Hotel Suppliers interviews Symo Parasols’ Anthony Gerard to learn all about how their heavy-duty shade solutions are revolutionising the hospitality industry.
Could you provide a brief overview of Symo Parasols and its offerings for the hotel and hospitality industry?
Symo specialises in manufacturing heavy-duty commercial, designer or customized parasols for the hotel and hospitality industry which suit all outdoor spaces in any climate or landscape. Our products have been hand made in Belgium for over 90 years and we work only with top suppliers so we can offer solid guarantees. We’re a true specialist!
Symo Parasols is renowned for its high-quality collection of parasols. How do these products contribute to enhancing the guest experience at hotels and resorts?
It seems as if parasols never changed for thousands of years: a stick with a little canopy. But nothing is further from the truth! Although Symo continues to produce our handmade parasols with an eye for traditional quality, our parasols have dramatically evolved over the past few years. Of course, they still do what you expect from parasols: they protect against the sun, UV rays and even the rain. But parasols are so much more. Well-chosen parasols are a statement. They exude a hotel’s identity and represent a landmark for customers. And once those customers are sitting on your terrace, parasols create ambience and offer shelter. They still protect your guests against bright sunshine and drizzling rain; but they also increase the surface area where guests can eat and drink, and will keep guests enjoying themselves on the terrace longer, in cooler months or on chilly evenings, when equipped with our integrated lighting and heating.
What unique features do Symo Parasols umbrellas offer that set them apart from competitors?
Our entire Designer Parasols range is unique; patented designs by renowned product designers, such as Marcel Wanders, Lucile Roybier and Mark Gabbertas. Our distinctive Frou Frou parasol, designed by Davy Grosemans, with its raffia fringes, is almost certainly the most photographed parasol on Instagram!
In addition, we offer customisation (fabric/frame colours), special treatments (like rustproofing for salt water), a wind resistance guarantee, (stability up to wind force 7 Beaufort without damage), and a 10-year warranty on all commercial fabrics against fading.
Hotels often seek to create memorable outdoor spaces. How does Symo Parasols collaborate with hoteliers to offer solutions that align with their brand and aesthetic?
Every resort, restaurant, hotel, cruise ship, golf club or café terrace is different. And each of Symo’s parasol coaches is an expert in shade solutions. So, for larger or more complex projects we work closely with the developer, architect, designer and operator. We offer free site visits to help plan the optimal layout for operational needs. We also collaborate to offer branding and corporate colourway solutions. Our free Inspiration Book proposes ideas on how to make outdoor spaces memorable!
Hotels require durable and long-lasting solutions due to high foot traffic. How does Symo Parasols ensure the durability and quality of its products to meet the demands of the hotel industry?
Many of our parasols are still in use after 15 years, and our warranties set the benchmark for the industry. Contrary to most manufacturer business models, we believe in longevity. Our parasols are made using high quality, sustainable, materials, such as eucalyptus wood, waterproof acrylic fabrics, treated steel and aluminium. This combination of materials not only guarantees a long life of the product but is also an eco-friendly choice.
What’s next for Symo Parasols? Are you currently working on anything exciting within the hotel industry?
Yes! From an international perspective, we have started to expand our offering into the Asia Pacific region, which is proving very exciting with ongoing projects in the Maldives, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia. And on a more practical, local level, here in the UK we are introducing an installation service so our customers can now benefit from our support throughout the entire lifecycle of a Symo parasol, from help with selection, through to purchase, installation and on into our exceptional after-sales service.
Click here to learn more about Symo Parasols and their hotel shade offerings.