Hotel Lobby Design is Key to Making a Good Impression - Hotelier Magazine (2022)

Hotel Lobby Design is Key to Making a Good Impression - Hotelier Magazine (1)

In the last decade, the hotel lobby has transformed to become a centrepiece of the guest experience. “It was space that was underutilized in the past,” notes Dimitri Antonopoulos, VP of Restaurants and Development at Antonopoulos Group, whose portfolio of restaurants and boutique hotels in Old Montreal includes the recently opened Hotel William Gray. “You would put in a lounge, but [guests] didn’t really spend that much time there — it was more like a waiting area.”

Current trends have seen hotels taking greater advantage of this real estate, creating spaces that are more inviting and guest focused. Often living-room inspired, multi-functionality has also become a key focus of these spaces — a shift Antonopoulos attributes to the effects of global influence and the boutique-hotel movement. At Hotel William Gray, the lobby/living room is designed to feel like part of somebody’s home, complete with a home-bar-inspired craft-cocktail bar. The overall design is a combination of mid-century and contemporary influences, complementing the building’s architecture, which combines two historic buildings with a new glass tower.

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“We [also] incorporated a café and a retail store into the lobby of the hotel,” notes Antonopoulos, a move he says brings local street life directly into the hotel. The property also delivers a taste of Montreal culture to its guests through a curated library featuring books on the city, as well as a vinyl listening station and a collection of albums from local artists.

“It’s important that the lobby and the bar are places that don’t feel closed off from the rest of the city and don’t feel like they’re just for hotel guests or just to do your check-in and check-out or wait for your cab,” says Antonopoulos. “It’s an extension of the [guestroom] and of the city, so it’s important that lobbies and bars are the kind of place that you want to go out to or spend time in.”

This sentiment is shared by Louise Dupont, partner at Montreal-based LemayMichaud Design and Architecture, who likens the ideal lobby atmosphere to that of a café, such as Starbucks, “where you can spend half a day working while sipping your one coffee and nobody would bother you. I would say that hotel lobbies are [moving] more towards taking advantage of this big space.”

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Dupont’s firm is responsible for designing Groupe Germain’s design-forward Alt Hotel concept, including the brand’s most recent addition — Alt Hotel Ottawa. For this hotel, Dupont and her team used wood, warm colours and furniture with a residential feel to create a homey atmosphere. The approximately 50-seat space is also broken up into various zones and features a bar/cafe, as well as Wi-Fi and plenty of outlets, creating “many opportunities to stay in the lobby and enjoy the space.”

Since launching in 2007, the Alt brand has put a focus on creating lobby spaces that function as an extension of the guestroom. “The idea when we designed the original [location] was to create exciting spaces, [while] building smaller rooms and giving more to the common areas,” Dupont explains.

Even at luxury properties, hoteliers are seeing decreased interest in some of the more formal aspects of the upscale-hotel experience. Philipp Posch, GM of the new Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver is seeing the impact that today’s traveller is having on hotel-lobby design. “The younger generation, the millennials…are looking for big open public spaces with great Wi-Fi connection — places to network and socialize,” he says.

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When designing the Trump Vancouver, a lot of thought was put into the functionality of its lobby. In fact, because of bylaws preventing drop-offs at the hotel’s main entrance on West Georgia St., the hotel essentially has two lobbies — the upper lobby/Champagne Lounge at the West Georgia entrance and the lower lobby and check-in area at the rear entrance. The spaces incorporate collections of intimate seating, allowing guests to have their own space within the larger social space. “It’s a great place to go on a date; it’s a great place to come for a business meeting; and there are areas where you can just come, hang out and socialize or people watch,” explains Posch.

The desire for functional spaces has not overshadowed the glamour of the luxury hotel experience, however. The lobby features several luxurious design elements including Blue Volga (a black and blue granite) floors, eucalyptus-wood accents, tiered ceilings, large artwork (including work by Vancouver-based artist Miriam Aroesta) and a $2-million staircase, which spans the lower lobby to the third floor.

“What we tried to do is have something that’s trendy, classy and sophisticated, with a kind of international flare,” says Posch. “We are the first luxury hotel that’s opened [in Vancouver] in six years, so we really wanted to bring a certain international vibe to the city.”

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The team at Hager Design International Inc. in Vancouver is seeing the needs of individual travellers, as well as those of the younger cohort, having a significant impact on the design of these spaces. The result: compact tables and flexible seating areas are gaining in popularity. “Five years ago, nobody would have asked me to do a 20-in. table, but now we’re down to tiny tables — and as many of them as we can get in — in long stretches or scattered throughout the space,” explains Doris Hager, principle, Hager Design International Inc. “The living room has been done now for 15 years, but it is getting broken up into smaller pieces — it’s cohesive and kind of grand, but more flexible.” This style of design lies in stark contrast to grand and imposing lobbies of the not-so-distant past, though it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Hager and her team recently completed the extensive renovation of The Hotel Saskatchewan ahead of the property’s rebranding as an Autograph Collection hotel last year. The hotel’s updated design retains a fairly traditional lobby, however, current trends still impacted the project. The lobby at The Hotel Saskatchewan now boasts a fresh colour palette, marbled flooring and rich, textural carpet featuring modern damask prints. The space also features mirrored elements and classically inspired furniture with modern finishes.

“We wanted to bring it into this century and not only appeal to the current customers, who are in their 50s to 80s; we wanted to start bringing in more of the mid-level executives — the 30 to 40 year olds — if possible,” says Hager. “We needed to modernize it, so we tried to create more of a transitional hotel, but still pay homage to the beautiful, historic features in the hotel, like the gilded mouldings and some of the detailing in the building itself.”

“With the lobby obviously being a place of arrival, we still really wanted to have a glamourous sense of space,” adds Hager Design senior designer Janine Anderson; noting that while the updated lobby remains quite traditional, the attached Circa 27 Lounge offers more of the features that appeal to today’s travellers. “We designed [the lounge] with a lot more tables — loose tables, tables that can be ganged together, more high-tops so singles could be on their laptops — and more outlet locations as well.” Overall, the lobby is a space which must convey the flavour of the hotel and make an impression on visitors. It’s not only the travellers’ first impression when arriving at the hotel, but their first impression when shopping for a hotel. “People are shopping for hotels like they shop for clothing or shoes,” explains Dupont. “They will go online and look at comments on TripAdvisor and photos on social media.”

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“For boutique and destination hotels, the lobbies and bars are key factors that people are choosing a hotel for,” agrees Antonopoulos. “They want to spend time in the hotel; they’re not going to the hotel just to [sleep] there — it’s part of their experience in the city.”


How important is the design of the lobby to the hospitality industry? ›

First Impressions Matter

The lobby is your guest's first look at your hotel, and the impression it makes will leave a mark. You want people's first glimpse of your establishment to be a positive one. Think of what the outcome would be if guests entered a musty-smelling lobby and outdated furniture.

What makes a good hotel lobby? ›

What should a hotel lobby have? At the very least, a hotel lobby should have a desk for check-ins and customer service, a water station, a seating area, and clear signage.

How can hotels improve lobby? ›

Create zones for groups by placing semi-circles of couches around coffee tables. Set up furniture seating zones for individuals by using high-back seats around small tables that welcome guests to work in the lobby. And, provide multiple types of seating arrangements to give options to visitors.

What is the lobby of a hotel called? ›

It is also known as a foyer, reception area, or entry hall. The word comes from the French word loge which means a small room. Lobbies are usually located at the entrance of a building or within easy reach of all parts of the house so they can be used by people coming and going.

What is the importance of lobby? ›

Lobbying provides access to government legislatures that no single individual could possibly hope to achieve. By grouping individual goals together into a lobbying aim, lobbyists represent the interests of many and are more likely to be heard by legislatures than if they came bearing the concerns of one voter.

What are the points we have to consider while designing the hotel lobby? ›

The lobby should be a place where your guests want to stop, see things, and do things. Finding interesting art pieces, whether photography, paintings, or sculpture, that make visiting your entrance area an experience. You can also create a one-of-a-kind experience with custom furniture.

How would you describe a lobby? ›

A lobby is a group of people who band together and try to influence people in public office and politicians. The term may also allude to the action of exerting influence on public officials.

Why is lobby called lobby? ›

Lobby ("a corridor or hall connected with a larger room or series of rooms and used as a passageway or waiting room") came into English use in the 16th century, from the Medieval Latin word lobium, meaning “gallery.” And in one of those rare, pleasing moments in which a word's history seems to make sense, the lobbyist ...

How can I make a lobby more inviting? ›

Nailing the First Impression: How Make Your Lobby Much More...
  1. Select Colors That Reflect Your Message. ...
  2. Provide Food, Drinks, & Information. ...
  3. Show off Your Logo. ...
  4. Incorporate Plant Life. ...
  5. Always Keep Things Clean.
Dec 16, 2019

Why entrance area of a hotel should be designed for the convenience of guests? ›

The entrance area

Before a guest approaches the reception counter, they have to make their way from the front door. The entrance has to be designed so that it is protected against excessive inflow of air from the outside.

What does hotel lobby mean? ›

A lobby is where you meet your friend at the hotel or catch the elevator for your interview.

Why designed of the hotel lobby look wide and spacious? ›

The layout of a hotel lobby is supposed to be designed around the circulation (movement) space, as it needs to look wide and spacious. All the furniture is almost always side-lined, with a large space in the middle, for the easy movement of guests and management alike.

What is main lobby? ›

Main Entry LOBBY is the contiguous area in buildings other than hotel/motel that is directly located by the main entrance of the building through which persons must pass, including any ancillary reception, waiting and seating areas.

What is the role of lobbying in influencing decisions in a meeting? ›

Lobbying is mostly used by organisations to persuade politicians or others with power and influence to support the organisation's position.

What is an example of lobbying? ›

What Are Examples of Lobbying? Lobbying examples include meetings and discussions with government representatives, influencing legislation by negotiating the details of a bill, and pushing for presidential vetoes.

What are the 3 main types of lobbying? ›

Lobbying Forms. Lobbying takes a wide variety of forms, depending on what kinds of issues organized interests work for and whom they try to influence. Berry (1977) grouped various forms of lobbying into three general categories: direct lobbying, grassroots lobbying, and electoral lobbying.

Why is hotel design important? ›

Whether it's a lobby, room, or restaurant, the interior design holds a significant value because it is the entry point of the hotel experience. Serving as a visual backdrop for your potential customers and clients, interior design can enhance the dining experience and delicate accommodations for them!

What are the main consideration for designing a hotel? ›

Following are seven major design consideration which must be considered while designing any Hotel:-
  • Attractive appearance: All over the appearance of a Hotel is one of the very important considerations for a Hotel. ...
  • Efficient Plan: ...
  • Good Location: ...
  • Suitable Material: ...
  • Good Workmanship: ...
  • Sound Financing: ...
  • Competent Management:
Jan 5, 2020

Why is design and layout important in tourism and hospitality industry? ›

The design of a hospitality/tourism establishment can provide an identity or character to the business and project the operation's appeal and vision to visitors, or potential visitors.

What do you call a lobby? ›

▲ A room providing a space out of which one or more other rooms or corridors lead. foyer. hall. vestibule.

How do you decorate a lobby? ›

Use the colors to your advantage when decorating the lobby. For example, if you want to enhance lighting, use light colors on the walls. But if the intention is to lengthen the height of the right foot, make a half wall with a dark color on the bottom and light color on the top. To add depth, just paint the side walls.

What is lobby made from? ›

Lobby is a traditional North Staffordshire stew eaten by poorly-paid potters who could not afford freshly prepared food every day. It consists of minced or diced beef or lamb, diced potatoes, onions, carrots, leeks, and root vegetables bulked up with pearl barley and seasoned.

When did lobbying first start? ›

First lobbyists hired

The term "lobbying," contrary to D.C. myth, did not originate from political favor-seekers mobbing Ulysses S. Grant in the lobby of the Willard Hotel. It actually dates back to the 1640s, when the lobbies of the chambers of the British Parliament were a hotbed for political wrangling.

When did the term lobbying first used? ›

In 1817, one newspaper referred to a William Irving as a “lobby member” (as opposed to an elected member) of the New York legislature. It was the first known use of the term in print.

What is the difference between a lobby and a foyer? ›

A lobby is a communal area in a multi-occupancy building - or more specifically, an area in the Houses of Parliament where members and the public (those lobbying for political support) can meet. A foyer is the entrance to a hotel, or the waiting area in a theatre.

What does hotel lobby mean? ›

A lobby is where you meet your friend at the hotel or catch the elevator for your interview.

How do you describe a hotel reception? ›

Welcoming guests and checking their details against their bookings. Allocating guests their rooms and providing keys. Answering phones from prospective customers and guests, taking messages and delivering them. Completing administrative tasks such as filing and photocopying.

What is a reception in a hotel? ›

noun. (Hospitality (hotel): General) Reception in a hotel is the desk or office that books rooms for people and answers their questions.

What do you call a lobby? ›

▲ A room providing a space out of which one or more other rooms or corridors lead. foyer. hall. vestibule.

What is main lobby? ›

Main Entry LOBBY is the contiguous area in buildings other than hotel/motel that is directly located by the main entrance of the building through which persons must pass, including any ancillary reception, waiting and seating areas.

What is lobby in interior design? ›

Be it a hotel, hospital or office building a lobby can be considered as a staging area where function meets design. Visitors and guests make their first impression of the establishment as soon as they enter the lobby. Thus, it is important to plan your lobby appropriately to make them feel welcomed and be at ease.

Why entrance area of a hotel should be designed for the convenience of guests? ›

The entrance area

Before a guest approaches the reception counter, they have to make their way from the front door. The entrance has to be designed so that it is protected against excessive inflow of air from the outside.

Can you sit in a hotel lobby? ›

Usually a hotel lobby is quiet and deserted, especially in the middle of the week. It is much quieter than a coffee shop or an office. You can even tuck yourself away in a corner and have an uninterrupted Skype call. There are usually many lovely places to sit, including couches, tables and chairs.

Why is reception important in a hotel? ›

Reception is the art of receiving. Welcoming entrances and reception areas provide the best guidance for a Hotel guest on “what to expect”. The Front Desk at a Hotel creates the first and the last impressions in their minds. An efficient and friendly welcome from Reception staff can make all the difference.

What qualifications do you need to be a hotel receptionist? ›

You need to have:
  • a smart appearance.
  • a friendly, helpful manner.
  • an enthusiastic, flexible attitude.
  • excellent communication skills and a good telephone manner.
  • the ability to remain calm under pressure.
  • confidence to make decisions.
  • the ability to multitask.
  • good computer skills.

Why is it important to give a good impression at reception? ›

Make a positive and lasting impression on the receptionist and it just might help your chances of success with the company; create a negative impression and there's a good chance your future with them has reached its end. Here are some helpful tips for winning over the receptionist as soon as your foot is in the door.

Why is front office the heart of hotel? ›

The front office is the heart of a hotel. It's the first and last areas guests see and interact with. How well the front office operates can create repeat business or drive customers away.

Why front office is the most important part of the hotel? ›

Importance of Front Office Department:

The front office is also known as the face of the hotel. It is the first guest contact area and also the nerve center of the hotel. All the activities and areas of the front office are geared towards supporting guest transactions and services.

The Hotel Lobby is one of the most important rooms in your hotel (with the obvious exception of the guest rooms themselves). This is because the lobby is the first room your guest's experience when they arrive at your hotel and, as we all know, first impressions count for a lot.

The Hotel Lobby is one of the most important rooms in your hotel (with the obvious exception of the guest rooms themselves).. This is because the lobby is the first room your guest's experience when they arrive at your hotel and, as we all know, first impressions count for a lot.. The hotel lobby is the heart of your hotel and often has more than one function.. While it’s true that aesthetics plays a major part in any design, the functionality of your hotel lobby will be more important to your guests.. Before you even start thinking about colour schemes, you should think about the functions your hotel lobby needs to serve, and the types of guests you expect.. Different types of guests require different services/functions from your hotel lobby.. As mentioned earlier, the hotel lobby is your guests first encounter with your hotel and the beginning of their experience with you.. Wifi Access to the internet is now an expectation , and the benefits of providing free Wifi in your hotel lobby far outweigh any negatives expenses.. You don’t HAVE to provide your guests with free and unlimited access to the internet (although if you can, your guests will love you for it), but basic access (capped bandwidth and/or time) allowing guests to access/update their social media profiles should be considered.. Bottled water in hotel rooms is not always free, and – as an essential requirement for, you know, staying alive – your guests should always have access to free drinking water.. Social seating areas also encourage people to hang out in your hotel lobby, which can make your hotel seem busier/friendly than others.

Finally hoteliers have realised that they can use their lobby space not only to showcase their property but to also entice guests to extend their time -...

And he warns that hotels have to evolve to keep up with guests' expectations or customers will vote with their feet, as: "guests no longer want to see massive corporate power statements; it is more about soft colours and using a lobby as a lounge area, which is active and enlivens the property.". He says: "We are now designing spaces where people can read, watch television and relax, with a lot more thought being put into the furniture and overall design of these spaces.". Merging zones and relaxing rules A serial redefiner of boutique hotels, Robin Hutson, chairman and CEO of Lime Wood Group and Home Grown Hotels, explains that his most recent projects have moved on from the old-fashioned delineated concepts of different areas only serving one purpose.. The design White also notes that the trend towards recreating a living room space has impacted the interior design as well as layout.. It is fundamental to the open lobby concept that all these elements create the feeling of an open invitation to relax in a homely atmosphere without feeling austere or transient.. Tom Rowntree, vice president brand management & quality Europe at IHG, explains: "The open lobby concept is casual, unpretentious space designed to make everyone feel welcome, whether they're alone or with a group, with kids or colleagues.". The Hoste in Burnham Market is building a new external reception area to replace the old reception in the centre of the hotel and enable the main hotel entrance to be accessed from the car park.. Following a £3m refurbishment, the reception area of Cannizaro House hotel in Wimbledon, London, was radically changed to enable guests to feel more relaxed and friendly when checking in.. The lobby was designed to be open and friendly and the old-fashioned long reception desk was replaced with two pod-style booths which are more welcoming for guests.. CitizenM London Bankside's open plan lobby 'living room' creates a space that it calls a home from home.. Due to open in July, the Brimstone hotel in the Lake District will not have a traditional reception or check-in desk as guests will be shown directly to their room by a member of staff.. The scheme fundamentally changes the hotel lobby, adding two new entrances and an extended reception area, and increases floor space by 60%.

At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) — held in Las Vegas in January — virtual-reality (VR) technology was ubiquitous, with hundreds of booths demonstrating a slew of VR experiences debuting this year. Attendees reportedly showed strong enthusiasm towards the new technology. In fact, according to the U.S.-based Consumer Technology Association, 77 per cent of […]

At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) — held in Las Vegas in January — virtual-reality (VR) technology was ubiquitous, with hundreds of booths demonstrating a slew of VR experiences debuting this year.. Paramount Pictures, for example, partnered with production company Framestone in Oct. 2014 to create a VR experience using the Oculus Rift headset — produced by a division of Facebook.. Today, as VR products make their way into a variety of markets, the hotel industry is embracing the new technology.. In the past year, Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and Airbnb have all incorporated VR into the guest experience in some way.. Marriott Hotels & Resorts launched a VR-based guest service in 2015, dubbed VRoom Service, which allows guests to order virtual-reality experiences to their rooms.. VRoom Service — created in collaboration with Samsung — offers guests a Samsung Gear VR headset and accompanying headphones delivered to their room.. VR Postcards are available to guests partaking in VRoom Service, as well as to the general public via Samsung Milk VR premium video service.. Its new VR experience is an effort to take its existing offerings one step further and create a truly immersive experience, explains Dorothy Dowling, SVP and chief Marketing officer at Best Western.. “This is going to allow customers to have an experience before they get to wherever they’re going and really qualify and quantify that experience in terms of what they want to do when they get there.” Best Western’s VR technology takes the company’s accumulation of 1.7 million Google photos and adds music, customized narration and 360-degree videos to create a virtual reality that, when viewed through a VR headset, will place users in a simulated Best Western hotel.. I think, for consumers, that’s really going to redefine the game.” Best Western’s VR experiences are available through the company’s branded channels as well as on Facebook and Google.. Hotel virtual experiences are spreading through the hospitality industry like wildfire as each ensuing brand finds its own way to incorporate the technology into its guest offerings.. A month later, Holiday Inn Express released a VR video starring the brand’s creative director Rob Riggle, promoting the hotel’s “power shower” experience.. In many ways, VR is comparable to what smartphones were when the iPhone was first gaining traction in the mobile-phone market; standalone headsets are still too expensive for mainstream use — with Facebook’s Oculus Rift priced at $800 and HTC’s Vive at $1,229 — so they remain novelty products at demonstration booths or as part of a paid hotel experience.

Pack the wow-factor for your guests by following our 10 tips on creating the perfect hotel lobby plan. Find out how Lugo can transform your hotel today.

This choice of hotel lobby furniture is great if you want to create a flexible area, keeping the traffic fluid as bar stools can easily be moved and take up little floor space.. When considering your hotel lobby furniture layout, it is important to think about the pairings of which tables need to go with which seating, depending on the area.. More likely than not, a hotel lobby is a relatively small space, which gives added reason to be meticulous when considering your hotel lobby furniture layout.. If you’re considering adding quieter spaces to your hotel lobby design, you could benefit from choosing a combination of poseur tables , bar stools and lower seating such as lounge chairs.. Choosing furniture with features such as loose upholstered seat pads, patterned fabric and wipeable surfaces will all help prolong the lifespan of your hotel lobby furniture.

Learn the 5 most effective things every apartment community needs to lure future residents in and keep current residents happy with these 5 lobby amenities.

Here are five lobby amenities that multifamily communities can implement to improve the current and prospective resident experience.. As Brick Underground writes , “while beautiful communal spaces are certainly not a bad thing for a building to have, don’t forget that you’re not designing the lobby purely for its aesthetic value: the area will get a lot of use, and should fit in with the building as a whole.”. What do you use the lobby for?. What area or thing do you like most in the lobby?. It’s a property manager’s job to ensure the safety of their residents and to do their best to prevent crime from occurring in or around the building.. Good lighting inside the lobby and directly outside the building will make anyone who’s entering or leaving feel much safer.. An average of 149 packages are delivered each week to the standard multifamily community.. For heavy/oversized packages, 52% of managers keep them in the management office, 32% deliver them to the resident’s door, and 22% store them in a separate storage area.. In addition, far too much of a property manager’s time is spent receiving, storing, and delivering packages.. These lockers are fantastic lobby amenities that are capable of providing the following:. Security – Parcel Pending package lockers have 24/7 cameras that capture both deliveries and pickups.. Refrigerated parcel lockers can also provide a property with temperature-controlled lockers for groceries, medicines, or perishables in general.. A solution to package woes is an amenity that’s going to be celebrated by the entire community — the property manager included.. Think of Hotels The goal should be to make the lobby feel like that of a hotel.. By having tables, working spaces, a meeting room or personal guest rooms, residents are given the opportunity to change up their work environment.


1. AAHOACON17 Education Session: Preparing for the Future of Franchising, Change Is in the Air
2. Deep Dive with Dara: Hotel Design with Kit Kemp
3. Ina Bose Live Stream
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4. Social Media Marketing for Hotels : Building a Persona and Creating Brand Voice
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5. The Boutique Hotel's Crisis Guide to Design & Architecture
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6. AT Webinar with SIG - What is the future for hotel design after Covid?
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