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7 Ways to Make Use of Outdoor Spaces at Your Hotel

Outdoor Spaces of Your Hotel

Take advantage of underused outdoor space and cater to guests who prefer to spend time “al fresco” now.

The pandemic jump-started a trend toward spending time and socializing outdoors, where there’s plenty of ventilation, especially if there’s a nice breeze.

This trend doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon, and many hotels are expanding into their outdoor space and taking advantage of opportunities to increase revenue. From rooftop bars to outdoor conference rooms, guests will jump at the chance to spend time outside at your property.

Here are seven ways to use extra outdoor space to create places guests will love to spend time – and in some cases money:

  1. Extend your lobby. You offer comfortable seating inside your lobby, so how about extending it outside? Guests may want to meet others in their party or wait for a rideshare or taxi out in the fresh air.“We are looking at comfortable chairs, side tables, planters, even private seating nooks for groups,” Shannon Suess of architecture and design firm MG2 told Hotel Management. She added a suggestion to extend canopies and overhangs to allow guests to enjoy the outdoor “lobby” even on rainy days.
  2. Create a meeting space. Consider adding an outdoor area with seating for groups that would prefer to meet outside. For example, the Hyatt Regency Maui turned part of a restaurant patio into an outdoor conference room during the pandemic. In addition to better ventilation, meeting outside can offer wellness benefits, such as increased productivity. “We have meeting planners using outdoor spaces for meetings, not just food and beverage or social events,” Cara Banasch, Vice President of Sales for Omni Hotels & Resorts told Hospitality Net.
  3. Plant a garden. Some hotels have planted culinary gardens onsite. These spaces can offer guests a pretty place to walk and enjoy native plants, and they also may provide herbs and flowers for the hotel bar and restaurant. Check out these hotel garden ideas, including vertical gardens, pollinator gardens and edible landscapes.
  4. Build a walking or biking trail. Hotel gyms are great, but many guests may prefer to do at least part of their workout in the great outdoors. Whether you have space to create a small loop or a meandering trail through woods, your fitness-oriented guests may appreciate a chance to work up a sweat outside. Don’t have the space? Consider simply putting together a guest guide to local parks, green spaces and hiking trails.
  5. Create a dog park. Is your property pet-friendly? Your guests with canine travel companions may appreciate having a space to let their pooches run off some steam and socialize. It’s also a great way for guests to meet and chat with other dog-loving travelers. For inspiration, check out BringFido’s list of hotels with awesome dog parks.
  6. Put in a fire pit. Gathering around a fire pit, maybe with a drink in hand, is a popular way to relax. Putting in an outdoor fire feature can draw guests to the flames and offer an opportunity for increasing your revenue in beverage sales. The Travel Channel offers a list of hotels with the coziest fire pits, a great way to get design ideas.
  7. Hold outdoor classes and events. You can draw guests outside by holding outdoor events featuring local artists, chefs or wellness instructors. Think yoga in the park, an outdoor art show or even outside cooking classes or wine tasting events. For example, Hotel Management points to one Florida hotel that installed an outdoor pizza oven to host “culinary events” outside for additional revenue.

These ideas can get you on the road to providing more opportunities to get outside, attracting guests who value wellness and creating new opportunities to increase your revenue.