Lobbies are no longer just spaces for checking in and out of a property. The current trend is to provide an experience that appeals to travelers and local visitors alike. The addition of art, expanded seating and social gathering areas, complete with updated technology and entertainment, help take hotel lobbies to the next level. Make sure you are making the right impression.
Lobbies have transformed to more than just waiting areas. They are now places guests gather and plan to meet. With stylish desks and seating, guests will sense the care taken to craft an exceptional visual experience. Before, aesthetics took priority over functionality but designers now understand operations. Style elements have a practical side, making it easier for staff to maintain the lobby. Pleasant lobby experiences generally consist of abundant greenery and natural elements, such as stone and wood to create what is known as biophilic design. Consider larger windows or doing away with fussy window treatments to highlight views or landmarks. Guests want something dazzling to post on social media. A new trend is to take inspiration from the local area. These inspiring ideas can be in-season fruits or interesting history. The Indigo Pearl in Phuket, Thailand, designed its hotel with a theme that pays homage to local origins as a tin mining town. Railroad ties and tin grace the lobby for a design that is Instagram gold.
Flowing from sleep, dining and enjoying the property, the goal is to impress guests of every generation at every opportunity. The W hotel in New York City is an example of a stunning revamped lobby. With a remodel in 2017 that recreates nearby Times Square, there are interactive displays and graffiti to delight guests. The hotel used décor, lighting and technology to design a unique experience that guests will always remember and share with others. Hotels are courting guests with spaces that are perfect for when they want a public space to call their own. This can include stylish seating, game areas and backdrops that make for a stellar social media post.
Furniture always helps make a positive first impression. From retro fabulous to sleek modern, the only requirement of lobby furniture is to give comfort to weary travelers. Make sure seating is generous and reflective of the overall themes. One of the prevailing trends for hotels is to use furniture, ambient lighting and stark, contrasting palettes to create a modern look. Furniture is the easiest way to modernize a lobby. Although the Empire Hotel in New York City is a century old, it features what is quite possibly the most modern furniture of any American lobby. With a neutral palette consisting of coffee, gray and black with metallic finishes, the modern furniture creates a contrast guests and designers love. For a punch of style, think sculptures, chandeliers, regional – not necessarily kitschy – art and unexpected hues.
Beyond WiFi, guests want to experience connectivity via customer interactions, guestrooms, and meeting spaces. To keep up with tech consumption, hotels should offer mobile keys, streaming content casting, charging stations, lighting automation, voice assistants and more. With regard to the lobby, explore custom speakers, touchscreens, LED lights and digital signs to create a quasi-lounge for guests.
An emerging trend is technology that extends the lobby outdoors. Hotels can add amenities that are expected in the lobby to exterior spaces. Guests can charge their devices outdoors and check in. Hawaii’s Hale Koa Hotel has a lobby that harnesses the power of fresh air. It is open on all sides and has every device needed for a memorable check in.
Welcome guests to your lobby and increase brand awareness with the biological marketing of scent to craft a memorable guest experience. Beyond a favorable first impression, a pleasant or bespoke scent can evoke fond memories with just one whiff. Positano, Italy’s Hotel Le has won numerous awards for their signature fragrance that combines a hint of musk with a touch of incense, bergamot and blackcurrant buds to make guests feel grounded and elegant with every inhale. Hotel Costes in Paris has a hallmark white scent that gives any space a pure energy. The minimalist scent offers hints of lily, ginger and white cedar. These ambient scents are powerful marketing tools, as they connect to the brain’s limbic system, which is a straight path to emotions and the ability to evaluate. Consider customizing a scent that will lingers in guests’ happiest memories.
Beyond cool designs and advanced technology, a lobby must pass the white glove test at a glance. Floors, windows and seating should always be immaculate. A lobby is a public space that welcomes guests and also provides the first impression. It does not matter the prestige or age of a hotel, if the floor is smudged or seating areas are strewn with trash, guests will doubt the level of care and attention to detail they will receive at the hotel.
Guest Supply helps hotels stay current with the latest lobby trends. To learn more, contact us today.