Showcase Your Property with Seasonal Color
By Ken Hutcheson President, U.S. Lawns | June 2013
With strong competition across the hospitality industry, first impressions are key when it comes to hotels contending for guests' business. While quality customer service and generous amenities will encourage guests to return to a property a second and third time, how do you ensure that they choose the hotel in the first place? The answer to this question could be as simple the property's grounds. A bland or overgrown landscape can speak poorly about the quality of service provided by the hotel, eroding customer confidence and injuring long-term loyalty. However, a healthy, well-maintained landscape creates an environment that is appealing and inviting to guests, and sends a strong message about the hotel's commitment to service. Regularly updating and improving a hotel's exterior appearance can present a continually fresh and lively feeling, giving guests an experience rather than just another hotel stay.
In today's fast paced world, guests now have access to hundreds of reservations online and the option to view properties before booking, making it more important than ever for a hotel property to make a great first impression. Consider the following advice as you work with your commercial landscape contractor to develop a healthy-looking, eye-catching landscape that sets your hotel apart from the competition without crippling your bottom line.
Proper planning is essential
Making sure a hotel property looks its best year-round can help keep the reservations coming in, but it requires foresight and proper planning. For example, spring bulbs should be planted in the fall, and annual plants and flowers should be selected based upon which varieties grow best in the regional climate. Tulips and daffodils are great choices for northern states like New York and Connecticut, while cool season annuals such as pansies and violas are well suited for the southern climates of Georgia, the Carolinas and the like. In regions that endure particularly long or harsh winters, ornamental greens such as red twig dogwoods and evergreens provide a festive touch during colder months. Winter-flowering plants will also inject a burst of color into otherwise dreary landscapes. The most popular winter bulbs are daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, and tulips. These cold weather bloomers are suitable for resorts in various geographic regions.
Remember that spring and summer are times to showcase inventive design and creativity, as warmer weather presents considerable options for choosing flowering plants. These flowering varieties add greatly to the overall look of a hotel and the related experience a guest has during their stay. Because there are so many options of spring and summer varieties for hotel owners or managers to choose from, creating a unique, inexpensive look is easy. During fall and winter, efforts should be focused largely on landscape preservation and maintenance. This will help ensure your property is ready to shine in the warmer months, attracting both new and existing customers. Consult your landscape contractor for more ideas about seasonal plant options and care.
Keep in mind that beauty is not everything when it comes to landscaping. It is equally important for a landscape to be intelligently designed. This means taking ease of maintenance, sustainability, and water usage into consideration. These are key details to discuss when working with a landscape contractor to develop a complete landscape plan. If done properly, a well-designed project can significantly reduce a property's operating costs, while still keeping it attractive and impactful.