A hotel makes its first impression through its lobby – from its ambiance to the kind of service that is offered right at its doorstep. Guest expectations are always high when they set foot at a hotel; thus, the hotel lobby is key to a memorable experience. The lobby bears the image that the hotel wants to uphold, whether it is a five-star property, a mid-scale offering, a dainty boutique hotel, or a sensible, decent accommodation. As a crucial area and major deciding factor for guests to stay or look somewhere else, how to design a hotel lobby ought to be a well-studied endeavor, impeccably melding form and functionality.
Things to Consider in Designing a Hotel Lobby
Hotel lobbies have common features across levels, ratings, and categories. As soon as a guest arrives and steps inside, beckoning before him is a tasteful waiting area, a reception area, and other features that may tickle his fancy. There may be aa plush cafe, a glamorous boutique to walk into, a peek into special, manicured gardens and spaces, and whatever else the hotel has to offer. Considering these factors, it is important to understand some key fundamentals before launching into an effective design project.
- The hotel lobby’s layout. The first thing to consider in how to design a hotel lobby is the layout. The layout shows how the overall look of the hotel lobby will be, including the placement of the hotel lobby’s fixtures, furnishings and other physical features. The layout has to take into account the amount of lobby space a designer can work with, an estimated number of guests the lobby can comfortably hold, and the like.
- The reception area. This has to be strategically located as this is where a guest heads to for his needs. The reception area needs to have a welcoming but sophisticated feel, being one of a guest’s first points of contact in a hotel. The reception typically consists of an elegantly designed counter set against a pleasing, picture-perfect backdrop.
- The comfort and ambiance of the waiting area. This feature of a hotel lobby is as important as the reception area since it is another way of communicating a hotel’s welcome. When a travel-weary guest can settle and regain his composure in the waiting area, the hotel already gives an impression of great service. The waiting area then has to have cozy furniture that fits well into the entire design scheme of the hotel lobby.
- Putting all these fundamentals together, the final look of the hotel lobby. After imagining the reception, layout, and waiting area, the hotel lobby design must tell a story that a guest would not be able to resist. How do you seamlessly bring all these together to create a final look and feel? That can be addressed by the use of themes, color schemes, lighting, textures, and materials. These elements must be maximized in learning how to design a hotel lobby.
So from the general look and layout of a hotel lobby, it is also important to zoom into the details that, as was previously mentioned, would help seamlessly create a unified image. Here are a few touches and considerations.
- Consider what the hotel’s clientele needs. The design of the hotel lobby must always have the client in mind so that every nook and cranny and each turn that a client makes would serve his needs. The hotel lobby these days is not only about checking in receiving guests at the foyer. It also functions as space for the guests to meet, work, and create. In this case, the hotel lobby could be made more spacious and strewn with furniture that allows for collaboration, the use of technology, and should be equipped with high-speed connectivity and the like. Or, if the client base is largely composed of people who want to forget about work while they are at the hotel, then let the hotel lobby design give them that — pure relaxation, cozy cafes, and some art they can peruse or interact with.
- Embed features that appeal to the senses. When designing the hotel lobby, it is not only the sense of sight that has to be thought about. Design elements that activate the senses make the hotel lobby a more memorable experience. A play on textures and not to mention comfortable temperatures appeal to the sense of touch. Choosing a signature scent for the hotel lobby also powerfully appeals to the guests and may bring to mind beautiful memories and feelings. Lighting can help create a mood that may be romantic or dynamic, depending on the hotel’s clientele. This is one great thing to consider in how to design a hotel lobby.
- A touch of the natural. Many guests appreciate the natural, like an idyllic and unobstructed view of the outdoors, the use of daylight, the sound of birds, among others. Positioning the hotel lobby so that the built environment works well with natural surroundings is definitely exhilarating for the weary traveler who checks in. Here’s how to learn more about hotel design.
Thinking about how to design a hotel lobby is a collaborative and iterative process between the owner, management, and designer. It is a task that is not exclusively for the designer alone. The best designs are born out of a multidisciplinary approach that is in touch with clients’ current pulse and preference. Designing this significant area is also a process of breaking the heart and soul open, because the hotel lobby, after all, is another community space where people come together to share and commune.