Hotel lobbies seem to be on the way out – at least, the huge ones of the past seem to have shrunk.
There’s a business centre for connecting to the internet,
a bar for meeting people; and as for check-in and check-out, it’s become a much
quicker process in most hotels, with some hotels automating it or taking out
the check-in desks entirely.
Many guests just want to get to their rooms as quickly as
possible – the days of the jet-set style ceremonious arrival are numbered.
Nowadays many hotels want the lobby to be multi-function
so it may blend into other spaces, like the bar, or it may include working
spaces and even PCs for guests to check their email.
The recently opened Tune Paddington has a couple of
computers and a coffee station with comfy chairs, as well as the check-in desk,
in its lobby – but budget Paddington hotels are not alone in following this
trend; the Cavendish lobby includes a row of PCs.
Radisson Blu Edwardian Guildford‘s double-height
glass-walled lobby has been designed to include working space where you can
plug your laptop in within a giant wooden cube.
The Z Hotel Victoria meanwhile has turned its lobby into a
cafe - that’s where you’ll get your breakfast.
However, London does have a number of more traditional
lobbies that are well worth seeing. Here
are a few of my personal favourites.
The Corinthia Hotel’s lobby lounge is dominated by a huge
Baccarat chandelier; it’s full of light, wonderfully spacious, and you can get
a jolly nice afternoon tea there.
Claridges is another classic with its black and white
lozenged tiles, elegant chandelier, and vast space.
Finally, one hotel group seems to be going against the
trend – the Hilton Group believes that mobile technology will usher in a new
Golden Age of the Lobby.
People who take their laptops to Starbucks, Hilton
reckons, like to work in a sociable environment – so they’ll head for the
lobby, where they can get a coffee or a beer while they answer emails, jiggle a
spreadsheet or simply read Fifty Shades of Grey on their Kindles…(source
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