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 2019...

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.