What Are the Functions of a Lobby in a Hotel? Our List

We all know what a hotel lobby is. Every hotel on earth has one. We check into our rooms in the lobby. The lobby also acts as an entrance to the hotel.

What other features can you expect to see in a hotel lobby? What kinds of lobbies are there? Here’s our list of Functions of a Lobby in a Hotel.

Why Is a Lobby Important?

A lobby in a hotel is the first thing you see when you arrive at the property. The condition of a lobby determines your first impression of the hotel. A badly decorated, poorly organized, and congested lobby will cause problems quickly.

Not only is a crowded and visually unpleasant lobby unappealing to guests. People traffic in the lobby must be organized to optimize staff functionality. If the organization is not done properly, guests will not have a good start of their stay.

Main Functions of a Hotel Lobby

The functions of a hotel lobby vary between different kinds of hotel lobbies. But there are three main functions that are universal.

Entrance Space

We’ve already mentioned the function of a hotel lobby in its location. A lobby connects the hotel’s entrance to the rest of the property. So, it supports all the traffic of guests, staff, and luggage every day.


Another obvious function of a hotel lobby is check-in and -out. All hotels have desks located somewhere in their lobbies for checking guests in and out. Where these desks are, depends on how everything else is organized on the ground floor.

Waiting Area

Hotel lobbies are also places where people wait. This might not be an obvious function you might associate with a hotel lobby. Mainly because no one likes to have their vacation put on hold at the hotel! Many hotels take this factor into consideration. You might find some rather comfortable and cozy waiting areas in hotel lobbies.

Different Kinds of Hotel Lobbies

Each hotel lobby is likely to differ from one another. Even those properties of the same hotel chain or group. Different kinds of lobbies are linked to the amenities hotels offer to their guests.

Family-Friendly Area

Each hotel that expects to receive families is different. They will have different facilities in their lobbies. Here are a few examples.

A play area for younger children can be a great addition to any family-friendly hotel. This feature makes checking in and out much easier for parents.

Large sitting areas for at least 4 people are another example. You don’t want to be sat waiting away from your family on a family vacation. For example, areas with three-seater sofas surrounding a coffee table are ideal. Especially for large families in the lobby.

Couples/ Romantic Area

Let’s face it. Hotel lobbies aren’t always the most romantic places. Especially if you’re newlywed or on your honeymoon. It can be difficult getting into the vacation spirit in a crowded and noisy lobby.

So, some hotels will offer areas for couples in their lobbies. Especially hotels in popular honeymoon destinations. This can be a semi-secluded waiting area. Complete with romantic decorations like fresh flowers and mood lighting.

Business Area

Hotels in metropolitan areas and big cities are most likely to have a business area in their lobbies. This is for those on business trips and anyone who wants to squeeze in some work during their vacation.

Key Features to Expect

You can expect to find the following features in every hotel lobby:

1. Check-In Desk

This is an essential feature of a lobby. The primary function of a lobby is to greet guests. Traditionally, a lobby in a hotel is only used for this purpose. But things are beginning to change as online check-ins become more and more popular. Lobbies you find in hotels today will likely have more than one function.

For smaller hotels, though, this may still be the only function of their lobby!

Check-in desks are likely to have more than one function though. Usually, these spaces double up as a customer service area. If you’d like to arrange transport to and from the airport. Or simply ask for directions to a local attraction. You can always head to the check-in desk and ask.

2. Sitting Area

The size of a sitting area will depend on the size of the property. This can be a separate zone in the lobby. Or it might be a few benches placed near the check-in desk. But hotels will offer guests a place to sit and wait for their rooms to be ready.

3. Refreshments

With a sitting area, hotels will usually offer refreshments to guests as well. What they serve will depend on the hotel you’re staying at. But you can expect the basics. Hotels will keep their water, fruit juices, and other soft drink stocked up.

4. Free Wi-Fi

Many hotel lobbies today will offer their guests complimentary Wi-Fi. Most hotel rooms come equipped with the hotel’s network. But check-ins might not go as smoothly as you and the front desk staff might hope. At times like this, a little free Wi-Fi can keep guests happy whilst they wait to be checked in.

Exclusive options in good hotels

Some hotel lobbies will have more amenities than others. As we’ve mentioned, this all depends on the kind of hotel you’re staying at. We’ve already mentioned complimentary features of family-friendly and couples’ areas. Now, let’s look at hotels with a public office/working space in their lobbies. What kinds of amenities can you expect?

1. Secluded Office Space

Some hotels that are more spacious can zone a section of their lobbies out as a secluded office space. This gives guests more privacy whilst they work. A secluded area also means guests can work away from the hustle and bustle of lobby traffic.

2. Communal Computers

Mounted PCs might be available for guests to use. Once again this is located in the working area of the hotel lobby.

It could be that your portable device suddenly broke down. Or you want to quickly reply to some emails before you leave the hotel. The hotel’s computers can lend you a hand.

3. Charging Stations

More and more hotels now have communal outlets. This is for guests to charge their devices whilst in the lobby. Some of these might be in working areas. Some might be near sitting areas. Generally, all guests are entitled to use these charging spaces.

4. Stronger Wi-Fi

Designated working areas in a hotel will have stronger Wi-Fi than the rest of the property. And for good reason as well. Hotels want to cater to guests who are traveling for work. Or simply those who would rather have a more stable connection while browsing the net.

What You Can Do in A Hotel Lobby

Hotel lobbies are becoming less focused on checking in guests. And you might find more things to do in a lobby in a hotel than waiting around.

Social Area

More and more hotels now have a social area in their lobbies. This is usually equipped with comfortable seating arrangements and pleasant decorations. All to encourage their guests to spend more time here with one another.

Some hotel lobbies might even have a flat-screen TV at the center of this area for entertainment. Others might have some live music from time to time. Some might offer refreshments from a nearby bar. Others might have vending machines and other food sources mounted nearby.


Many properties of hotel chains and groups now have shops located in their lobbies. You might find designer brands or simply a gift shop in the lobby of the hotel you’re staying at. Which could be the perfect place to spend a few minutes idling in. Before embarking on your vacation schedule each day!

Restaurants & Bars

Some hotels will have either a restaurant or bar in their lobbies.

A bar is a great addition to a lobby. It doubles as a social area and place for refreshments. When the lobby isn’t too busy, you might even be able to use this as a waiting area.

For restaurants, the kind of food you might find will depend on the property you’re staying at. But hotels usually incorporate local cuisines into their menus. You might find a café in the lobby of one hotel. In others, you might find a restaurant. For those planning on checking out the catering services of the hotel, you’re staying in. Remember to check exactly what they have on offer!


A hotel lobby has many functions. A lobby in a hotel is no longer only for checking guests in and out. But the amenities you might find in a hotel lobby vary across each property.

Some will cater to one type of traveler. Others to another type. Be sure to look up the kinds of services the hotel you’re staying at offers. This way you can optimize your vacation experience even in the hotel.