Today (January 26, 2015): top 10 most spectacular hotel lobbies in the world.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. We all know that from first dates, but it also holds true with hotels. That’s why some of the world’s most luxurious hotels transformed their lobbies into magnificent spaces, although lobbies are not usually at the top of our wish list when it comes to choosing a place to stay in our vacations. So, forget boring reception desks, the world’s ten most beautiful lobbies go beyond the norm, aiming to impress from first sight.
There is more information below the slideshow. Think I missed one? Share your favorite hotel lobby in the comments section, or take my poll below!
With awe-inspiring scenery and gorgeous beaches, it should come as no surprise that Hawaii is one of the world’s most beautiful islands. And the 252-room St. Regis Princeville lays claim to Hawaii’s most stunning location: a cliff overlooking Hanalei Bay with views framed by lush tropical hills, cerulean blue skies, puffs of clouds and mist, and cinematic sunsets. And it has a lobby to match. Eight African mahogany columns in the center of the lobby define an intimate circular seating area. A Murano glass waterfall chandelier with 4,000 crystals hangs above a lotus blossom fountain. But it’s that killer view that will take your breath away.
- Hotel website: St Regis Princeville
- Other top 10 accolades: St Regis Princeville also features in my top 10 lists of the world’s best luxury hotels to spot celebrities and the best luxury hotels in the USA.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and $100 USD hotel credit).
- Review: to read my review of the St Regis Princeville, click here.
A harmonious blend of nature and luxury, the ultra-luxurious Banyan Tree resort on Mexico’s famous Riviera Maya coast, takes the Caribbean lifestyle to new heights. Located within the gated resort development of Mayakoba near Playa Del Carmen, the hotel features 118 enormous guest villas that all come with a large, private pool. A massive pagoda is the centerpiece of the Banyan Tree Mayakoba’s main entry and open-air lobby, which provides sweeping vistas of the villas, pool, golf course and beach in the distance. Asian influences are juxtaposed with Mayan-inspired furnishings among natural surroundings to induce a sanctuary for the senses.
- Hotel website: Banyan Tree Mayakoba
- Other top 10 accolades: Banyan Tree Mayakoba also features in my top 10 lists of the best health spas in the world and the world’s best family hotels.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, $100 USD resort credit, preferential green fees at the El Camaleon golf course, 10% discount at our Banyan Tree SPA, early check in and late check out).
- Review: click here to read my review of Banyan Tree Mayakoba.
Located on the gorgeous shores of Samui island, the W Retreat brings the W’s bold trademark to Thailand. The 74 private pool retreats offer all the indulgence and luxury you could possibly ask for, and burst with contrasting colors, shapes, and textures in addition to ultra chic and cutting edge design. But the hotel’s real showcase is the amazing, semi-outdoor lobby with lotus pond, offering spectacular views over the shimmering turquoise Gulf of Thailand with distant islands on the horizon. In the evening, the lobby is wonderfully enlightened, and becomes a trendy, yet intimate place to spend time with friends, family and loved ones.
Located just steps from the Champs-Elysées, the Four Seasons Hotel George V redefined luxury in the City of Light. The hotel features 244 lavishly appointed hotel guest rooms and suites. Entering the hotel is like stumbling upon a treasure trove of lovingly preserved 18th century French antiques and intricate reproductions. The lobby is steeped in gorgeous period pieces, from the glittering Florence chandelier to original tapestries to spectacular bronze sculptures. Admirers from around the world come to see the bountiful and continually refreshed floral displace that decorate the space.
- Hotel website: Four Seasons Hotel George V
- Other top 10 accolades: Four Seasons Hotel George V also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Paris.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g.room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, 85 euro spa credit, and during low season an added Virtuoso amenity to be determined by the hotel).
With Gaudí masterpieces like Casa Milà (“La Pedrera”) and Casa Battló, Barcelona’s main thoroughfare, the prestigious Passeig de Gràcia, has no shortage of architectural stunners. The ultraluxurious Mandarin Oriental Hotel is one of its newest additions, housed in a converted 19th century bank building that now boasts a soaring white atrium and floating “catwalk” leading up to its cream-and-gold-colored lobby. Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola plays with light and space with sliding crystal doors, mirrored ceilings, and intricate latticework. This bright and stylish design style is also omnipresent in the 92 rooms and 28 suites.
- Hotel website: Mandarin Oriental Barcelona
- Other top 10 accolades: Mandarin Oriental Barcelona also features in my top 10 lists of the most spectacular hotel rooftops in the world and Europe’s best hotel rooftops.
The distinctive silhouette of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, a glittering architectural marvel in the middle of the Arabian Gulf, is more than just a stunning hotel, it is a symbol of modern Dubai. Despite its enormous size, the Jumairah managed hotel holds only 28 double-story floors which accommodate 202 lavish bedroom suites. It is built to resemble the sail of a dhow, a type of Arabian vessel. Two “wings” spread in a V to form a vast “mast”, while the space between them is enclosed in the massive, 180 m (590 ft) tall lobby. The latter features a central fountain and a cascading waterfall with columns embellished with 24-karat gold leaf.
- Hotel website: Burj Al Arab
- Other top 10 accolades: Burj Al Arab also features in my top 10 lists of the most expensive hotels in the world, the world’s most outrageous hotel experiences, and luxury hotels with private helipads.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and a complimentary 50-minute massage for up to two people, per room).
Interior architects Alexandra Edwards and Carolina diPlano aimed to bring the outside in at the Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa. Nestled in the southernmost part of Chile, the hotel sits on a bluff where the South American pampa meets Lake Sarmiento. The 37 double rooms and 3 suites envelop guests in warmth amidst the wilderness. Sharing a sprawling open layout with a cozy lounge and bar, the lobby is on our list because of the breathtaking view over the deep-blue lake to the jaw-dropping peaks of Torres del Paine National Park, the centerpiece of Chilean Patagonia and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
- Hotel website: Tierra Patagonia
- Other top 10 accolades: Tierra Patagonia also features in my top 10 lists of the world’s most stunning indoor hotel pools and swimming pools with stunning views.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast for 2, and $100 USD spa credit).
Tucked away between the rugged Al Hajar mountain range and a pristine stretch of private beach, Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, is a hidden jewel amongst Muscat hotels, a beachfront retreat that welcomes guests with customs steeped in ancient traditions and contemporary comfort. From each of the hotel’s 250 guest rooms and suites’ private balconies, guests can gaze upon magnificent mountain, sea or garden views. Arab and art deco influences infuse the resort with an elegant ambiance, most notably in its majestic 38 m (124 ft) high, domed atrium lobby.
- Hotel website: Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel
- Other top 10 accolades: Al Bustan Palace features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Oman.
- Review: read here my review of Al Bustan Palace.
First opened in 1887, and since then a destination in its own right, the 103-room Raffles Singapore epitomizes the romance of the Far East – an intoxicating blend of luxury, history and colonial ambiance that have earned it acclaim as one of the world’s finest hotels. Immortalised by writers including Somerset Maugham, Rudyard Kipling, Ernest Hemingway and Alfred Hitchcock, the flagship hotel of the luxurious Raffles hotel group is the perfect place from which to explore Singapore. Liveried Sikh doormen usher guests through an ornate wrought-iron portico into the imposing and classic lobby that seems unaltered from the turn of the century.
- Hotel website: Raffles Singapore
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, $100 USD food & beverage credit, complimentary Singapore Sling on arrival, $500 SGD shopping vouchers used at participating Raffles Hotel Arcade Shops, and a complimentary 45 minute history tour).
Occupying the top six floors of the recently built Otemachi Tower, Aman Tokyo is an urban sanctuary high above the atmospheric whirl of tradition and modernity that epitomizes Tokyo. Managed by the world’s most exclusive hotel brand, the new Aman has 84 rooms and suites that feature a mix of traditional Japanese architecture and the hotel group’s signature understated style. Beneath a 30 m (98 ft) high ceiling of white washi rice paper and surrounded by water and two meditative rock gardens, dramatic ikebana flower arrangements take centre stage in the 33rd floor lobby that gives way to spectacular views across the city.
- Hotel website: Aman Tokyo
- Other accolades: Aman Tokyo also features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury hotels in Japan, the most exclusive in Tokyo, and my favorite luxury hotels in the world.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).
- Review: read here my review of Aman Tokyo.