In the hospitality industry, a thousand details go into crafting an exemplary customer experience. The shades of color used in the plants flanking the property’s entrance, the first smell a customer experiences when they step inside the lobby, even the music that’s played in the elevator has a role in influencing the how a guest will view a hotel. To achieve that invaluable positive first impression, hotel professionals must remain resolutely cognizant of all five senses.
Janice Nath, Ambiance Architect, has beautified the interiors of numerous hospitality properties throughout the San Diego and Phoenix areas, including the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina (an Ambius customer of over 20 years!). Ambius provides the beautiful hotel with indoor plants and holiday decor. Greener on the Inside spoke with Janice on the topic of helping hotels stimulate the senses of their customers.
Greener on the Inside: Have you seen a lot of hotels lately investing in their interiors?
Janice: With San Diego being a vacation destination, we were hit hard with the recession. Now we’re starting to see things pick up. We are seeing a lot of remodeling in the hospitality industry.
Greener on the Inside: Have you noticed any interior landscaping trends emerging of late in the hospitality industry?
Janice: I’ve noticed a recent trend in hotels revamping their interiors as they traditionally do every 5 or 6 years to keep up with the different fashion trends, colors, and styles. We’ve had a lot of customers looking at new container styles, becoming more contemporary and moving away from the traditional ceramic styles.
Greener on the Inside: Are there plants you have noticed recently that are being used more often in hotels?
Janice: I’ve seen more sleek design using sanseviera and succulents. Hotels are taking a â€˜less is more’ approach, staying away from the more bushy plants and leaning towards clean lines.
Greener on the Inside: What are some of the biggest benefits hotels can gain from investing in indoor plants?
Janice: First and foremost, as we all know “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” and that is true in the hospitality industry as well. Properly designed, well maintained plants make a big impact on “first impressions,” they create a “Sense of Arrival” for a hotel as well as develop their “WOW Factor.” This can mean repeat clientele, longer stays and referral business. All of this combined will increase their per person spend and ultimately their bottom line, which is what we all want.
Greener on the Inside: Are there services besides interior landscaping that fit the needs of hospitality customers?
Janice: Holiday dÃ©cor is an important part of our services to the hospitality industry. It is very important that travelers experience some sort of holiday comfort while traveling during this time of year. We also specialize in Scent Branding. We can make all the locations of a certain brand smell the same to help people associate the smell with a great experience. If it is an odor problem, we can remediate the smell from the area in question (for example, the trash area or parking garage), and introduce a nice scent or no smell at all.
Greener on the Inside: Describe the process of choosing a scent? Are there any smells that are more popular in hotels?
Janice: Every client has an image they want their guests to experience. Choosing the right scent sometimes involves a committee, which can make the process longer. What I ask my clients is how do they want their clientele to feel, relaxed, energized, are we trying to reduce anxiety or no smell at all? This helps lead us to the proper scent for the atmosphere we are developing. Hotels from my experience tend to lean towards a non-offensive scent, nothing too floral or perfume-like. Just a hint of something nice in the air which makes people feel good.
To view Janice’s full portfolio of design work, visit www.ambius.com/janice
What influences your first impression of a hotel? Share below in the comments!