The World’s Coolest Hotel Lobbies

I love Australia. There are literally so many reasons to love this place. But like many Australians, I’ve had the good fortune to travel, and we love to travel, a lot. In 2012, almost one third of the entire population of Australia travelled oversees.

Personally (and I have no statistics for this), I think the Australian love for travel is a right of passage and we enjoy it so much for a couple of reasons. Being away from Australia reminds us (especially towards the end of each trip) of how much we love home. Secondly, living in Australia sometimes feels like sitting on the sidelines and it’s easy to grow tired of that. We are somewhat removed from the world (in our own eyes). We want to be in the game too, so we travel.

In my experience of travel, the thing that has always most intrigued and interested me is the hotel lobby.I am intensely fascinated by hotel lobbies from a branding perspective. It’s where hotels put their money. Let me tell you why in four ways.

Reason 1:
Hotels teach us what we need to know about branding

Much of what we learn about branding has been taught to us by hotels. Hotels focus intensely on the experience the customer has with their establishment because they know it’ll impact the likelihood of return, the likelihood of referral and the likelihood of review. These three r’s are the lifeblood of every hotel, and hotels are looking for sustainability. In the case of great hotels, every detail of each part of the experience is thought through and taken care of. This when done well is branding at its best because the experience impacts the perception you have, and your percept impacts your likelihood to return, refer and review.

Reason 2:
The lobby is the logo

The all-important lobby is the hotel logo. It sets the tone, sets the standard and tells you what you need to know about the hotel. Are they pregistious and conservative or edgy and boutique? Are they grand and overstated or minimalistic and warm? The lobby makes a statement about who the hotel is. It’s not more important than the logo. It is the logo. Atmosphere is important and the hotel lobby is the place all visitors must pass through every day. In fact, aside from (and sometimes including) the room, it is the most passed through part of every hotel. It’s the logo that you see often and reinforces the position of the hotel.

Reason 3:
First impressions count – psychology 101

You are always in analysis mode. You’re trying to make sense of the world and first impressions help you make a quick cut decision on which box a particular person, company or brand fits into. You do this subconsciously and you can’t help it. Neither can I so don’t worry. Just embrace it. For a hotel, the lobby is that first impression and making it count is important because it’ll set the tone for how you view that hotel in the future.

Reason 4:
Every hotel website needs ‘that promo photo’

You know, the one they use over and over. What’s that photo going to be? The hotel lobby is the number one used ‘key selling photo’ for most hotels and for that reason it’s where the investment dollars go. Often travellers excuse sub par rooms when a hotel lobby is decked out to the nines and when you log onto the website, a beautiful lobby tells you what you need to know about the quality of a hotel.


Lobbies are logos when it comes to the hotel world. Here’s ten of the best hotel lobbies in the world.

1. Aria – Las Vegas

2. Four Seasons – Paris

3. Hyatt Regency – San Francisco

4. Liberty Hotel – Boston

5. Madarin Oriental – Barcelona

6. Studio M – Singapore

7. Novotel – New York

8. Thompson – Chicago

9. Mandarin Oriental – Tokyo

10. Wynn – Las Vegas