- Homemade Irish Cream Whiskey – It’s like Baileys, but better. Make a big batch ahead of time, and it can keep for up to two months. Be sure to use a quality whiskey – such as Jameson’s, and you’re set for success. Did I mention that it’s cheaper than the store bought stuff as well? You can have fun with the flavours too. Try and infuse it with peppermint, vanilla, or cinnamon. One word: YUM! Click here for an amazing recipe.
- Soothing Homemade Bath Salts – Here’s the great thing about bath salts, they are so simple to make and you can put whatever you want in the recipe. Maybe you’re stressed out from having your in-laws over, there’s a recipe for that. Perhaps you’re hung-over from one too many rum and eggnogs with your cousins, there’s a recipe for that. Or maybe you just need a relaxing time to yourself with no distractions, there is also a recipe for that. Disclaimer: Results may vary with every bath. These bath salts do not cure hang-overs or get rid of in-laws. Click here for awesome recipe ideas.
- Family Cook Book – I’m sure everyone’s family has those special recipes that are passed down from generation to generation. Like grandma’s meatloaf, who doesn’t love meat loaf? It’s time to put away that old disorganized cookie tin where you are currently keeping them. Why not have them organized in a nice way that is easy to find and use. One idea is to get crafty and DIY, similar to a scrap book. Another idea is to have them digitalized and put onto the computer, so the recipes are easily sharable; there are tons of companies who are doing this right now. Here is one idea to get you started.
- Chocolate Nut Bark – For the chocoholic. Everyone knows someone with a sweet tooth. The staff at work is going to love this holiday-time treat. Try it with dark chocolate for that less-sweet sensation, or even mix it up with white chocolate. Heck! Why not get crazy and add some dried fruit. There is a ton of recipes out there to try, check out this one it is simple and delicious!
- Coffee Cup Sleeves –I don’t know about you, but I love my coffee. I always use a sleeve for my coffee when I’m getting my coffee to go. Does anyone enjoy burning their fingers on the cup? This idea is so great because they are re-useable and absolutely adorable. Did you know that approximately 80% of Canadians drink coffee? That means there is a very high chance that his DIY is going to be a hit with more than one person on your list this year. This blog has as an easy step by step tutorial.
Top 6 Reasons To Use a Realtor
There is a time and a place for DIY, but buying or selling your home is certainly not one of those! For most, buying a home will be the biggest purchase of your lifetime. Your realtor will save you time and money, all the while supporting you during a highly sensitive time. The following is Premiere Suite’s top 6 reasons to use a Realor:
Negotiating skills are essential if you want the best deal. Realtors are skilled negotiators because they are able to bring an objective voice to a very subjective situation. They are able to remove themselves emotional aspects of the transaction, which enables them to negotiate professionally on your behalf.
Your realtor will have the inside track on properties before they even hit the market. On top of MLS listings, they have access to every home on all market sources, including ones that may not be listed publicly.
3) Access to information
Agents have heaps of information that will come in handy when deciding on a property. They can provide neighbourhood details such noise levels and quality of schools, home features and precautions, as well as market conditions such as how long the house has been on the market, square foot cost of similar homes, and other important criteria that will help guide you on your decision.
4) Understanding the fine print
Shopping for a home is the fun part, but navigating your way through complex contracts and legal arrangements can leave your head spinning. Today’s contracts are often 50 pages or more, with added riders and addendums on top of that. Because real estate agents know the buying & selling process, they can navigate you through lengthy and confusing paperwork that goes with the transaction.
5) Emotional support
For most, property represents the biggest purchase you will ever make. With that comes a rollercoaster of emotions that accompany the excitement and stress of the buying/selling process. Having a concerned, yet objective 3rd party will keep you focused on the most important issues. And when you reach that moment of buyer’s remorse, your realtor will offer professional, objective advice when you need it most!
6) Connections in the industry
Your realtor has spent years, if not decades, building connections with industry professionals. Utilize your realtor’s networking – they can recommend the best lawyers, mortgage brokers, bankers, inspectors, and even tradesmen for renovations.
Together we are stronger: Simple donations bring a community together to make a difference
To uphold our 4 star quality standard in our suites, we are continually upgrading and improving our products and services. With nearly 50 suites in our portfolio undergoing updates, we do end up with a lot of perfectly good, usable items that are certainly not destined to fulfill their days in the landfill. Hence, our philosophy is that what we don’t use or need, we donate. Today was a day not unlike others, but what started out to be an ordinary donation drop off, turned into a heart-warming glimpse into the human spirit of our dear Victorian neighbours.
Today we made a trip to the Compassionate Resource Warehouse, or the CRW as they are known locally. The CRW is a registered charity that helps those in need by collecting, processing, packaging, and shipping a variety of donated goods and equipment to responsible charities around the globe. Walking into the Compassionate Resources Warehouse was like entering into a working beehive. Dozens of volunteers buzzed about between towering shelves stacked high to the ceiling. Rows upon rows of boxes stretched back into the shadowy depths of the huge warehouse. It was almost too much to take in at first; the vast quantity of supplies was dizzying. We were quickly greeted and welcomed a tour of the space and operations. What initially appeared to be complete chaos, soon took the form of a tightly organized, well-oiled machine of an operation.
Every body makes a difference.
I couldn’t believe how many people came together to make a difference. Everyone had a job to do, and everyone did it happily. Someone was assembling educational kits for a country in need, another was fixing sewing machines and replacing the electric components with a hand crank – so that anyone in any country could make use of the machine whether they had access to electricity or not. Dozens of wheelchairs were collected, disassembled, reassembled, fixed, and stored. Everything had a place in the warehouse, from sporting goods to educational materials, tools, toys, medical supplies, clothing, and housewares. Last year alone, the Compassionate Resource Warehouse shipped over 500 walkers overseas, 2956 sewing kits, 689 bikes, 4145 medical supply boxes, and 1267 hospital beds.
It stretched my mind and warmed my heart to think that this kind of compassion is coming from our fellow friends and neighbours, who freely give their time, skills, and resources to make a difference. The CRW is an all-volunteer organization and reflects the generosity and community spirit of Victorians, and we couldn’t be happier to donate our gently used goods to this charity. For drop off information, visit the CRW website here.
The 10 Things You MUST do During the Holiday Season in Victoria BC
Victoria is a magical place, and it truly comes alive during the holiday season. The city is adorned with twinkling lights, carolers and buskers liven up the streets, and festivals & events take place in every neighbourhood. Premiere Suites Victoria has narrowed down the top 10 events you do not want to miss this holiday season!
1) Vote for your favourite Christmas tree while supporting the Victoria Hospitals Foundation at the 25th Annual Festival of the Trees. Hosted by both the Fairmont Empress Hotel and the Bay Centre this year, you will look up in wonder at 85 beautifully & creatively decorated trees
2) Magic of Christmas at the Butchart Gardens is a holiday tradition that you do not want miss. This family friendly, pet friendly event runs the month of December into early January, and features the “12 Days of Christmas” light display throughout the gardens, along with festive brass bands and Christmas carollers, as well as outdoor ice skating.
3) Beat the crowds at the malls and visit Father Christmas in Old Town. You can get your picture taken and share your holiday wishes with this jolly spirit at the Royal BC Museum. Santa will be waiting for you on Fridays-Sundays from 11am-3pm on the first 3 weekends in December.
4) Feast your senses on the creative inspirations constructed entirely by holiday gingerbread! The Inn at Laurel Point is host to Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase, where professional and amateur bakers alike display their masterpieces for all to enjoy.
5) The boats in Victoria’s Inner Harbour are lit up in a vibrant display of Christmas lights during the Marina Light Up. Take in the delightful display as you wander the downtown causeway with a loved one, hot chocolate in hand.
6) On Saturday December 3rd, come be a part of the Ogden Point Christmas Light Up in support of the Mustard Seed. Stay and see the IEOA Lighted Truck Parade, which begins at Ogden Point at 6:30pm and arrives at the Western Speedway by 8:30pm with many viewing locations in between!
7) Marvel at the lights of Centennial Square and downtown Victoria from atop the 20 meter Ferris Wheel Ride. Santa will be there, along with food vendors and holiday entertainers – sure to make this a memorable Christmas event.
8) There is no better place to do your Christmas shopping than at one of the many Christmas Markets offered in Victoria. Find that perfect something for that special someone in your life made by a local vendor with love.
9) Bundle up and bring the family down to the Delta Victoria Ocean Point Resort to enjoy one of Victoria’s great Christmas traditions – Christmas Starlight Cinema in the Inner Harbour. Don’t forget your lawn chair, blanket, and warm drinks – heaters provided by the hotel.
10) Unleash your Christmas spirit as you sign and dance along with the Victoria Soul Gospel Choir. You will have a hard time staying seated through the high-energy sounds of Motown, R&B, Gospel, and Raggae!
Premiere Suites offers their top tips for buying a condo in Victoria
So you have decided to take the plunge and dive into the property pool. Congratulations! Victoria’s real estate market is smoking hot and there is no better time to get on board and start making your investment pay off. With units selling faster than you can view them, it’s important to do your research so you can make a quick, educated decision to get the suite of your dreams.
Here are our insider tips on buying a condo unit in Victoria:
*Set your sights high
Literally and figuratively speaking, higher floor units are more desirable. They come with a better view, are perceived to be safer, and are the brightest and quietest from street noise. Of course with every floor you jump, your budget does as well. Be prepared to spend at least $10,000 additional per floor for a comparable unit.
*Size does matter – But layout is just as important
Consider a unit that is 1000 square feet that is a one bedroom suite plus a den. In the same building, another unit that is also 1000 square feet has a 2 bedroom configuration. Which floor plan gives you the most flexibility? Which layout offers an inviting, open floor plan? Bright, open concept spaces generally most desirable and have the best resale value.
*Location location location
This has been drilled into us, but what does it mean to the home buyer? First, determine what is going on in your neighbourhood. Is a development craze happening? This could be a smart time to invest, as property values tend to rise with infrastructure developments. Do a little homework to source new developments in the area – will you lose your view if a new building goes up next door? Buying street facing (or better yet, a park facing) unit will, at a minimum, protect your privacy and partial view. Remember that lifestyle and convenience are paramount to condo living. A little research into businesses, amenities, and entertainment/recreation venues in the area will go a long way into marketing your unit for rent. Knowing what businesses are coming into the area will affect the future value of your property.
*Get to know the property management
When run properly, strata’s can save you a lot of time, worry, and money, while protecting your investment from depreciation. Do not hesitate to request a copy of meeting minutes or other relevant documents to the management of the building. Consider past special assessments made and outstanding issues that could add costs in the future. When was the reserve fund last used? About strata fees: do not be afraid of the additional price tag associated with strata’s – they are there for a reason. Too low can mean that the building is not being maintained and can affect the depreciate rate. Strata fees that are considered to be high are normally associated with the amenities and common areas within the building. Consider how important spaces like fitness centres, pools, meeting rooms, party rooms, and communal terraces are to you.
*Plan to live there, even if you plan not to
When purchasing our first property, my father-in-law gave us a piece of advice that has always stuck with me. In our search for an investment property, he advised that whichever condo we decided on, we must be willing to live in it, even if we planned not too. Sounds simple enough, but when shopping for an investment property, many only think of the rental potential or resale value, and ignore a scenario where they may have to occupy the unit at a period in time. His advice proved rather useful, for rather than flipping the unit upon completion, we decided to live there for the first year to take advantage of the First Time Home Buyer Program. Had we not chosen the 2 bedroom unit on the sunny side of the building, it is unlikely that our time there would have stretched to 6 wonderful years of downtown condo living. At the end of the day, it’s about keeping your options open.
*Secure a parking space
Even if you do not have a car or plan not to use a parking stall, buying a parking stall alongside your condo unit should be on the top of your “Must Have” list. With parking spaces are becoming increasingly scarce in the city, your unit will be far more valuable with the added benefit of a secure parking stall. There will always be someone willing to rent the space from you if you find it sitting empty.
*Hire a professional realtor
With the lightning-speed rate of sale in Victoria, it can be frustrating at best to get your name in the game, when cash offers are being accepted on the spot. Your realtors will be your best friend during the buying process. Thy have ins on units before they even hit the market, will be your negotiating hero, and will keep you focused on what’s important while making one of the largest purchases in your life. Best of all, it costs you nothing, as the seller pays the commission.
I’ve never been very good at good-byes.
In fact I think we all started to miss you the day you told us you were moving on. So it is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to our lovely Dani. She has been a shinning star in our office for the better part of a year and we will all miss you greatly! What is Dani moving onto that is better than Premiere Suites you might ask? Well certainly not better (we’re a tough act to follow!), but in a very different direction… Dani is moving to Vancouver to follow her passion in the Film industry. With many industries and successes under her belt, we are sure she will flourish amid the creativity and craziness of the acting world! We wish you all the best in your new endeavours Dani! (sniff-sniff)
We would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest team member, Luisa Cinanni!
Luisa brings to us a host of knowledge and talents in international reservations and hospitality… not to mention she speaks four languages to boot. Luisa’s thoughtful manor and extensive background in tourism, including a degree in Economics and Techniques of Tourism, will be a great fit with our office as our new Reservations Manager.
We look forward to working and growing with you at Premiere Suites Victoria, Luisa!
Whether we are ready to admit it or not, it’s almost that time of year again. The Holidays are fast approaching us. This time of year brings so many things to be thankful for like family, rum and eggnog, the smell of home baked goods, those crisp and cool frosty mornings, rum and eggnog, out-door ice skating, and hoping for snow. Did I mention rum and eggnog?
I’m sure we all have a few people on our list who are difficult to shop for. The simple brother who is impossible to shop for, the aunt who has everything, or the sister-in-law who is thrilled with whatever you get her but secretly she hates it. Well, why not mix things up this year. Keep it simple and do it yourself. I’ve put together a list of DIY gifts for the Holiday’s that are a sure-fire win! Not to mention they are simple, because if you’re like me if it looks too complex it will turn into one of those Pinterest fails. Yikes!
As I walked my dog to work this morning I realized how infectious a smile can be. It’s the simplest thing, but has the ability to make a tremendous impact. As I praised Linus for being a good boy we both looked over at this woman loading her kids into a minivan. I noticed the big smile she had on her face as she looked at us. We exchanged wide, tooth filled smiles and then continued walking. It then got me thinking that if you take a split second out of your day to exchange smiles with a complete stranger, it really has the ability to make someone’s day. The optimist in me thinks so anyways.
Is it the meeting of minds that makes this concept so intriguing? You really have no idea what the other person is thinking, but for that split second there is a shared mutual moment of happiness between two strangers.
The Fall 2014 edition of Capital Magazine launched this week, and we are ecstatic to be front and centre with a full-page spread. The positive feedback we have received already truly warms our hearts, and is a reminder to all of us why we work in the hospitality industry. Premiere Suites definitely has a competitive advantage that is hard to beat.
Although I am still a new addition to the team at Premiere Suites Victoria, from day one I knew that Premiere is not your average 9-5 job. Every day for us is different, and that’s what keeps us loving what we do. Everyone is special in their own way, we’ve accepted it. When guests have special requests I am always doing my very best to accommodate, even if that means taking a trip to a building to measure how high the parking garage is…or counting how many TV’s are in a given suite. It’s just part of what we do. We understand that a lot of our guests have to be away from their families and loved ones for extended periods of time when travelling for work. That’s why we strive to make every guests stay as comfortable as possible.
Our Niche in the Industry
When it comes to pricing and luxury for extended stay guests, we believe we are in a good spot. A fully furnished condo with us costs less than a comparable hotel. Ours are larger, include parking, cable, internet, housekeeping, and in-suite laundry. A big advantage to staying with us is that all of our stays longer than 30 nights are non-taxable. What you see is what you get, and what you get is a lot. Literally bring your suite case and you’re home.
“Life’s too big for a hotel room”
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