Executive lounge: The jewel in the crown

What would you consider the crown jewel of a hotel? Some would say the presidential suite, while others may lean towards the bar, specialty restaurant or spa. Depending on the property, these could all be the answer.

But for me, it is not the pool or spa that benefits me the most (although I certainly enjoy these facilities immensely when time permits), nor is it the presidential suite which we all know have extremely low occupancy rates – those with outstanding design are usually reserved for special events or functions.

As a hotel designer and frequent hotel guest, my vote would be for the executive lounge. Particularly in this part of the world, the executive lounge is where many hotels will ensure a strong focus on design and often the area I miss most when I am traveling outside of Asia.

Its function may seem simple but it is integral to the convenience and comfort of business guests. For example, the executive Lounge provides a quiet space to get together with colleagues to run through the following day’s meeting materials; to grab a quick drink and snack after a full day of meetings, or before dinner with a client; to quickly print out some documents at the last minute; and to have my room bill settled while I power through a quick breakfast before catching my next flight.

The executive lounge at Conrad Hong Kong
The executive lounge at Conrad Hong Kong

The coziness of the lounge spaces and self-service kitchen all makes it feel quite residential. Not to mention that is it one of the very few facilities in the hotel that provides guests with all-day usage – from breakfast to afternoon tea, happy hour and evening cocktails.

These are all seemingly minor conveniences that are truly valuable when it comes to enhancing the entire hospitality experience.

What is the most important part of a hotel for you? In terms of design and usage, which area rates as the crown jewel of the hotel for you?