The lobby is one of the most important spaces of a lodging operation. Whether they’re checking in, checking out, or waiting to meet friends, every guest spends time there. It’s where they form their first and last impressions of your property. So ensuring optimal design and functionality should be a priority. Here are our top tips for making the most out of your hotel lobby:
Utilize an integrated lobby layout
First and foremost, you want your lobby to be welcoming. It should be a place guests feel inspired to sit down and spend some time. And it’s a positive feedback loop. A welcoming ambiance will encourage guests to linger, and people relaxing and enjoying the space will create a welcoming ambiance. But how do you get the ball rolling? A lot of it has to do with layout.
The key to an inviting lobby is integration. Instead of designing a traditional lobby with a front desk and little else, try to blend in other functional zones. Places to lounge, places to eat, places to work—a variety of seating options will turn your lobby into a dynamic space your guests can enjoy, instead of just pass through. And if your staff are equipped with a tablet, you can skip the traditional front desk altogether.
Add more plants
There is a plethora of benefits associated with indoor plants. In addition to being aesthetically appealing, plants help filter pollutants out of the air, reduce noise levels, and alleviate stress. It’s the basis for the extremely popular trend of biophilic design. So add more plants to your lobby—it’ll be good for the wellbeing of your guests and staff alike.
Offer food and beverages
Nothing encourages people to sit down and relax quite like food and beverages. So consider having things to eat and drink on offer in your lobby space. It’ll go a long way in converting it from a simple transition space to the buzzing epicenter of your property.
Depending on the size and culture of your property this can take many different forms. Full cafe and bar service will make sense for some hotels while a complimentary tea and coffee station will be the most practical for others. Whatever you choose, try and a throw in a little taste of the local culture—that’s what most of your guests are there for after all.
In addition to offering things to eat and drink, providing entertainment can do a lot to make guests feel welcome in your lobby. Whether you go as big as hosting live music or as simple as providing board games and reading material, the presence of entertainment will tell your guests they’re welcome to kick back, relax, and enjoy the lobby.
Display useful information
As the hub of your hotel, your lobby is the perfect place to display information relevant to your guests. And including info about the hotel as well as the surrounding community will undoubtedly be appreciated by them. Consider presenting transportation information and weather conditions (near exits), content about hotel amenities and events (near the counter and elevator banks), and info about local attractions and businesses.
And in this day and age, you should consider doing it all digitally. Using screens to display content (instead of posters and brochures) will keep your property feeling current, allow you to make regular updates as things change, and reduce paper waste at your property.
Your lobby is an important space. Every single guest walks through it multiple times in a day. It sets the tone for the entire property, so make sure you do everything you can to get the most out of it.
Editorial note: we have published a new, updated article about this topic.