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A trend in hotels’ unique lobby spaces, has been on the forefront for a few years and continues to grow.  Gaylord Palms was a true originator of this trend.  The Orlando Gaylord is themed to represent unique areas around the state complete with live gators. Their guests love it and it showcases The Gaylord’s brand culture perfectly.

A recent post by Bloomberg Businessweek offered an interesting article on the topic. The article reports that hotels are offering doctors offices, yoga studios, art galleries and more. Of course, money is a motivating factor behind these distinct spaces.

While I love the idea, I am wondering if hoteliers are considering the “story value” of these unique services, or are they rushing in to make a quick buck? How does the brand story convey in each of these amenities? How will their guests interact with the venue? If a hotel wants to take advantage of this trend, they need to look closely at their customer base and find unique amenities that cater to their specific guest preferences. These spaces should definitely match the brand culture of the property and yes, make money in the process.

Lobby spaces offer hoteliers opportunities to build relationships with their guests. It also allows for fun and creative posts via the social media universe: a cool photo on Pinterest or Instagram, a tweet on Twitter or an interactive post on Facebook. It may even lend itself to a blog post if the subject matter requires further details such as a class, seminar, event, etc.

Distinctive Lobby spaces are also a great way to learn more about guests. GM’s or management personnel who mingle amongst guests can casually ask critical questions that can help them improve guest relations, culinary offerings, in-room services and more.

What kind of cool lobby concepts have you experienced? Please share your top picks.