A hotel lobby is a guest’s first and last impression at any property. The space must have personality, be inviting, comfortable and convey the unique essence of the brand. Consumer desire has shifted away from formal, opulent decor in favor of the home-away-from-home vibe. The interior design must echo the overall branding concept with the story reflected in each and every detail.
The Front Desk, Reimagined
Traditionally, the front desk is the focal point of the lobby. Contemporary tastes and shifting consumer desires have made the presence of the front desk more nuanced. The standard bar format of yesteryear has become discrete and the lobby has evolved into a series of cosier spaces featuring scattered sections or pods. Guests prefer to be greeted by friendly hosts rather than “hotel staff”. Offer them a seat and a drink, call them by name, make them feel right at home…
Lobbies used to serve the specific function of checking guests in and out. Of course there’s also the necessity of the concierge and bell-hop stations, but we can think outside the box on how to present them. Nowadays, lobbies have evolved into multifunctional spaces that serve as a casual meeting area, perhaps a hotel bar, or even a restaurant. Furnishings should be a mix of comfortable upholstered furniture as well as dining/meeting table style set-ups. This expands on the varieties of uses, maximising use of space and overall hominess.
Quality is Everything
The lobby is the highest-traffic space in any hotel. It’s critical not to skimp on the details. Quality commercial fabrics, sturdy hardware and flooring, lasting furnishings and excellent acoustics are all necessary components for an enduring lobby. Layered on top of this is of course, captivating design – logo, branding guidelines, service design, and marketing must all be considered in unison with interior design to achieve a well-rounded image. Think of it as telling a story that guests will remember long after leaving the property drawing them back for future visits.