5 of the Most Unique Hotel Lobbies Across the U.S.
Throughout the United States, there are thousands of hotels. While many have cookie-cutter designs that leave them looking alike, there are also several destinations with unique features that set them apart from the crowd. From remarkable guest rooms to unusual architecture, there are a lot of things that can make a hotel stand out from its competitors. Those with unique lobbies, however, wow guests as soon as they enter the doors. Check out these unique hotel lobbies.
Special Guests at the Peabody Hotel
The lobby of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN, is home to some well-known celebrities–they just aren’t human. Confused? That’s because the hotel, which is a Historical Hotel and member of the National Trust for Historic Program, has a tradition dating back to the 1930s: ducks are welcome. For decades, a former circus animal trainer even trained the ducks to march in the hotel lobby, to the delight of guests and locals. That man, Edward Pembroke, was given the designation of “Duckmaster” and helped the ducks gain national exposure.
This has even led to actual celebrities appearing in the “Duckmaster” role, with stars like Kevin Bacon, Peter Frampton, Paula Deen, Molly Ringwald and others leading the beloved ducks into the fountain. The hotel is dedicated to and named after the famous George Peabody, who is largely regarded as the father of modern philanthropy. Regardless, the lobby fountain has granted the Peabody Hotel international fame and has drawn countless visitors hoping to catch the ducks frolicking in the water.
The Jewels at the Joule
The Joule is a neo-Gothic anomaly located in the middle of Dallas’ Central Business District, but the Joule is not your average boutique hotel. No matter where you enter the lobby, you will immediately notice a giant cog-and-wheel metal structure along with other stunning works of art by none other than Millard Sheets. In fact, the hotel founder Tim Headington was such a fan of Sheets’ work that he worked to salvage many of the works of art that are displayed at the hotel.
His love of artwork even spills out of the lobby with a 30-foot giant eyeball in the gardens created by artist Tony Tasset. It is fair to say that the love of art has helped bring a tremendous amount of attention to the hotel in general, and the Joule truly has a jewel of a lobby.
Another historic landmark, the lobby at the Hotel Monteleone is truly magnificent. Antonio Monteleone was a cobbler who came to New Orleans from Sicily. He eventually was able to purchase a hotel and went on to renovate it into the gem that it is today. Interestingly enough, it is one of the few family-owned hotels to actually survive the Great Depression. It has been famously referenced by some of the most revered authors of all time, including Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams and Stephen Ambrose.
The clock tower and chandeliers in the lobby transport you to an earlier time, especially with the beautiful Beaux-Arts architectural style of the exterior. The world-famous Carousel Bar is just steps away from the lobby, and it is the city’s only revolving bar. It turns on 2,000 large steel rollers, making one revolution every 15 minutes. It is rumored that the bar is haunted, and it is known for making the best Sazerac in town. During Christmas, the lobby also hosts children’s choir performances to help guests get in the holiday mood!
The Bellagio is home to one of the most famous lobbies in the world, and it’s all thanks to a magnificent glass sculpture. Dale Chihuly is a world-renowned glass sculptor, whom many consider the greatest blown-glass artist of all time. It is his unique contribution that truly makes this gem of Las Vegas stand out from all of the competition.
The Fiori di Como is a marvelous sculpture that sprawls across 2,000 square feet of the lobby ceiling, consisting of thousands of hand-blown glass flowers. Las Vegas may certainly be known for its vices, but the lobby of the Bellagio offers a unique respite from the endless action of the casino atmosphere and forces the viewer to simply take a moment to appreciate true art.
The Bellagio also is world-famous for its fountains, but when it comes to unique lobbies in the United States, the Bellagio certainly deserves a mention. Believe it or not, the work of art cost an estimated $10 million. However, perhaps more surprisingly, the Fiori di Como has proven to not just be some artistic indulgence, but a sound investment. It is estimated that up to 20,000 people come to the lobby just to marvel at the breathtaking sculpture. To this day, there are guests who spend hours exploring the work of art, to examine every crevice and nuance. When it comes to unique lobbies, it certainly is hard to beat the Bellagio.
Fawn Over the Faena
In modern times, many hotel lobbies are much the same. We might see some exposed brick, industrial metal, some sleek mahogany counters, a coffee shop with a few tables and some plush tufted leather couches where people can sit and gain access to free Wi-Fi. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, that’s exactly what we need. That isn’t what you will find at the Faena hotel lobby, though, which looks more like ancient Rome than a Miami hotel.
The floor-to-ceiling murals of a tropical theme certainly pay homage to the city where the hotel is located but everything else harkens to an earlier time. The lobby is absolutely massive and emphasizes open space, with huge columns that are fitting for the lobby’s name–The Cathedral. The gold columns scream decadence and opulence and can truly make the inhabitant feel royal. It certainly is unique compared to the more sleek and modern lobbies of Miami hotels, but that is what makes the Faena so special.
From Miami to Las Vegas, there are hotels with unique lobbies spread throughout the United States. Book a stay at any one of them and you are sure to be impressed!
Guest post by Jeff King