The classic hotel lobby is a space that’s vast, impeccably decorated and, usually, rather impersonal. But in recent years, lobbies have evolved into vibrant community crossroads worth lingering in. While at its core this ground-level shift caters to millennial travellers, it benefits everyone with more dynamic, flexible amenities. Serving as backdrops for meaningful cultural encounters between guests and locals, these lobbies represent the future of interactive hotel design.
Moxy Osaka Honmachi
Instant noodles, ice cream and water infused with fresh fruit are all on offer in the lobby of the first Asian outpost of Marriott’s millennial-minded Moxy brand. Housed in a former underwear warehouse, this 155-room hotel opened last year just a five-minute walk from Sakaisuji Honmachi, one of Osaka’s main train stations. The eclectic, industrial-feel, double-height lobby creates a warm and fun first impression. In lieu of a front desk, guests are greeted with a Got Moxy cocktail and invited to take a seat on a rough-hewn wooden stool, a slouchy couch or a mismatched chair, all under vibrant wall art. Foosball tables and board games further lure guests out of their rooms to socialise in this common area.
Seoul, South Korea
This 274-room hotel is located in Hongdae district, the home of Hongik University and the centre of Seoul’s buzzing indie music scene. Ryse’s lobby is done up with a mix of raw concrete surfaces and luxurious finishes, from the funky pink resin floor to the velvet curtains and the retro-chic orb pendant lights hanging from the cathedral-height ceiling. Communal worktables and stadium-inspired wooden seats entice hotel guests and local creatives alike, as does the extensive vinyl record collection at the rooftop Side Note Club. Foodies will want to head to the Seoul outpost of David Thompson’s acclaimed Thai restaurant chain Long Chim. Guests will also be encouraged to get out and about into the surrounding area, filled with cutting-edge art galleries and boutiques thoughtfully curated with Korean-designed wares.
Hotel G Singapore
This 308-room boutique hotel is located near the National Gallery Museum – the centre of a burgeoning arts district – and is also surrounded by the food stalls along Bugis Street, with Orchard Road’s shops not far away. The eclecticism of its location is reflected in its lobby, filled with foliage, exposed pipes, playful wall frescoes, retro furniture and a wood-plank floor. Rotating art exhibitions champion local talent. Adjacent to the communal space, Ginett Restaurant & Wine Bar and burger joint 25 Degrees are stylish hangouts. Upstairs, the well-priced guest rooms start at only 118 square feet – hence the thriving lobby life.
Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Two social spaces replace any formal lobby for this 209-room business hotel, located inside a shiny new skyscraper adjacent to Kuala Lumpur’s iconic Petronas Towers. Natural light streams into The Lounge, designed to evoke teatime at an antique collector’s plush abode. Traditional Malay and colonial materials like rattan, lacquer and marble infiltrate the sixth-floor space, which has been a hit in the local social scene since the hotel opened mid-2018. Meanwhile, Bar Trigona is a dazzling clash of mirror tiles, shimmering metalwork and vibrant primary colours, illuminated by lamps recalling traditional Chinese yo-yos. Its creative cocktails made with organic ingredients ensure a steady stream of millennial customers.
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