Is it Time to Spruce up Your Landscape?

By Ken Hutcheson President, U.S. Lawns | June 25, 2017

Now that summer is here, it might be time to enhance the appearance of your hotel's grounds. If you think that trimming, edging, and mowing every other week will be enough, think again. Your landscape deserves the best in full-service grounds care carried out by trained experts with an eye for keeping your landscape healthy.
Commercial grounds care is very different than residential landscaping, so even if your hotel has the best looking landscaping in the area, there are still circumstances you'll need to consider in order to keep your grounds safe, healthy, and looking great. As a hotelier, ask yourself these five questions to help decide if it's time to upgrade your landscape.

  1. When Was the Last Time You Assessed Your Surroundings?

    Routine property assessments should be part of any hotelier's to-do list.
    While maintaining the inside of a property might be a higher priority to
    some hoteliers, inspecting the grounds should be just as important. Your
    landscape is the first thing your guests see when they arrive, and you never
    have a second chance to make a good first impression. Typically, inspections
    should be carried out with two viewpoints in mind: first, from a landscape
    professional's perspective, and second through the eyes of a guest.

    Most professional landscape service providers recommend having a walk
    through with you or your maintenance manager to assess your property. A
    grounds care provider should check in on their clients' properties on a
    consistent, regularly-scheduled basis. Some hoteliers trust that their
    on-site maintenance manager would be capable of overseeing maintenance
    issues regarding landscaping, but there are some things only a seasoned
    landscape expert will notice, including hazards that could potentially
    result in an accident. These issues, if not rectified early on, can prove
    costly in the long run. Investing in a professional grounds care company –
    one that makes frequent inspections an integral part of their operations –
    will almost always pay off over time. Not only will an expert be able to
    look out for hazards that may be costly in the event of an accident, but
    they can also keep a property updated, in terms of industry trends, plant
    health, and best practices, which will enhance a property's appearance.

  2. Have You Assessed the Entire Property, or Just the Obvious Parts?

    When assessing the grounds of a property, most people tend to focus first on
    the aesthetic – and for good reason. When guests pull into the
    porte-cochere, park in designated parking spots, or take a walk around to
    the back of the hotel, it's important that what they see is consistent with
    the hotel's brand. While a hotel's maintenance manager may spot hedges in
    need of trimming, pests on shrubs or turf, or hazardous wet spots due to a
    leaking irrigation system, you may need an expert eye to discover what is
    causing those problems and others, and to address the best solutions and
    future prevention. Routine inspections and service by a professional
    grounds care provider will protect the investment you've made in your
    hotel's landscape.

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.