Running a hotel business means creating a home from home experience for guests, whereby they feel comfortable enough to relax but with an assortment of features, facilities, and little luxuries which elevate the experience and make it as memorable as possible.
And while businesses ranging from the budget hotel sector to 5-star hotels often focus on the bedrooms in delivering that high-end experience, it’s important not to overlook the communal areas of your business – namely the hotel lobby.
The hotel lobby is the first interior space that any and every guest will experience in your hotel, and so it needs to capture everything from your theme to the quality of experience, the friendliness of your team, and the atmosphere you are wanting to create. It needs to be functional and offer that “wow” factor that instantly puts guests at ease and leaves them excited to continue their experience with you.
With all that in mind, here are some things to consider based on our experience in the hotel interior design industry.
Integrate different levels
With a check-in / reception desk, a baggage drop counter, and other customer service areas that relate to the experience you are offering guests, it can be very easy to fall into the trap of creating a one-dimensional space with every furnishing sitting at the same level.
To mix this up and create a softer and more aesthetically pleasing environment, integrate seating and a coffee table into the reception space of your hotel lobby, and make the best possible use of the floor space with standing plants and other decorations which soften the room.
Large space? Add flexible areas for work and relaxing
If your hotel lobby happens to be a large space, then consider ways of elevating its practicality for hotel guests and those who can come in and use your Wifi for work while enjoying a coffee or snack from your onsite restaurant.
This is best achieved by locating some comfortable working chairs into a corner with plenty of sockets for chargers, away from the reception desk where there tends to be noise throughout the day.
Small space? Consider the navigation
If your lobby is a small and compact space, paying attention to how guests will navigate the space is key. Where will they queue if waiting to be seen at the reception desk, is there adequate space for incoming and outgoing guests with their bags, and is the reception desk well positioned in terms of the front and door and onward access for guests checking in?
Clean signage is a must in your hotel lobby, with clear spaces for high footfall routes and areas.
Rethink soft furnishings and fabrics
While it’s great to integrate branding and your business colour scheme into the hotel lobby, too much colour can become overwhelming and can make the space feel smaller if you’re not careful. Instead, focus on a few standout accessories and features which really highlight your brand, and keep the rest of the lobby space feeling clean and neutral for a relaxing welcome.
Fabrics in particular should be carefully chosen for durability and a high rate of use – paying attention to furnishings which look high in quality even after they’ve been used excessively all year round.
Think about lighting
Good lighting is a fundamental element to the design of every space within your hotel, as you need to present a warm and welcoming environment for guests no matter what time of day or night they arrive. Offering ample light both inside the hotel lobby and around the frontal exterior of your hotel will immediately offer them a sense of safety and security and will serve as a welcoming beacon for checking in and returning guests.
Pay attention to the details
There are many ways of making your hotel lobby stand out and create a memorable impression without loads of colour and juxtaposing fabrics or textures. These can be found in the details and decorative accessories that you work into your hotel lobby, with some good examples including:
- The history and/or story of your hotel and the building
- Local maps and things to see or do, depending on your location
- Additional experiences that you offer and/or market
- Luxury add-ons, such as a concierge service
- Working spaces and/or relaxing sofas for incoming and outgoing guests enjoy
- Pictures of your hotel team to add a personal touch to the décor
Bringing all this to life in your hotel means working with a company that understands the complexity of interior design for businesses and has experience of bringing ideas together in a cohesive and practical way.