Hotel lobbies have become an art form in themselves – beautiful, unusual and hard-to-leave
Opening Acts – Hotel lobbies have become an art form in themselves – beautiful, unusual and hard-to-leave
The lobby extravaganza that’s overtaken the hotel industry today illustrates how important the adage “dress to impress” really is in the world of hospitality. Soaring atriums make guests dizzy with awe while art-inspired contemporary designs are trending. It’s all part of shaping hotel lobbies into aesthetic and interactive experiences. A new generation of travelers, particularly Millennials, are demanding visual stimulation and unique inspiration. Thus, hotels are creating Wow factors for their guests as soon as they arrive with the end goal of giving them that extra special‘ something’ to take with them when they depart.
Accordingly, like the preamble to a great book, the lobby has become the stage-setter, the opening lines that determines whether the hotel’s story is worth taking part in, the signature space that anticipates the stay that is to come.
Herewith, we present a compilation of the lavishly beautiful, the unusual and the hard-to-leave lobbies that make remarkable first impressions.
1. The Conrad New York
Located in Lower Manhattan, in the heart of Battery Park City, the Conrad NewYork hotel is a strategic venue for the exploration of Tribeca and downtown NewYork. Its lobby evokes a grand, sophisticated vibe with its 15-story atrium that produces a soaring, larger-than-life feel.
The muted blue and purple lighting of a painting by Sol LeWitt called Loopy Doopy, rising 13 stories creates a dramatic effect. This piece is LeWitt’s largest, spanning 100 by 80 feet and required 100 gallons of paint and 3,000 hours to finish. Imi Knoebel’s Mennige (Polygon) in the east entry of the atrium lobby is another addition that radiates sophistication. The globally inspired architectural styles and artwork are geared towards a new generation of the luxury consumer.
2. InterContinental Hong Kong
Some hotels are lavishly designed to accommodate their astounding surroundings. Case in point: The InterContinental Hong Kong lobby lounge. The hotel is located on the Kowloon waterfront – near Kowloon’s business, entertainment and shopping districts – and gives amazing panoramic views of the Victoria Harbor from its high glass windows.
From the choices of architectural materials to the color selections, the design compliments the property’s unique location. It owes its shape to the movement of the harbor’s horizontal waves and vertical patterns that reflect Hong Kong’s skyline, but it’s subtle enough to keep all eyes on the view.
3. The Radisson Blu Berlin
The Radisson Blu hotel in Berlin is situated along the banks of the River Spree next to the Berlin Cathedral. Aside from its strategic location, it is another portrayal of grand style, a characteristic guests comprehend immediately upon entering the distinctive lobby. The unique feature that captivates the attention is a massive aquarium or“AquaDom” right in the heart of the space.
Exuberant and endlessly fascinating, this cylindrical aquarium is filled with over 250,000 gallons of salt water, making it the world’s largest. The Radisson Blu truly wows its guests with the combination of splendor and nature in the tall, grand, illuminating aquarium.
4. The Veranda High Resort Chiang Mai
The Veranda High Resort Chiang Mai embraces a boutique design that’s in complete harmony with the natural landscape that surrounds this stunning property. With its lofty site high in the mountains of the Lanna Kingdom of Thailand, the resort conveys a vibe of rejuvenating escape.
The subtlety of design, purity of motif, and serene setting of its open-air lobby draw guests into an oasis of calm that the space creates at first sight. Its earthy colors, delicate arched construction and open feel beckon a retreat with nature.
5. The Cove Atlantis on Paradise Island
The Cove Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas radiates the very notion of an ideal resort getaway. Beautiful beaches, inviting pools and opulent everything, this resort doesn’t fall short when it comes to giving its guests an unforgettable experience.
The splendid impression starts with the lobby – a vast, openair, two-story affair that is alluring, elegant, but still humble in its approach. The chandeliers create a dramatic tone that highlights the lobby’s grand design while the open sky and ocean at the end of the hall create the sense of escape beyond the illusion of never ending columns and walkway waiting to be explored.
6. The Thompson Toronto
The lobby of the Thompson Toronto has taken an unusual approach to the challenge of creating a hard-to-leave setting. The understated space is not extravagant or luxurious, yet it manifests a decidedly modern décor with illumination against pitch black walls. This makes it an art-savvy lobby that appeals to Millennials who are looking for comfort and innovation rather than opulence.
The lobby features a captivating hand-painted, threedimensional mural of Toronto’s skyline by Spanish artist Javier Mariscal, measuring 125 by 12 feet. In addition, the dramatic lighting and hardwood floors give the lobby an intimate atmosphere that makes its guest feel welcome. This hotel is a perfect match to the surrounding neighborhood in Central King West where the city’s eclectic art galleries reside and where shopping, dining and nightlife are all within walking distance.
The Mandarin Oriental Barcelona is located on Passeig de Gràcia, a well-known street for shopping, and is situated in a mid-20th century townhouse that exudes a luxurious, contemporary outlook. Its design reflects the local scene while infusing an eastern touch to resonate with the Mandarin Oriental’s eponymous style.
The entrance is set as a catwalk with towering white walls, making one feel small in comparison. Award-winning designer Patricia Urquiola sought to create a décor of understated luxury with the combination of organic shapes and clear lines.
8. The Barcelo Raval
The Barcelo Raval, also located in Barcelona, is an enticing sight with its contrasting colors and modern art. The lobby has an unorthodox shape with a uniquely round, open plan that bespeaks a distinctly cosmopolitan flair. It plays on the light and dark motif with LED-based lighting and design elements.
Against what seems to be a spotted wall are actual peep holes that are inspired by the Raval neighborhoods that surround the