1983. Rubik’s Cubes drove people crazy, little girls carried around puffy-cheeked Cabbage Patch Dolls, cinema-goers were wowed by Jaws in 3D and Flashdance the movie contributed to the craze of skin-clad nylon clothing and legwarmers. In the heart of London, while David Bowie’s Let’s Dance blasted on people’s stereos, Superbreak was founded by two former employees of British Rail.
Some of the early 80s highlights have prevailed and others, thankfully, remain in the past. While David Bowie has recently launched a brand new single to celebrate his 66th birthday, Mullets are no longer a respectable hair-do. Alongside Next, Daler-Rowney, Snappy Snaps, Bonmarché and Waterstones, we’re proud to be an 80’s-born British brand that has stood the test of time. 2013 is our 30th Anniversary year, and we’ve come a long way since being founded three decades ago.
After identifying a growing trend for short break holidays among the UK population, with increased leisure time, disposable income and a desire to see more of the country, our founders set up shop in an office on Grays Road in London. Today, these former offices make up part of the formidable St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, which reopened after a lengthy renovation in 2011. While our new offices based in York are a touch less glamorous than the luxury 5 star hotel, we’re proud to have called York our home for the last 19 years.
After starting with a modest portfolio of 91 hotels in 67 locations across the UK, including 17 in central London, we now boast a collection of over 5,670 hotels in almost 700 destinations around the world. With our founders’ connection to the rail industry, a large proportion of our short breaks sold during the early 80s were rail inclusive breaks, with London and Scotland being the most popular destinations.
Two of our five best-selling hotels in 1983 were based in Scotland; The Central Hotel in Glasgow and The Northern British Hotel in Edinburgh (today known as 5 star The Balmoral Hotel). The Scottish capital remains as one of our top selling destinations for short breaks, with many customers making the most of our Edinburgh For Less breaks each year.
Our top-selling hotel in 1983 was the Great Northern Hotel at Kings Cross. Opened in 1854, this hotel was one of the earliest purpose-built railway hotels in the country. The building that commands an enviable position on the doorstep of Kings Cross station is currently being restored and will open as a new luxury boutique hotel in early 2013.
Last year, our best-selling hotel was also in London, indicating the prevailing popularity of the capital as a destination for a city break. The Cavendish London topped our chart in 2012, which is popular among our guests thanks to its plush interiors and location on the prestigious Jermyn Street near Piccadilly Circus.
Stars Of The Stage
Having a close relationship with London, it was only a matter of time before theatre breaks became an important part of the Superbreak offering. Back in 1983, Cats won a Tony Award for Best Musical and Blood Brothers made its West End debut at the Lyric Theatre. Popular shows among our customers in the 80s included Miss Saigon and Les Misérables which has recently been transformed into an Oscar-nominated film.
The romantic drama set during the French Revolution remains popular among our theatre-goers today, with The Lion King, Wicked and Jersey Boys also starring in many of our customers’ London theatre breaks. We’re looking forward to seeing new shows Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, The Book of Mormon and A Chorus Line opening soon.
It’s safe to say we’ve come a long way over the last thirty years and we think we’ve still got a long way to go. With a new mobile website launching soon and the recent addition of our flight and hotel packages we hope to continue to send our customers on short breaks to new and exciting destinations for years to come.
Ps. Look out for a special 30th Birthday Competition coming soon on our Facebook page!