We all know that exciting feeling of walking through the front door of a hotel and into the lobby, knowing at that moment your holiday has officially begun; and the lobby probably sets the tone for your whole hotel experience. Here are 10 welcome hubs that have changed from mere check-in points to becoming the real heartbeat of a hotel.
The Tropical Nature Lobby – la a natu Bed & Bakery, Thailand
Chillax away from the busy city, nestled among the green rice paddies and next to the tropical blue sea, ‘Hay’ Lobby & Eatery of la a natu bed & bakery resort in Prachuap Khiri Khan offers another enchanting experience that Nature lovers will totally fall for! As you walk across the bamboo bridge, you’ll find yourself in a purely rare natural space like-no-other. With its local Thai and Lao-inspired décor and art, and environmentally friendly concepts, la a natu offers guests a contemporary and luxurious design twist experience.
The Live Music Lobby – Ace Hotel London Shoreditch
Too cool for skool is the best way to describe the Ace Shoreditch in London and that’s certainly the impression you get when you sashay into its lobby space. A real social hub, where you can work and relax in the day but party by night. The lobby has a full bar, top-notch coffee shop, plus a sixteen-seat communal work table. There’s a gallery space, with regularly rotating exhibitions by artists from Shoreditch and in the evening the lobby really comes alive and turns into a live music venue, with DJ sets, live musicians and even musical afternoon tea. There is a musical treat every night of the week, so 24 hour party people need to check this one out.
The Playground Lobby – Barcelo Malaga
Now this is a lobby that you can slide on into in style. The Barcelo Malaga is a designer hotel in the heart of Malaga, with a cutting-edge lobby area you have to see to believe. The main attraction is the giant stainless steel slide known as the EDHA (meaning “sliding structure for daring humans” in Spanish). This impressive slide takes guests straight from the first floor to the hotel’s trendy B-Lounge bar. It’s perfect if you’re in a real hurry for a tasty cocktail.
The Swimming Pool Lobby – Room Mate Grace, New York
Smack bang in the centre of midtown Manhattan, you’ll find the hidden gem that is Room Mate Grace. With its unique lobby space, complete with an indoor pool, sauna and steam room, it’s the perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The funky lobby has the enviable swimming pool as its stylish centrepiece. The warm mood lighting along with the cushioned colosseum-style seats, give this 24 hour pool, with the only swim-up bar in NYC, a cool pool-party vibe. If you don’t fancy a dip, you can always watch the action from the mezzanine bar.
The Instagram Lobby – Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour, Sydney
Known as the first Instagram hotel, the 1888 Darling Harbour is a boutique hotel combining Sydney’s old world charm with contemporary & vibrant design. The Instagram theme kicks off the second you hit the lobby, as guests actually check in via Instagram. The real photo-action though takes place at the selfie stand next to the lobby bar – a giant picture frame that’s been installed for guests to take snaps and tag #1888Hotel. Their image then instantaneously appears on screens at reception that show the live Instagram feed. The biggest Instagram incentive though is that those with more than 10K Instagram followers get to stay for free!
Self-Check-in Hotel Lobby – U&Me Hotel, Umeå in Sweden
Labelled as one of Europe’s most innovative hotels, the U&Me Hotel is a creative, hip hotel right on the river in cultural Umeå. Check in (and out) is a high-tech affair, which is done from kiosks in the lobby area. Well if you can call it a lobby. The hotel doesn’t have a traditional lobby space (because everything here is done online, even ordering hotel services), but the check in pod sits at the heart of Umeå’s cultural arena Väven. You could therefore argue that the hotel has the world’s largest hotel library (Umeå City Library), a theatre, an art-house cinema, a museum, a conference centre and a deli – all accessible from the ‘lobby’ zone.
The Coffee Connoisseur Lobby – Lux Belle Mare, Mauritius
The second you step into the luxurious open-air lobby of the Lux Belle Mare in Mauritius, you know you’re in paradise. The serene setting has a stunning water feature, relaxed seating area and an unexpected but delightful waft of coffee in the air as you step inside. This is because the lobby is also home to Café Lux, an impressive coffee bar where every day you can enjoy coffee tastings from trained Baristas and even watch the coffee beans being roasted, before they’re shipped off to other hotels on the island.
The Game Zone Lobby – Hotel Zetta San Francisco
Hotel Zetta is an urban retreat in San Francisco, where sophisticated, state-of-the-art features meet interactive gaming. The lobby is the social hub of the hotel with its lounge, bar and even Mac stations for guests to use. The most eye-catching feature however is the giant 30 ft Plinko game wall. Cascading down from The Playroom on the mezzanine, where guests can also enjoy a game of pool, shuffleboard, ping pong or giant Jenga! You’re never too old to play games, especially if you’re on holiday!
The Art Gallery Lobby – Molitor Paris by MGallery
For 60 years Molitor was the most popular swimming baths in Paris, with its pools, galas and avant garde ambiance. It closed in 1989 and became a haunt for artists, who turned it into an urban art venue. In 2014 Molitor was reborn into the hotel it is today, with the pool and art at its heart. The lobby feels more like a pop up art gallery, with a graffiti Rolls Royce as its centerpiece. When you check in here your heart will be racing with excitement.
The Ultimate Lobby Bar – InterContinental Hong Kong
Renowned for its views of the Victoria Harbour and the city’s renowned skyline, this stunning lobby offers an extraordinary vantage point of Hong Kong. Its wrap-around, expansive glass windows and panoramic harbour views have made this “the place to see and be seen” for over three decades. The lobby has evolved with the times and its latest design creates a refined and luxurious space. Guests will want to check out the famous cocktails the second they check in.
Special thanks to Hotels.com for photos and information