Blackpool hotelier opens up his doorways to the world with the UK’s first digital nomad lodge
Former international news photographer Duncan Ridgley has opened something else at the former Andora Hotel on Lonsdale Road.
But instead of targeting British stag and hen vacationers, he is exclusively offering the rooms to the new generation of travelers who use the internet to make love.
Bloggers, travel writers or anyone who works from anywhere in the world and can thus move from city to city to see the world at the same time can stay in the newly designed residence with its first-class broadband.
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“/>Dianna Garri, Russian travel blogger who stayed at the Somwhere Different Digital Nomad Hotel in Blackpool
Duncan, who had a hotel in Sri Lanka that was damaged by the 2004 tsunami and who has a hotel in Siwa, Egypt, said he had been looking for the right location in the UK for some time.
He said while most overseas tourists thinking of visiting the UK would choose London, the expensive room rates would put off so-called digital nomads who want to see the world on a budget.
He said Blackpool, with its vibrant attractions and affordable room rates, is the ideal location as London, Manchester, Liverpool, the Lake District and even Scotland are just a train ride away.
Duncan, whose paparazzi photos of the famous have appeared in the Sun newspaper for more than six years, said: “I came home to renovate and open a hotel in England in January and coronavirus happened!
“/> Somewhere else is on Lonsdale Road and used to be the old Andora Hotel
“But before it started, I already got a lot of interest and had some guests from overseas. I’m just leaving digital nomads, people who work. It’s all about community. When you come here you expect people to be like you and that is one of the big reasons you come here.
“Before the corona, it was a massively booming group of people who basically worked online. For example the people who make websites, write corporate social media, dental reports, whatever. If you don’t have to be in the office for this, this is it.
“They worked remotely for years before the coronavirus and now everyone is working remotely. It has increased from 0.02 percent of employees to 65 percent. It will only grow in the future if the workplaces become more flexible. Digital nomads work from home but find they can do it from anywhere as long as they have top-notch broadband.
“Blackpool has just had the best possible connection to the US and Europe thanks to the transatlantic cable, and we never have blackouts like in some countries.
“/> The digital nomad hotel in Blackpool, owned by former paparazzi photographer Duncan Ridgley, hoping to make the resort THE place to stay in the UK
“A lot of digital nomads don’t want to spend a lot of money, they live pretty frugally. So why stay in London when you can get the authentic British experience in a wonderful place like Blackpool, where people are so friendly for £ 300 a month?”
Duncan spent £ 41,000 renovating the 14-room building, including two doubles and one for three people. However, it is mainly single rooms. He said the minimum stay is a week and travelers can only book on a Sunday.
“They’re not tourists, they also come to practice their language, see a country’s true culture, and here at Something Different they have a wide range of entertainment and attractions within 15 minutes’ walk. It’s about collaboration and living together.
“The connections from Blackpool to the Lakes, Liverpool and Manchester, which are an hour and a half away, are fantastic. Oh, and we have a fabulous beach here.
“/> The idea is to keep costs down for people who travel the world and work at the same time
“I have the UK’s first nomad digital hotel and I hope to make Blackpool the nation’s digital nomad capital.”
“/> Everyone who stays there has top-notch broadband to make working online easy“/> Duncan Ridgley says the remote work sector was booming even before coronavirus made people aware of how easy it was to work online“/> Dianna Garri enjoys the dunes as part of her tour. Blackpool is cheaper than London and offers a different experience of the Lake District, Liverpool, the nearby Yorkshire Dales and its own attractions