From the moment your guest pulls into your parking lot to the moment they open the door to their room, everything they experience affects their first impressions of your property.
You don’t need us to tell you that first impressions matter to your guests, and have implications on your establishment as a whole. So, let’s pretend we’re your guest and jump into how your design can make those first impressions count.
Luxury Hospitality Design: Going Beyond What’s on Google
If you’re a guest arriving at a luxury hospitality establishment, you’ve probably already had your initial first impression. You’ve taken the time to explore maybe half a dozen or more hotels before selecting the one whose spacious and well-marked parking area you’re now navigating.
You’ve seen the lobby, guest rooms, bar, restaurants, and perhaps even the banquet rooms online, and you’ve liked what you’ve seen. Now it’s time to test the virtual against the real.
You would have been disappointed if gorgeous flowers weren’t burgeoning from the planters around the lobby entrance, but they are. Pleased, you step out of your car, and you’re met by the delicious smell of fine coffee drifting from the sidewalk café where people converse, read, and work on laptops.
On the other side of the entrance, colorful window displays highlight the merchandise available from the hotel shop. What could have been a pretty, but rather mundane, loading zone has been transformed into an exciting urban street scene.
The Balance of Meeting Needs While Generating Excitement
Senses fully engaged, you enter the lobby. If all goes as it should, the smiling clerks at the front desk will already know you’re visiting this city because you’ve never been here before and you’re interested in exploring what it has to offer. Someone asked you about it when you made the reservation, and the hotel even sent you a suggested itinerary for your stay.
Now you look around. Does the lobby live up to the first impression you formed when you decided to stay at this hotel? Well, the 30-foot mural that caught your eye online is where it should be. It sweeps across the wall behind the sleek, unobtrusive front desk (or, rather, “desks,” because there are eight of them, unobtrusive and highly efficient, set apart so none of them looks crowded during even the busiest times).
The mural seems to capture the vibrancy of the city itself and to bring that energy in off the street. It makes you want to start your explorations right away.
Unexpected Comfort and a Warm Welcome
Check-in takes only a few moments, as though they anticipated your arrival, and you turn to head for your room. But what’s the hurry? You’re drawn, instead, to a bar that’s clearly part of the lobby yet seems more like a nice neighborhood nightspot, a place to kick back and maybe meet people.
On the way to the bar, you pass groups of people looking relaxed and comfortable, chatting in discreet groupings that remind you of nothing so much as an evening in your own living room. A few things catch your eye:
- Soft light is emanating from table lamps
- There are tons of modern, yet warm-looking sofas and chairs
- A fountain splashes gently nearby
Going Beyond Expectations
Luxury hospitality design has a tough audience. Its target is people who know when things are done right. And the right design creates a welcoming world where even the most seasoned traveler experiences surprises of the best kind.
Still, brilliant design without impeccable service means little. When the two work together, great things happen, and experiences like those of this fictional guest can be everyday occurrences. In the end luxury hospitality design and service is about expectations—not just meeting them but exceeding them.