Design inspirations from 10 gorgeous hotel lobbies around the world
The feeling of walking through the front door of a hotel and into the lobby is always exciting, as it’s at that moment when your holiday officially begins. But what used to be a simple thoroughfare for guests, has today evolved beyond recognition.
Today’s lobby is a multi-functional space, with eye-catching features, unusual services or fun discoveries. It’s still an area for checking in and out, but it’s also a social hub, a place to wine and dine, and even a party zone. Hotel booking site Hotels.com reveals some of the most outstanding lobbies in hotels around the world.
Recognised for its simple yet luxurious design, the lobby of W Seoul Walkerhill is a sensual and interactive space that attracts younger trend seekers. Woo Bar, its signature stylish bar area, offers an exquisite interior focused on design, fashion and music. Known as the longest in South Korea, the 18m bar offers a memorable experience with its spaceship-shaped DJ booth, impressive artwork displays, egg-like chairs and other unique features.
Designed to please avid users of Instagram, the 1888 Darling Harbour is a boutique hotel combining Sydney’s old world charm with contemporary and vibrant design. The Instagram theme kicks off the second you hit the lobby, as guests check in via the photo-sharing app. The real photo-action, though, takes place at the selfie stand next to the lobby bar – a giant picture frame that’s been installed for guests to take snaps and tag #1888Hotel. Their image then instantaneously appears via a live Instagram feed on screens at reception.
Now this is a lobby that you can slide into in style. Transformed from a 35-year-old hotel, the sleek RedDot Hotel in Taichung City allows guests in a hurry to slide from the second floor to the first through its 30m spiral slide. Hipsters would feel quite at home in RedDot due to the array of unusual furniture and ornaments, including barber chairs adorning the lobby.
Through its distinctive decor and local artwork reflecting the neighbourhood’s diverse history, the lobby in the Hotel Indigo Tianjin Haihe tells guests about the charming history and culture of the ancient city of Tianjin. The lobby pays homage to Tianjin as the birthplace of the country’s first postal service, through historical objects such as old bicycles exhibited at the lobby.
Asia’s largest indoor vertical garden designed by world-famous botanist Patrick Blanc can be found towering above the lobby space of Hotel Icon in Hong Kong’s lively Kowloon district. At this super stylish hotel, the indoor garden – which features over 8,000 plants – is also the entrance to the lobby cafe Green, a sleek place to grab a bite in the bustling city.
Occupying the top floors of the Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower in Tokyo, the hotel has a lobby that gives its guests a clear view overlooking the capital of Japan. Although sky lobbies may be found in older buildings, namely the John Hancock Centre in the US, this hotel is one of the first to be on the top floors of a skyscraper. The Mandarin Hotel Tokyo is located within walking distance to the city’s main shopping and entertainment areas.
The dinosaurs and the beautiful humanoid sound like the cast of a science fiction movie, but this is actually the team that welcomes you to Henn-na Hotel. This futuristic robot hotel in the city of Sasebo opened its doors in July 2015. Once you’ve checked in with the assistance of the trio, another robot handles your luggage and takes you directly to your room.
Nestled among the green rice paddies and next to the tropical sea, the ‘Hay’ lobby of La A Natu Bed and Bakery offers an enchanting experience for nature lovers. Walk across the bamboo bridge to enter the lobby and you’ll find yourself in a natural and welcoming space inspired by Thai and Lao decor. Boasting environmentally friendly concepts, the resort offers Tropical Village, Tropical Cottage and Loft Suite types of accomodation, all with contemporary design twists.
Renowned for its views of the Victoria Harbour and the city skyline, this lobby with its wrap-around, expansive glass windows has made InterContinental Hong Kong the place to see and be seen for over three decades. The lobby has evolved with the times and its latest design is a refined and luxurious space. Guests will want to order the famous cocktails the second they check in.
Hotel Zetta is an urban retreat where sophisticated, state-of-the-art features meet interactive gaming. The lobby is the social hub of the hotel, with its lounge, bar and Mac stations for guests to use. The most eye-catching feature, however, is the giant 9m Plinko game wall. It cascades down from The Playroom on the mezzanine, where guests can enjoy a game of pool, shuffleboard, ping pong or giant Jenga. You’re never too old to play games, especially if you’re on holiday.
For 60 years, Molitor was home to the most popular swimming baths in Paris. After closing in 1989, it became a haunt for artists, who turned it into an urban art venue. In 2014, Molitor reopened its doors as a hotel with renewed bathing pools and art at its heart. The lobby feels more like a pop-up art gallery, with a graffitied Rolls Royce as its centrepiece.