Communal spaces like hotel lobbies offer unique opportunities for business, relaxation, and socialising, and how they're designed can play a significant role. That's why we’ve compiled some of the world’s most creative hotel lobby ideas for you to explore.
But before getting started, keep in mind that every hotel is unique, and that the purpose of highlighting these examples isn't to encourage imitation. Rather, it's to share inspiration and spark ideas to help create a hotel lobby that's truly unique to your property/properties.
Explore 22 hotel lobby ideas from real properties across the world:
Here are some top-tier examples from all over the world. Discover what makes them great and how they do it to get inspired for your own hotel lobby ideas.
1. Mimic film styles
The Bowery Hotel in New York City has taken a page from Wes Anderson’s book (or, uh, screenplay?). The colour scheme is dominated by reds, browns, and golds, adding drama and glamour to the space.
2. Put in palm trees
Add potted versions or plant them in the ground of your courtyard if you have an indoor/outdoor floor plan like Raffles Singapore does. Try silk palm trees if you don’t have enough natural light available inside. If palm trees don't make sense for your location, consider greenery that does.
Not only do trees and plants look great in a hotel lobby, but they can impact guests' moods, too. Studies have shown that plants lead to stress reduction, higher productivity, greater quality of life, and much more.
3. Highlight your building’s origins
The Vipp Chimney House used to be a water pumping station. Their lobby’s focal point, a striped staircase and drip-inspired installation art piece, subtly bring attention to the building’s unique height, as well as its past.
4. Use authentic cultural traditions
The hotel lobby inside Tokyo's Onsen Ryokan Yuen Shinjuku slowly transitions guests from the modern world outside to an authentic world inside. Use moody lighting, transitional furniture, and soundscape filtering or music to capture the old world style of Japan (or any other culture) like they did by comparing the world outside the front doors to the world you’ve created inside, giving anyone who enters the lobby an immediate sense of change.
5. Include a library
Hotel Eden in Rome offers a library complete with writing tables, antique lamps, and leather armchairs for guests who want to relax by the fire and turn some pages. Offer books that go with your hotel’s theme and location.
For example, add minimalist French cookbooks for a cottagecore themed lobby or California art and history books if you’re in a state-certified historic building.
6. Add optical illusions
Mopheus in Macau has some of the most stunning architecture we've ever seen, and the lobby is no different, filled with curvy glass windows, artistic metal overlays, and much more.
7. Choose luxe furniture
One of Hemingway’s favorite spots, Country Club Lima, uses antique furniture to set the tone for hotel lobby guests. Furniture is one of the most important aspects of your lobby, so consider thrifting and restoring original pieces to maximise authenticity.
8. Try marble for walls and floors
The Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong embraces opulence with glittering chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling marble that reflects them.
9. Match your elevator decor
The Principe di Savoia leans into glamour with velvet textures and gold accents both inside their hotel lobby and within their elevators. Create a cohesive experience for guests by matching the two spaces.
10. Choose bistro seating
Instead of groupings of sofas paired with armchairs and coffee tables, the Plaza Athénée has chosen to line their long entryway with identical bistro sets. Add some visual appeal with matching seating that mirrors itself down the length of your lobby.
11. Add an oversized pendant
Corinthia Hotel’s globe-shaped focal point is large and in charge, taking guests’ breath away as they enter. Even if you can’t hang anything from the ceiling, you can use an oversized Christmas tree, animal sculpture, or even a flower arrangement to wow new arrivals.
12. Try live music
Aman Tokyo hosts a local musician in their hotel lobby to help set the mood. Consider partnering with artists who match your aesthetic and know how to play atmospheric tunes that don’t distract from the check-in process.
13. Highlight floral arrangements
The Four Seasons in Paris uses large rectangular vases with huge bouquets of flowers to decorate their lobby space for added fragrance and romance. Choose to place small bouquets on every table or use one oversized arrangement in the center of the lobby.
14. Use a DJ booth
If relaxing live music is too low-key for your hotel, encourage guests to get in the party mood with an upscale DJ booth near the edge of the lobby. Clear space for some dancing at night like Fontainebleau in Miami Beach, Florida does. Host live events and use Cvent to boost MICE sales by advertising artists or dance competitions.
15. Offer binoculars or telescopes
If your hotel lobby is near the top floor like The St. Regis in Shenzhen, China, consider installing binoculars so guests can check out the view. Or, if you have safe rooftop access, add stargazing to your list of hotel amenity ideas.
16. Opt for neutrals
Take advantage of this popular colour palette by incorporating plenty of white, beige, and “bleige” into your hotel lobby design scheme. Take inspiration from the Barcelona location of Mandarin Oriental by using these shades in the carpeting, decor, and furniture.
17. Spotlight the view
The Cuixmala in Mexico keeps their hotel lobby simple enough to let their beautiful waterfront view take center stage in their design. Take inspiration from this idea by keeping your walls simple (white or beige works well) and creating a floorplan that encourages an indoor/outdoor lifestyle when visiting the space.
18. Go with gold
Feana in Miami uses floor-to-ceiling strips of gold along with gold accents and decor pieces to bring this luxurious look to life. Consider changing visible hardware to gold or install artwork that matches this shiny hue. Similar to plants and trees, gold can have a positive effect on how your guests feel, too.
19. Add velvet and fringe
The NoMad Los Angeles honors Old Hollywood glamour with ottomans, armchairs, and even coffee tables that sport velvet fabrics and swinging fringe. Go bold like they did by choosing an accent color (they used green) for everything that has these two elements.
20. Use a kaleidoscope pattern
In keeping with local style, the La Mamounia, Marrakech uses a mix of varying black and white patterns on the floors, walls, and columns. Create your own Instagram-worthy hotel lobby by mixing bright patterns or repeating themes across most of the space.
21. Add homey layouts
The Chiltern Firehouse has created a hotel lobby that feels like a private living room and not a public space. Their layout creates a variety of conversation spaces and their plush couch choices and overstuffed armchairs are stylish yet familiar.
22. Layer art deco rugs
The Proper Hotel in San Francisco uses a variety of stylish rugs to complement their eclectic furniture mix. Get the look by layering flatweave rugs with plush, fluffer ones or pairing textured solids with bright, bold designs.
Maximise your space with these hotel lobby ideas!
The hotel industry is a competitive space and there’s a lot of room to grow when it comes to lobby design and usage. Remember to include technology in your design to truly modernise your hotel lobby and event spaces, as long as it makes sense. And, no matter which of these creative hotel lobby ideas you look to for inspiration, remember to start by looking at the space you have, evaluating what could use improvement, and choosing solutions over outcomes when making design choices.