5 Luxury Hotel Lobbies That I Love


During my travels around the world, I’ve had countless opportunities to experience some of the most fascinating examples of architecture and interior design. As an interior designer by trade, I’ve become particularly interested in luxury hotel lobby interior design — and how the composition of a lobby can make or break the visitor’s first impression.


From an elegant Massachusetts estate to a time machine in Florence, Italy, a few of them have really blown me away. So much so, that I can’t bear to keep them to myself!

Here Are 5 Luxury Hotel Lobbies That I Love

Hotel-Lobby-Design 1. Wheatleigh– Lenox, Massachusetts

This Italianate masterpiece was originally built as a wedding gift from father to daughter and has since transformed into one of the Leading Hotels of the World — featuring one of the finest dining rooms on the east coast. This estate has been scaled to perfection, with interiors filled with a combination of antiques and clean-lined contemporary furniture in lush neutral fabrics.

It’s breathtaking without being off-putting. I often daydream about living here, as the Berkshire mountain vista — coupled with the formal gardens — are heaven on earth for me.


2. Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort – Maui, Hawaii

Wow! This place truly stimulates the five senses as soon as you walk through the front doors. Soaring ceilings with open views of the vast Pacific Ocean and beyond. Better yet, there is sand in the lobby as an extension of the gorgeous beach lying just a few strokes beyond. Very innovative. Very ethereal. Very sublime.


3. Four Seasons– Florence, Italy

An absolute dream! But one that has been made real. Imagine walking through the bustling streets of Firenze—with its exuberant, expressive culture—and retiring for the evening in an equally engaging hotel that can best be described as a mythical palace. The architectural bones of this space are nothing short of a heart-throb—and are brought to perfection by exquisite tastes in furniture and floral arrangements. Staying here made me feel like a Contessa returning to my lavish Palazzo!


4. Lake Placid Lodge– Lake Placid, New York

Very intimate public spaces that bring light to an Adirondack past filled with wildlife, rough hewn wood, vivid reds and greens, antlers, and a staggering view of Lake Placid that will make you question returning back to civilization. The hosts place wildflowers on the table settings and also provide a cozy blanket to those who choose to sit outside and view the lake. Just imagine—wrapping yourself in a sumptuous wrap while enjoying the crisp air. It is luxurious hunting lodge chic with stone fireplaces to match. What more could you want?


5. Crosby Street Hotel – New York, New York

I love the quirkiness of the decorating selections. The juxtaposition of traditional elements with wild colors and crazy artwork and accessories is just fun and refreshing! And after sitting for a relaxing drink at the bar, you may just stand only to question whether you are in a New York hotel or an art museum!

Each one of these luxury hotel lobbies is a reflection of the visual and cultural aspects of the surrounding environment—from the lighting and seating arrangements to the use of space and choice of materials. I employ the same philosophy in the lobby interior designs I create in New York City and the surrounding areas.

To view photos of my work, click here.

Thank you for reading,

— Marilyn


INTERIOR DESIGN PROJECT KICK-OFF MEETING GOALS – How to start your project on the right foot

I find that the success of an interior design project; lobby, halls, facade, community room or private residence is closely tied into an overall “game plan”. So to call together all of the players before anyone lifts a hammer is crucial to the order of things leading to a smoothly orchestrated project.

Everything leading up to the start date should be put to bed; all of the design work completed, approved and competitively bid out. The selection of the general contractor and specialty subcontractors have been made, contracts signed, deposits  paid and the work schedule has been coordinated among all of the parties.

We always recommend having a “kick-off”meeting at the jobsite. The team should include the property manager, building superintendent, project liaison, designer and the contractors. This introduction and “bonding time” is essential to success. It is the perfect time to establish the chain of command and the communication flow.


  1. Establish spaces that workers can use to change their clothes, eat their lunch and use a bathroom facility.
  2. Familiarize the entire team with the existing conditions and discuss any challenges.  Walking through the project to review the logistics of moving residents, workers and materials in and out of the site safely on a daily basis is essential. For example, if a stone floor installation is part of the project scope, it is good for the Team to visualize the residents’ path during the course of the installation. Team generated solutions typically come out of this collaboration.
  3. Work hours – noisy and quiet work will be discussed and worked out within the work day schedule.workhours
  4. Deliveries – anticipated dates and who will receive them. This can get tricky. An example would be items not purchased by the contractors which can included decorative light fixtures or wall covering. Sorting out whether the contractors’ workers or building staff will be lugging in things like the hallway light fixtures or wall covering.
  5. Security – workers to sign-in and wear company t-shirts.Unknown
  6. Communications and notification for residents – the property manager and superintendent  will post information prior to all work in advance so that residents have notice.images-1
  7. Set up formal site meetings on a regular (weekly or every other week) to review work, problem solve, prepare “look ahead” notices for residents and generate meeting notes for attendees and others.
  8. Confirmations – all certificates of insurance are correct and current, work schedules, and target dates are still up to date.

After years of large lobby and hallway design projects under my belt, I know that anticipation can really pay off.

If you have any questions on how to organize your Interior Design Kick Off Meeting, please feel free to send me an email.