Why A Hotel's First Impression Is So Important

29 May 2018

Last weekend we visited a hotel that we have never been to before. I am always wary visiting new hotels as you never know what they are gong to be like. Obviously like most people, I visit trip advisor to check out other peoples views but for me first impressions are so important. The outside of the hotel and the reception are usually the first thing you see and it sets the tone for the rest of the hotel.

While designing a hotel the reception area must be considered the first point to start with. It is the place where the guests are greeted verbally and provided with all information about the hotel. A warm reception area can create strong positive impressions and also inspire the guests for the best possible interaction. The reception desk is, therefore, should be welcoming and inspiring for building mutual trust between the hotel and the guests.

People come to the reception area of a hotel with a variety of purposes. Some come here to check the availability of rooms, some come for checking into the hotel against reservations, some for enquiring about certain facilities, guests for checking out and the local customer to enquire about the bar, restaurant, and other facilities; and the reception desk has to answer all queries. 

The reception area and the lobby of a hotel is the focal point for the guests and can influence their stay. So, while decorating the reception area both aesthetics and functionality have to be considered. Here are some tips on how to make the reception area memorable to the guests.

1. Have dynamic and multifunctional lobbies

All hotel projects are now focusing on ways to make a striking first impression. That is why the importance of the lobbies has grown immensely. In fact, this is the area for socialisation and, therefore, should be provided with specific zones for informal discussions, working with laptop. It should, therefore, be adorned with comfortable sitting arrangements, Wi-Fi zone, and charging stations so that the guests can always stay connected.

2. Infuse colour to make it bright and welcoming

From the moment the guests put their first step in the hotel, they start taking stock of everything. Remember that the experienced travellers just take a few milliseconds to form an opinion about the hotel and the quality of service they can expect. Make use of colour philosophy to make the reception area warm and welcoming. Better, use light colour shade for creating a calm and soothing environment and for impressing the guests. This will also improve the brightness in the reception area.

3. Lighting should be attractive

Lighting can impress a guest immensely. Lighting of the reception area of the hotel should be decorative and functional as well. This will create an overall pleasant feeling in the minds of the guests. Having an ornamental chandelier in the reception area makes the place awesome. Modern hotels are now using the chandeliers for embellishing the reception area and counting on zonal and indirect lighting to create a cosy and welcoming ambiance. Lights can also be used to draw the attention of the guests to centrepieces making them amazed while they wait for checking in. 

4. Play soft classical music 

Music has an immense power to create a calm and relaxed atmosphere. When you play soft music in the reception area, it brings the guest in the right mood. As the guests are welcomed with soft tunes they start loving the hotel. Music can also fill the gap of silence and make waiting in same space less awkward for the strangers. It also helps everyone present in the reception area to focus more on the jobs at hand.

5. Offer something to read

It is quite likely that guests have to wait a bit for checking in during the pick hours. Although such waiting periods may span for a few minutes only, that is enough to make the guest bored as they always expect personalised service form the hotels. Why not arrange some light reading material at the reception area so that the guests may flip through the pages in the meanwhile.

6. Ensure enough space between sitting zones

A lot of seating options are there for the hotel reception area. You can follow the arrangement that suits your space requirement best. But, make sure that there is enough space between two sitting zones so that your valued guests have a feeling of privacy.

7. Add some water features

Adding water features in the reception area is a great way to improve the place. This could be in the form of artificial fountain or waterfalls. Such things elevate the decoration of the reception area aplomb to the next level. In fact, the sound of the flowing water makes a great impact on the minds of the people and makes the place memorable to them.

8. Consider improving the reception desk

The reception desk is the ultimate destination for the guests. This is the place where the guests head toward immediately on arrival. Make sure that it is large enough, and falls in the line of vision of the guests as they enter the area. The desk should also be easily accessible. Mind, the shape is very important for the reception desk. Better opt for geometric shapes as these are unlikely to go out of style.

9. Add faux green elements

Aside from being chick and classy, the reception area should be able to convey the quality and class you maintain. Including green elements in the reception area go a long way in making the space warm and inviting to the guests. These not only amaze the guests but also blow their mind off with the refreshing natural vibe. With their absolute realistic look, the artificial tree and plants are a way forward for improving the reception areas. The great thing about the fake greens is that they are zero maintenance products. 

These are available in many varieties including flowers, plants, palms, trees, topiary etc and can be customised to suit any space requirement. As these are made 100% botanically correct, none can feel the difference visually and hence, the aesthetics are not hampered. Coming in standard bases, you can easily install those in the reception area of your hotel. Since these are season and soil independent they continue to bless the area equally well in all seasons. These are UV resistant and have self-extinguishing properties. These do not cause any allergy nor attract any pest delivering a safe environment for the guests.

Have you ever been put off a hotel by it's first impression?


*This is a collaborative post*


  1. Some great tips. Thank you.

  2. I think lighting is really important as it can help create a warm atmosphere and I agree that having a chandelier in a hotel is a wonderful thing.

  3. I totally agree whenever I stay at a hotel first appearance is everything also some great tips here too x

  4. This was an interesting read, thanks for the great tips :)

  5. I haven't, so they've obviously all known what they were doing! I think out of these, lighting makes the biggest impression on me.

  6. Excellent tips and I agree with you, first impressions are EVERYTHING x


Thanks for your comments. I love reading them :)