Hotel Lobbies have gone Social !

By Sharmila Chand

Hotels lobbies around the world, more so in India, are providing innovative ways for their guests to hang out, have coffee, entertain and stay technologically connected. Hotel lobbies are now more open and inviting. With high ceilings, alfresco seating spaces, soothing music, and food & drinks, they offer guests a more engaging and interactive environment and open doors to new conversations for guests to network and mingle. The end result is most crucial, they generate substantial revenue too. 

The idea of mixing work, socializing, and entertainment, all in one space has caught on like never before. We discuss how the trend is being implemented in different upscale properties across the country as their spokespersons highlight the key features of the lobbies. 

Lobby - A Buzzing Spot

Neeraj Lumb, Director of Rooms, Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel and Convention Center
Yes, it is true that grandeur of hotel lobby gives the right atmosphere for people to come and have their meeting and socialize over tea/coffee or drinks. This is an all-purpose venue which is getting popular for networking and entertaining clients in the comfort of five-star hospitality. Luxurious ambience, lounge seating, perfect lighting levels and the well-groomed associates makes it the right place for our guests to visit and work in a more relaxed atmosphere. At Sheraton Grand Whitefield Hotel and Convention Center, we believe in our core values which are: Welcoming, Assuring and Community. We place our bet on ensuring we provide enough comfort for our guest to open their laptops in lobby, sit together, order a beverage and have access to charging stations. We welcome our community to use our public spaces as per their convenience while we look after their needs. 

Vinod Kumar, Director of Rooms, Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield
In the last couple of decades, hotel lobbies have become a centerpiece of guest’s experience. In a matter of seconds, the guests soak in the atmosphere and make up their minds whether they like it or not. Therefore, making a fantastic first impression really counts. At Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield, we call our lobby area as the “Great Room”, which is a concept in itself that extends f r o m the lobby till the bar. This new concept is a revolutionary transformation of the public space into a multifunctional space designed specifically for the 24*7 work patterns of a business traveler who is always looking for a smooth transition between business and leisure - “Bliesure”.

With our ‘Great Room’ concept, guests can tailor the use of these marvelous spaces to their own needs, just like they do in their own home.  Our great room can easily be adapted to individual and unique needs. 

Vikas Kumar, General Manager, The Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa
At The Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa, we believe that a lobby is the first real encounter of any visitor/patron with the hotel, keeping this thought in mind, we have designed our lobby to create an ever lasting impression on guests. 

Our picturesque property spread across 35 acres of lush greenery is set amidst nature and enveloped in the scenic Aravalis. Aligned with the same thought, our lobby is designed to resemble an oasis in the middle of a desert that exudes a sense of tranquility that sets us apart f r o m the others. 

With an open lobby that allows ample sunlight into the space, we aim to offer a welcoming and refreshing essence to travelers. As the space is not enclosed or constricted by walls or glass doors, it makes for an idyllic spot to socialize with fellow patrons.  

Roopa Singh - Director of Rooms, JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa 
Carefully curated experiences have made their way to the hotel lobby. Being a destination property, JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa has made its lobby a vibrant spot for guests to spend quality time. Having a multi-functional F&B outlet ‘Perch’ at the lobby lounge that serves up some concoctions along with light food fare, enhances the lobby’s ambience. Additionally, the soul soothing piano and its master pianist serving musical evenings is something guests find intriguing for a lobby. 

Our soon to start venture of star gazing is surely going to take the experience a notch higher. 

Harinder Kishore, Director of Rooms at Andaz Delhi
India’s Luxury hotels have evolved commendably over the last two decades. Andaz Delhi – a luxury lifestyle hotel by Hyatt, offers inspiring experiences through the neighbourhood’s rich history and culture, helping guests get to know their surroundings more intimately and leave feeling like a local. The hotel entrance translates the residential character of the neighbourhood into original designs. Unique and clever use of architectural elements like art installations, lighting attract attention to the entrance while complimenting the culture of the neighbourhood. We have created a vibrant luxury lifestyle hotel experience woven into the fabric of the local culture, fueling our guests’ creativity and inspiring them to express their own unique style and passions. Andaz Delhi offers guests a destination where they can be themselves – a place where they can be their best. We have taken away the scripted hotel experience and given guests a barrier free, seamless environment that is fresh and stimulating for all senses.  It’s a place to explore and engage, but, most of all, share stories that ignite the imagination and offer a world of unique moment.

Lobby – A Perfect Hub to Meet, Greet and Eat

Most of the hotels have created a new lobby concept called “The HUB” which “integrates the lobby, bar and restaurant space into an area with multiple places for guests to eat/drink, connect, relax and have fun. 

Neeraj Lumb, Director of Rooms, Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel
With the new transformation of Sheraton brand, we welcome our community to visit us and use our lobby area for their impromptu meetings and networking. There is a transition of lobby ambience f r o m day to evening which makes it a perfect place for our guest to start with meetings over coffee or tea and towards the evening switch to cocktails with their business clients. Lighting changes towards the evening making the lobby more relaxing and welcoming. Lobby scent plays an important role to create the right ambience and leaving our guests attached to our brand. 

Vinod Kumar, Director of Rooms, Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield
For many guests, socializing in the lobby is one of the most memorable experiences they take f r o m their visit. This is a place where they delve into new friendships, discuss stories, share meals and exchange experiences. The lobby at our hotel has also been designed keeping in mind all these factors. It is like a social hotspot that enables groups of business travelers to relax and unwind in a lounge atmosphere, offering intimate tables-for-two, where guests can converse with a glass of wine and enjoy a gourmet treat or even have an impromptu meeting or break out discussions. Our lobby integrates and activates a public space to meet the needs of today’s Marriott traveler to combine work, relax and play.

Vikas Kumar, General Manager, The Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa
We have two restaurants located at the lobby level at the property both of which are open for all guests who visit the resort. Mix – The Bar is a lively and soulful affair that gives a new heart to Pushkar’s social scene and Seasonal Tastes, our signature all day diner with interactive live kitchens for guest engagement. 

The structural design of our lobby is clutter free and the al fresco seating makes it a perfect place to unwind. Set amidst the scenic beauty of Pushkar, our lobby allows natural light to pour in and envelopes guests in its warmth. 

Roopa Singh - Director of Rooms, JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa 
The very presence of the vibrant lobby lounge ‘Perch’ has been a revelation for us. The concept of a Hub is place that sits perfectly with our initiatives like celebrating Earth Hour every Friday with a professional singer and guitarist to observe the same is a unique experience in itself. 

Harinder Kishore, Director of Rooms at Andaz Delhi
Our hotel lobby is not just called ‘lobby’, but we call it ‘The Lounge’, where guests can sit or stand while they charge their phones, make a coffee, and enjoy all local treat at the beverage station. Upon arrival, an open and fluid residential-inspired environment allows guests to feel welcomed into a warm, inviting atmosphere. The Andaz arrival experience includes offering local food and beverages in the casual settings of the Andaz Reception and Andaz Lounge as a way to welcome guests and immerse them in each destinations’ unique food culture. The look and feel of the Andaz Lounge and surrounding areas carries through to the lifts and vertical circulation throughout. Each detail carries the imaginative, inspiring and holistic part of the entire story of the Andaz brand. 
 
Lobby – Open Work Space

Wi-fi is available in nearly every hotel lobby in the world, and in most cases access is free, even if there’s a charge to log on in your room. The desks, computers and printers that used to be in the hotel “business centre” are finding their way into the open space of the lobby. Electrical outlets are no longer hidden behind the curtains or sofas —instead, they’ve become part of the furniture, incorporated into tables and lamps.

Neeraj Lumb, Director of Rooms, Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel
At Sheraton, we offer complimentary Wi-Fi for all guests so they can use our public spaces for working with their business partners or colleagues. Our teams are geared to look after them while they are engaged in their meetings.  Free Wi-Fi is widely appreciated amongst our guests. 

We offer open spaces in our lobby instead of closed boardroom set ups. Our guest appreciates the wide open spaces with natural light and easy access to all possible office and audio visual services available throughout. These concepts of open work places are becoming popular and guest choose a change f r o m their office atmosphere and prefer to meet in our lobbies. We are surrounded by corporate hub and our lobby remains popular among the community for such purpose. 

Vinod Kumar, Director of Rooms, Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield
The ‘Great Room’ concept at the property knocks down the architectural barriers, creating various zones. These adaptable spaces are ideal to work in as they have free Wi-Fi with easy access to the latest technologies and holds an assortment of club chairs and custom-made couches that cater to any seating preference. Additionally, the complimentary Wi-Fi and printer access helps our guests to prep up for their meetings or get some work done between their appointments. The hotel offers private corners and business amenities that make working f r o m the lobby efficient, productive, and enjoyable.

Roopa Singh - Director of Rooms,  JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa 
At JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa, skillful concepts and executions have helped us to aesthetically lay down the fixings and furnitures. 

Lobby – An Entertainment Hub

If guests don’t feel like sitting in room to wind down at night, many hotel lobbies now offer giant flat screen televisions and plenty of seating so guests can gather to watch sporting events or movies together. Many lobbies also have “gaming areas” that allow guests to play on. 

Neeraj Lumb, Director of Rooms, Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel
Our lobby offers large screen televisions where guests can watch sports and get together over drinks and snacks and socialize. These lobby TV can also be used to make presentations etc. for any urgent meeting requirements.  

Vinod Kumar, Director of Rooms, Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield
Entertainment is one of the essential aspects of a lobby and we know just how to please our guests with the right set of music, live sports screening or having games like football for teenagers, adults and activities for kids. The main goal is to offer an activated space throughout the day which suits the need of every traveler - be it a business traveler or guests who are visiting with family for a leisurely time. Providing the right set of entertainment to the guests effectively yet unobtrusively can enhance the spirit of the holiday and leave the guests with a memorable seamless experience.

Vikas Kumar, General Manager, The Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa
We host various cultural events in the lobby on weekends. These programs showcase the magnificent culture of Rajasthan like the kalbelia dance, amongst others. 

The strategically designed lobby is lit up with candles that set the tone for the evening for guests to unwind and socialize in. The illuminated space also features vertical gardens and exotic plants that serve as a platform to initiate conversations among guests.

We also have a lobby-host program where the senior management interacts with guests and ensures they feel welcomed and comfortable.

Roopa Singh - Director of Rooms, JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa 
Being a destination resort, we have an exclusive dedicated area for the same called as ‘The Den’ which has all the facilities of entertainment one can imagine. The hotel was specially designed with families in mind and The Den features  - an entertainment center and kid’s club that spans over 12,000 square feet and includes a two-lane bowling alley, billiard and pool tables, gaming consoles, library, nap areas and a Market with fresh food and beverages. 

Lobby – A Delightful Place to Enjoy Small Bites

Neeraj Lumb, Director of Rooms, Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel
Yes we make sure guests can order snacks f r o m the lobby bar called ‘Chime’ and we attempt to keep it easy and flexible for our guests to ensure their comfort. 

Vinod Kumar, Director of Rooms, Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield
One thing that all guests are particularly fond of is easy and quick access to hotel amenities right f r o m the lobby. For their convenience, we at the hotel give them a wide selection of food choices that they can relish right at the lobby. The food that we serve f r o m the Great Room menu are comforting, easily recognisable bar-friendly foods that more substantial, such as a burger, steak, or similar casual entrée. 

Ideally, these items are delivered to the guest within twenty minutes of ordering. We also serve small bites that can be delivered within 5 or 10 minutes and which are easy to carry along with them. When it comes to beverages, we serve Beer, Wine, cocktails and most sprits as well as hot beverages. 

Vikas Kumar, General Manager, The Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa
Our lobby has an appealing combination of Mix - The Bar and Seasonal Tastes - the signature all day dining restaurant. The lobby area offers an open seating and meeting spaces where guests can indulge in specially handcrafted cocktails f r o m the expert mixologists or any signature dish of their choice.

Roopa Singh - Director of Rooms,  JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa 
Perch, the vibrant lobby lounge is always buzzing and serves f r o m exotic coffee and tea concoctions to alcoholic beverages. The scenic Garhwal range can be enjoyed f r o m the alfresco area while the guests sip on their favorite beverage concoction and light foods.

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