Mini Hotel Gardens and Specialized Landscaping

By Ken Hutcheson President, U.S. Lawns | July 06, 2014

In the ever growing hospitality industry, first impressions are critical for establishing and maintaining a competitive edge. Each property has its own unique twists and turns that can be used to create an appealing look and feel for the property. Not only can a beautiful garden showcase your property, but it can also be a simple and cost-effective way to differentiate your hotel from the competition.

Careful selection of plant varieties and regular maintenance can help keep the landscape within budget while still showing the hotel's property in its best light. The landscape can create a sense of peace and tranquility, awe, surprise, or even excitement. Whether you want to create small, intimate spaces, highlight a particular feature, or maximize a difficult-to-tame sloping property, every landscape can be used to create an attract space that transports guests to a different place.

Add a Small English Garden

Depending on the overall theme of your property, consider turning all or part of your property into a small garden areas. You can create one large garden with small nooks and crannies or turn only part of the property into a small, intimate space. Creating small gardens can provide guests with a place for quiet contemplation and relaxation.

There are many ways you can create small gardens on your property, and a landscape contractor would be able to help provide direction for what might work best for your property. A popular choice to consider is an English garden, as they are very versatile and can thrive almost anywhere. These types of gardens have become quite popular due to their charm and tranquility as well as the "natural" feeling they can evoke. A small English garden added to the property might include features such as shrubberies along a graveled or mulched walkway, tree plantations to satisfy botanical curiosity, and, most notably, the return of flowers in skirts of sweeping planted beds.

The first thing you want to do is select a few main colors to create continuity within the garden. Annuals allow you the option of trying new colors each year, as well as the chance to keep the colors continuous. If you want to create contrast, then use perennial blooms of opposing colors. You can achieve variety by using a number of different shades of the main color components. The more traditional flowers used in these types of gardens are roses, delphiniums, and foxglove; however there are many others you can use instead. Some others that are also used frequently are pink dianthus, pansies, and violas, but do not feel restricted to just these options. If you want to use more native plants, or have a particular color or style in mind, your landscape contractor can help make suggestions for what will work best for your property.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.