Bridget is Back in the Bay!

Bridget Rowland

Local fitness enthusiasts may remember Bridget Rowland from her popular classes in the Bay. Bridget, who has been teaching fitness for 20 years, has spent the last 5 years working in Spain, but has now returned to Torquay eager to bring some new and improved classes to the Aztec Studio clientele. Zoe Bowden, Aztec Studio’s Manager, commented, ‘We are delighted to have Bridget with us. She’s always had a good local following and many people will be glad to know she’s back, ready to help them tone up and keep fit.’

Bridget’s Power Tone class is on Thursday evenings and Tuesday mornings, with more classes scheduled for September. Call Zoe Bowden at the Aztec Studio for details 01803 400190.

Swimming for the over 60’s

Superb indoor pool

There are always items in the news encouraging us to live healthier lifestyles, eat sensibly and healthily and take more exercise, especially with the build up towards the Olympics 2012. Sadly it looks like free swimming for the over 60’s, which was introduced last year is now set to be scrapped due to a change of government and cuts in spending.

However, Torquay locals need not despair. I know from our own Aztec Club swimming membership we already have large number of over 60’s who enjoy swimming and it is great to see them using our facilities. As well as keeping fit it is also a social event for a lot of them who often meet and make friendships with other Aztec members.

Swimming is a great way for the older generation to keep fit as it does not put pressure on the joints and can have great health benefits. At Aztec we offer over 50’s aqua classes – non-members are welcome too. The ladies love their twice-weekly sessions, followed by a coffee in the Aztec Bistro afterwards. Charges are very reasonable – £2.50 per session for members and £5.00 for non-members – and I know that if we stopped providing these classes how many disappointed people there would be.

It is a real shame there has been a U- turn on this government initiative and I hope it does not stop the older generation from swimming. At Aztec we are still providing great membership for all ages and will continue to do so.

To enquire about joining our Aztec swimming memberships call 01803 400190, see our video clip below or look at our website

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Speilberg, Devon’s dramatic scenery and you…

Image of Steven SpeilbergYou don’t have to wait for the film to be realised, come behind the scenes and experience – first hand – the beauty that Devon has to offer.

Steven Speilberg was in action earlier this week on Dartmoor at the start of filming for his next block buster film ‘War Horse’ – the film is based on a novel that centres around a young Devon farm hand who braves the trenches of the first World War in an effort to find his beloved colt Joey, who’s been sold into the army. The cast will showcase some great British talent, and the scene is set and filming has commenced with scenes being shot including galloping horses set against the dramatic backdrop of Dartmoor, here in Devon. Speilberg jetted in to Exeter airport by private plane for the filming.

South Devon has been the site for scenes shot in many films. Torquay and indeed the English Riviera as a whole have inspired such hits as Fawlty Towers as well as being the backdrop for such things as Miss Marple, Churchill: The Hollywood Years (Christian Slater & Neve Campbell…), Blackball (Paul Kaye, Vince Vaughn, Johnny Vegas…) and tv programmes such as the BBC’s ‘The Zoo Keepers (filmed at Paignton Zoo) and Channel 5’s Milkshake Monkey (Childrens prog, 2009).

You too can experience the beauty that Devon has to offer, visit the sites and inspiration for so many films and set the scene for your own great family holiday by using TLH Leisure Resort (well placed for access to many parts of Devon and Cornwall) as your base to explore the dramatic scenery of South Devon and all it has to offer. Whether the coast or moorland, or a whole host of easily accessible attractions, at this time of year South Devon is at its finest and is perfect for a family holiday.

Check out our TLH website to see the many accommodation options we have to suit your family holiday or budget. It’s where the jet-set are at this Summer after all!

Torquay’s Top – 10 reasons (and more) for a family holiday or weekend break in Torbay!

Torquay Harbour and MarinaTorbay and the English Riviera – at times – a tropical dream holiday without the long-haul flights, costly/worrisome travel, mosquitoes and other weird bitey critters and sticky nights of still and humid non-moving air (though with our recently good spell of weather the Bay is perhaps not quite so many miles from the tropical beaches of the Bahamas or deepest darkest African jungle as one might imagine!). There is certainly an equal amount of exploration/discovery opportunities in Torbay as you’d find abroad, whether it be wonderful, magical scenery or the study of the unusual habits of the local natives that you seek.

Picture it… No more whirring and clicking of slightly unbalanced ceiling fans – an aid to a good night’s sleep in those hotter climes – nor the constant whoosh of the air conditioner – great by day but both helps you to sleep at night and also wakes you up with frostbite in the early hours. No more worrying about whether you can eat the salad… whether it was washed or not – either a possibly dodgy option- nor spending hours in airports scowling and tutting at others as their kids run riot, your angels sitting quietly only after threats of being left at the airport if they don’t behave! … oh wait… 10 reasons to visit Torquay not 10 reasons not to travel abroad… I digress!…

Children playing in rock poolTop reasons to visit Torquay (a big part of Torbay) – palm trees, ice cream, cream tea, beach huts, sea swims or burying Grandad in the sand, perhaps… or maybe the parks, gardens, cliff walks, sea views or beaches and coves there are to explore. With its mild climate and a sheltered Bay the possibilities for visitors and holidaymakers to Torquay and the Bay are endless, whether for a family holiday in the UK, a stop-over for cliff walkers or those in search of themed or package holidays.

Torquay’s proximity to Paignton and Brixham – themselves very picturesque and desirable holiday spots – but also to Dartmouth, Totnes, Exeter and Plymouth, mean it’s in easy reach of a number of wonderful holiday areas and the benefits of attractions and sights that make all of these places popular holiday destinations.

Now to the top ten reasons to visit Torquay… in my humble opinion:

  • 22 miles of coastline with cliffs to walk and 19 or so beaches and coves to explore
  • Spectacular views across Torbay and out to sea
  • A palm-lined promenade for romantic evening strolls and home to the Princess Theatre for those wishing to take in a show
  • Pavement cafes, pubs and restaurants galore – from Pizza Express and similarly well known chains to the more Torquay based Alberts Bar, Hanburys award winning fish and chips and Aztec Bistro
  • An endless array of seaside activities and water sports to enjoy (surf, swim, fish, sail, hire a kayak or pedalo, go rock-pooling, build sandcastles or study the natural wildlife).
  • Hundreds of attractions in and around the area – Prehistoric caves at Kents Cavern, Babbacombe model village, Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, Becky Falls, Dartmoor – to mention but a few!
    (Local attractions discount scheme for TLH Leisure Resort guests)
  • A bustling shopping centre
  • Busy, picturesque harbor and harbourside
  • Plenty of accommodation and holiday packages to suit every budget, be it a B&B, 2/3* or higher hotel or leisure resort you are after
  • Festivals, carnivals, fetes and fairs – including such things as Agatha Christie Festival, Torbay Carnival, Paignton regatta or Paignton Bike Festival, all events that often include spectacular fireworks and often the wonderful sight of the Red Arrows display team.

Whether to re-live fond memories of family holidays past, to build new memories with your own children on a family holiday or perhaps a romantic getaway, Spa break or other specialist break and countless holiday packages consider Torquay, it has so much to offer, any time of the year!

Summer fun and entertainment on your holiday at TLH

TLH Entertainment programmeSummer is a really busy time for us here at TLH Leisure Resort in Torquay. Now the schools have broken up and we’re into the main UK family holiday season, our Summer entertainment programme is in full swing with discos, our own Team Show, visiting cabaret acts, everyone’s favourite – Kevin from KB Sounds, quiz nights and karaoke in Alberts, fancy dress competitions, talent contest for under 15’s, al fresco party night on Thursdays (weather permitting), plus plenty of daytime activities too. There’s the daily Toby Club activities, TeenZone stuff for the 10+ age group, loads of family competitions and games, wet n wild and our Summer Fun Day on Wednesdays by the outdoor pool.

We put in loads of work behind the scenes too so we can put on our best performance when we’re on stage in the Starlight Lounge.You can take a sneaky look at us here rehearsing “Play that Funky Music”

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Wish upon a STAR – customer care training.

What do we all wish for when we go on a UK holiday? Nice weather? Good Food? Comfy rooms? Lots to see and do? Attentive service?

Well, here at TLH Leisure Resort, we can’t guarantee the weather, but we can make sure that you have the best holiday you can wish for!

Our own in-house TLH STARs Customer Service training programme has gone from strength to strength over the past 18 months. It only seems like yesterday we were discussing the design of the course with our teams, yet here we are, nearly18 months later and we have just run the first batch of refresher sessions!

We wanted to make sure that our teams were motivated and enthusiastic about providing that consistently excellent customer service we are known for, even during the busy summer months. So, to make sure that we covered everything we needed, we asked staff what they wanted to be included. The feedback was amazing, with everyone supporting the idea of refresher sessions. So with comments in hand I started to design the session. Running for 2 hours I included information on product knowledge, a customer experience exercise (to get everyone thinking like a customer), how we interact with our guests, showing how much we care, teamwork, internal customers and finally those all important last impressions.

The first session was on the 29 June with the last one on 27 July. During this time there were 20 sessions being delivered to nearly 300 staff, covering all departments from kitchens, bars and restaurants to recptions, accounts, sales and marketing. I got them into the restaurant for their coffee break where they witnessed excepionally good and bad service, working in groups to identify how we can get to know our customers more and how we can demontrate good teamwork between different departments, and finally interviwing each other to find out more about different each other and people’s different roles in the business.

The feedback has been fantastic, and I love it when I hear reports from staff and guests at how everyone is putting the session into practice. It’s also nice to see staff that didn’t know each other before, chatting to each other during the day!

Customer service is so important to us here at TLH Leisure Resort that we are constantly looking at ways to improve. I hope everyone agrees that these STARs sessions have really had an impact on the service all of our guests receive. I’d like to take all the credit, but without the support, input and enthusiasm of all the staff here, the training would not have been a success.

The picture below shows some of our teams enjoying a good experience in our lovely Victoria Hotel Restaurant.


Customer Care Training at TLH

Outstanding service in the Victoria Restaurant