A Warm Reception

As the first and last physical interaction with every guest, the reception area is an important area to get just right.

For staff, the hotel reception needs to be an efficient and comfortable workspace. For the guest, it needs to inspire intrigue and excitement, but also safety, familiarity and trust.

The entrance is a big moment in the guest journey. It should wow you, welcome you and gently orient you. For new guests, the reception desk is an anchor and something to gravitate towards in an unfamiliar place.

In terms of interior design, this functional work area should enhance the surrounding space. The desk top should be tactile – it’s a physical touchpoint to be leant on and written against.

Think about the view behind the desk. If you’re using traditional keys then display them (but lock behind glass if not always attended).

The set up should meet the needs of the guest experience. For example if activities and bookings need to be reviewed and confirmed, or if you offer a drink during check-in, a lower desk with seating on both sides will be more comfortable for the guest. In terms of accessibility, this is a good set-up for those who use a wheelchair.

If your hotel is large enough to require more than one POS at the desk, a large vase of foliage or flowers is a soft way to provide privacy between guests.

It’s a high traffic area, so consider the durability of materials as it’s difficult to renovate this central workstation without closure.

Ensure the floor is smooth and easy to pull suitcases along, but use enough soft furnishings to help acoustics. Echoey footsteps will make the place feel chilly.

The lighting should be bright enough to read small-print on an invoice, but also atmospheric and homely.

Position the desk in a place that doesn’t get a big gust of wind when the front door is opened, or consider installing an internal porch area to avoid this. To create a buzzy atmosphere, turn the entrance / reception into a multifunctional space. You might create a library, retail area, coffee bar or co-working space that will encourage guests to linger.

If you’d rather people didn’t decamp here with laptops, then save the comfy armchairs for the bar.

Contact Hannah

If you are looking to develop an existing or brand new hotel concept,
guest experience or creative strategy, I’d love to help.



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