The predecessor of the modern hotel were the Inns & Public Houses of years back--a place of social gathering for locals and travelers alike. When Atlanta's Hyatt Regency Hotel opened in 1967, it was the first atrium hotel to be built, influencing hotel design for the following decade. The opening of this hotel signaled the climax of hotels being a place of "social gathering". This quickly changed in the 1980's as architectural and real estate efficiency became the name of the game, turning the hotel lobby into a check-in/check-out, transactional building feature.
The pendulum swung back a little over 10 years ago, when boutique hotels changed the traditional design of their lobbies, turning them into restaurants, bars, lounges, and general places of merriment. W Hotels then branded this concept and rolled out hotels around the world, as the revenue potential was realized its parent company, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and their competitors began redesigning their lobbies across multiple brands. Based on past research and today's article--aside from a multitude of independent hotels--the following brands have already launched "social lobby" concepts:
Hilton Garden Inn
Hotel designers around the world have taken note and added "social lobby" as a required building specs.
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