Unique hotel lobbies

Hotel lobbies have sometimes been referred to as “the living rooms of the world”. But more than a room with a view or an elegant way to welcome the weary traveller, these lobbies offer a sensational setting for gathering with friends, exploring artistic or historical treasures, people-watching, or simply relaxing with a good book.

Athenaeum InterContinental, Athens
Attention art lovers! Located just a short distance from the Acropolis and other famed historical monuments, this hotel offers its own expansive art collection, with several works on display right inside the lobby – including the notable Blue Man sculpture which greets you as you enter the hotel. The collection, featuring more than 350 original works of modern Green art, is one of the largest modern galleries in Athens.

The Beverly Hills Hotel, Hollywood, CA
If people-watching is more your thing, it’s almost always a ‘starry night’ at this landmark Hollywood hotel, which has been home to countless celebrities, Oscar parties and legendary stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin and Elizabeth Taylor. The lobby of the famous ‘Pink Palace’ is a throwback to old Hollywood glamour, featuring a Venetian glass chandelier, elegant fireplaces, and a stunning gold-leaf ceiling.

Auberge Saint-Antoine, Quebec City
This hotel is located in Quebec City’s charming Old Port, but guests won’t need to leave the building to embark on a walking tour through history. Inside Auberge Saint-Antoine’s centuries old walls, there are literally hundreds of artifacts on display, including a rare French cannon from the 18th century. Afterward, curl up with a book in one of the cozy lobby alcoves or play a board game with friends for a relaxing night in – or head to the bar for a nightcap.

Hotel Gansevoort, New York City
Credited with spurring Manhattan’s Meatpacking District’s transition from gritty to chic, Hotel Gansevoort’s new lobby has become one of New York City’s latest hot spots. With a sexy 1970’s decadence vibe, guests can relax in the oversized with oversized brown leather chairs or enjoy an ice-cold brew and a game of pool on the vintage 1950s Brunswick pool table.

Gansevoort Turks + Caicos, Turks & Caicos Islands, B.W.I.
With its big-city style combined with a sexy, Miami Beach atmosphere, this open-air lobby and pool is the ultimate playground on the sea. Overlooking the beautiful turquoise waters of Grace Bay, you’ll be able sip a cocktail on a private floating pod in the lobby’s 7,000-square-foot infinity pool or invite friends for an impromptu beach barbecue.

Charleston Place, Charleston, SC
The lobby of this landmark hotel is the epitome of old-world southern charm. The crowning jewel: an enormous hand-blown Venetian chandelier set between a traditional Georgian open-arm staircase. The chandelier, 12 feet in diameter and weighing approximately two and one-half tons, and is composed of more than 3,000 individual pieces of glass. If this dreamy ‘Southern belle’ setting inspires your wily, flirtatious side, all the better. The unique acoustics (created by the staircase’s placement beneath a domed ceiling) allow guests to carry on a conversation in a mere whisper, even while on opposite landings.

One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas
A perfect paradise for booklovers and daydreamers. Entering the One&Only Ocean Club feels less like a hotel than being welcomed into a gracious old colonial plantation home. After being served a cold drink, step inside the serene comfort of The Library with its warm Caribbean hues and French doors opening to the panoramic views of the ocean. Curl up in an oversized chair with a novel, sip on fine vintage wines or take Afternoon tea – and perhaps dream of writing a novel of your own.

The Marbella Club, Costa del Sol, Spain
Since Prince Alfonso opened its doors over half a century ago, the Marbella Club has become synonymous with the ‘glamorous life’ — suntans, pools, beaches, aristocrats, nightlife and palm trees. Upon entering the hotel, guests are immediately surrounded by the scent of more than 500 different blossoms, including trumpet, orange and lemon trees, jasmine and bougainvillea. Photographs of famed guests such as the Kennedys and Grace Kelly give a glimpse into the hotel’s glittering past of galas and parties. And if the jet set life becomes just a little, well, tiring, sneak in a siesta on one of the plush couches just off the main reception.

Intercontinental Hong Kong
Talk about a room with a view! Settle in with one of the best martinis in town and take in the spectacular panoramic views of Victoria Harbor and Hong Kong Island from this famed Lobby Lounge. Guests are invited to linger over an unforgettable sunset and the nightly “Symphony of Lights” laser show from Kowloon.

Burj Al Arab, Dubai
It only makes sense that the world’s tallest hotel (321 meters) also offers the world tallest atrium. Towering at 180 meters, the atrium basks in warm, natural light and is flanked by golden columns and a central fountain where arches of water burst over 42 meters into the air. Adding to the dramatic setting of water and fog, the Cascade Waterfall combines atomized water with fiber optics to produce a stunning kaleidoscope effect.

Additional sources: Journeypod; ABC News

Do you have a favourite hotel lobby? Post it in the comments!

Photo courtesy of the One&Only Ocean Club.

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