To lobby or not?

The story is the same all day, everyday, constantly. Coffee bars in recent years have been the most in-vogue hangout for catching up, working or studying as well as being the preferred destination for men and women to discuss business while sipping a cappuccino or a quick-fix espresso. The concept behind them that has turned them into celebs is that of a social space where you can go and spend literally hours or run and go.

But just recently, proudly coming to steal the meeting-point supremacy of coffee bars is a quite unexpected space: the hotel lobby. Yes, this traditional hotel space, the often unnoticed crossover crammed with hundreds of people coming and going everyday has recently established itself as THE new trendy hub for people to head to for lounging and business.

Today as never before, hotels are definitely looking forward, evolving and reinventing their spaces to offer new concepts to guests in an attempt to attract them and engage with them in more creative ways and consequently drive extra revenue. Service differentiation is the keyword.

You probably would agree with me if I said lobbies have never been noteworthy spots to guests, let alone entertaining, but how wrong is that? The lobby is the very first element that will have an impression on your guest. It’s your business card, and it should be fabulous and catchy. Hoteliers are now finally starting to rediscover lobbies’ potential, boosting them with new services.

This might seem like the same old stuff, but I will never have enough of saying that engaging with guests should be a hotel’s target; therefore, capitalizing on every available space, making it as desirable as possible to encourage them to come, crowd it and live in it, should be each hotelier’s focus. 

Many hotels started this lobby renovation as they understood the more they created buzz in the lobby, the more people were attracted to come to the hotel. Higher occupancy and boosted revenues are at the bottom line of this renovation, not to mention the massive bang your hotel reputation will get for being the coolest place in town to go and spend the afternoon. That’s what I call a smart investment and using your space well.

This is definitely a total metamorphosis; the boring wait for check-in is now a moment to unwind while enjoying the hotel’s allure. At Dukes, for instance, the lobby bounces at night! Guests are happy to enjoy a drink sitting in the comfy armchairs waiting to enter our more famous Bar and maybe people-watching.

Guests are in search of an experience, so why not let their experience start from the entrance? Our lives are changing, becoming more mobile and social, and hotels — being one of the main transit points for people worldwide — need to tailor themselves to favor this whole new lifestyle. The aim is making the guest feel your hotel as his/her home. If that means turning the lobby into the new living room for them, then I think it’s worth it!

Enjoy lobbying!