Hotel lobbies are starting to feel more like coffeehouses or French salons in a bid to lure guests and neighbors.
At many hotels nowadays, you're just as likely to stumble upon a poetry reading or writing workshop as you are a wedding reception.
Some of the lobbies are starting to feel more like coffeehouses or French salons, where guests and neighbors can pursue intellectual curiosities.
Think artist-in-residence, guided discussions and lectures by authors - all in a bid to provide guests with entertainment or intellectual stimulation and attract neighbors to the hotel. Among the offerings:
All nine Hyatt-owned Andaz hotels host monthly "salons" - discussions with artists, photographers or writers. The Andaz West Hollywood, for instance, had photographer Robert Landau lead a discussion about his new coffee table photography book,Rock 'n' Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip. Hyatt also recently launched AndazSalon.com, a virtual cultural hub, and has "cultural insiders" to find local artists to showcase.
The Betsy Hotel in South Beach in Miami plays host to a series of lectures, workshops and book signings. The Betsy also has "writers-in-residence." Rooms are reserved for visiting artists and writers, particularly poets during the final stages of their projects.
W Hotels have "W Happenings," events worldwide that are focused on film, fashion, design and art. The hotel chain recently launched a series of four travel-inspired short movies produced by Roman Coppola.
The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas has the P3 Studio, an artist-in-residence program that has international and local artists create interactive art projects. Guests can watch artists such as Leor Grady and Jerry Misko produce their work and even help them create their art.
"The better hotels are moving away from being bland, boxy and boring places to offering their guests a more refined and enhanced experience," says Chekitan Dev, associate professor of strategic marketing and brand management at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. "It helps support local artists and provides an aesthetic complement to their stay."
Lisa Marchese, chief marketing officer for the Cosmopolitan, says the hotel is trying to provide guests with memorable experiences. "We try to create opportunities for guests to interact with art on a very intimate, one-on-one level," she says. "It's really become part of the guest experience and created a sense of discovery. ... It's memorable. It's the thing that people talk about."
But the hotels also have an ulterior motive, Dev says. "By 'curating' an artistic experience for their guests, the guests don't have to try and find something on their own, especially in a strange city, and the hotel can boost (food and beverage) sales, too," he says.