The Essentials for Exceptional Hotel Lobby Design


Your hotel lobby design is one of the most important rooms in your hotel. Why? It’s the first room your guests step into, making that all-important first impression. Award-winning designer Douglas Nysse stated that “If you lose them at the beginning, it is very hard to recover. In their mind, they’ve decided it is a bad hotel”. No pressure!

Whether you want your hotel to be luxurious, modern, cosy or edgy, your hotel lobby design is the way for you to set the scene. It’s one of the most obvious opportunities to convey your brand and let your guests know what kind of experience they can expect.

Not to mention that your lobby is often a multi-purpose space. Bridging the gap between your guestrooms and the other amenities you have to offer. As such, a lot of thought should be going into your hotel lobby design.

Who is visiting your hotel?

Before getting into the different features and layouts you should consider for your lobby, it’s firstly worth addressing the fundamentals.

What type of guests are visiting your hotel? Couples? Families? Business travellers? It’s a no brainer that different guests require different services and thus will have different expectations of your lobby area. If your hotel is primarily a family-friendly building, then consider incorporating a child’s zone. Conversely, if you’re visited frequently by business travellers then a quiet workspace area would go down a treat.

Most hotel lobbies are multi-functional, thus it makes sense to consider ways to zone off your lobby to cater for the different services and uses it will be providing. Consider what else your space will be offering aside from the obvious check-in/check-out desks and waiting areas. Do you want a social hangout? Or perhaps an information hub? Answering these basic questions will allow you to design a hotel lobby layout which is personal to your hotel.


Let’s explore the idea of zoning further. As we’ve mentioned, your hotel lobby design is more than just a room your guests pass through. We’re now in the era where the hotel lobby is the heart and soul of the hotel. It should entice your guests out of their rooms to socialise, work or play!

Zoning simply refers to the zones you create within your hotel lobby. Although, the zones should still flow seamlessly together using clever placements of your FF&E items. By integrating many functions into your hotel lobby design, you are encouraging guests to stay in your hotel rather than head out to a coffee-shop for example, which will inevitably increase revenue.

Sensory Experiences

So you’ve zoned your hotel lobby into multi-functional areas. Now it’s time to talk design. As a room which sets the scene for your guest’s overall experience, you should keep the space interesting. One way to do this is through sensory experience.

The most memorable experiences are formed when all the senses are being activated. So carefully consider how you can incorporate textures, smells, noises etc. into your space. Not only will this catapult your lobby from a room to an experience, but will encourage your guests to form an impression about your brand and what you’re conveying. So how can you do this?


Visuals should always be a priority. No matter how much time you give to the other senses, if what your guests see is underwhelming, then you can expect the rest of their experience to follow suit. Consider your colour palettes, FF&E items, plants and patterns to ensure your visuals are on points.


Our sense of smell is widely known as the most powerful sense we have, evoking strong emotional memories and responses. It’s no secret that hotels across the globe use signature scents to create a brand tailored to them, igniting brand familiarity for their guests.


There are many ways to incorporate sounds into your hotel lobby. Whether you curate a mood-inducing playlist, or add in natural water features to relax your guests, one thing’s for certain: sound should not be forgotten.


How can you include touch into your hotel lobby design we hear you ask? Textures, fabrics and materials! Your lobby is your chance to convey whatever vibe you want. Whether it’s luxurious, modern or homey. So picking the right fabrics and textures will fully immerse your guests into the experience.


People are spending less and less times in their room, which means they have more and more time to spend in your lobby area. This complements the idea of zoning in that your lobby space should meet the needs or desires of your guests to ensure they’ll want to spend time there. In terms of scale, this might mean increasing your lobby size to accommodate the extra amenities.

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Don’t forget the furnishings. Of course, zoning off your lobby, including sensory experiences and making the area larger are integral to designing the perfect hotel lobby. However, nothing is complete without the right FF&E items. In fact, your furnishings can make or break your zones!

No matter what theme you’re going for, ensuring your guests will be comfortable in your lobby is essential. You want to enhance style and functionality.

If you’re furnishing your co-working space then make sure the design of the FF&E and OS&E items are placed in an ergonomic way which encourages collaboration. As experts in the management and implementation of FF&E and OS&E logistics and installation, we can assist with the movement of items for your hotel project. Check out our services here.

Need some design inspiration? Check out our previous blog on the 5 Best Luxury Hotels in London.