irst impressions matter. When your guests first enter your lobby, what conclusions do they draw about what kind of hotel they have chosen? Odds are if they come in with a negative first impression they will also leave with that same sentiment. Here are a few tips to help your guests love you right from the start.
- Function Over Design: Believe it or not, most folks would rather sit on something comfortable rather than fancy. And they would prefer to be a little bit away from the noise and clatter of the front desk. It can be a bit of a judgment call, but everything should be close enough for access but far enough away to get away from the chaos.
- Socialization: Understand that many of your guests could be traveling with friends. Make sure to group your furniture in a way that small groups of friends can get together without having to rearrange your furniture.
- Quiet Space: Understand that not everyone comes to the lobby to watch the news, weather or sports. While we are not suggesting you do away with your televisions, keep in mind that some folks might be coming to the lobby seeking a quiet place. As a case in point, I spend the first few hours of the morning reading scripture and in prayer. Out of respect for my traveling companions, instead of turning on the lights in the room, I head for the hotel lobby. It is so wonderful to find a quiet spot in the corner of the lobby where I can spend a few quiet hours before jumping into the day. We aren’t suggesting all of your guests will do this, but we also bet there are others out there who appreciate a quiet space to get their morning started.
- Coffee/Tea/Water Please: If you really want to dazzle your guests, provide free coffee, tea and water, preferably 24/7. Your early morning guests will appreciate access to one of those beverages when they are getting their day started with quiet time, a walk or even a run. And there’s nothing like coming back from a brisk walk or jog or a workout in the gym and knowing there’s a cold bottle of water waiting for you.
- Easy Access To Amenities: Set up your lobby and signage so there is easy access to amenities such as your pool, gym, restaurant, snack bar and shops. And make sure it’s super easy to figure out how to get to each of those areas from the lobby. To really impress your guests, have an ice machine close by. Do you have any idea how many of your guests grumble under their breath because they can’t find any ice machines?
- Live Plants: Place lots of live plants in your lobby. Plants are not only natural air purifiers, but they can also add a bit of privacy when strategically placed between sections of your lobby furniture. As an added bonus, they look nice!
We hope you have found these tips helpful. While nothing will ever replace spectacular service and superior quality, having a guest friendly lobby will go a long way in ensuring your guests have a great experience and want to come back to stay with you again. For even more ideas, be sure to check out the sources we have referenced.