Hotel Exterior Restorations to Enhance Sense of Place

Using Curb Appeal Tactics to Augment Guests' First Impressions of Your Property

By Larry Mogelonsky President & Founder, LMA Communications | November 15, 2015

Hotel architecture is one of the more intricate and creative aspects of our industry. Even though most of us will never have any input in the design of a new property from the ground up (leave that to the accredited architects), there are still numerous opportunities to leave your mark on a hotel via smaller-scale refurbishments projects – necessary tasks to keep up with the times.

Guestrooms need reconfiguration and new furniture purchases to better accommodate the modern, tech-centric business traveler. Lobby spaces require alterations to enhance their ‘third space’ hybrid functionality. Restaurants that feel dated should be renovated as should their menus. Bathrooms are constantly audited. And all other soft elements must go through the necessary cycle at least once a decade.

An aspect of architecture and design that is often neglected, though, pertains to that of a hotel’s exterior and how you populate these spaces to create dramatic points of interest and to generate a distinct sense of place. To borrow a term from the real estate field, what we are discussing here is ‘curb appeal’ – that gut reaction your guests feel when they first lay eyes upon your property, even before they enter the lobby or interact with a staff member.

The primary reason for establishing a strong sense of place even before guests physically enter the hotel is to tap into their emotional states of mind and build positive sentiments right from the start. A grand art deco facade and carport primes visitors to believe that they are in for a luxurious, sophisticated experience. Postmodern materials and angles at the entranceway cue guests to anticipate other hip and novel design features throughout their stay. Clean exteriors assure guests that the interiors are likewise hygienic. Eclectic sculptures build anticipate for more curious attractions in the lobby and corridors.

As you can see, there are many ways to enhance curb appeal and exterior sense of place. While many of these upgrades will break the bank, my bet is that you have neither the disposable cash nor the authorization to initiate such a sweeping overhaul. Hence, we must get creative with our solutions, and below are a few general suggestions to help you find something that works.

Façade Facelifts

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Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. 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.