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The Future of Travel After the Coronavirus

 It’s hard to imagine a world of packed planes, busy beaches, and city streets full of tourists. Yet that was the reality a matter of weeks ago, and it will be the reality again in the not-too-distant future. But after a period of months that has brought the travel and tourism industry to its knees, what are we likely to see in the future of travel after the coronavirus pandemic clears?

 

future of travel after coronavirus

Will Flying Become More Popular After COVID-19? 

The wishful thinking in the industry is that the end of the worldwide lockdown and social distancing measures will coincide with a sharp spike in demand for travelling, and so airlines can get competitive once again and gain back a decent proportion of the money they’ve lost in the intermediary months.

But this doesn’t actually look likely to be the case – at least not immediately. Leaders across the world have made unmistakably clear that the return to normal life is going to be incremental and gradual, not nearly as sudden as the start of the lockdown. Even as travel bans are lifted, crowded planes with economy-style seating arrangements will certainly not be permitted until social distancing measures are relaxed.

 

empty plane seats, future of travel after coronavirus

 

In addition, the idea that there’ll be a huge international travel boom as soon as it’s viable is questionable. A lot of people will still be anxious about crossing the globe in light of the volatility of the last few months, particularly as many UK nationals are still stranded abroad having been given the green light to fly out. A lot has also been made of comparisons to the 1918 Spanish flu which saw an enormous second wave in cases after the first outbreak died down and many returned to normal life.

 

Will the Prices of Plane Tickets Rise or Fall?

With both of the above likelihoods in mind, it’s fair to suggest that travel costs will actually become cheaper after coronavirus. On top of that, benefits such as no-charge cancellations or booking changes will surely become the norm in order to give customers peace of mind.

tourism and international travel after coronavirus

What About Life on the Ground?

Fortunately, by their very nature, hotels, aparthotels and other accommodation sites are quite segmented compared to planes and tourism hotspots, so they should be one of the first things to become fully operational in the world of travel after coronavirus. Having said that, all of these companies will no doubt have to ramp up their cleaning practices in order to convince their customer bases that they’re on top of their health and safety.

But what will coronavirus mean for some of the largest tourist attractions across the globe? Where enforced social distancing meets the holidaying high-season, trouble is bound to occur. Mass gatherings and public events have been suspended around the world up to as far as September, and it’s hard to imagine, for example, the Vatican City opening its doors to the public any time soon.

 

We hope that wherever you are in the world you’re staying safe in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Supercity’s doors are still open in London, Manchester and Brighton for anyone who needs a safe, secure short-term place to stay. Have a read of our latest safety measures and contingency plans here.

The Best UK Business Initiatives During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has turned the normal order of our lives upside down, but it has also frequently brought out the very best in people, and reminded us all that “there is such thing as a society”. The business sphere is no different; hundreds of millions of pounds have been donated to in an extraordinary national effort to combat COVID-19. Although there are all too many to choose from, here are our favourite UK initiatives during the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

uk initiatives during coronavirus

BrewDog’s Innovative Hand Sanitiser Production

Based all the way up in Aberdeenshire, fast-growing beer producers BrewDog caught the attention of the nation when they halted their normal production in order to devote their breweries to creating free hand-sanitiser for the NHS and its associated charities.

They’re being very resourceful with their packaging, too, filling up empty beer bottles and cans to minimise plastic waste. With 50,000 already delivered and more on the way, BrewDog are proving to be a leading light in the community fight against COVID-19.

uk initiatives during coronavirus

 

Stevenage Football Club’s Community Careline 

It’s easy to forget, but football clubs are businesses too, and at the lower levels they’re being hit the hardest in the absence of match ticket sales. But that hasn’t stopped an enormous spread of clubs performing around-the-clock charitable duties to those who need it the most.

 

We could have picked from close to one hundred different clubs across the nation, but we’ll take Stevenage Football Club as our example, for their superb gesture to help protect the most vulnerable in their community. Their club staff are offering food, deliveries, and emotional support via a specially created phone line.

 

Code4COVID – UK Tech Fighting Coronavirus

The world of tech might seem quite isolated from and unaffected by COVID-19, but a coalition of UK businesses have come together to keep the country running smoothly as possible as millions of employees come to terms with working from home. They are also hoping to support health workers and front-line carers with innovative new technology in the coming weeks as the battle against the outbreak intensifies.

 

foodbanks uk initiatives during coronavirus

Morrisons – Enormous Food Bank Donations 

It’s been a tough time for food banks recently, as individual panic-buying has led to a 40% decrease in donations. At the same time, supermarkets have seen record sales in the month of March. Morrisons has tried to bridge this gap, donating £10 million worth of goods to food banks across the nation in order to support the most vulnerable in these strained times. The chain’s manufacturing sites will run for an extra hour each day to provide enough goods to account for every food bank nearby.

 

We hope that wherever you are in the world you’re staying safe in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Supercity’s doors are still open in London, Manchester and Brighton for anyone who needs a safe, secure short-term place to stay. Have a read of our latest safety measures and contingency plans here.

Five Fun Easy Skills to Learn During the Lockdown

 

At Supercity we abide by a simple principle: life is what you make of it. Even when you’re trapped indoors all day, there is still plenty of fun to be had with as little as a piece of paper to hand. So whether you’re self-isolating or simply stuck inside all day, here are our top five easy skills to learn during the coronavirus lockdown.

 

Learn the Basics of Korean 

You have to trust us when we say this is an awful lot easier to do than it sounds. There are fewer characters in the Korean alphabet, and because they all have distinctive shapes and features it’s easy to remember which one is which. All you need is a pen and paper, exactly five minutes, and this amazingly intuitive YouTube video.

 

skills to learn during a lockdown

 

Learn to Spin Pizza Dough

A classic pizza dough is one of the very best skills to learn during the lockdown. It’s also one of the easiest and cheapest recipes to make, typically involving little more than some flour, yeast, olive oil and water.  A lot of people are put off by the spinning element, which seems exclusively reserved for veteran chefs, but with a solid hour of practice, you should be able to perform a comfortable two-handed twirl that is bound to impress future dinner guests.

 

fun skills to learn during the lockdown for coronavirus

 

Learn Easy Origami  

Why, oh why, did we never do this beyond our early years? Origami is one of the most satisfying crafts that anyone can enjoy during a lockdown, regardless of natural talent. Again, no need to venture out of your house to prepare for this one – as long as you have a piece of A4 paper, even if it’s just an old electricity bill, the world of origami is your oyster. YouTube is excellent for inspiration, and it’s great fun to follow along making dragons, turtles, sharks, and thousands more designs.

 

Learn Every King and Queen of England – In Order 

We get it – learning the names of 41 kings and queens, and the numbers after their names, and then the order in which they came, might sound about as much fun as washing the dishes. But some unknown hero (who must’ve been extremely bored) came up with an incredibly catchy sixteen-line mnemonic which you can sear into your brain in no time. We’ve found this to be extremely useful knowledge for pub quizzes, and it doubles up as a neat party trick as well.  Thank us later.

 

fun skills to learn during a lockdown

 

Learn to Solve a Rubik’s Cube 

The quarantine period is great for ticking off those small-scale feats in life that you’ve never gotten around to before, and there may not be a more fitting example than the Rubik’s cube. You could win the lottery, invent time travel and go to space in your lifetime, but until you’ve completed your first Rubik’s cube you won’t know true satisfaction. And given that the world record for solving one is under five seconds, we simply say: how hard can it be?

 

We hope that wherever you are in the world you’re staying safe in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Supercity’s doors are still open in London, Manchester and Brighton for anyone who needs a safe, secure short-term place to stay. Have a read of our latest safety measures and contingency plans here.

Positive News to Take From the Coronavirus Outbreak

 

It’s no secret that we could all do with extracting some positive news from the coronavirus crisis at the moment. Being cooped up inside isn’t easy for anyone, but if we can learn to pick out the silver linings in the clouds we can all come out of this experience stronger and more appreciative. So, as we approach day seven of the UK lockdown due to COVID-19, here are some positive stories and changes that have arisen from the pandemic.

 

Appreciating Our Freedom to Travel the World

It’s a bit of a cliché at this point, but it still rings resoundingly true: you don’t know what you have until you no longer have it. And for nothing is this more applicable than our ability to travel the world each and every year, exploring incredible landscapes, cities and cultures as we please.

 

When holidaying becomes a yearly fixture in our lives, we can become numb to the extraordinary possibilities of travel that our ancestors could have hardly even dreamt of. Now that it’s been taken away from us for a while, that next trip will be all the more special and memorable.

 

positive news friends coronavirus

Appreciating our Social Circles

In a similar vein, and to use another classic cliché, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and we can truly appreciate the full value our network of friends and loved ones when it’s no longer immediately accessible. The online data shows exactly this: private messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have reported an enormous uptick in traffic during the coronavirus outbreak, as friends and family communicate more and more with one another. Text messaging has spiked by 50%, whilst video calling has more than doubled in recent days.

environment coronavirus

The Environmental Impact of Coronavirus

Stats about the environmental impact of coronavirus are striking. With the lack of worldwide flights and car emissions, air pollution levels have plummeted by almost half compared to usual – something nobody could possibly have envisaged a couple of months ago. It’s no secret that the planet has needed a break from human mass industry and fossil fuel consumption, and even after a matter of weeks we can already see the smog lifting from our skies, marine life filling our rivers and lakes, and birds returning to some of the most built-up cities in the world.

 

community effort coronavirus

Communities Coming Together

In our modern world it’s all too easy to feel disconnected and isolated from each-other, but the past few weeks have been a reminder that it is simply human nature to help one another. We’ve seen thousands of examples of extraordinary acts of decency, from enormous volunteering turnouts to quarantine concerts played out from balconies, but for us nothing beats the Cuban doctors flying into Italy to support the country’s frontline workers.

 

We hope that wherever you are in the world you’re staying safe in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Supercity’s doors are still open in London, Manchester and Brighton for anyone who needs a safe, secure short-term place to stay. Have a read of our latest safety measures and contingency plans here.

 

 

What Role Can Hotels and Aparthotels Play in the Fight Against Coronavirus?

 

Here in the hotel industry, we’re in a complex position with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the most part, hotels operating solely for commercial purposes have been told to shut up shop during the UK lockdown. But we’re keeping our doors open because we believe we can provide important help for many. Here’s why we think that our suites can be of great use to many in the fight against coronavirus.

 

Are Hotels and Aparthotels Open During the UK Lockdown? 

The government lockdown orders that all non-essential businesses and premises must shut. That means that any hotel, aparthotel or hostel provider operating purely for commercial use has had to suspend their operations for the time being. However, along with a few other hotel providers, our doors are staying open because we are offering accommodation to two special groups of people.

The first is those who need an “interim abode” because their primary residence is unavailable. This could be because they need to self-isolate away from their family, or because they are high-risk individuals living with people who leave the house regularly.

The second group is key workers who need a place to stay in the city whilst they support vital services. The most obvious example is healthcare workers, who will be increasing in number in the capital when the government opens the temporary Nightingale Hospital in the ExCel Centre in East London.  But there are numerous other categories of key workers, including those in essential education and childcare roles, public service broadcasters, food providers and those keeping our basic utilities ticking over.

london hotel for self-isolating coronavirus 

 

Is It Safe to Self-Isolate in Hotels? 

Speaking from our own experience, definitely. Across the country and the world, hotel and aparthotel providers have reworked their operational policies to account for the danger posed by the coronavirus. For our part, we’re restricting our staff service, meaning that there is no need for human-to-human contact, and implementing new preventative steps to make us as safe a place as possible to self-isolate in.

 

Learning from Chicago

It’s crucial to remember that we’re not in this battle alone, and we can take a lot of inspiration from smart and worthwhile action happening across the globe. Over in Chicago, the thousands of hotel rooms left unused due to lack of business and leisure travel are to be rented out by the council. They’ll then be given to those in need of secure short-term accommodation as they self-isolate or await test results.

clean hotel accommodation coronavirus london

This is in part what has inspired our decision to offer out our suites as temporary accommodation for those who need a safe place to stay. We have plenty of suites available across London, Brighton and Manchester which shouldn’t go to waste at a time like this. That’s why our doors are still open for those who are unable to stay in their primary residence.

If you need to self-isolate or if you’re a key worker in need of clean, short-term accommodation in London, Brighton or Manchester, we’re here to help. Please get in touch at sleep@supercityuk.com or call +44 (0) 203 818 9070, and we will do everything we can to give you a safe and secure home throughout the UK lockdown.

Our Guide to Cancelling and Refunding Travel Plans Due to Coronavirus

 

We know that these current times can be stressful for a number of reasons. If you need to cancel and refund travel plans, be they for business or leisure, due to the coronavirus outbreak, you might be feeling slightly left in the dark as airline and hotel help desks struggle to field a large volume of calls and queries.

But fear not – we have put together a quick and easy guide explaining all of your travel rights and cancellation options. Whether you have travel insurance or not, or whether you were going to Brighton or the Bahamas, we’ve got you covered: here’s everything you need to know to cancel and refund travel plans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Will I Get My Money Back if I Booked a Hotel Abroad?

You may be able to receive a full refund if the country is in a severe lockdown or if you’re covered by a robust travel insurance plan. But more often than not, it’s hard to receive a refund if the hotel providers are allowed to stay open. You may have more luck on sites like Airbnb, who have a comprehensive extenuating circumstances policy which will give you a full refund for all trips within the next month.

 

car rental refund coronavirus

Can I Refund a Car Rental?

Typically, yes. Sometimes there are still cancellation fees involved but these are infrequent and nowhere near as severe as normal flight cancellation fees.

 

refund flights coronavirus

When Can I Refund Flights Without Travel Insurance?

In the UK, airlines defer to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for guidance on suspending and refunding flights. Sometimes this is a troublesome system, because airlines will typically go ahead with their flights in almost all circumstances. But the phrase you need to look out for is the Foreign Office “advising against all but essential travel” to the country you are booked to fly to. When airlines receive this cue, they suspend and automatically refund their flights.

The good news for those who have booked flights without travel insurance is that currently, due to the global scale of the coronavirus outbreak, the FCO are advising against all but essential travel anywhere, so you’re guaranteed your money back. As of now this applies until 23rd April, but it looks very likely to be extended in the circumstances.

 

Can I switch my flights instead of cancelling them? 

Certainly, and it’s something airlines are massively encouraging. Air France, Emirates, Aer Lingus and EasyJet are allowing their customers to reschedule their flights to any time later in the year at no extra cost, and most other airlines are bound to follow suit.

 

when to book travel later in year coronavirus

Is It Safe to Book Travel for Later in the Year Now?

We’ll have more on this in an upcoming blog, but the short answer is: yes, it can be. Certain airlines, such as Delta, are offering not only a zero change fee but also an outright cancellation benefit in which you will be able to book another flight within one year of the original booking, meaning you can reschedule your travel plans all the way into 2021.

Meanwhile back on the ground, hotels and apartment providers are reworking their cancellations policy to make it as risk-free as possible for customers to book for the summer now. At Supercity we’re offering a flexible bookings policy for all of our aparthotels, so that you can book with peace of mind now and cancel with a full refund up to a week beforehand.

We hope that wherever you are in the world you’re staying safe in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Supercity’s doors are still open in London, Manchester and Brighton for anyone who needs a safe, secure short-term place to stay. Alternatively, if you’re dreaming of a holiday later in the year you can benefit from our new flexible bookings policy – click here for details.

The Kent Coast: A Stunning Stretch of Seaside Near London

 

Follow the River Thames eastward by train or car and you’ll soon end up in one of the most exciting stretches of the UK. The Kent coastline has been gifted with an enormous regeneration effort in recent times and represents a fantastic day trip away during your stay in London.

 

From the beaches of Margate to the natural green splendour of the Isle of Sheppey, here is our comprehensive guide to one of the best stretches of seaside near London.

 

Nature Reserve near London

 

Elmley National Nature Reserve – Stunning Wildlife One Hour from London

The first stop on the coastline trail is the small island of Sheppey, renowned for its superb nature spots. We could create an A to Z of great wildlife you can see in the reserve, but just to give you a taster we spotted some hares, lapwings, avocets, barn owls, and even some marsh harriers. There’s a great cast of creatures all the year round, so it’s well worth a visit whenever you come to stay in London.

 

Whitstable – A Beautiful Bohemian Seaside Town  

Next along is the lesser known yet charming town of Whitstable. Not to be missed by the foodies amongst you, Whitstable is home to numerous classic pub-restaurants, serving fresh local food right by the sea. And for the history lovers out there, the eighteenth-century Whitstable Castle and the Community Museum also make for a great afternoon of culture.

 

Traditional seaside town near London

               

Margate – For a Family-Friendly Day Trip Near London 

Perhaps our favourite stop along the entire trail, Margate is a dream spot for a family outing by the sea. As well as its quaint and colourful seafront, the town contains a bustling amusement park, Dreamland, filled with helter-skelters, rollercoasters, and – of course – candyfloss stalls.

 

If you’re able to prise yourself away from the seafront, we also recommend the Old Kent Market. It’s hard to miss the bright red exterior, and the interior is just as eye-catching, complete with a dainty old-fashioned bar and a modern vegan food stall.

 

Ramsgate near London

 

Ramsgate – A Historic Coastal Town 

One of the more traditional towns along the coast, Ramsgate has been a big leisure hotspot since the completion of its harbour in the mid-nineteenth century. The town has since been regenerated many times over and now boasts an abundance of colourful architecture and unmissable food spots. The last stop on our trail, this is the perfect place to watch the sun set on the horizon and enjoy a well-earned tipple.

 

If you’re looking to properly experience the seaside near London, come and stay at Supercity aparthotels. With our ultra-flexible service and locations right across the beating heart of the capital, you’ll always be in control of your trip. Book for the summer now with full peace of mind thanks to our new cancellation policy.

Why March is the Ultimate Month for a City Break

 

For us, March is perhaps the most misunderstood month of the year. Sandwiched between February with its Valentine’s and Pancake Day and April with all of the glamour of Easter, it’s often seen as the ’empty month’ where little happens.

 

But this is exactly why we think of it as the month of opportunity. The weather is on the turn, transport is a bargain, and the Easter holiday rush has yet to unfold. Here are our top reasons why March may be the best month of all for a city break.

 

city break brighton march

 

Weather Picking Up

Although you may not hit the summer highs in terms of temperature, generally March tends to become a lot more pleasant than its preceding months. In fact, it’s the month with the lowest average rainfall of all – even beating June and July! Add to that the lengthening evenings and increasing sunlight, and you’ll realise that weather-wise March is one of the safest bets all year round for a city break.

 

Great Deals on Travel

Because March isn’t known as a busy time for travelling, you can pick up some of the best deals on trains and flights available all year. We’ve seen return Eurostar trips from Paris to King’s Cross available for as little as £40, and even return flights from Germany for just £35. If you’re UK based, you can find equally great deals: our favourite one to look out for is the £17 return trip from the capital to Brighton.

 

city break eurostar march

 

Beat the Crowds

In terms of busyness, a city break in March hits an ideal balance. Cities tend to be livelier and generally more cheerful than in the preceding months, but at the same time they feel more breathable. There’ll be seats available in the top restaurants, fewer queues for the city’s best attractions, and for those coastal city breaks you’ll get a healthy amount of sun and space.

london city break march

 

Benefit from the Winter Offer 

Even though the weather is taking a turn for the better, March still falls within the boundaries of Supercity’s Winter Offer. This means you can benefit from some of our lowest rates on our properties in London, Brighton and Manchester. But it doesn’t stop there; as soon as you arrive, we’ll bring you an executive hamper filled to the brim with delicious teas, coffees, wines and even some ultra-soft robes to take home with you.

 

For the ultimate March city break in London, Brighton or Manchester, come and stay with Supercity Aparthotels. We offer the luxury and comfort of a personalised apartment matched by our signature ultra-flexible service, giving you the best of both worlds. Book now to take advantage of our limited-time winter offer.

Best Inner-City Greenery in London

 

We love the vibrancy and energy of London life, but sometimes we could all do with a timeout in some calm, green surroundings and fresh natural air. Here’s the good news: there are beautiful green spots dotted around the centre of the city, as quiet and refreshing as any country retreat. So grab your picnic rug and favourite book: here are our five favourite inner-city green areas in London.

 

Phoenix Garden

It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful, peaceful spot buried any deeper into the heart of a city. Phoenix Garden, located in the middle of Covent Garden, seems to be immune to the hustle and bustle of the world just outside of it, and serves as a perfect spot to slow down time and rest your mind. We also love their charitable commitment to protecting not just their own garden but other green spots around the city, keeping them clean, quiet and wildlife friendly.

 

top green areas in london

 

Tavistock Square 

Best known for its Mahatma Gandhi statue, Tavistock Square is a brilliant place to eat lunch and read a book on a sunny day. It’s hard to believe it lies within minutes of two of the city’s busiest stations – Euston and King’s Cross – as it’s surrounded by residential streets. And if you want to grab some food, you can even visit Speedy’s Sandwich café around the corner, one of the most common locations in the BBC hit show Sherlock!

 

best green square London

Regent’s Park

With an idyllic lake, large open fields and beautifully cultivated garden areas, Regent’s Park ticks all the boxes of a perfect inner-city green space. Our favourite sweet spot has to be Queen Mary Gardens, pictured below, which we are reliably told contains over 30,000 rosebushes (although we didn’t count them to verify this!).

 

Kensington Gardens

Perhaps London’s most peculiar and hard-to-believe secret, Kensington Gardens is home to some very striking greenery – that is, green parakeets! Theories of their origin make for hilarious reading – some say they escaped from a film set in the fifties, whilst others insist that it was Jimi Hendrix who first bred a pair. We don’t really know for sure, but they love life in the city and if you bring some tasty gifts along, they will happily sit on your hand and say hello!

 

best gardens in london

 

Kyoto Garden

Just a 20-minute walk from Templeton Place, Kyoto Garden is our top pick of all the green areas in London – a small gem nestled in the middle of Holland Park. The garden’s greenery, which includes some striking magnolia and Japanese maple trees, overlooks a waterfall flowing into a pond. If you strike lucky, you can even see some roaming peacocks – and they love showing off their colours!

 

For the ideal city break in London, come and stay with Supercity Aparthotels. Our luxury eco-friendly suites are nestled in four prime locations across the capital. Check out our special Easter rates now.

Five Small Changes to Make Your Travelling More Eco-friendly

 

In our aparthotels we’re always looking to implement those small, day-to-day changes that can make all the difference over time – whether it’s offering reusable laundry bags or conducting nightly ‘energy walks’ to make sure nothing is being unnecessarily wasted. We’ve seen great results born out of the most minuscule of changes, so we want to share our best easy eco-friendly travelling tips with you.

1. Reuse water bottles

Bringing an empty reusable bottle in your luggage. Even when you’re out and about, places like Pret a Manger are very happy to refill your bottle for you (and they even give discounts on hot drinks if you bring your own vessel!).

eco-friendly city travel tips

But if you’re unable to bring a reusable bottle with you, fear not. In our suites we provide bottles from Thirsty Planet, who don’t mess around – not only are their products entirely recyclable from cap to label, but they have also donated over £2 million to Pump Aid, who provide clean water for areas of sub-Saharan Africa suffering the most from climate change.

2. Take public transport!

One of the best common-sense approaches to green travelling is to use public transport as much as possible. We’ve taken a look at the best before, but generally underground trains and trams are both very healthy ways of getting around cities. London and Brighton are also increasingly cyclist-friendly and offer lots of great rental schemes at low costs.

eco-friendly transport LONDON

3. Eat Local

When eating out, finding great locally sourced food is a win for everyone; it’s more cost-effective, it has a lower carbon footprint, and it usually tastes much fresher. Although there are plenty of great options across the board, we’ve been particularly impressed by Franco Manca and Wahaca – two delicious chains that are really making their mark in the capital, committed to great organic and local produce.

locally sourced food london

4. Waste Not, Want Not!

Sometimes when staying away from home it’s easy to fall into wasteful habits, such as taking ultra-long showers and using up more disposable goods than is necessary. Making small changes to be more resourceful with energy and goods doesn’t have to be a sacrifice – it can be as simple as checking all utilities are off before leaving the suite for the day.

 

5. Take Home Unfinished Products

We come across a lot of barely used toiletries and complimentary products left behind by our guests. In fact, in one survey over 60% of travellers said that they don’t take home complimentary hotel products. We simply say: go ahead! They’re super easy to fit into bags and fine to take in plane luggage.

 

If you’re looking to travel green in London, Manchester or Brighton, Supercity’s aparthotels are the ideal places to stay. We’re constantly evolving our luxury suites to make them as eco-friendly as possible without sacrificing an inch of quality. Check out our unbeatable locations now.

Our Five Favourite Green Areas Near Manchester

 

We’ve always believed that an injection of greenery can turn a great city break into an unforgettable one. In fact, it’s one of the reasons we came to love Manchester so much; the vibrant inner-city life is matched by the unmistakeable peace and quiet of the city’s surrounding rural spaces. Fresh from some soothing winter walks and country pub lunches, we’ve compiled our top five green areas within an hour of Manchester.

 

woodland forest near Manchester

1. Macclesfield Forest – For a stunning woodland walk near Manchester

No, that’s not the woodlands of Alaska. Nor are they the autumnal colours of rural Romania. It is, in fact, Macclesfield Forest – a hugely underrated gem in the heart of Cheshire and one of our favourite green areas near Manchester. All you need to do is take a 20-minute Crosscountry or Northern train down from Manchester to Macclesfield, and then it’s just a short bus or taxi until you’re surrounded by natural beauty for as far as the eye can see.

 

2. Peak District National Park – Greenery for miles around

The location of many well-known film and TV classics, the Peak District is supposedly the second most visited national park in the world. It’s also one of those rare delights where the journey there can be just as pleasant as the destination; the bus from Whaley Bridge train station to the park itself passes some beautiful stretches of water and greenery.

peak district countryside walk near Manchester

3. Peel Tower – The ultimate pub walk near Manchester

A visit to Peel Tower near Bury ticks all the boxes of the perfect countryside pub walk. You can pass through some beautiful empty woodland, walk alongside a river, stop off at any number of hearty local pubs on the way, before taking in some of the finest views the north of England has to offer.

country pub walk near Manchester

4. Lyme Park – Best wildlife near Manchester

Lyme Park is best known for its stunning historic country house at its front, but for us the true magic of this area is hidden in its lesser explored corners. If you veer off the beaten track you can come across herds of deer, birds of prey and a range of other small woodland mammals. On a sunny afternoon we recommend stopping off at the Timber Yard Café for a quick iced tea along the way.

lyme park wildlife near Manchester

5. Fletcher Moss – The quickest green excursion in Manchester

Located just a 20-minute journey away from Manchester Piccadilly, Fletcher Moss is probably best described as the Kew Gardens of the north. The most beautiful aspect of this vibrant park is its heritage – a century ago it was owned by a high-ranking councillor, but in the true spirit of Manchester he believed it belonged to every citizen and so he donated it to the public. It’s all too clear to see how much pride is stored within the gardens – the plants and flowers are maintained immaculately all the year round.

 

If you’re looking to travel green in Manchester in 2020, Supercity’s Church Street Aparthotel is the perfect place to stay. We’re constantly evolving our luxury suites to make them as eco-friendly as possible without sacrificing an inch of quality. Book now to benefit from our limited-time seasonal offers.

The Best Wildlife Spots Just Outside of London

 

As the sun returns to our lives again, there are few easier and more rewarding treats than a quick getaway to the nearby countryside. The UK’s flora and fauna may not be the first thing you find in tourism guides, but the greenery around London is home to a diverse range of wildlife – if you know where to look. From weird and wonderful wetland habitats to stunning woodland stretches, here are our favourite wildlife spots within just one hour of central London.

 

Rye Meads Nature Reserve

JOURNEY: 50 minutes (Kings Cross St Pancras to Rye House station)

A hotspot for kingfishers in the coming months, Rye Meads Nature Reserve is an immaculately kept stretch of wetlands north of the capital. Although it’s a reliable bird-watching spot for some of the country’s regulars – kestrels, buzzards, herons – the reserve’s *HL*Recent Sightings page shows that you can also come across some truly rare species.

 

wildlife spots london

 

Richmond Park

JOURNEY: 1 hour (Victoria to Vauxhall, Vauxhall to Putney, 85 bus southwards)

When you get deep into the heart of Richmond park, it’s hard to believe you’re still in London. With clear skylines and treetops as far as the eye can see, it’s a stunning wildlife hotspot, with open fields and woodland habitats in equal measure. It’s hard to understate how big the park is, covering a space almost 25 times the size of Finsbury park and accommodating some 650 deer.

 

Ashridge Estate

JOURNEY: 50 minutes (Euston to Berkhamsted station, walk)

The good thing about the woodlands around Ashridge in Hertfordshire is that there is something special in store all the year round. Autumn? Stunning colours and rutting deer. Winter? Beautiful, frosty morning walks. Spring? Possibly the best bluebell display anywhere in the country. And summer? Birds, deer, flowers, and greenery.

woodlands near london

Epping Forest

JOURNEY: 1 hour (Holborn to Loughton station, walk)

12 miles north-east and even reachable by London Underground, Epping Forrest is one of the best wildlife spots near London for native mammals. As well as a protected population of deer, it’s a good place to look for hares, hedgehogs, and weasels – just to name a few. In the early Spring they can all be seen out celebrating the end of winter, so a sunny morning walk in March or April is hard to beat.

 

Oxleas Wood

JOURNEY: 50 minutes (London Bridge to North Greenwich, 244 bus southwards)

A night-time treat for the fearless amongst you, Oxleas Wood in South-East London is a prime habitat for one of our favourite local creatures: bats! You can pick a dry evening and go it alone, but we recommend the guided walks run by Friends of Oxleas Woodlands. The guides know the best spots in the wood and are filled to the brim with bat-related factoids.

 

If you’re looking to travel green in London, Manchester or Brighton, Supercity’s aparthotels are the ideal places to stay. We’re constantly evolving our luxury suites to make them as eco-friendly as possible without sacrificing an inch of quality. Check out our unbeatable locations now.

Top Tips for Exploring a New City

 

At Supercity we’re always on the lookout for the most unique and smart ways of exploring cities. Like a fingerprint, everyone has a unique way of doing things – but here are some nifty tips we’ve picked up from our eleven years in the business.   

 

Finding Authentic Food Spots

When it comes to exploring a new city, this can be one of the most difficult skills to acquire. All too often, the highest quality local food is hidden away from view whilst the main roads are full of the big restaurant chains you can visit back at home.

Thanks to the wonders of technology, though, this issue is disappearing. There are numerous nifty apps that give you very reliable recommendations for the best authentic local food. LocalEats, for example, aggregates reviews and opinions from bloggers, online reviews and food critics in order to carefully rank each place nearby. Our favourite, though, is Localfu, which connects you to a long-time local resident for an honest chat about all the best spots, food or otherwise, nearby.

 

local authentic city street food

 

Discussion Forums – For Honest Recommendations

Whether you’re after a great hidden food spot or a local day trip, we always recommend checking out online discussion forums. These are spaces that tend to be void of advertisement and full of like-minded travellers sharing their honest recommendations based on experience. The best places for these tend to be the TripAdvisor Travel Forum and Reddit – just search up your question on both and the chances are someone has asked it before!

The ‘Just Walk’ Approach

At Supercity we love a Just Walker. No plan, no schedule, no bookings – just leave the front door and see where the day leads. In their everyday lives the Just Walkers hide amongst us, undetected, but as soon as they’re on their travels and exploring a new city they truly come alive.

The ‘Just Walk’ approach is particularly useful for a city like London, which is full of hidden squares, parks and aesthetic back-alleys. There are few better things than accidentally stumbling upon a miniature green paradise or serene plaza in the middle of a city.

 

tavistock square london exploer

 

Getting Around

We believe that periods of time you spend on transport between places are not gaps in your leisure time but part of the overall experience. If you pick your routes and travel times wisely then even the shortest bus or rail journey can prove to be memorable and packed with great views. For those looking to take in the sights in London, we’ve recently written a comprehensive guide to the best overground travel options which you can check out here.

 

Whatever way you prefer to explore a new city, Supercity’s aparthotels are the ideal places to stay. Our family-run properties in London, Manchester, and Brighton are popular with travellers of all shapes and sizes, thanks to our spacious suites and ultra-flexible service. Book now to take advantage of our limited-time winter offer.

Brighton: The UK’s Most Eco-Friendly City?

 

Situated at the forefront of the UK’s drive towards sustainability, the city of Brighton has a long and proud history of being eco-friendly. If you’re looking to go green on your travels, the South coast has much to offer, from zero-waste shops to fun community cleaning events.

Moreover, as the only area of the country with a Member of Parliament from the Green Party, Brighton’s council are ceaselessly transforming the city from the bottom up to make it as eco-friendly as possible. For our Travel Green series, we’ve drawn up a definitive guide to Brighton and its close relationship with the environment.

 

The Eco-Conscious Brighton Council

Not to be beaten by the Mayor of London’s plan to become carbon-neutral by 2050, the Brighton and Hove Council have pledged to do the same within a decade. Their plan includes significant investment in *HL*offsetting programmes, cycling schemes, and solar panels.

 

brighton green roads

 

The council have particularly been tackling emissions through reforming the city’s transport. £4m has been set aside to improve Lewes Road, a large main road with high congestion and wasted fuel. The council are also encouraging residents to move away from using petrol and diesel, installing numerous electric charging points and offering a 50% discount on parking permits if you own a low-emissions vehicle.

 

Brighton’s Eco-Friendly Shops

The prevalence of the green culture in Brighton has also made its mark on the shopping scene. Eco-friendly commodities are a growing market on the south coast, and the demand has led to a mini-revolution. It was Silo, back in 2014, who very much set the pace with the UK’s first ever ‘zero waste’ restaurant. Their extraordinary commitment to being resourceful went as far as making their own cheese and butter on-site from leftover milk.

Although they’ve recently moved on to the capital, there are many more similar projects appearing across Brighton. We particularly enj0yed our visit to Wastenot, a zero-waste and zero-packaging store selling high-quality produce and plastic-free goods. We tried their ‘Truthpaste’ – a specially crafted clay toothpaste in a glass jar – and were not disappointed.

 

eco-friendly food shop brighton

 

Protecting Land and Sea

The effort to protect Brighton’s ecology is not limited to above water. Four years ago, an area of offshore water covering close to 900km² officially became a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ), meaning that the cleanliness of the water and quality of marine life is carefully assessed and moderated. The area is home to corals, starfish, sea-sponges and many more weird and wonderful creatures that will be protected for years to come.

sealife brighton starfish

 

Spring Cleaning in Style

This has to be our favourite eco-initiative of all in Brighton. An organisation called Pier 2 Pier offer regular silent disco litter pick-ups for public and corporate groups alike. Teams comprising of over 200 volunteers take to the seafront each month to clear away waste that has been either washed up or dumped. The initiative has been hailed by the council as forward-thinking and innovative, and the results speak for themselves, with as much as 70kg of litter being picked up in a single day.

For the perfect eco-friendly visit to Brighton, come and stay at Supercity’s brand-new Q Square Aparthotel. We’re constantly evolving our luxury suites to make them as eco-friendly as possible without sacrificing an inch of quality. Book now to take advantage of our limited-time opening offers.

Top Five Things to do in Brighton in Winter

At Supercity we champion those who go against the grain on their travels. We believe that if you play your cards right, the so called ‘off-season’ can become your own personal high season. A trip to Brighton during the winter months can be a wonderful and peaceful way to refresh yourself and beat the crowds before the summer rush. So from atmospheric seaside walks to five-star indoor evening entertainment, here are our top five ways to treat yourself in Brighton this winter.

 

1. Beach walk

 

We’re not suggesting you bring your swimming trunks and beach towel, but the Brighton seafront offers something entirely different and just as memorable in winter. Indeed, there’s something extremely special about being on an empty stretch of beach. We recommend a 2-hour walk, starting by the Odeon cinema just 5 minutes away from Q Square and heading to the Marina and back.

 

peaceful beach walk in Brighton in the winter

 

2. Brighton Pavilion

 

Like most of Brighton’s top attractions, the Royal Pavilion is fully accessible all year round. King George IV’s ‘pleasure palace’ is a stunning architectural feat inside and outside, replete with hidden stairwells and secret passages. Much like the seafront, the great thing about going in the winter is that it’s far emptier, and you can join the day tours and evening events without the huge queues.

brighton pavilion in winter

 

3. Boutique or Vintage Shopping Spree

 

Exploring Brighton’s range of clothes stores is an ever-enjoyable way to spend an afternoon indoors. Going in the winter you can enjoy the top pick of a whole range of fresh new stock, from vintage jumpers to designer jackets. Our top charity shop picks is Beyond Retro on Vine Street, whereas for your higher-end purchases we recommend Tribeca on Bond Street for luxury women’s clothing and Thread for menswear.

 

4. Theatre Royal

 

For your dose of evening entertainment, the Theatre Royal consistently offers an immense spread of comedy, drama and music at this time of year. Over the next couple of months the 212-year-old venue will give host to the likes of Milton Jones, David Baddiel and Swan Lake. During the winter you can pick up some of the best seats in the house at relatively short notice – check out the listings now.

 

theatre royal brighton

 

5. Booth Museum of Natural History

 

Located slightly outside of the city centre, the Booth Museum of Natural History is ideal for all ages – and completely free. This is a great one for families, as kids can enjoy the regular art activities and opportunities to handle some of the finest ancient artefacts that the natural world has to offer. Alternatively, strolling around and exploring the butterfly and fossil collections can be just as absorbing.

 

Elevate your trip to Brighton in 2020 by staying with Supercity Aparthotels. With our luxury accommodation hybrid and our outrageously convenient location, we’re the new best place to stay in town. Book now to benefit from our special opening rates.

Our Five Favourite Things to do in London in February

Congratulations! You made it through what some like to call the ‘year of January’, and we think you deserve a reward. It’s time to shake off those cobwebs and seize the day with our tried-and-tested top five things to do in London this February.

 

1. PAUL bakery masterclass

If one of your resolutions at the start of the new decade is to learn a new skill, then this is an excellent place to start. Taking place on the 10th and 24th of this month, the PAUL bread-making masterclasses in Covent Garden are extremely welcoming to all ability levels, starting with the basics and finishing with the finest artisan touches. The places are very limited, so we recommend you book soon.

 

London Food Events 2020

 

2. Hampstead Heath – A Dose of Inner-City Greenery

A frosty February morning provides the perfect opportunity for a refreshing and peaceful walk, and there’s nowhere better to go in the city than Hampstead Heath. It’s far emptier than in the summer, which means that plenty of wildlife comes to visit, and it offers a mixture of intimate natural settings and stunning city views.

 

 

London city walks 2020

3. Ask for Janice – The perfect pancake day in London

There’s nothing we love more than London, but if there was, it’d be pancakes. You can imagine our excitement, then, when pancake day comes around the corner every year.  We’ve been around the block year upon year looking for the ultimate Shrove Tuesday paradise, and we’ve landed on Ask for Janice. Just a 10-minute walk from both The Rosebery and The Chronicle, this place shares our passion for modern, locally inspired décor and delicious, innovative catering.

 

Of course, staying in and making them yourself in one of our spacious kitchens is a more than acceptable option as well!

 

4. Magic Lantern night – a vibrant late-night dance

Leap years only come around once every 4 years, so when the day comes it’s worth doing something memorable. Let loose on the evening of the 28th in this extraordinary artistic venue just east of Whitechapel. The room will be brimming with neon colours and avant-garde ornamentation, so don’t be afraid to push the boat out with your own clothing!

5. Kensington Palace – limited-time tours

For something on the more relaxing end of the spectrum, we whole-heartedly recommend a trip to Kensington Palace. It has recently come out of years of renovation and reconstruction, and it now boasts an expanded range of visitor routes and tour options. Although the interior of the palace is astonishingly intricate, our favourite thing to do is a solo walk around the outdoor gardens, which boast a stunning array of colours all the year round.

 

London Tours Events 2020

 

For the ultimate February stay in London, be sure to choose Supercity Aparthotels. Our suites offer the ultimate combination of personalised apartment and flexible, luxury hotel service. Book your stay now and take advantage of our limited-time winter offer.

Why Aparthotels? A Provider’s Insight

Yet again, the rising demand for aparthotels was one of the biggest industry trends of the last year. What are the driving forces behind this shift?

 

After yet another year of strong growth, the serviced apartment has established itself as a mainstay of the hospitality economy. Here are some of our observations on why aparthotels are becoming the go-to for each and every profile of traveller.

 

The personal touch

 

What do you do if you’re an enormous hotel chain operating in multiple cities or even countries? For a long time, the answer has been to adopt the standardisation approach – that is, create a general hotel model that just about fits most purposes, and click copy and paste as many times as your heart desires.

 

This, however, is proving unsustainable. Those visiting cities with rich cultural heritage no longer want to stay in a hotel designed for an entirely different place hundreds of miles away. Indeed, an École hôtelière de Lausanne survey conducted a few months ago has proven that some of the biggest chains are starting to move towards a policy of personalisation – trying to implement more locally-inspired designs and models.

 

The problem for them is that the serviced apartment industry got there first. Quite a long time ago, in fact. Small hotel suites consisting of little more than a bed and bathroom are difficult to personalise, but when you have spacious living areas and multiple rooms you can take your aparthotel in whatever direction you choose.

 

luxury aparthotel in Manchester

 

What about business travel?

For some it seems surprising that business travellers are making the switch from hotel rooms to apartment suites just as frequently as leisure travellers. But aparthotels have become so popular amongst this demographic because, quite simply, business travellers are humans too! They want the freedom to order food or cook themselves. They want to be able to let loose at the gym, or maybe just collapse onto the sofa, after a long day at work. Ultimately, just like leisure travellers, they want to live their own way.

 

Separating work and leisure

Something we’re often told by those who come to stay in our suites is that the flexible spaces and multiple rooms allow them to both physically and mentally separate their working life from their personal life. Having a great living area, kitted out with all the entertainment you require, can serve as a useful incentive for a long day at the desk – something to look forward to and work towards throughout the day.

 

luxury aparthotel penthouse suite in London

Pet-friendly aparthotels

 

pet-friendly aparthotel, dog in london

 

Being able to bring along a canine companion has proven to be a huge draw among the business travellers who come to stay at Supercity. It’s a great way to avoid some of the pitfalls of being away from family and friends for long stretches of time, and, more importantly, can make for some great photo opportunities in the capital.

 

Supercity’s spacious aparthotels lie at the heart of three of the finest cities in the UK. Our ultra-flexible service and personal touch combine the perks of quality hotel service with all of the benefits of apartment living. Book now with our limited-time winter offer.

Supercity heads to Brighton

Here’s why we’re heading to one of the most vibrant and fast-growing cities in the country.

 

It was a sunny summer afternoon in 2016 when we had an idea: Brighton.

 

We should probably clarify here – the city of Brighton was not our idea. That predates us by some 2500 years. Regrettably, that is one thing we definitely can’t take credit for.

 

The idea was to expand our aparthotel family down on the south coast. And the more we thought about it, the more we wondered why we hadn’t thought about it before. The city – a vibrant, bustling epicentre with an authentic sense of community – fits the Supercity mould to a T.

 

Sunset on Brighton resort

 

Why Brighton?

It’d be quicker to list the reasons why not. With its flourishing economy, powered by almost 14,000 great small enterprises, the city is a rising star in the world of business travel. And when it comes to leisure? We’re glad you asked.

 

Brighton hosts 60 festivals a year – more than one a week on average – attended by residents and visitors in equal measure. It boasts an extensive repertoire of nightlife, with numerous intimate live music venues as well as legendary clubs such as Patterns. It is unwaveringly proud of its own diversity, and has a rich history of supporting and celebrating the LGBTQ community. And, containing the only constituency in the UK held by the Green Party, it’s at the forefront of the country’s journey towards sustainability.

 

Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the seafront.

 

Brighton pier on the seafront and beach

 

We could throw all the superlatives in the world at the Brighton seafront, but instead here’s a stat that sums it up best: in 2018, 9.5 million people made day trips down to the beach. It’s a good job, then, that the city has the highest number of restaurants per person in the entire country. And if all that isn’t enough, our new property is based 10 minutes away from the globally recognised Brighton pier, complete with arcades, candy floss stalls and neon lights, like a giant Stranger Things set.

 

The new best place to stay in Brighton

 

 

Built on top of the ever-popular former ice rink (don’t worry, we removed the rink before building), we were always aware that our new Q Square aparthotel would have a lot to live up to. That’s why we’ve taken special care to get every last detail perfect. Throughout our six storeys and 61 apartments we’ve installed stunning modern artwork, state-of-the-art kitchens, and ultra-comfortable furniture to replicate our authentic home-from-home experience.

 

A stay in Brighton deserves a Supercity level of luxury. Our suites marry the comfort and privacy of an apartment with the benefits of quality hotel service, giving you the best of both worlds. Book now to get in on our starting rates from £75 per night.

The Most Eco-Friendly Transport Options in London

Keeping London clean and green is a cause that benefits everyone. Studies have shown that an improvement in inner-city air quality can lead to remarkable results – not just the reduction of physical illness but significant mental health benefits as well.

 

There are plenty of great choices and ambitious long-term projects in place when it comes to environmentally friendly travelling around London. For the third instalment in our Travel Green series, we’ve done some research and compared the effectiveness and price of each option.

 

London buses are an eco-friendly mode of transport

Walking and cycling

Of course, the best energy source for transport is the power generated from your own two feet. Walking from A to B is not only environmentally friendly but healthy and often thoroughly rewarding. Two years ago TfL set in motion a Walking Action Plan that aimed to increase the number of daily walking trips in the capital by over one million by 2024.

 

For those longer, more time-pressured journeys, cycling can be an ideal upgrade. Bike rental is a booming market, and with TfL’s Santander Cycles you can enjoy 24-hour access for just £2. Every journey under half an hour is free, and you pay an extra £2 for every extra 30 minutes of each journey. And whilst the main roads can certainly be an intimidating place to cycle, TfL are committed to building 450km of dedicated cycleways by 2024.

 

London eco-friendly Santander cycle

 

However, there are many reasons why walking and cycling may not be the most preferred or even feasible modes of transport in the city. These include, but are not limited to, weather dependency, physical demand, and, in the case of cycling, off-putting safety statistics.

 

London Underground

Meanwhile many metres below the pavement, London Underground has set out an ambitious pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050. TfL plan to connect the tube to an exclusive carbon neutral wind farm outside of London, and also make use of the thermal energy emitted within the tunnels, which currently goes to waste.

 

Even without these changes in place, the tube still stands as one of the eco-friendliest modes of transport in London. And given how many people fit into each carriage, the carbon footprint per head is near-insignificant.

 

London Underground, going carbon neutral

 

Best private travel option

For those looking for a greener alternative to Uber or black cabs, we recommend a company called Green Tomato cars. They use exclusively low or zero-emissions taxis, and engage in a substantial carbon offsetting project in Uganda as well. Their app is also easy to use, with an identical mobile booking platform to Uber in addition to very similar prices. On top of all of this, they make a special effort with local communities as well, planting 200 trees a year in London parks and partnering with a new charity each year.

 

Most cost-efficient green transport in London

Although bus charges are often the cheapest, here’s a little known tip: all contactless tube journeys between zones 2 and 6 cost the same as the bus fare on weekdays before 6:30am, between 9:30am and 3:59pm, and after 7pm. Travel at other times, and through zone 1, is just 90p extra per trip.

 

If you’re looking to travel green in London, Manchester or Brighton, Supercity’s aparthotels are the ideal places to stay. We’re constantly evolving our luxury suites to make them as eco-friendly as possible without sacrificing an inch of quality. Check out our unbeatable locations now.

Most Eco-Friendly Airlines Available in UK

It may sound like an oxymoron to talk about eco-friendly airlines, but operators are starting to wake up to the challenges currently facing the planet. Airlines still have a long, long way to go in their collective push for sustainability, and green initiatives are only the first step in a long journey. However, when flying is your only travel option, picking your airline wisely can still make a significant difference.

 

We’ve taken an in-depth look at all major airlines that fly through the UK, and have picked out five operators covering the globe that are safe picks for eco-conscious travel.

 

Virgin Atlantic

Richard Branson’s aerial business venture has put forward one of the most comprehensive and detailed environmental action plans that we’ve come across. Like many other airlines, they’ve set a solid target for reducing CO2 emissions – in this case 30% by 2021. But they’ve also partnered with the ‘cleantech’ company Lanzatech, who engineer sustainable jet fuel. And to top it all off, they’ve also laid out plans to significantly reduce noise and visual pollution whilst crossing the skies.

 

eco-friendly airlines

 

Singapore Airlines

For those long hauls across the globe, Singapore Airlines may be the most eco-friendly airline available. They are a critical member of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group, and have expressed an interest in harnessing the potential of biofuel – although this technology is still some ways off.

 

Air France

With a particularly strong coverage of Africa as well as much of mainland Europe, Air France is a highly credible option for eco-friendly travel. Their long-term pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 20% doesn’t quite hit the heights of other airlines, but their work elsewhere has made them a leader in the green aerial revolution. In the latter half of last year, they eliminated 210 million single-use plastic items from their flights, and replaced them with biodegradable alternatives such as wooden spoons and stirrers. They’ve also invested heavily in new fuel efficient Boeing models.

green eco-friendly flying and travelling

 

Etihad Airways

The trailblazers in luxury travel seem to be turning over a new leaf in 2020. Often criticised for housing too few passengers on each flight, and thus ramping up the carbon footprint per head, Etihad Airways have given us a glimpse of the future with their new ‘Greenliner’. The new eco-friendly jet, painted green, is “not just a box ticker” according to their CEO; they aim to make it 20% more fuel efficient than their other planes.

 

This is far from Etihad’s first green initiative. They hold a number of other eco-records, including being the first Middle Eastern airline to operate plastic-free and last year becoming the first-ever airline to operate a passenger flight on sustainable biofuel.

 

Delta Airlines

Meanwhile on the other side of the globe, it’s Delta that are in pole position amongst the United States’ most eco-friendly airlines. The Atlanta-based operator set out their ambitions to go carbon-neutral all the way back in 2012, and have since capped their emissions through their own carbon offset schemes. Their pledge to halve their carbon footprint by 2050 is seismic, but has been made achievable by their partnership with Air BP’s sustainable aviation fuel projects. On top of this, Delta’s commitment to recyclable materials is almost forensically comprehensive, spanning from their food packaging to their safety vests.

 

If you’re looking to travel green in London, Manchester or Brighton, Supercity’s aparthotels are the ideal places to stay. We’re constantly evolving our luxury suites to make them as eco-friendly as possible without sacrificing an inch of quality. Check out our unbeatable locations now.

The Future of the Travel and Tourism Industry

Here at Supercity Aparthotels, we’re heading into the new decade on a wave of optimism. Various behavioural trends in combination are powering the hospitality sector forward both at home and abroad, giving us plenty of reasons to be cheerful about the future of travel.

 

An extraordinary recent forecast from the UN World Tourist Organisation has suggested that the demand for global travel is only heading upwards in the near future. Throughout the 2010s it hiked upward by around 500 million trips per year, and by 2030 it’s set to be closing in on the 2 billion mark for annual trips worldwide.

 

The prediction spells particularly good news for Europe and Asia, whose leisure travel economy accounts for over two thirds of global tourism income. The horizons look promising for Africa too, which is set to become one of the two fastest growing continents in global travel. But what are the behavioural changes underpinning this spike in demand?

 

Future of travel and tourism

 

‘Diaspora Tourism’ on the up

One major catalyst of increasing global travel is the number of people worldwide living outside of their country of birth. This has led to regular return trips back to native countries, either in order to visit relatives or to explore homelands and ancestral roots.

 

Analysts at the Migration Policy Institute have labelled this the ‘Nostalgia Trade’ – a market powered by emotional attachments and cultural pride. Although this is a global trend it has particularly aided countries with lower GDPs, those that benefit from tourism the most.

 

Future of Travel and Tourism 2020 2030

 

The Rise of the ‘Experience Economy’

Here’s another good omen for the future of travel: research has shown that people are increasingly more likely to spend money on an experience rather than a physical product.

 

Generally, the world is purchasing less and doing more. A day trip to another city is becoming a more likely investment amongst younger people than a big Oxford Street haul. This is, of course, music to the ears of all of us travel lovers, and spells good news for the hotel sector at the start of the decade.

 

Independent travel on the rise

An EHL 2019 survey found that travellers are also turning their backs on standardisation. This is a common strategy adopted by the biggest hotel chains worldwide, which involves setting a rigid guideline for standards and copying it to the letter for each new property.

 

This used to be the go-to model for hotels, but it seems that is no longer the case. Now, individualisation has come to the fore, as travellers are starting to look for more personalised, regionally specific accommodation options. This is something we’ve always been passionate about, and it informed our local graffiti-inspired artwork and worker bee imagery that decorates our Church Street aparthotel in Manchester.

 

Manchester aparthotel 2020

 

Our message here at Supercity is the same as ever: bring on the future. No matter what twists and turns lay in store for travel in the future, some things will always remain constant. Travellers will always want to be in full control of their trip, receiving the precise level of service they desire. And for all the talk of hologram staff and full automation, we know that there will always be a demand for an overall experience that is fundamentally human.

 

For ultra-flexible service and luxury apartment-grade accommodation, come and stay at one of our aparthotels in London, Manchester or Brighton. Book now with our limited-time winter offer.

The Best Vegan Food Spots in London

We’re passionate about sustainability at our aparthotels, so for Veganuary 2020 we’re sharing our top five local, innovative and delicious vegan food spots in London.

 

What an amazing decade it’s been for veganism. Turn the clock back ten years and the term would probably be met with confused faces and the occasional sigh. But by 2020 it’s become ubiquitous in the world of food, and has made itself at home on our own menus.

For those looking to go green on their travels, veganism is a powerful and delicious way of reducing that carbon footprint. A comprehensive study in 2014 found that heavy meat eaters produce close to three times the greenhouse gas emissions of vegans – that’s around two tons more CO2 in the space of a year.

If you’re heading to London you might feel a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of different vegan options on offer, but worry no longer. In celebration of Veganuary we have indulged ourselves in meat and dairy alternatives from across the city, and after much debate and even more eating, here is our ever-reliable top five vegan food spots in London.

 

Vegan falafel in London.

 

5. Mad Hatters – Vegan Afternoon Tea

Have you always wanted to enjoy some vegan scones and jam whilst looking out into a garden of flamingo statues? Probably not, actually, unless your imagination is a lot more vivid than ours. Nevertheless, such a place exists, and it’s wonderful. Located just ten minutes away from our very own Rosebery Aparthotel, Mad Hatters is a delightful tearoom in Fitzrovia, tucked neatly away from the nearby hustle and bustle. It’s almost like entering a different world…

Vegan afternoon tea in London.

4. Mildreds – Inventive Meat-free Meals 

Giving classic international dishes a plant-based spin, Mildred has won over the hearts of many foodies this past decade. With restaurants in Soho, Camden, Kings Cross and Dalston, there’s plenty to like about Mildreds: they’re committed to all-organic produce, they work with small local businesses, and they have one of the best gluten-free menus in London. It’s affordable, vibrant, and cheerful, and has more than earned its place in our top five.

 

3. Tibits – Luxury Vegan Buffet

 If you’re looking for more of a high-end dining experience, Tibits is your best bet. This is a showstopping vegan restaurant just around the corner from The Chronicle>>**HL**. Operating like a supercharged salad bar, their options cut across a range of cuisines and cultures, and they have mastered their own plant-based take on gnocchi, sausage rolls, tikka masala, and much more.

 

2. Greggs’ Meat-Free Range

Now here’s a twist nobody saw coming. Slowly but surely, the beloved bakery is becoming something of a trailblazer in the world of vegan fast-food. Their newly vegan CEO Roger Whiteside has been paving the way with his commitment to an alternative, affordable vegan range for all of their classic snacks, their most recent addition being the meat-free steak bake. And, as the old maxim goes, in London you’re never more than six feet away from a Greggs. (That is the saying, right?)

vegan fried chicken in London.

1. Temple of Seitan, Hackney – The Vegan Fried Chicken Shop

One of the true hidden gems of London, the Temple of Seitan offers up some of the most realistic vegan fried chicken – yes, you read that right – you will find anywhere. It might be a hassle to get there, but Hackney never disappoints, and after you’ve grabbed your (quite unbelievably realistic) wheat protein-based chicken burger you can check out the renowned local bars and alternative shops.

 

If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint whilst exploring the UK’s amazing cities, there’s no better place to stay than at one of our family-run aparthotels. We’re big on sustainability and offer a 100% locally sourced, vegan-inclusive menu! Book now with our limited-time winter offer.

Top 5 things to do in London in January 2020

It’s time to shake off those January blues – there are plenty of great things to do in London to keep you occupied this New Year.

 

Today, we’re making a stand. For too long January has been vilified as the worst month of the year – the cold, miserable hangover from the festive period. But here at Supercity we like to have our glass half full at this time of year. We see January as the month of opportunity – the time to hit the restart button, seize the day and spend that Christmas cash in style. And in London, there are plenty of great events to help you beat away the blues and get your 2020 off to a flying start.

 

 

   5. The London Short Film Festival – London’s best arts offering

From the 10th to the 19th of January, the London Short Film Festival is hosting one of the most diverse and wide-ranging artistic spreads that you will see all year. With up to 12 screenings every day, the festival encapsulates the diversity at the heart of the capital, weaving its way through all of the most unexplored nooks and crannies of modern life. From documentaries on the drag revolution to cartoon comedy shorts, there’s something for everyone.

 

     4. St Augustine’s Tower – a free aerial view over London

There will always be a place in our hearts for Hackney. Live music, vintage charity shops, vegan fried chicken – if you can name it, you’ll probably find it there this January. And on the 26th, they’re hosting their monthly open day at St Augustine’s Tower, where you can climb its 135 steps and look out onto the illuminated City of London and beyond.

 

     3. Russian Vodka vs English Gin – a rare spirit-tasting evening

The title makes it sound like a drinking game, but it’s a little more sophisticated than that. Head to Pushkin House on the 10th for a night of history, culture, and, you guessed it, spirit-tasting. If that’s not enough, then they’re also promising Harrods bread alongside a range of cheeses to help absorb the alcohol.

 

   

     2. Secret Cinema presents Stranger Things – an immersive eighties experience

Currently we have this one down as the most unique event in London. The small town of Hawkins, Indiana has been transported over to Canning Town. This is one of those events that feels like every penny of every ticket has gone into a quite dazzling production. Dress up in your best ‘80s clothing and attend the Hawkins school reunion, where you become part of the Stranger Things story. You can buy January tickets here – but they’re going fast.

 

     1. Cirque du Soleil – Luzia

The circus is in town! The rhythms of Mexico are coming to the Royal Albert Hall this January as Cirque du Soleil are performing their flagship show Luzia. Surrealist animal models, dazzling outfits, and stunning acrobatics abound in a performance built on the dual themes of light and rain. Tickets start at £28.50 and you can book here.

 

 

If you’re looking to beat away the winter blues, Supercity’s bright, personalised aparthotels are the perfect places to stay in London this January. Book your stay now and take advantage of our limited-time winter offer.

 

 

Your Complete Guide to Carbon Offsetting

Carbon offsetting is a great, affordable way to keep your personal carbon footprint in check. In the first instalment of our #TravelGreen series, we’ve been looking for the most cost-efficient carbon offsetting schemes on offer.

 

It was David Attenborough who described our modern time as a ‘unique stage in our history’. It’s a time, he said, when we know more about climate change than ever before and have more power than ever to stop it. We completely agree, which is why we’re committed to transforming our aparthotels from top to bottom to make them as eco-friendly as possible.

 

The biggest problem, however, lies in the travel itself. A single flight from Sydney to London can release well over 3 tons of carbon dioxide, more than millions of people worldwide would produce in a year. And far from dying down, flying has been predicted to become twice as common in the next decade. So what’s the compromise?

 

planting trees to capture carbon

How does carbon offsetting work?

Meet carbon offsetting. At Supercity we are big fans, and want to encourage those staying with us to give it a go. It involves investing in eco-friendly initiatives, such as tree-planting or renewable energy projects, in order to balance out the carbon emissions of a flight. These are usually based in the developing countries, particularly those close to sea level and those susceptible to droughts. And here’s the best news – the money you need to invest is only a fraction of the price of a flight.

 

How to join a carbon offsetting scheme

If you’re short on time, worry not. These days many airlines tend to offer their own carbon offsetting scheme alongside the flight, which simply involves ticking a box. The likes of Qantas, Emirates and British Airways are leading the way on this front, but many airlines’ methods of carbon offsetting have come under scrutiny in recent years. Environmental experts have claimed that some are halfhearted and merely a distraction from real climate action.

 

 

carbon emissions from aeroplanes

 

Most trustworthy carbon offsetting schemes

We’ve taken a good look at all of the carbon offsetting schemes in the UK, and have some recommendations. Gold Standard, set up by numerous well-known organisations including WWF, relentlessly crunch the numbers to ensure the absolute maximum impact of your offsetting investment. We also like the look of Verra, too, whose highly transparent operations have been widely endorsed by sustainability experts. Whichever you choose, it’s worth ensuring they meet internationally recognised standards.

Are there alternatives to carbon offsetting?

There are some other smaller changes you can make to slightly reduce your carbon emissions without paying more. Flying in economy rather than first class encourages airlines to fit more passengers on one plane, reducing the carbon footprint per head. You can also compare and choose your airlines based on their other green initiatives – we’ll have more on that later in the month.

If you’re looking to travel green in London, Manchester or Brighton, Supercity’s aparthotels are the ideal places to stay. We’re constantly evolving our luxury suites to make them as eco-friendly as possible without sacrificing an inch of quality. Check out our unbeatable locations now.

Reflections on an Extraordinary Decade

This New Year’s Eve we’re hitting the rewind button. Here’s how our London aparthotels made their mark in one of the most competitive markets around.

 

Is it already over? It feels like just a couple of months ago that it was New Year’s Eve 2010, when the London Olympics were coming into view, when Downton Abbey first graced our screens, and when we had just the one aparthotel in the Supercity family. We have so much to look forward to in the twenties, and we can’t wait to share it all with you. But just for today, we want to swivel round and take a look back at our development over the last decade.

 

Where it all began

Back when we first started out, the London hotel sector was blossoming exponentially. Aided by a rising demand for tourism and one of the highest population growth rates in Europe, the industry helped lift the city’s economy up off its knees and allowed international business to flourish.

 

 

But with the sector’s enormous growth came the inevitable: competition was fierce. The biggest hotel chains were squeezing out their rivals and only going from strength to strength in the capital. It was a tough sector to break into, but the demand was only increasing.

And so, in April 2009, enter Supercity Aparthotels.

 

Going against the grain

Our journey began on a quiet street called Templeton Place, located just 2 minutes away from Earl’s Court station in West London. With its modern, stylish suites and a special kind of service that was both personal and flexible, Templeton Place was quickly taken to by business travellers and sightseers alike, and we knew we’d found a winning formula.

 

Growing the business

Over the next ten years our trade flourished, and we added four more London aparthotels to the family. We first moved next-door into an old Victorian Townhouse on Nevern Place, and then crossed over London to Clerkenwell and Chancery Lane, where we opened up the Rosebery and the Chronicle. This area defined the Supercity ethos; it was both at the heart of the city’s financial district, yet also only a stone’s throw away from many cultural landmarks, including the world-famous nightclub Fabric.

 

In late 2018, we ventured up to Manchester’s Northern Quarter, an area that shared our love of all things vibrant and soulful. As a nod towards the rich cultural heritage of the area, the rooms of the aparthotel featured Bohemian designs, worker bee imagery, and photography of local graffiti.

We couldn’t tell the story of Supercity without mentioning our spread of artwork across our properties. From exotic sculptures to original local photography to celebrity mugshots, we’ve amassed a truly eclectic mixture of pieces over the past decade, each one telling its own story and contributing to the unique home-from-home experience we provide.

And finally, it’s only right to end on the most important part of it all: the Supercity team. We’re proud to be a family-run business, and that family has grown with every single employee who has joined us along the way. The level of expansion we’ve seen in the past decade could never have been possible without the dedicated, passionate team behind it, and we’re forever grateful for all of the hard work and innovation that has gone into every one of our aparthotels.

 

Looking Forward 

And that brings us up to speed. We’re adding a sixth aparthotel in the coming months (we might have already given the location away once or twice…) and are going to continue to improve our sustainability strategy – we’ll keep you posted on both of those fronts. Oh, and if you’re thinking of visiting London or Manchester in the coming months, our Winter offer is expiring soon. Otherwise, have a happy New Year and see you in the roaring twenties!

The Best Last-Minute Christmas Shopping Spots in Manchester

If you’ve clicked on this blog, the chances are you’re only just beginning to think about your Christmas shopping. The more high-stress individuals around you might be getting on your back, begging you to go with them to Albert Square, or trying to drag you over to the Trafford Centre.

 

But we know what you’re up to, and we like your style. We say shop smart, not hard; with the correct approach, the minimum effort can yield maximum rewards. If you know where to go to beat the queues, it doesn’t matter when you go. So without further ado, here is our top 5 of great Christmas shopping spots in Manchester away from the hustle and bustle of the main markets.

 

  1. Village Greens Community Coop – For the ultimate Christmas hamper

If you want to collate an unforgettable hamper for a friend (or for yourself – we won’t tell anyone), Village Greens is more than worth the short journey out of the inner city. In fact, a 20-minute trip from Church Street to the Coop is most likely longer than the journey their produce takes from the fields to the store – it’s all locally grown and sourced near Manchester, right down to their organic ketchup. And we can’t say we’re completely sure, but we think they sell the most eco-friendly toilet paper in the Northwest.

 

 

  1. Bags of Flavor – The best vintage clothes store in Manchester

Ah, clothes. Where would we be without them every Christmas? They’re the ultimate last-minute get out of jail free card when it comes to shopping – a perfect gift for all ages. And Bags of Flavor, situated a whole two minutes away from our Church Street aparthotel, has an uncanny ability to stock the exact kind of piece you’re looking for every time. Looking at some of the jackets currently available on their Instagram, we think the Gallagher brothers would have been regulars.

 

  1. Piccadilly Records – Vintage vinyls and classic music merchandise

Count the number of musical genres you can name. Now add three hundred. That’s how many different sections there are at the Piccadilly Records vinyl store. Every trip to this timeless place is a delight, and the staff are as helpful as they are knowledgeable on music. And if you’re not buying for a vinyl lover, do not fear – they sell a huge range of antique posters and printed fabrics as well.

 

 

  1. Nordic Muse – own-brand affordable jewellery

Worried you’re becoming that friend with a reputation for underwhelming presents? It’s time to go big and pick up some – yes, you guessed it – Scandinavian jewellery. Nordic Muse, a short tram ride from the city centre, is one of the most authentic goods stores around, selling true native garments with unmistakably sleek, minimalist designs.  It’s a real celebration of Manchester’s multicultural roots.

 

  1. Fig and Sparrow – the most aesthetic gifts in Manchester

With a name that sounds like a pub from Harry Potter, the Fig and Sparrow is one of the most likeable little shops in all of Manchester. Despite its central location – just on the corner of Church Street – it often doesn’t get the attention it deserves because it doubles up as a café. But it is secretly the perfect Christmas shopping spot, with not only a spread of great present ideas but also a whole wall dedicated to immaculately designed cards, wrapping paper and gift bags.

 

Whether you’re in Manchester for a night or a month, Supercity’s Church Street Aparthotel is the ideal place to stay for all types of travellers. In the heart of the city’s vibrant Northern Quarter, we offer relaxing suites with ultra-flexible service, giving you full control to shape your experience. Book now with our limited-time winter offer.

 

All you need to know about Bleisure Travelling

Churchill once said: “Bleisure is beyond a trend… it’s an absolute habit”.

 

A small disclaimer – we’re talking about Bryan Churchill, the VP of hotel sales for the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board. He said it earlier this year. Still, we think that Winston would have been a keen bleisurer himself.

 

What is bleisure?

Bleisure is a combination of ‘business’ and ‘leisure’ travelling which involves adding a holiday onto the beginning or end of a business trip away. The term was first coined a decade ago, but has only become a big trend in the past two years.

 

Why is bleisure so popular?

The stars seem to have aligned for bleisure this year. It has an answer to just about every problem facing the modern business traveller. For those concerned about their carbon footprint, bleisure travelling can cut annual flight times by half. For those who want to save money but also need a break, bleisure can function as a permanent holiday discount. And for those struggling to motivate themselves for a long week of work abroad, the bleisure model gives them both the ‘work hard’ and the ‘play hard’. In fact, studies have shown that it reduces the negative personal effects of travelling away from home for business.

 

 

Who is it targeting?

Although statistics suggest that millennials are more likely to make these trips, bleisure travel has spiked across all age ranges. This is in part because business travel just doesn’t seem to be disappearing; technology still has a long, long way to go before it can fully replicate face-to-face meetings from across the globe. Older generations have used the bleisure model as a kind of family holiday package, flying out their partners and children for the leisure half of their trip.

 

A sustainable travel solution?

Eco-friendly travelling has been a difficult circle to square for a long time. Even for those committed to staying green on their travels, the carbon emissions stats from the flights alone don’t make for pretty reading. But if flying out for a business meeting or event is a necessity anyway, it’s possible to cut out two extra holiday flights that year by staying put and taking a week off. And when it comes to places that aren’t so appealing for a holiday, the chances are there is somewhere interesting nearby that is reachable by train.

 

 

Has it impacted the travel industry?

Hugely. Travel companies and hoteliers have had to start merging traditionally separate departments, rebranding themselves to appeal to new customer bases, and introducing “bleisure packages” that offer companies extended stays.

 

But here at Supercity Aparthotels? We haven’t changed a thing. We’ve been bleisure-friendly since day one – in fact, we wish we’d invented the word. Our family-run business was founded on the core principle that the corporate traveller and the tourist aren’t all that different. Fundamentally, both want to enjoy their stay.

 

Where can I stay for bleisure in the UK?

Whether you’re sightseeing or report-writing – or, of course, doing some intense bleisuring – our modern, stylish suites in London and Manchester are for you. If you need to work, they double up as spacious and quiet offices. If you want to explore, we’re right in the heart of two of the finest cities in the country. You can come and stay for a matter of days, weeks, or even months. And with our personalised, flexible service, you can choose whether you want more of a hotel-style treatment or the authentic home-from-home experience.

 

With Supercity Aparthotels, you’re always in control of your trip. Book now with our limited-time winter offer.

Top 5 Unique Things to do in London for Christmas 2019

We believe two things to be true. One, there’s nothing better than Christmas. Two, there’s nothing worse than a Christmas event, market or shopping centre that’s jam-packed full of people to the point where you can hardly move around (yes, we’re looking at you, winter wonderland).

If you’re travelling to London over the festive period, it’s all too easy to get drawn into the biggest and loudest places – but you’d be missing out if you did. As usual, we’ve been on the lookout for the less obvious – yet all the more memorable – things to do across the capital in December – those seasonal treats hidden away from the front pages of Google.

 

    1. Nordic bar – The ultimate Christmas pub

We’re not entirely sure what a ‘Viking style’ Christmas involves, but if Nordic Bar in Fitzrovia is anything to go by, it’s bucket-list material. Located just 10 minutes away from The Chronicle, what we love about this pub is that it doesn’t try too hard: its wooden, candlelit interior and log fire can make you feel more Christmassy than any Oxford Street store around the corner. Our suggestion is this: go on a random morning, pick up one of their Scandinavian snacks and a coffee, sit by the fire, close your eyes, and relax.

 

 

    2. Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium – London’s best winter hot drinks spot

Cats may not be the most Christmassy of creatures, but we could all do with a furry friend around as the nights grow longer. Have an afternoon off at Lady Dinah’s café and you won’t forget it – not only does it offer a great range of coffees and teas as well as fully vegan meals, but it’s also a sanctuary for dozens of rescue cats who are in need of a home. And at this time of year, it’s covered with small Christmas toys for the them to play with.

 

 

    3. Brompton Cemetery – The best free Christmas event

Now for something completely different. Just five minutes away from Nevern Place, Brompton cemetery puts on free storytelling sessions on Sundays with no booking required. It’s very atmospheric, but fear not – it’ll all be over before the darkness descends…

 

    4. Deer-spotting in Richmond Park – A dose of city countryside

A mini paradise nestled within West London, Richmond Park holds a simple yet magic formula: take the city’s biggest royal park, and add nothing but hundreds of beautiful red and fallow deer. On a frosty winter morning, it’s something truly special. We all feel like a country break close to London from time to time, but you can escape the inner-city within an hour from our Nevern Place and Templeton Place properties.

 

 

    5. Christmas Carol Concert at Southwark Cathedral – The most peaceful spot in central London

There’s something quite special about Southwark Cathedral. It could hardly be in a busier area of London, yet as soon as you step inside it’s as quiet and serene as anywhere in the country. Add to that London’s best Christmas carol concert, and you have something truly memorable.

 

However you choose to spend your Christmas period – whether it’s in a local pub with friends or tucked up in front of the TV – Supercity Aparthotels is the ideal place to stay. With flexible service and unbeatable locations, enjoy your festive period in our truly unique home-from-home serviced apartments.

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