Gone are the hotel lobbies we knew. In the past, this area was all about function. If you were spending more than five minutes in your hotel’s foyer, chances are that you were either checking in or waiting to meet someone.
Today, however, there are more reasons for guests to spend more time in the lobby, and not because they are waiting in line. This is partly because hotel lobbies are more and more becoming guest social-zones and so hotels are including comfortable couches and open spaces that can serve as meeting spaces, not to mention televisions. The partitions that once separated the lobbies from the restaurants are also being slowly removed.
That said, one of the main changes that modern hotels have made to hotel lobbies to improve efficiency include the check-in process. Instead of the standard way where you actually have to talk to check-in personnel, some high-tech hotels are opting for kiosks where guests can check themselves in, along the same lines of the kiosks at airports. Or you can check-in at you hotel while waiting for your next flight, as you can do at the Dubai International Airport Terminal Hotel in Dubai – not bad, uh? On the other hand, some hotels are keeping the front desk staff and just removing the desk. The personnel can then individually check guests in at the lobby with iPads, which are generally more mobile than say laptops and desktop computers.
High tech hotels are also utilising customised online self-service applications to help customers get answers to frequently asked questions. Today, guests in some hotels are able to use massive touch screen TVs situated at the lobby to get information on both the area’s popular attractions and other important information such as the prevailing weather and traffic conditions. One of the biggest technological additions to modern hotel lobbies is the Wi-Fi which has enabled guests to conveniently access the internet and catch up on the latest news, chat with friends and more, while in the lobby. Wi-Fi used to be a room amenity or a service guests paid for. With all of these new options, it is notable that consumer trends are playing a big role in shaping hotel lobbies of the future. As such, the dynamics of hotel lobbies are always bound to change.