Here is the second installment of HKS Hill Glazier Studio's blog "Top 10 Design Tips to Dazzle Your Guests." This month, the focus is on lobby design, with thoughts from Daron Andrus, Kara Hanson, and Luciano Mazza.
The lobby is the heart and soul of the property, the indispensable hub of functional and social activity. This vital gathering place should unfold as a series of vignettes, sketching a vivid depiction of all the hotel has to offer, establishing a true spirit of place. HKS Hill Glazier Studio’s team has developed a series of 10 key design considerations for your next lobby.
- And the Winner is. Give the guest an “aha moment” upon entering. Frame a magical vista, spectacular fireplace, or breathtaking art and pull it all together through color, light, texture, and furnishings, confirming in the guests’ mind that they chose well.
- When in Rome. The lobby’s style and scale is the fingerprint for the entire venue and is immediately realized at the entrance. The scale should relate to the hotel or resort type and location, whether low and intimate or explosive and transitional.
- Business or Pleasure? Separate transaction-based and functional areas (the front desk, concierge, kiosks and ATMs) from personal, lounging, and relaxation areas.
- You are There when I Need You. Sensitively make the front desk and concierge areas blend into the overall lobby environment—this space is about initial impressions.
- It’s all About You. Create a high-touch, personalized check-in experience by using small, welcoming desks versus large, formal counters.
- The Place to Be. Craft a “Here and Now” lobby space—the heartbeat of the hotel—with intense sensory interest: a magnificent fireplace, vibrant lobby bar or piano lounge, or play up striking views.
- Layer it On. Draw guests further into the hotel environment with opportunities for discovery. Hidden experiences await through the use of dramatic, expansive windows, an open-air view balcony, a library, art collections, a patio, or relaxing lounge, amplifying a dramatic view or augmenting a captivating exterior focal point.
- Welcome Home. Whether grand, sophisticated, or homey and intimate, design the lobby with a living room in mind—a place that serves as a social gateway for people to gather together. Use comfortable furniture and unique flooring, floorcoverings and light fixtures, keeping within the hotel’s style and setting.
- Stay a Little Longer. Accent lobby spaces with warm and welcoming lighting, visually engaging art, reading materials, easily accessed pathways and arranged seating groups.
- Inside Out. Capture the essence of place by connecting to the environment at every opportunity. The lobby’s interior look and feel should always reinforce the exterior perspective, location, and contextual surroundings.