Trending: Evolving Lobbies

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The idea of an underutilised lobby, populated by guests solely at check-in and check-out, is a thing of the past.

Lobbies that were stale and uninspired—large, lonely rooms with one unloved sofa in the corner—are becoming extended living rooms.

Picture public spaces with cosy nooks and lightning fast Wi-Fi, places where guests can find a private corner to work or join the crowd.

The modern lobby melds co-working with coffee and cocktails in spaces that look like the coolest members’ club, with corners that feel like the family den. For 2020, a boring lobby is likely equated—in the minds of guests—to a boring hotel.

Here are four hotels that are leading the charge in evolving their lobbies:

These spaces work to elevate the guest experience and further convey the hotel’s brand story—which is excellent considering that hotel rooms are getting smaller, further encouraging keyholders to occupy thoughtfully designed communal spaces. Moxy Hotels offers guests group games, teasing Jenga, karaoke or even spin the bottle in their lobby.

Peep into the lobby of The Hoxton, Shoreditch and you’ll find it buzzing with people. Many are glued to their screens, clicking away at their keyboards. Entrepreneurs discuss business over coffee. Others prefer Champagne—the bar is unsurprisingly popular. The Hoxton has turned its lobby into an all-day destination; cushy sofas, 2am last call and a never-ending string of cultural events invite you to become a part of the community. The vibe is homey, the décor industrial-cool and the chatter lively. The Hoxton brands itself as a place where guests can kick back among locals—its lobby conveys that message loud and clear.

The concept has taken off. Like The Hoxton, several hotels now boast a co-working-friendly, communal lobby. Other hotels use the lobby to highlight their eco-conscious touches. At 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge Park, large potted plants, hanging gardens, recycled wooden elements and loads of natural light create a sustainable oasis in the middle of the city.

Boutique hotels aren’t the only ones jumping onboard the lobby revival bandwagon. Big chains are elevating their lobbies with personal touches too. The Westin, for example, began introducing vertical gardens into more of its lobbies over the last few years.

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