The Most Beautiful Hotel Lobbies Around The World

Who can deny that first impressions make a mark, whether it's the beginning of a friendship or romance or the first time you step into a new destination? When visiting a hotel, the exterior whets a traveler's appetite as they approach. But it's the lobby that cements the sense of arrival, the feeling that the vacation has truly begun. The lobby serves an efficient purpose as the welcoming area and the processing hub of the enterprise, but on a sensory level, it aims to provide a wow factor, a way to impress the guest from the outset. 

Lobbies set the tone for the rest of the stay; as such, they are a fundamentally important piece of any hotel. Additionally, they are a property's gatekeeper (a Fort Knox of sorts), a gathering place, and a guest's conduit to fun and exploration. This space also provides a sense of dependability, where guests can come with questions and leave with answers. But some, by virtue of their décor, location, or sense of history, impress more than others, like those below.

Aman Tokyo

This property, part of the über-exclusive hotel brand Aman, sits high above the streets of Japan's capital. Getting to the lobby requires guests to take an elevator up to the 33rd floor of the Otemachi Tower, the skyscraper Aman Tokyo shares with other tenants, including a large Japanese bank. Upon arrival, visitors will marvel at the grand proportions, with an atrium space that seems to reach up forever and is bathed in natural light. Views from the lobby look over the cityscape and the gardens of the Imperial Palace. Beyond the lobby, Aman Tokyo features doors lined in washi paper, traditional sliding shoji screens, and a huge spa.

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort

Visitors might feel like they are in the home of Thai royalty at this resort in the north of Thailand, near the borders with Laos and Myanmar. The cathedral ceiling gives the lobby a sense of regal grandeur. It's accentuated by thick, sturdy teak columns, sculptural posts with elephant motifs, and a large panel of metal ornately sculpted to create the effect of a theatrical curtain. Jungles and bamboo forests enveloped by morning mist are the setting for this luxury camp, and guests can explore the great outdoors with an elephant at their side. Arrival at the property is quite an adventure. Guests reach the property via a boat along the Mekong River before docking at a jetty and passing herds of elephants en route to the lobby.

Bellagio Las Vegas

There is much to catch the eye at this mammoth property on The Strip, from the choreographed fountains that have become a tourist attraction in their own right to a gallery that showcases some incredible art. The lobby is no exception, notably for the stunning artwork that blankets its ceiling. Known as "Fiori di Como," and put together by the Washington-state glass artist Dale Chihuly, it comprises 2,000 delicate, differently colored, hand-blown glass flowers that create a garden in the air. The installation was a Herculean endeavor, spreading over 2,000 square feet of the lobby's ceiling and requiring a special skeleton to support the 40,000-pound weight of those glass petals.

Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah

Dubai is not a place shy of flaunting its wealth, and the lobby of this iconic property follows that trend. Shaped like a sail of a traditional boat as it's puffed out by the wind and set out in the sea atop its manmade island, the Burj Al Arab grabbed headlines for its extreme levels of luxury when it first opened in 1999. The lobby typifies the over-the-top opulence here, with a soaring atrium, wild, bold colors, plenty of gilt accents, and thousands of Swarovski crystals embedded in part of a ceiling. That's just the beginning — the property has six florists on staff, features 30 different types of marble, and has enough gold leaf that you'd think King Midas lived here.

Çiragan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul

The property's name isn't just there for effect — the building was a palace for Turkish royalty, set along the Bosphorus Strait, a channel separating the continents of Asia and Europe. Views of the water are among the highlights of the lobby at this grand hotel, the strait visible to guests as soon as they enter the property. The lobby space extends high, with an ornate glass chandelier above and handsome checked tiles on the floor. A long seating area is flanked by large planters from which shrubs sprout, creating a procession of sorts, all the way down toward the water.

Dorsett Shepherds Bush, London

This property in West London was originally built as a cinema, and today, it retains landmark status, a building of historical importance. An exterior of bricks greets guests, but the real stunner is inside, a lobby that was once a cinema foyer, and that brings a sense of glamor to the structure. At one end of the foyer, a loop-shaped atrium rises all the way to the roof, a glass dome, and above, wood railings wrap around the entire space, making it sensually appealing. Generous lobby seating, including at the bar, allows guests to enjoy the hotel's fine form.

Faena Hotel Miami Beach

A destination dripping with youth and glamor, Miami Beach has long-drawn models, fashionistas, socialites, and glitterati. Right by the Atlantic, this hotel is where you find all those pretty young things, a property where the bright gold columns in the lobby set the tone for a glam stay. The décor at the Faena confirms that it's no shrinking wallflower, with gilt and bold red everywhere, from the sofas to seats to wildly patterned carpeting in rooms. The hotel is part of a larger Faena-designated district, which also features a theater, a marketplace, and a large event space.

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand

This property in Hawkes Bay sits on the land of a working farm, hence the name. The lobby reflects that pastoral setting through high ceilings and sturdy stone construction, creating a setting that could be a gorgeously designed farm building. It's a spacious, calming introduction to the hotel — which sits on a ridge — and helps guests immediately unwind. This is a beautiful part of the world, high above a long, sweeping bay on the North Island's east coast, and the property offers many ways for guests to enjoy the environs. The golf course has greens set atop cliffs that look down onto the ocean, while visitors can also explore the land with a tour aboard a four-wheel drive Can-Am vehicle, a trip that will bring them close to the resident sheep.

Four Seasons New York

The southern edge of Central Park has always been a location associated with wealth, and this hotel, a couple of blocks from the park, certainly exudes money. Its entrance is grand, with a large window front topping a towering entryway. Few places in the Big Apple express refined power as effectively as the Four Seasons hotel lobby, with gleaming marble floors, solid limestone columns that emanate quiet power, and subdued lighting impart the space with a sense of hushed awe. The building was designed by visionary architect I.M. Pei, and the Art Deco skyscraper sits on a street known as Billionaire's Row.

Fullerton Hotel, Singapore

Step into this hotel near Marina Bay in Singapore, and you can feel the history filling every atom. The lobby is vast, with an atrium that rises multiple stories, creating a beautiful sense of space from the very first moment. Fine materials like onyx, marble, and rich woods add layers of appeal to the lobby, which also features a courtyard where guests can take afternoon tea. The building itself, styled with a European-leaning Palladian design and distinguished by its towering Doric columns, was a former general post office and the seat of the Governor of Singapore before the island state became independent in 1965.

Hyatt Regency San Francisco

Stepping into the mammoth atrium lobby of this hotel near the Embarcadero, a visitor's eye is likely to immediately be drawn to the huge, spherical sculpture sitting in its heart. The artwork, which looks like a giant, asymmetrical ball of yarn brought to life, is often vibrantly lit, sometimes in an invigorating pink tone, bringing punches of color into a mostly white-on-white lobby. Geometric circular patterns spread across the floor courtesy of thousands of small tiles, and plenty of seating in the lobby allows visitors to take in the scene. On one side of the lobby, elevators shaped like large capsules rise to disappear into the heavens above.

InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort

At this resort on the coast of Vietnam, set up high on a hillside, travelers can look forward to fabulous views of the East Vietnam Sea. The lobby mixes European and Asian influences with chandeliers that recall classic red paper lanterns and high-backed chairs that could have graced the homes of French kings in centuries past. The vistas of the sea and forested peninsula give a hint of what guests can experience during a stay. Rooms also ensure that guests appreciate the setting, and all come with a terrace or balcony to enjoy the outdoors.

La Mamounia

Expect a sense of regal pomp at this property in Marrakech, a hugely popular city for tourists visiting Morocco. An oval-shaped seating area anchors the lobby space, and delicate chandeliers hang above. The marble floors shine and reflect, and archways lead to separate spaces off the lobby area. The hotel celebrates its centennial in 2023. Yet, it looks as fresh and current as ever, with rooms featuring local touches like filigree wooden screening and a spa with a traditional hammam, great for decompressing. The Tea Room is a vision set under a huge crystal chandelier, and it has an outdoor patio area, perfect for the cooler months.

Langham Sydney, Australia

Some of the best views of the Sydney harbor area are from Observatory Hill Park, a short walk from the Langham Sydney. And yet, the scene at this property's lobby is also spectacular, a modernist tableau of brilliant white marble. The entrance to the hotel is on a street that seems like a quiet residential block, but inside, the wow factor becomes quickly evident. A high-ceilinged white foyer has a chandelier as its focal point, a fixture resembling a mythical creature with multiple tentacles. Simple artwork graces the high white walls on either side, and a small set of stairs leads to a piano and the check-in area.

Mandapa, Indonesia

The views of pastoral Bali from this Ritz-Carlton property will immediately put visitors at ease, help them to dispel the knots in their shoulders, and unlink those bunched-up vertebrae in their backs. Mandapa sits on the outskirts of Ubud, the island popular with travelers looking to reconnect with themselves and celebrate their spiritual side. It's a beautiful part of Bali, with forests, rice paddies, and burbling streams, and some of that glorious scenery is visible from the platform that extends out from the lobby and looks onto Bali's verdant bounty.

Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

The modernist lobby at this property in Spain's fabulous city is undeniably chic. The experience starts with a fashion show of sorts, as visitors stride along a glass-paneled catwalk to access the lobby, an atrium with window cut-outs rising above. The lobby itself is understated, notable for its simple, tasteful arrangements and soothing neutral colors. Low-slung chairs and couches provide a comfortable place to hang out, while gold screens add some visual flair and a little excitement to the proceedings. The hotel is a short walk from La Rambla, the city's most famous shopping street.

Palmer House

Located one block from the Art Institute of Chicago and a short walk from Lake Michigan, this Chicago property has a lobby that oozes Old Money. Broad stone columns slowly bleed into a cove ceiling, where intricate paintings give the space the feel of an Italian palazzo. Candelabra-style floor lamps and sconces, reflected in the shiny marble floor, add an almost festive element to the air and help to give the space a warming, rich, golden glow. Patterned rugs and comfortable chairs around the lobby give it a convivial atmosphere.

Regent Hong Kong

The island of Hong Kong has one of the most thrilling skylines of any city in the world, helped by the location right by the water. The views of the island from across the water on Kowloon are what guests will see from the lobby of the Regent Hong Kong, and those views are spellbinding, especially at night. Seated in the lobby and peering through giant plate-glass windows, travelers can look across Victoria Harbour and see skyscrapers rising right by the water's edge, with the undulating ridge of the Peak behind. When the buildings are lit at night, the scene looks like a still pulled from a futuristic movie.

Reverie Saigon

The busiest metropolis in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, was once known as Saigon back when the country fell under the rule of French administrators. Today, this bustling city that wraps around a river is where to find a hotel that revels in its opulence. You can see plenty of bling as soon as you enter the lobby of this property; from prestige pieces to wild colors, this isn't a hotel that purports to be subtle. The ceilings are more than 20 feet high, and inside the lobby, visitors will find a huge emerald-colored clock, a Baroque couch that extends 15 feet and is upholstered in purple ostrich skin, and jazzy mosaics that clearly cost a fortune.

The Sanchaya

For residents of Singapore, the Indonesian island of Bintan is a familiar getaway, a short ferry ride that brings them to a place of sprawling resorts and swaying palms. This property on Bintan has a British-colonial feel, starting at the main Great House, which recalls the black-and-white houses where army officers lived in Singapore. Stepping into the lobby, with its comfortable seating and spotless French doors, visitors will quickly find their eye drawn outward to a reflecting pool, gardens, and the sea beyond. This vista offers a hint of the delights that await.

Six Senses Zighy Bay

Few hotels offer such an exciting way to arrive as this resort in Oman — sure, you can get here by a four-wheel-drive car or a speedboat, but some guests choose the option of a paraglider. Yes, that's right, from about 1,000 feet above sea level, visitors can strap a professional paraglider pilot and weave way down to the property, the sea air brushing up against their face. Once there, they can catch their breath in a tasteful, soothing lobby with textured walls, bright upholstery, and pleasantly rugged stone floors.

Tierra Patagonia

This part of South America has some of the most glorious landscapes on the planet, and the scenery from this resort in southern Chile will leave visitors speechless and filled with awe. Shaped like a slithering snake and set by an alpine lake in Torres del Paine National Park, the property, not least from the lobby, looks onto shimmering waters, snow-capped mountains, and vast plains. The lobby has a clean, simple design, with plenty of wood banquette seating, and is filled with light that streams through giant windows, portals from which the real star becomes quickly evident.

21C Museum Hotel

Located in Louisville, Kentucky, this hotel was, from its very inception, driven by the concept of art as a central part of its DNA. It was the first property in what has become a larger chain, opened in 2006 in former warehouses that were merged and recast as a single entity, and art was always key to a stay here. Visitors will find artwork everywhere, in public spaces, rooms, restaurants, and the lobby, which doubles as an art gallery and might display bright, politically charged canvases or modest bust sculptures.

Umaid Bhawan Palace

When you start to uncover the history of this former royal palace in northwest India, you'll understand why it literally has a lobby fit for a king. Once the home of a Maharaja (a local king) and one the largest private residences ever built, this hotel has a name that accurately relays the majesty of the place. The lobby feels like the foyer of a storied institution, a rotunda encircled by columns, with a dome above, and subtly lit to instill the space with dramatic depth. The grounds are equally magisterial, mainly the sweeping lawn behind the palace.

Villa d'Este

Sitting on the southern part of Lake Como in Italy, this Italian estate recalls the home of a noble. There is much to admire, from the fragrant gardens to the fine food, but the illuminating experience starts with the lobby. Strips of lively, patterned carpet create passages above checked marble floors and channel past stately columns, vaulted ceilings, and grand staircases with marble bannisters. Bright chairs, bouquets of flowers, and delicate chandeliers add to the feeling that deep history courses through the place — it was built as a summer home for a senior church clergy member in the 16th century.

Wickaninnish Inn

Coastal British Columbia is a place of wild, untamed beauty, where the powerful Pacific meets the forests of the northwest. That combination is on full view at this comforting, intimate resort. The property sits atop a rocky cape, looking down over Chesterman Beach, and uses local wood, including driftwood found on the beach, in its decor. The lobby is a calming refuge, with stone floors, a warming fireplace, and seats perfect to sink into and offer fir and pine tree views alongside the endless Pacific.