The lobby is a hotel’s first impression. Traditionally, it’s been designed to organize guests and get them quickly to their rooms. But in the last few years, we’re seeing the lobby evolve into a multipurpose space that keeps guest hanging around. Here are just a few ways how the lobby in transitioning into its new role.
The Disappearing Front Desk
Gone is the imposing front desk, with it’s long, tall, stand-up counter manned by busy desk clerks – in are low sit-down desks and sofas while you’re checked in via iPad into your room. Facilitated by mobile check-in, a guest can now walk into a hotel and have some coffee and relax while they wait for their key card. The elimination of paperwork and lines results in a much more satisfying experience.
The Shared Living Room
The lobby is no longer a waiting room, it’s a space for interaction. Comfy open living room configurations designed to encourage conversations. Hotel bars conveniently nearby for a leisurely drink while the guest catches up on emails and Facebook posts using the hotels ultra-fast internet. Easily accessible plugs to charge devices. It is the ultimate living room space for work and play, giving guests a great reason to get out of their room.
The Neighborhood Hang-Out
Some hotels have invited the neighborhood to be part of the guest experience. The integration of cafe’s, bars and restaurants cater to the guests and the public. This makes the lobby less of a transitional space, and more of a destination. Watching live music or playing a exhausting game of ping-pong in the hotel lobby won’t be so unexpected in the years to come.
The lobby is never going to be the same. As it becomes part of a hotel’s offerings, you will see lobbies designed to be more social and functional. So the next time you enter the lobby of a hotel, ask yourself one question: Where do I plug in?