spires

Blog Number 10

Crazy times and I just can’t believe that I haven’t written a blogg for a whole 20 days.

Time has flown and we still haven’t managed to open up our latest apartment – Chester’s.

A whole stream of niggling problems and hiccups have been associated with finishing the final dressing of the property.

Everything was in place………………handyman/painter to remove all shelving and curtain poles, fill all the holes and then paint just 2 rooms.

We made it even easier in that both rooms were the same colour, all woodwork was the same colour as the walls, and the ceilings were the same colour as the walls!!!

I do not ‘do’ white ceilings.

But then, neither do I do white paintwork!

Therefore, no cutting in to do – just a quick paint job.

Well, he didn’t turn up on the first day (how many workmen do that? – they suddenly find another job they just have to do that can’t wait?!).

Three days later, when we arrive he has only removed all the fittings and filled the holes and painted the skirting boards!!

THREE DAYS!!

He informed us that he would be back on Friday and get it finished………….no, you’ve guessed it, he didn’t get it finished.

But, he said, he would be back in the morning and it would only take a couple of hours.

I had argued with the carpet fitters and had managed to get them to fit the floorings on Saturday, the furniture was being delivered on Sunday and the bed was being delivered on Monday.

How was the painter going to get the work finished?

He would be there first thing Monday morning, he said, and finish the windows and fit the blinds.

We turned up at a ‘late’ lunchtime to find him just washing his brushes…………and……….you’ve guessed it…………..no blinds fitted!!

So, it took him four and a half days just to paint 2 rooms and one of them is a kitchen/living room so quite a bit of the wall space is taken up with kitchen units.

Needless to say, we are looking for a new handyman as we speak!

I still haven’t mentioned that one of us measured the floor wrong (not pointing any fingers here) and the floor fitter walked off the job when he saw that he was going to run out of flooring.

We are at the point where – the bedroom is just waiting for the bed to be made up and the blinds to be fitted.

The bathroom is finished.

The living room/kitchen is waiting for the flooring to be delivered and laid and the blinds to be fitted.

Finally, a COVID enhanced clean, and then maybe we can say – WE’VE DONE IT – completed our next Serviced Apartment and it is listed online and ready to take bookings.

Fingers crossed that will be next weekend.

Blog Number 9

A very hot and yet another very busy week.

Our campaign on LinkedIn is proving very successful and we now have lots of investors and landlords checking us out and talking to us.

There will be lots of deals coming through for the future as we develop these relationships.

We are still viewing properties and saw one yesterday in an absolutely beautiful house.

Unfortunately , the apartment itself needed lots of work doing on it.

We were happy to undertake the decoration and minor details, but as the bath had no enamel left on the surface, we did expect the landlord to address this as well as the damp in the kitchen!

However, he is not prepared to do that, so the deal was never going to go any further!

It’s a case of rundown apartments get inferior quality tenants who don’t maintain the property, so it goes even further downhill.

Such a shame, as we had big plans for such a beautiful building and would have been happy to take over the whole block eventually.

From the gorgeous Minton hall flooring, to the covings on the high ceilings, we could have made it into something special.

Oh well, onward and upwards and on to the next.

At the moment though, we have 3 opening up later this month, so it’s all hands on deck to get the furnishings finished and order all the necessary pots, pans and everything a guest is going to need for their stay.

Our own house resembles an Amazon warehouse with boxes stacked up to the ceiling and furniture squeezed into spare corners.

Our garden room with hot tub is completely out of commission as its impossible to get passed cases of pillows and duvets along with the odd microwave!!

It’s way too hot for a hot tub anyway, so no problem with this.

Bookings are still coming in thick and fast as everyone needs to get a break away or a trip to visit family they haven’t seem for months.

This is a message I had from a guest who visited us from Germany last week:

Spires Accommodation Text Blog 9

And that lets us know that we are getting it right and that is very rewarding.

Blog Number 8

Well, this is certainly a wet and windy Monday for us all!

Never mind, there are plenty of jobs to do with the relaxing of lockdown.  Everyone seems to be visiting family they haven’t seen for some time and the bookings are pinging across every few minutes.

If you feel you need to get away, but the thought of a hotel terrifies you (as it does me) and, going abroad is just not an option, just in case your destination is added to the list of 2 weeks quarantine upon return, they where would you like to go in the UK?

Some would say to the sea- side, or the riverbank, and some of you, no doubt, are really missing relatives and just want a family get together as soon as you can.  Take a look at our apartments.

We have 5 in Burton on Trent, where we find lots of folks stay when they are visiting their loved ones.  They are both one and two bedroomed apartments………., but book quickly, as we are constantly filling up. 

We also attract walkers, who visit the Derbyshire countryside within a short distance of our apartments, walk along the river, or visit Hatton Park and the Brewery Museum.

What about a Staycation in the beautiful town of Shrewsbury?  Our apartment, Monty’s is yards from the River Severn and also yards away from the town centre.  As more pubs and restaurants are now opening their doors you are sure to find somewhere beautiful and interesting to eat or drink.  Across from our apartment and through a passageway is a beautiful garden right on the side of the river – a lovely place to take your picnic and stay safe distancing.  Then stroll along the riverbank and watch the sun setting in the distance.  Just a few nights away can make all the difference to your stress levels and help you feel more relaxed.

Blog Number 7

Another week and time for another update for you.

Our Serviced Apartments here at Spires Accommodation have been fully booked all week and we have been viewing more apartments to add to our books.   We now have 3 more apartments ‘in talks’ with a view to turning them into more of our unique serviced apartments.

This is such an exciting time in our industry, as social distancing and safety standards have meant a huge switch from hotel accommodation to serviced accommodation.  Our guests feel safe in their own place, but they are not confined to just one hotel room – they have the whole apartment to stretch out and spread their belongings.

We have instructed our cleaning staff on the new measures required for cleaning and disinfecting, so our guests can feel safe and happy in our apartments.

Shrewsbury has 1 very established apartment – Monty’s and we are soon to open our second one – Chester’s.  But, today, we have started talks about a 3rd one in the town centre.  Exciting stuff and busy, busy, busy!

Burton on Trent has 5 established apartments and we have just made some enquiries regarding our 6th!  Burton on Trent has always been a very busy town for us, as we have a large database of corporate clients who stay on a regular basis.

Our latest venue is Stafford.  We have agreed on an apartment and are waiting for the refurbishment to be completed, so that we can get in and start our magic.  The designs are still in the planning stage, but they are starting to come together.  This particular apartment is going to be part of a group within the same block.  This is great for us, as it means that we can put large families close together or move around our corporate guests to suitable apartments.

Finally, around Autumn time we have a gorgeous property on the outskirts of Birmingham that we will be adding to our books.  Can’t wait!

Blog Number 6

These are my latest musings on a miserable and damp day in July.

Very much looking forward to some better and warmer weather, but to be fair, I really wouldn’t have time to enjoy the sunshine at this week.

We thought we were busy last week…………….and the week before…………….and the week before that.  BUT, unlike the weather, things are hotting up even more and our feet just haven’t got time to touch the ground!

Apartments number 8 and 9 are now in the pipeline and they are in 2 different parts of the country.  We are so excited, but we realise that we need to get this business systemised and leveraged very quickly.

This week besides viewing 7 properties, we have had to replace 2 cleaners – again in different areas.  Unfortunately, both cleaners had family health problems and had no choice but to put their families first.  This is understandable and we wouldn’t want them to do anything else.  Both have been replaced by professional cleaning companies.  This is the way I should have gone right at the beginning of the business, and I see it clearly now.  I wouldn’t have been any having to cover holidays and sickness, and as I hate cleaning, this would have been a huge relief.  Anyway, we are all sorted now so its onward and upward to start planning the decoration and themes for these 2 new properties and get them listed and marketed as quickly as possible.

Now this is the part I just love so I have colour swatches and pictures of furniture and accessories are being ordered and arriving every day.  Our cottage is, once again, getting swamped in apartment essentials.

There is another job to get completed – sorting out a storage unit so that all the stuff I collect towards a new apartment goes straight there and doesn’t come into my office.

I am a great believer of lists (having attended a Franklin Covey Time Management Course 4 times!  Yes, I liked the new diary each time.  Obviously those were different times, when we actually wrote things down in paper diaries, but Franklin Covey had some awesome ones.  But now off to write another list……..

EXPANSION IS ON THE HORIZON

Welcome to our latest Blog, where we are excited to tell you, that we have just agreed on our latest property!  This is apartment number 7 and is our second in Shrewsbury.

We are so excited that we are now able to expand our Shrewsbury portfolio and attract Corporate and Leisure guests alike, now that Lockdown has been eased.  This apartment will be designed with our usual love and care and the plans for the furnishings and theme are already on the drawing board, here at HQ.  I have decided, that this is to have a range of blending blues and greens across all of the rooms and that we will keep to a fairly modern, yet industrial theme with some of our extras.

Most of the furniture has been purchased and the remainder is ready to order, as soon as we have the keys and can get the snagging done.  We are laying new flooring throughout, changing curtains for much more hygienic wooden blinds and changing the shower curtain for a very cleanable shower screen.

I think, for most people in the near future, Hotel rooms are going to be an absolute no-no, but luxury serviced accommodation, with its own private entrance and own space, are the way to go.  Staying in Shrewsbury is a great base, even with entertainment being cancelled this year.  There is still Shrewsbury Town Centre with its quaint shops and ancient buildings to browse around.  Our apartment is just metres from the town and then you have the Abbey where Cadfael was filmed and the prison where all sorts of filming has been carried out over the years.

We will certainly not forget evening strolls along the River Severn, and how Shrewsbury is a great base for easy access to Wales.  I’m sure Wales will open up to visitors over the coming weeks – and haven’t we missed those glorious breath-taking mountain views and trips to the beach.

Why not be one of the first guests to visit us, once we have opened our new apartment – this one is going to be called Chester’s.

Keep checking out our website – it will be listed the moment it is ready to receive visitors.  Or contact us now and get your name on our list to receive details once they are available.

2020 HAS BEEN A VERY STRANGE YEAR

Well……what a year this has been!  At Spires Accommodation we have been working flat out to keep Corporate Key Workers and the NHS in accommodation so that they can carry on working and keeping the country going.  We have accommodated our guests at a reduced cost to help a little in  this terrible time.

Our Burton on Trent apartments have been fully booked with workers from the food industry.  Afterall that is very key to the country having good health and staying alive.  Things have been extremely busy amongst the food producers as Joe Public went into panic mode and stock-piled everything from toilet rolls to tins of food.  It was really like they were expecting a war!

Our apartments kept running as we begged and pleaded for toilet rolls for our guests and ran around looking for milk for their tea. 

Our self-catering apartments are always stocked up with all the little extras that are needed when you are away from home and we even try to think of the unexpected.  For those who forget their toothbrushes or toothpaste, for the tired traveller who just wants to get in, relax and open a cool bottle of bubbly, or for the light sleeper who wants peace and quiet and a comfortable bed.

In our Shrewsbury apartment we have had mainly NHS nurses who were drafted in from other areas.  They were working long shifts and needed to collapse in front of the tv with Netflix or Amazon Prime and, of course, our free wifi.

4th July – Independence Day and we are back *************!!

Still helping those essential key workers, but also now able to offer a great few days Staycation to those folks for whom Lockdown has been an absolute torture. 

Our beautiful Shrewsbury Apartment, Monty’s, is ready and waiting, having been especially deep cleaned with all the necessary precautions taken to keep our guests safe.  The place is sparkling and gorgeous.  It’s a very relaxing space.  Just stroll out of the front door and down to the beautiful gardens, then through the garden gate and on to the river- bank.  What better way to spend an evening than a stroll along the River Severn?  And, you may be lucky enough to find an inviting pub open for a drink or two.  Shrewsbury may be closed in many parts, but there are still plenty of things to see.  Especially if you are interested in all things historical.

Spires Accommodation  A Place to Work, Rest and Stay.

CRAZY, LAZY WEEKEND ON THE RIVER SEVERN

When all the madness is over and life, as we know it, is different, we all need to get out and shake the cobwebs away.  You may feel, like us, that you need to be looking at a different living room wall, a different kitchen or a different view out of the window?  Much as you love your own home – a change is as good as a rest, they say.

Our beautiful apartment on the edge of the River Severn is a great place for you to stay.  Maybe the Food Festival and the Steam Rally are postponed until next year, but Shrewsbury is still a beautiful place to stay.  A safe self-contained service accommodation is going to be everyone’s choice for the foreseeable future, so why not visit Monty’s.   A luxury pad on the edge of the River Severn and Shrewsbury town centre – accommodation for the whole family.  Monty’s is a quiet place to stay with free wifi,  Netflix and Amazon and a full kitchen with all amenities means that you can choose to order takeaway meals or to cook your own.

There is a pretty garden with a gate onto the banks of the River Severn.  Take a stroll along the river or take a walk into the town of Shrewsbury.  There are plenty of places to discover in Shrewsbury as the lockdown eases and more travel is allowed.  Shrewsbury has a wealth of pubs and most of them have pretty outside spaces, so as our lives gradually change, and we get a little more freedom you will be able to call in for a couple of drinks?

Monty’s has a double bedroom with its own ensuite bathroom, a family bathroom, a twin-bedded room and also a sofa-bed in the lounge – so it can sleep up to 6 people.  It is light and airy and uniquely furnished and comfortable and your chance to safely roam but still stay safe, and close to home.

Monty’s the Place to Stay in Shrewsbury.

AND THE WORLD KEEPS ON TURNING…….

Here we are, I’ve lost track of how many weeks into Covid-19 and the Crisis, and yet the World is still turning, and we are still getting up every morning.  It all seems so surreal, and yet it is the new norm.  How sad that we have lost so many lovely people of all ages, but we must get on and get the economy back to as close to normal as we possibly can, for our economy and for our future generations.

Spires Accommodation apartments have provided accommodation for the NHS and for the Food Industry workers and we have been full to bursting throughout this time.  Our cleaners have had to learn new regulations, although to be honest, serviced apartments are cleaned to a high standard continually.  It was just that, at this time, they needed to think closely about protecting themselves from possible dangers.

At Spires, we see the new norm (obviously this is going to be THE CATCH PHRASE for 2020) as a very busy time for us.  We know that many of us will not be able to travel overseas for some time, and we have heard tell, that anyone over 60 will not be travelling for longer still!

But after such a long isolation that is not over yet, we feel that many people will want, and need to get out and about.  Firstly, it maybe that they stay local and to be too far away from the familiarity of home is too scary.  But a couple of nights in a luxury apartment with a chilled bottle of prosecco in the fridge and the ability to stay away from other people, yet be in a different surrounding, may be just the thing.

In one of our serviced apartments, you have the convenience of being self-contained but within easy reach of shops and take away facilities as they open up.  But if you don’t want to face the queues in the shops you can cook your own meals in our full kitchens with all the utensils that you would need. 

All of our apartments are within close proximity to rivers for a lovely evening stroll.

And, as you are feeling more and more adventurous, we are opening up more luxury serviced apartments further afield that you will be able to see on our website once they are available.  This will be your chance to start roaming, once again, but still stay close to home.

LOCKDOWN AND THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IN A COVID-19 PANDEMIC

5 TIPS FOR SERVICED ACCOMMODATION IN A CRISIS:

1.  Give your apartment a few days between guests to help any nasties airborne to have died off

2. Meticulously clean every inch of the apartment including TV controls, light switches, door handles, key- safe, anywhere someone may touch….in fact every single surface.

3. Leave cleaning products for your guests to use if necessary. Antibacterial wipes, bleach and disposable cloths are a necessity.

4. Be available, as we are at Spires Accommodation, for any emergency and to help any guests.

5. Only accommodate key workers, relocation and emergency accommodation and stay within the law.

Spires Accommodation are happy to say that we have been able to accommodate Corporate Key Works in our Burton on Trent apartments and NHS Key Workers in our Shrewsbury apartment and stay within the government legislations and guidelines whilst helping these people to keep our country running smoothly.

All of our standards must remain on high alert as this virus is not going to go away and, to keep the wheels turning in industry and to give leisure guests a great place to stay for the future.  Once they can start to travel, we want all types of guests to feel confident to come back into our apartments.

Everyone wants to feel safe and they have to right to stay, in, not only a beautiful apartment, but also in a clean and safe apartment.  COVID-19 has made us all think of the very simple things that keep us safe.  Like washing our hands for 20 seconds and regularly, being able to see our family and (maybe soon) being able to give them a hug.

As soon as the time is right, we will be welcoming our leisure guests to stay with us and take a much- needed break with their families.  No worries about staying in a hotel room in close proximity of other guests.  This way they can stay in our serviced apartments, cook their own food if they want to, and stay socially distanced from other people but within their own family group for some bonding time.

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