Over the last couple of years, the world has seen an explosion in the home-sharing market, inevitably capturing a share of the market of guests who would normally stay in hotels. But, according to Skift, a travel industry publisher, a hotel’s lobby, when beautifully and artfully done, can convince travellers to stay in hotels instead of the rental homes provided by Airbnb.
The lobby is an area that rented apartments cannot offer and its appeal goes beyond just the physical space and attractive aesthetics. Hotel owners put a lot of effort in designing and maintaining their lobbies and here’s a list of the major reasons.
Creating a Lasting First Impression
First impressions––it’s the name of the game in so many areas of the service industry. From casual dining restaurants to five-star hotels, providing a memorable initial experience to customers and guests is critical. Positive first impressions will attract them time and time again, turning them into loyal patrons.
A hotel lobby’s design makes or breaks the first impression of guests. Studies have shown that a hotel lobby’s atmospheric elements can impact the overall perceptions of guests. For instance, if guests enter a musty-smelling lobby with outdated furniture, they will never return for another visit or they might even immediately leave.
However, if they arrive at a hall that’s welcoming, bright and smells good, they’re likely to stay and come back. They might even return with friends. The interiors will also set the tone for the rest of the guests’ stay. Whether it’s a bold sculpture or eye-catching cantilevered concrete step treads, sensational and architectural pieces will provide a visual appeal that can enliven their experience.
Setting the Stage for the Stay
A hotel lobby is a hive of activity, with people arriving to check in or out and suitcases being hauled around. After a long trip, sometimes people just want to sit down and gather themselves a bit. From checking in to organising their belongings, the lobby is the ideal place for guests to get their bearings together. The hotel isn’t their home but with a lobby that’s welcoming and beautiful, they will feel at ease rather than disoriented.
The lobby is also a waiting place. In between excursions or business meetings, guests will often need a place to wait. Waiting is no one’s favourite pastime but if the lobby is an inviting place, guests will feel relaxed rather than uncomfortable. In addition, they will leave with favourable feelings and positive reviews about the hotel.
Bringing People Together
One of the critical functions of a lobby is that it brings people together. Whether guests are organising a day trip or a night out, they will be meeting with their companions at the lobby. In addition, there’s only so much that guests can do inside their rooms. They will eventually wander out into the lobby in search of socialising, food, drinks and more.
As Airbnb has positioned itself as a strong threat to the hospitality industry, hoteliers need to step up and rise above the challenge. Compared to Airbnb properties, hotels have public spaces such as the lobby. Hoteliers can fully encapsulate their hotel’s brand and translate it to their lobbies, providing an experience that an Airbnb property cannot imitate.