ME DUBAI BY ZAHA HADID
Planned to be open in 2016, the Zaha Hadid-designed Me Dubai hotel is set to be one of the UAE’s most distinctive properties. Newly released renderings show its centerpiece will be a vast, sinuous lobby. In advance of the hotel’s completion, we look at other hotels around the world with incredible, imposing lobbies.
AL BUSTAN PALACE HOTEL, OMAN
Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton hotel in Muscat, Oman, welcomes guests with a reception area that is palatial and ornate. Rising 39 metres to the centre of a grand dome – which is three metres longer than the Taj Mahal dome – its centrepiece is a 5.5 tonne crystal chandelier.
VERANDA HOTEL, CHIANG MAI
Hidden in the hills that surround Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, Veranda is designed to allow guests a relaxing, rejuvenating escape. The experience begins when visitors check in at the property’s open-air reception, before passing a tranquil pool to access their rooms.
FOUR SEASONS GEORGE V PARIS
The lobby of the Four Seasons George V in Paris lacks the scale of many other luxury hotels’, but it draws admirers from around the world. They come to see the bountiful and continually refreshed floral displays that decorate the space – the hotel spends approximately £1 million per year on flowers, and the lobby is a showcase for this investment.
ITC GRAND CHOLA
Admittedly the lobby of the ITC Grand Chola hotel in Chennai would look less impressive without a procession of elegant, sari-clad staff members lined in greeting, but it is an imposing space nonetheless. Gleaming marble abounds in the lobby, and the hotel as a whole features one million square feet of hand-carved marble.
ME HOTEL, LONDON
The Norman Foster-designed Me London offers one of the most immersive, interesting check-in experiences you’re likely to have anywhere. The reception area is contained within a pyramid-like space that is capped by a glass roof. Each night different graphics are projected onto the walls.
ROYAL LIVINGSTONE, ZAMBIA
Guests at The Royal Livingstone in Zambia have an unconventional start to their stay at the hotel. Rather than checking in as normal, they’re taken to the property by water taxi and check in at the hotel’s jetty where they’re treated to hand massages and a fruit cocktail.
BARCELO LA BOMBADILLA, GRANADA, SPAIN
The lobby at Barceló La Bobadilla looks especially bright and airy on fresh, sunny days – luckily they’re plentiful in Granada where the hotel is located. Although the lobby’s design may seem unusual to tourists, it is actually inspired by the Palatial architecture of Granada and nearby Cordoba, when they were under the Nazrid Dynasty in the 14th century.
BURJ AL ARAB, DUBAI
The Burj Al Arab is the distinctive sail-shaped hotel off the coast of Dubai. Those staying in the property begin their lavish experience at the property upon entering the soaring atrium that houses its lobby and check-in area.