They say you only get one chance to make a first impression, and because the entrance will typically be the first time you get to experience a hotel, that first impression should be something really special.
That’s because a hotel entrance sets the scene for your entire stay. Ideally, it should take your breath away, captivate you, and make your dream of the delights you’ll experience from the very first moment you enter. That’s because your hotel entrance is an essential part of your whole experience and is how the hotel can set you off on the right foot right from the first moment you open the doors.
The importance of the entrance, lobby, and guest check-in shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s what can help make a hotel experience unique and set it apart from the competition. By using clever combinations of colors, tones, and hues, lighting (both natural and illuminated), plants, ambient music, and by tapping into other sensory perceptions (don’t forget the importance of smells, as well as fresh flowers some brands even have signature scents that can be diffused in the entrance area), guests can be made to feel immediately at home and inspired by the hints of what lies in store for their stay.
If the hotel has stunning views, whether of city landscapes or natural beauty, then it should expose its guests to that as soon as possible by providing a taste of what’s on the menu. For example, in the image above, the whole entrance has been designed to accentuate the hotel’s beautiful coastal views with natural lighting, decorative features, and colors evoking waves and foam in the sea and finally, at the end of the lobby, we see a teasing hint of the breath-taking view that awaits.
In the same way, hotels can expose guests to a taste of what they’ll experience by giving glimpses of the bars and restaurants through glass panes or from open-plan areas. Or have their wait to check in accompanied by soft piano music in the lobby.
The entrance can also benefit from a collection of captivating sculptures, paintings, or installations. As well as adding aesthetic benefits, these can act to create curiosity and spark conversations with staff and other guests. Particularly when the artworks are authentic and provide a glimpse into the rich heritage of the hotel’s location and surrounding area, these can further help differentiate a hotel.
Of course, during the autumn and winter seasons, a well-placed and inviting cozy fireplace can add a touch of warmth and comfort, as well as an aesthetic motion that encourages you to relax and unwind.
Finally from a practical perspective, entrances should accommodate an effortless arrival for all guests regardless of age or mobility needs with ramps, handrails, and assistance readily available. The check-in should be immediately accessible but with generous and comfortable seating for those who need to wait their turn.
Unfortunately, too many hotels neglect their entrance and lobby, with entrances that are dark and dingy or austere and utilitarian or cramped in space, almost as if only an afterthought. When one of the things that can make a difference to your stay is the smile and warm greeting from the hotel staff, imagine how much easier it is to smile genuinely when you’re proud to work in a cozy and distinctive reception.
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