It's not surprising that guests can form their first and usually lasting impressions of the quality of your hotel establishment from the upkeep of the grounds. Online, your hotel homepage features a photomontage of lush gardens, green grounds, and perfectly manicured landscaping. The photos that illustrate dreamy sunsets, bright sunny days, and quiet mornings with romantic lighting are enough to convince almost everyone that visits your website that your hotel rivals the beauty of the Garden of Eden. In fact, the grounds of your hotel are a huge selling point, and many people choose your hotel over others simply because of your supposed attention to grounds upkeep. The hotel grounds are where guests and visitors can relax, take leisurely strolls, picnic, and enjoy the flora and fauna of the flowering gardens. And there are even more benefits of having impeccably manicured grounds. How about providing shade in hot climates, protection from strong winds and if your hotel is in a city, a haven from traffic fumes and dusts?
You want people to step onto your grounds and be struck with the beauty of your hotel. So imagine when your guests arrive only to find that the pictures so profoundly featured on your website are nothing more than marked-up, photoshopped pictures that look nothing like the actual grounds of your hotel. Imagine the looks of disappointment when they realize that what they thought was going to be a romantic weekend getaway at your pictured equivalent of “Heaven on earth” was actually going to be little more than an overpriced stay at a glorified motel.
While an attractive, clean and well-maintained outside appearance is usually a pretty good indicator of the commitment to high standards and cleanliness within, disregard and failure to upkeep gardens and grounds tells your guests that you aren't concerned with much other than swiping their credit card for payment. But if the upkeep of your grounds and gardens can influence whether or not a guest returns or recommends the hotel to others, it seems like a no-brainer that you would take the time to trim your shrubs and rake your leaves.
Perhaps the reason that your gardens have gone from thriving to shriveling is because of the astronomical amount of your water bill and the drain of energy that the maintenance of your garden requires. But what if you learned that smart landscaping designs could not only be maintained relatively inexpensively, but could also help curb the costs of energy in other realms of your hotel as well? It's a way to kill two birds with one stone, really. Not only are you able to impress your guests with the upkeep of the outside appearance of your hotel and maintain your reputation as an ideal getaway spot, but you'll also be able to save resources and energy that could, with no doubt, be used in smarter ways in your establishment.
In fact, according to Hotel Energy Solutions, well-designed landscaping can minimize summer heat gain in your hotel, reducing your cooling needs by 20-100 percent. It's true! How about an example? Try planting big leafy tree on the southwest or southeast side of the hotel property. Why? Because the shade that's cast by the tree will help reduce the cooling needs of the inside of your hotel and help you to maintain a comfortable temperature for your guests.
Or how about instead of planting trees, shrubs, and flowers that aren't native to your hotel climate and require extra care to bloom and blossom, consider planting indigenous shrubs that need less TLC to survive. Not only will you be able to cut maintenance costs, but you'll also be saving money on energy and water resources.
In the dead of summer when the weather is warm and the sun is bright, your guests will surely be thrilled with the shade cover that the landscaping of the hotel property offers. What else can help with summer heat? Installing open pools or fountains can help with cooling by evaporation. Also, choosing the right ground cover for the grounds can help play a role in keeping your summer guests cool and comfortable.
These are just simple shortcut solutions that can help you in the long run with the maintenance of your property, but they're tricks that won't solve all your problems. But don't worry. We have a suggested solution for you because we know that the combined realities of spring rainfall, summer heat and potentially brutal winter temperatures can be a significant concern for the upkeep of your property. With the installation of humidity sensors and/or flood sensors you can take a big sigh of relief because they are excellent safeguards for problematic weather. Using a sustainable approach for the planning and maintenance of gardens and grounds combined with the implementation of continuous, automatic and fault tolerant temperature, humidity and/or flood sensors will help you to reduce your maintenance costs, keep your gardens growing, and show your commitment to operating a hotel that guests will want to return to for many years to come.
Kate Hofberg, Epicurean Essayist
Temperature@lert’s resident foodie from sunny Santa Barbara, Kate Hofberg, creates weekly blog posts, manages the content database, and assists with the marketing team's projects. Balancing a love for both the west and east coast, Hofberg studied at University of California Santa Barbara, where she received a Bachelors in Communications, and Boston University, where she is currently a Masters candidate in Journalism. Before coming to Temperature@lert, Hofberg trained in her foodie ways through consumption of extremely spicy, authentic Mexican food with her three brothers and managing a popular Santa Barbara beachside restaurant. Through her training and love of great food, she brings fresh methods of cooking up content. When Hofberg is not working on Temperature@lert marketing endeavors, she serves as a weekly opinion columnist for the Boston University independent student-run newspaper, The Daily Free Press. If time permits, Hofberg enjoys long walks, reading, playing with her cat, and eating pizza. Her ideal temperature is 115°F because she loves temperatures as hot and spicy as her food.