Hotel lobby space – the latest frontier

Hotel lobby bars and lobby meetings – nothing new.  But recently, hotel lobbies are being transformed into inviting places to meet, linger and mingle. Livelier lobbies are drawing guests out of their rooms because they are more versatile, inviting spaces such as entertainment lounges, as venue for private parties or as members only setting.

Robert de Niro’s new Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca, NYC is an example in low-key luxe. Its lobby/old-English drawing room, full of cozy couches and chairs, emulates a chic country house, but is exclusively for hotel guests who are paying top dollar for its stylish surroundings or celebrity cachet.

Barcelona’s hip Casanova hotel is making a name for itself on the social circuit – the pistachio illuminated lobby with whimsical freeform lighting fixtures and dramatic backlit bar feels more like a cool, local hangout than a lobby. It’s sectioned off and can be reserved for parties – from birthdays and wine and chocolate tastings, to ceviche and tequila menus while music videos entertain in the background in sync with a DJ. On weekends, the bar becomes the buzzy Casanova lounge with a DJ and classic movies.

These two examples illustrate both ends of the spectrum, but the moral of the story is that all hotels, no matter what their size, should have lobbies that reflect a unique sense of place and a lifestyle concept for travelers.

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