’s most renowned streets, a certain Princes Street is only a hop and skip away, The Spires Edinburgh offers an oasis of calm from all the hustle and excitement emanating through the historic, stunning streets. In particular, the amazing top floor views of the Firth of the Forth have us smiling due to the stunning blend of city and nature. To learn more, visit our dedicated Edinburgh page: www.thespires.co.uk/edinburgh-serviced-apartments-and-suites.

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  1. New Arrivals

-Whether they are new guests or loyal customers, happiness and big grins always stems from the arrival of guests to The Spires. It is a new chance to make another positive impression and to hopefully make another happy guest.

  1. Social Media Interaction

-Every ‘Follow’, ‘Like’ or ‘Retweet’ has us grinning like a Cheshire Cat because it gives us a chance to successfully engage with our guests and to feel like we are building a relationship with them – even when they are not staying with us. That is why we try to cover as many social media channels as possible so that whatever our guests are into, whether it is being a Master Tweeter or a prolific Pinterest pinner or even a passionate blogger, we can reach out and talk to them. It may be misplaced vanity, but every new follower we get makes us feel like we have done a job well done and that we are appreciated (hint: follow us please, it has been “scientifically proven” how increased likes leads to smiling ;))

  1. Snack Table

-It is the foundation of every office across the nation: the snack table. No office is complete without one and no office productive. Whenever we are feeling down, tired or just plain gluttonous, it is our never-ending stashes of biscuits and tea/coffee that we turn to so as to restore our joy and to turn that frown upside down in rapid speed time – particularly when cake glorious cake is involved. As they say, there is nothing that a good cup of tea and a Kit-Kat cannot solve! Click here to read more about everyone’s favourite table: https://thespiressuites.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/the-snack-table-2/

  1. Travelling

-Being under the umbrella of the tourism industry, travelling is something that we all love to engage in. Whether it is going to exotic locations like Dubai or India to liaise with potential suppliers on a business trip or even just taking mini-breaks to one of our respective locations like Birmingham, the chance to make new connections, to see new places and to experience new cultures always has us smiling because the world was made to be seen and explored and these are memories that will last a lifetime.

  1. Fall

-Get the warm mugs of cocoa out and that favourite scarf your grandma knitted because the fall/winter season is here! Between the sugary sweet yet spectacularly spooky mystery of Halloween and the breath-taking allure and magic of Bonfire Night, there is so much to look forward to. Whether it is the colourful array of crisp leaves that line the streets, the new selection of clothes in the shops or the temptation of seasonal products such as Pumpkin Spiced Latter, there is nothing quite like the Autumn atmosphere to put a warm smile on our faces to defend ourselves against the increasing chill.

  1. Friday Afternoon

-Some of us may have the October holidays to look forward to and some of us may not, but there is one holiday around the world that never gets ignored; Friday afternoon. Whether you have an action filled weekend that sees you take an exhilarating and much anticipated mini-break or merely a relaxing weekend which sees you become best friends with your couch and Netflix, we know you are lying if you say that the corners of your mouth do not turn up into a smile as that much-watched clock hand hits 5pm. Let’s be honest, it is not so much just a smile but also a Hallelujah!

  1. Working at The Spires

-*Cheese Alert* and it has arrived in all its cheesy glory! I cannot speak for everyone, but coming into The Spires always makes me smile as I am yet to work with a lovelier, more welcoming array of people. Whenever there is a tough moment, there is always someone there to support you or make you laugh (normally with a biscuit or cup of tea in tow) and it makes for a really positive working environment.

Remember, even the simplest, smallest act of putting a smile on someone else’s face can change that person’s day as well as your own. Sometimes we think we are not capable of making a change in the world but that mere power of making someone forget all the stress and sadness that maybe currently inhabits their life is a mighty skill that we should never forget. They say that money makes the world go round, but maybe so does smiling.

We told you what makes us smile, now tell us what makes you smile!

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Sources: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/amy-packham/world-smile-day_b_8226728.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Ball

Summer of Joy

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The sizzling of succulent sausages on a BBQ. The infectious sounds of laughter and joy coming from families frolicking on the beach. The vibrant colours decorating the little umbrella that garnishes that cheeky yet oh so needed pool side cocktail. Yes, these are all the sights, smells and sounds that we associate with the most anticipated season of the year: summer. It is irrefutable that one of the greatest reasons why we look oh so forward to this most joyous time of the year is that the holidays are near. Like all good combinations, you cannot beat the ultimate combination that is summer and vacation. However, summer brings more than just a time to explore, escape and relax; it also provides a chance for some good old fashioned family bonding. We are not just referring to those infamous family holidays, but also to the multitude of joyous occasions that tend to adorn this time of year. For instance, factor in the rapturous audience applause, the sights of black mortar boards flying through the air and the sequins, sparkles and lace embellishing an array of specially bought outfits, and you can discover another few reasons that help to enhance that summer time glow: graduations and prize-givings.

With both university and the sun out, it is the perfect time to rejoice in the high-spirited celebratory mood whether you are attending a well-deserved graduation or a heart-warming wedding. However, such occasions require the attendance of those you hold dearest, many of whom may be out of town. Therefore, to fully take advantage of these momentous occasions that forever hold a special part in our hearts and mind; of course we all want them to run as smoothly as possible. Consequently, why rush down or up for that one important day when you can make it into a small trip that helps to relieve some of the inevitable stress associated with attending large social gatherings.

If we do say so ourselves, serviced apartments are the perfect accommodation type for when you are travelling in groups; such as with extended family. Graduation, weddings and special occasions all require the presence of more than just mum and dad; often grandparents, uncles, aunts, siblings and significant others are all in tow particularly considering just how large and blended modern families can be. Therefore, why pack everyone in someone’s flat/house with the inevitable bed-sharing and sofa-sharing angst or the expense of shelling out on multiple hotel rooms when you can simply book an apartment to share. Ranging from one-bedrooms up to two-bedroom deluxes, our apartments can fit up to 6 persons and to make it an even more cost-effective option, we charge based on the apartment size, not on the number of persons in the party. With en-suite bedrooms, there is lots of room to get all gussied up in for that special occasion and less fighting over the bathroom.

It is not just the extra sleeping space that is of benefit however. Serviced apartments such as at The Spires also offer modern, stylish and spacious lounges complete with sofas and TVs as well as fully-equipped kitchens that are kitted out with essential amenities such as dishwashers and dryers. When we say we want to create a home away from home atmosphere, we mean it. Therefore, with larger groups consisting of various age brackets, the extra space provided is much needed as no one is treading on anyone’s toes and everyone can be kept amused. Similarly, the inclusion of kitchens also helps to cut down on those mammoth food bills that can be so easily accrued by dining out as a group. Being your own chef means you have plenty of room to make that delectable meal that satisfies all the taste buds as well as the wide array of dietary requirements that tend to run in groups. Similarly, happen to spot a mark on that glamorous outfit you have been lusting over and are so eager to wear? With our washing machines and dryers, you need not worrying about anxiously tracking down the local dry-cleaners or incurring massive laundry charges as you can nip the problem in the bud right there and then.

It is not just all an issue of space and cost-effectiveness however, the city central location of our apartments also provide the further benefit of convenience-you are just minutes away from the main attraction. In our respective locations of Aberdeen, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh, you are only ever minutes away from all the entertainment and culture that these dynamic, cosmopolitan cities have to offer whether you are seeking supermarkets, banks, shops, transport links or even just a decent local coffee shop. Moreover, why travel all the way just for the special occasion itself? Any time is an opportune moment to discover all the treasures and hidden gems that our major city centre locations have to offer. Therefore, why not go visit a local castle such as Dunottar when you stay with us in Aberdeen, the Kelvingrove Museum when you stay in Glasgow or even Cadbury World when you stay in Birmingham? All the fun and action is right on your doorstep meaning you need not worry about the co-ordination or the military precision strategizing of taxis.

To all those celebrating this summer, whether it is your own personal well-deserved graduation or you are sharing in the glory of a loved one’s, we wish you a beautiful, happy day full of heart- warming memories which will stay with you forever; hopefully The Spires can play even the smallest of parts in making that joyous day as special as it can be.

Image: www.kpc.alaska.edu 

The City Built on More than Just Oil

Source: www.offshorewind.biz
Aberdeen

If I were to ask you for the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Aberdeen, odds are on that “oil” would be your headlining answer. It would not be at all surprising because even as a born and bred Aberdonian, whenever someone asks me to describe my home town, the oil industry tends to be my instant characterisation of the city I call home. It is not possible to separate Aberdeen from the oil industry because the North Sea and its oil supplies are what has put Aberdeen on the national, and indeed the international stages. Nothing epitomises this quite like the fact that Aberdeen is known as the “Oil/Energy Capital of Europe”. Due to the strong inter-relation between Aberdeen and oil, it is undeniable that the predominance of tourism is in relation to business as reflected by the fact that over half of the visits to Aberdeen are linked to business matters.

Consequently, I can fully understand why one may not consider engaging in a leisure trip to Aberdeen. With the strong association of energy corporations and professional services, it is easy to comprehend why someone may think Aberdeen is all work and no play. HOWEVER, there is so much more to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. It may be best known for its oil supplies, but there are so many other achievements and accolades that Aberdeen should be on the map for; none of which have anything to do with business but all to do with fun. From the luscious supply of lush green spaces; an abundance of breathtaking castles and all the fun and frolics to be had at the seaside, it is clear that Aberdeen is equally capable of delivering glowing holiday memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.

The Silver City

Practical, easy to maintain and stunning to look at, the eye-catching glistening of the granite walls of Aberdeen are certain to capture your attention and your camera’s lens. Known as the Granity City and the Silver City, Aberdeen’s greyness can easily be attributed to its architecture that was built in the granite days of the Victorian era. Due to the mica that sparkles beautifully in the sun, it is no wonder that Aberdeen’s resplendent architecture is one that you have to stop to admire.

Marischal College  Source: www.canon-fodder-forums.com
Marischal College
Source: http://www.canon-fodder-forums.com

Do I Spot A Castle?

Aberdeen may have alter-egos in the form of the “Silver City” and the “Oil Capital of Europe”, but it also has a rather unknown secret identity that goes by the code name of “Castle Country”. With a collection of over 300 castles and more castles per acre than anywhere else in the UK, there is almost a castle to visit every day of the year meaning more than one trip to Aberdeen is not a choice, but an necessity. Due to the wealth of castles to explore, there is a castle to suit everyone’s tastes. There is the breathtaking dramatics of the haunting cliff-side ruins of Dunnotar Castle or for an idyllic family day, there are also the enchanting gardens that surround the splendour of Crathes Castle. For a more majestic experience, a trip to Balmoral Castle cannot go amiss for it is a favourite with the Royal Family and even is the grand holiday abode of Her Majesty the Queen. Similarly, Craigievar is an almost iconic image for Scotland as due to its ethereal fairy-tale like appearance, adorned with turrets; it is also supposedly responsible for inspiring Walt Disney. An exploration of castles could be your sole reason to visit Aberdeen if you embark on Scotland’s only Castle Trail which will take you through 17 of Aberdeen’s most renowned castles. You could visit all the castles and still desire more because ultimately, there is always a fascinating story to be learnt about Scotland’s captivating history.

Dunnottar Castle  Source: : http://www.uk-pictures.com/dunnottar_castle.html
Dunnottar Castle
Source: : http://www.uk-pictures.com/dunnottar_castle.html

The Grass is Always Greener…

To balance out the stunning (if a little gray) architecture; over a quarter of Aberdeen is actually open space. The fact that Aberdeen has won the Britain in Bloom competition for a record-smashing ten times is only testament to its abundance of sweet-smelling, picturesque parks. Whether you are looking for a tranquil walk in nature or a heart-pumping workout, there is a park to accommodate anyone and each will provide a scenic backdrop to all the action. Each park has its own unique attractions providing the perfect location for a family day trip. If you are looking for rose gardens to admire; a play park to keep the little ones out of trouble or a maze to get them lost in, look no further than Hazlehead Park which also comes armed with a petting corner full of furry friends. Duthie Park and Seaton Park also present the perfect setting for a moment to engage with nature and Duthie Park even has its own winter gardens which is resident to the UK’s largest supply of cacti (a little bit of trivia for you all!). However, if you stay at The Spires and are happening to be looking for a park closer to home, the ethereal Johnston Gardens is also a gorgeous spot for a bit of nature loving as due to its hidden waterfalls and ponds, it is no wonder that it is a favourite for wedding photos.

Johnston Gardens  Source: Wikipedia
Johnston Gardens
Source: Wikipedia

Nature Watch: Aberdeen Style

Parks are not the only natural wonders in Aberdeen. Perhaps the biggest draw to Aberdeen this lovely sunny season are our favourite new residents: dolphins! Due to Aberdeen being one of the best places in Europe to watch these magnificent animals at home in the sea, it is no wonder it is fast becoming a prime dolphin watching spot. Often frolicking near the harbour, it is not uncommon to witness the dolphins feeding & playing. It is truly a beautiful sight and reflects how there is more to the North Sea than just oil. RSPB Scotland’s DolphinWatch team will be there till mid-August and with dolphins appearing on 90% of 2014’s DolphinWatch days, you cannot miss an opportunity to see such playful fun.

Dolphins in Aberdeen Harbour  Source: www.rspb.org.uk
Dolphins in Aberdeen Harbour
Source: http://www.rspb.org.uk

Golf Anyone?

Golf is a sport synonymous with Aberdeenshire due to its plethora of courses to play on. Residence to over 50 courses, there are courses only a quarter of a mile away from Aberdeen and even more courses located just an hour’s drive away. Therefore, you are certain to find a course you like. Most famous is the Hazlehead No 1 which is rumoured to be one of the best in the North-East and whose claim to fame is that it was designed by Dr Alistair MacKenzie; the man who was responsible for creating the Augusta National course home of the US Masters. It is no surprise that Hazlehead No 1 is a thorough test for those golfing skills! Similarly, history meets golf with The Royal Aberdeen Golf Club being the sixth oldest course in the world and if it was not enough that the course allows for some superior golf playing, it also allows you to play among stunning panoramic views.  Another golf course that is commonly associated with Aberdeen is the splendour of The Trump International Golf Links which has only helped to consolidate Aberdeen as a golf paradise.

Royal Aberdeen Golf Course Source: www.dailyrecord.co.uk
Royal Aberdeen Golf Course
Source: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk

Those Summer Days Spent by the Seaside…..

We all look fondly back with nostalgia on those good ole days spent on holiday by the sea, splashing about in the sea and munching ravenously on delectable fish & chips. Well, due to Aberdeen’s Fun Beach, you can relive those memories and bring them into the 21st century. Many a day can be spent at the beach between the arcades; mini-golf; tempting restaurants; the amusement park; the leisure pool filled with watery thrills & spills; the ice-rink, the cinema….All this before you even consider the simplicity of just walking along the coast line to bask in the fresh sea air and to feel the warm sand between the toes. It is truly an entertainment hotspot and is certainly one to keep the whole family occupied and the cameras snapping.

Aberdeen Beach Source: VisitScotland
Aberdeen Beach
Source: VisitScotland

Journey to the Past

The beach borders on another prime Aberdonian attraction: Footdee (or fondly known as Fittie by Aberdonians). The words charming, quaint and idyllic certainly come to mind but how could they not considering Footdee is a well-conserved fishing village where you are free to walk around and bask in the tranquility of life by the seaside. It is truly a walk back to the past and is in stark contrast to the modernity of the city centre that is only minutes away. Similarly, due to Aberdeen’s strong maritime links, of course there has to be a museum to document the bond between Aberdeen & the Sea; something which The Maritime Museum spectacularly manages to convey in its award-winning displays.

 

Footdee  Source: TripAdvisor
Footdee
Source: TripAdvisor

History in the Walls

History could not be any more present in the city than in Old Aberdeen where you are able to find a 15th century college and a medieval bridge and cathedral. Aberdeen was once its own independent town between 1489 and 1891, however to this day its historical beauty still remains and you can feel the rich heritage emanating through the walls. Popular sites on the two-hour journey to the past include the King’s College (which is now a part of the University of Aberdeen) as well as St. Machar’s Cathderal and the Brig o’ Balgownie. Traverse the cobbled streets and breathe in the smell of the past, it is truly a unique and beautiful trail to follow which shows how there is more to Aberdeen’s history than just the sea.

St. Machar's Cathedral Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2636881
St. Machar’s Cathedral
Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2636881

The Water of Life

It goes without saying that a visit to Aberdeenshire is not complete without a visit to a distillery. Scotland is home to the only whisky trail in the world, in Speyside, where you will be able to find more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries each possessing their own unique recipes and history. From Glenfiddich to Glenlivet to Cardhu, these are the famous whiskies we all know, and can be found on this illustrious trail.

However, you do not have to look as far as Speyside to find a fully-functioning distillery; reminding you how Aberdeen is in a prime location to engage in all aspects of Scottish culture. There are eight distilleries only an hour from Aberdeen which may be smaller in scale, but still have their own exciting story to tell and unique whisky recipe to taste. Fettercairn, Knockdhu and Glen Garioch are some of the names featured and of the eight overall distilleries; at least half of them do have visitor centres making for a perfect day-trip from Aberdeen.

City Life

Aberdeen may have 8,000 years of stories to tell, but that does not stop it from being a bustling modern 21st century city. There is always a whole host of the biggest names gracing the stages of the AECC, the Music Hall, the Lemon Tree and His Majesty’s Theatre. However, if it is Hollywood calling you, then there are three major cinemas to keep you up-to-date as well as the artsy Belmont Cinema which shows a more international & indie selection of films. With all the latest brands in the shopping and food plaza hotspots of Union Square, Bon Accord Centre, Trinity Centre, St. Nicholas Centre and The Academy, your wallet will not be short of exercise and that is before you even consider the retail parks. However, if it is the mind you want to exercise, then the likes of the Tolbooth Museum & the Aberdeen Art Gallery should be enough to engage the brain. Other cultural activities include the plentiful supply of festivals that take place, including the Aberdeen Festival Collective which features prime events such as the Aberdeen Jazz Festival, Techfest & Aberdeen International Youth Festival among other.

His Majesty's Theatre Source: www.rosemountaberdeen.co.uk
His Majesty’s Theatre
Source: http://www.rosemountaberdeen.co.uk

If you have managed to reach the end of this rather extensive city guide to Aberdeen, then I hope that you are in no doubt that it is a lie to say Aberdeen is for business tourists only. Aberdeen opens its arms to everyone, as does The Spires, and so whether you do come for business or leisure, we look forward to giving you a warm Aberdonian welcome.

Sources:

http://www.visitscotland.com/

http://www.visitaberdeen.com/

http://aberdeen.stv.tv/articles/317594-dolphinwatch-was-launched-at-aberdeens-torry-battery-on-friday-april-17/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/the-granite-city-thats-made-of-stronger-stuff-10264270.html