spires

Blog Number 14

Another update for you on how our business is building at Spires Accommodation Limited and what we have been up to today.

We have been over to Swadlincote to see a new property – this time a house but still to be used for Serviced Accommodation.

It’s a lovely spacious 2 bedroomed property and ideal for our guests to relax or stay in after a tiring day working away from home.

We are struggling with a name though!

All of our properties are named as it gives them a much bigger appeal on the bookings channels and also we feel it easier to talk about The Malthouse than just number 29.

So in Burton on Trent we have The Malthouse 25 and the Malthouse 29, The Mews, Cooper’s and Brewsters.

In Lichfield we have the Nook for our lovely cottage.

In Shrewsbury we have Monty’s and Chester’s for our two apartments and in Cannock we have Lincoln’s, Gatsby’s and Victoria’s.

Now on to Swadlincote, the home of coal mining and the pottery industry (Cornishware).

I’ve run through The Kiln, The Pot but nothing gels with me, as yet.

Best to get this serviced accommodation in Swadlincote furnished and designed and then, hopefully, something will come to me.

I’ve even Googled, Swadlincote, famous people from Swadlincote, things to do with a pottery but nothing yet!

Victoria’s in Cannock is almost ready to market with just a few tweaks like curtains and some more pictures.  We will be launching it on the main online travel agents this weekend.

Let’s see how it goes.

We are usually rushed off our feet from the first go get.

As a business, we are often in dispute about just what people are looking for in a serviced accommodation and just how far we should go with decoration and furnishing.

I like to design each one individually and set a theme for them, fill them with luxury items and provide all the little extras I feel my guests would need.

I add bottled water, milk, prosecco, coffee, tea, specialist coffee maker, biscuits and all of their shower gels, and shampoos in the bathroom.

I also leave spare toothpastes and toothbrushes just in case they forget to pack their own.

All of our linens and towels are professionally washed at very high temperatures and they are white so that our guests can see just how clean they are.

If we have a small outdoor space or a balcony we add a couple of outdoor chairs and a table so they can take their morning coffee in the fresh air………am I going too far?

Some would say I am, as many of our guests are corporate guests who may not care, as long as they are warm and can cook their meals.

But for me it is the extra cushions and throws, the plump pillows and the mattress toppers that make our serviced accommodations, a service.

Blog Number 13

Another beautiful, sunny day and it’s time for Blogg number 13…………unlucky for some??????

Not for me – we have lots of 13’s in our lives and it’s just fine.

Serviced accommodation number 13 is also in the pipeline, so it’s got to be lucky!

Once we get the 3 latest properties up and running, we will be able to offer serviced accommodation and holiday lets in Burton on Trent, Swadlincote, Cannock, Lichfield and Shrewsbury.

We aim to cover most of Staffordshire and Shropshire with our serviced accommodation properties and holiday lets and give our guests lots of choice, should they be working away from home, visiting relatives, or just needing a weekend break away.

I always feel that interesting and relevant names are a great way to promote our properties and do lots of Google searches to try to find names and nouns that will work with the property depending on where it is and what type of building it is in.

So far, we have, 29 The Malthouse (in an old, converted Malthouse in Burton on Trent) along with 25 The Malthouse in the same building.

Still in Burton on Trent, but in a beautiful converted Georgian Grade II Listed house we have The Mews (as it’s an end cottage attached to the house), Coopers and Brewsters which, obviously relate to the brewing industry in the town.

In Shrewsbury we have Monty’s (in Montgomery House) and Chester’s in Chester Street, and in Lichfield we have The Nook (which is a small cosy cottage in the town).

Two of our properties in Cannock are in the Grade II Listed Whitehouse in High Green.  We decided to relate to THE WHITEHOUSE in the US for one of these and called it Lincolns and for the other one we took on board the beautiful original mouldings inside and went for Gatsby for the glamour and the fact that travel in the 1920’s would have been an exciting leisure activity – where better to stay, than serviced apartment in a beautiful house?

Lots of Google research is going on to name the next 3 apartments – all for serviced accommodation or holiday lets.

One in Rugeley, close to Cannock Chase, and close to Lichfield and Cannock towns as well.

One in Swadlincote, again access to countryside and Derbyshire, but also to Burton on Trent and Ashby de la Zouch.

With number 13 being another in Cannock but this time in a Victorian Market Hall.

Plenty of work here – decorating and furnishing and also finding a theme and an appropriate name for each – holiday let……..or serviced accommodation?

Blog Number 11

This latest blog has been a long time coming – we have been so busy building our serviced accommodation business in Burton on Trent, Lichfield and Shrewsbury – and now Cannock.

So much enjoyable and rewarding work designing, planning and furnishing these serviced apartments.

Then marketing and chatting to numerous guests who were immediately queueing up to book our availability.

Serviced accommodation provides such a scope of opportunity.

Our Burton on Trent serviced apartments have been fully booked throughout the Covid pandemic.

This being a very busy part of the food industry for this country, we have kept our standards extremely high to be able to remain as the ‘go to’ accommodation for its key workers.

We have been awarded Super Host by Airbnb twice so far this year.

With the closure of hotels demand has flooded in and our cleaners have been doing a Stirling job of Covid standard cleans.

We have not had any cases of Covid within our company or within our group of guests who regularly visit us.

Serviced accommodation in Lichfield has become the hub of the care industry around the City.

These precious key workers have worked throughout and, with the long hours they work, have desperately needed the comfort and homeliness of our cottage in Lichfield.

Cannock serviced accommodation is a relatively new area for us, but with the help of one of the largest landlords in that part of the region, we have rented and set up 2 gorgeous new apartments in the beautiful Grade II listed Whitehouse.

Since we first opened, care workers, again have been our key guests, along with the few couples who have legitimate need to visit the area for family reasons.

Shrewsbury has slowly plodded through the pandemic with a few NHS care workers needing serviced accommodation during lockdown, along with key workers who keep the transport links of the country going.

Now this area of serviced accommodation is helping overseas parents re-establish their children back into the very famous Shrewsbury School.

We are so glad that we have been able to find our place in these different market needs during this terrible time and that our standards for all of our serviced accommodation have remained high.

Here’s to serviced accommodation and the Staycation boom – Burton on Trent, Lichfield, Cannock and Shrewsbury.

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 serviced accommodation in Shrewsbury 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!

We now have 5 established serviced accommodation in Burton on Trent 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 a serviced accommodation in Lichfield 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 serviced accommodation 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.

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