Preparing Your Hotel Landscaping for Spring
By Ken Hutcheson President, U.S. Lawns | March 13, 2016
As temperatures start to warm up and thawing begins, many hoteliers across the country are thrilled to say goodbye to winter. In some regions, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, this winter proved to be a hotelier's worst nightmare. With above freezing temperatures and blizzard-like conditions, it was difficult for some guests to even travel to their destinations. Keeping entranceways, parking lots and sidewalks clean and safe was another challenge many hotel owners and managers faced this winter. Now that winter has officially come to an end, it's time to prepare your landscapes for spring.
Below are a few simple tips to ensure your landscape is prepared for the upcoming season:
Protect and Invest in Your Curb Appeal
Hotel owners and managers know that their hotel's year-round curb appeal is extremely important in attracting the right guests to their property. The landscape is often a guest's first impression of your hotel (whether the guest realizes it or not). Because of this, hotel owners and property managers need to focus on creating a visual landscape that aligns with their hotel's brand image. For example, two to three star hotels/motels like the Quality Inn, Comfort Inn & Suites, Best Western, and Holiday Inn aren't trying to give off the impression that they're competing with high-end hotels. That's not to say that they don't care about their landscapes – they're just unlikely to create elaborate flower displays/arrangements or invest in high maintenance landscapes with expensive foliage. Despite this, these hotel managers and owners know that they still need to foster a crisp and clean landscape. Low cost and low maintenance landscapes are the ideal gardening solution for these types of hotels.
Talk to your contractor about what vegetation is right for your geographic location. This will help you determine which plants/flowers are right for your hotel. Keep in mind that durability and maintenance are two important factors to think about when choosing foliage. For instance, Snapdragons, Cleome, and Caladium are a few examples of vegetation that are suitable for all locations and they don't require much upkeep.
On the other hand, if you're a property manager for a high-end resort or hotel, the costs associated with your curb appeal are going to be higher. Four and five star hotel brands like The Ritz Carlton, The Four Seasons, The Park Hyatt, The Fairmont, and The Intercontinental, have a certain look and feel about them. Those property managers should work with their contractors to plant more extravagant flower displays in the public areas where the guests have access. There should also be a consistent theme throughout the property to uphold the hotel's brand. The pool area needs to express the same level of luxury as the entranceways and the lobby. While the costs are going to be higher to do this, it's necessary to meet the expectations of your customers. It's been proven that flowers in particular create an emotional impact on guests. In fact, a Rutgers University study showed a that there's a link between mood elevation and flowers. Flowers also work to enhance a destination's atmosphere. For example, a hotel in Hawaii would be full of tropical vegetation like plumerias and hibiscus, while a hotel in China would lean more toward Zen arrangements.