The hotel lobby is more than just a place to check in to your room. In terms of hotel design, it’s the centerpiece of the property and the main expression of its overall vibe, whether that hotel is going for a feel that’s swanky and classic or modern and sleek. The hotel lobby of some properties are particularly remarkable for their incredible design, creating a memorable atmosphere for drinks and meetings, while setting the tone for your trip. Of course, different styles appeal to different people, so it would be impossible to say which hotel has the most amazing hotel lobby in the entire country—but here are some of the more incredible hotel lobbies around the United States.
If you’re visiting the Windy City and looking to stay in a hotel with an amazing lobby, you should book a room at the Hilton Chicago across from Grant Park. When it opened in 1927, it’s 3,000 rooms (currently 1,500) made it the largest hotel in the world—and since its opening, every sitting President of the United States has stayed there and enjoyed views of Lake Michigan. Classical columns grace the second floor of the Beaux Arts lobby, from which descends a grand staircase toward a golden decorative timepiece under a ceiling painted to look like the sky.
If you love the aeronautic exuberance and glamorous luxury of Art Deco—and you happen to be in Bird City — book a night at the Hotel Phillips. The geometric symphony of the hotel lobby is graced by an 11-foot statue of the dawn personified, a permanent fixture of the lobby since 1931. A recent renovation to this hotel on the National Registry of Historic Places has given new life to the ornate metalwork, walnut wood panels, marble surfaces, and stylized fixtures. A simultaneously futuristic and classical vibe is created by the bold lines, rich materials, and fine craftsmanship of the lobby.
The Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans
No trip to the Big Easy would be complete without visiting the hotel lobby of the The Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans, named after President Theodore Roosevelt, who revitalized the city economy with the Panama Canal. The Art Deco hall of rich gold columns, mosaic floors, and accents of red and blue almost connotes a sacred Byzantine interior, illuminated by crystal chandeliers that run the length of this block-long masterpiece. At the center of the hotel lobby stands a historic timepiece from 1867, The Paris Exhibition Clock. The holiday display makes this a great hotel to visit in November and December.
The Breakers Palm Beach
Florida is famous for its surf, sand, and gems of Mediterranean architectural—and the seaside resort of The Breakers Palm Beach is no exception. Modeled after the urban palaces of the Italian Renaissance, this hotel was built by 19th century tycoon Henry Flager to accommodate travelers on his railroad. The hotel lobby is a stunning work of old world glamor, with French Doors that let the sunshine in to play beneath vaulted ceilings decorated by muralist Alexander Bonanno. Antique pottery, fine tapestries, and bouquets of exotic flowers adorn the spaces between the pathway of rounded arches interspersed with luxurious period furniture.
Fairmont San Francisco
At the top Nob Hill—one of San Francisco’s swankiest neighborhoods with the best views of the bay—sits the Fairmont San Francisco, a historic hotel where the United Nations charter was drawn up in 1945. The lobby of the Fairmont is a masterpiece of early 20th century neoclassical grandeur, with large, stately Corinthian columns and pilasters of veined yellow marble supporting a ceiling of ornamented recesses, underneath which period furniture is interspersed with massive arrangements of potted palms and bronze lamps that illuminate a gem of a hotel lobby. The Fairmont is remarkable for surviving the infamous 1906 earthquake and fire.