The Evolution & Design of the Hotel Front Desk

Innvision designs hotels with modern front desks

The Evolution & Design of the Hotel Front Desk

The lobby registration desk and its back wall play an essential role in the design of a hotel. They reflect the local flair of the region and the hotel’s brand philosophy. They also give guests a preview of what to expect during their stay. Although all hotel registration desks serve the same general purpose, their design has evolved over the years to improve the guest experience and accommodate shifting needs and preferences. 

This post will discuss how registration desks have changed, how hotels are leveraging technology, and the pandemic’s role in these shifts. We’ll also share what Innvision Design Studio does to ensure your guests have a memorable first impression.

Hotel Front Desk Designs: Then vs. Now

Registration desks have evolved from the traditional grand desk to a multi-pod setting. You’ll now see individual stand-alone desks, or kiosks, which allow hotel staff to provide individualized attention to guests and create a more intimate customer service experience. 

These pods are more practical because they enable hotel staff to quickly move out from behind the pod when exchanging documents, helping with luggage, or greeting younger, handicap, or four-legged guests.  Registration desks are also no longer exclusively for checking in and out. Today, they are a multi-functional one-stop-shop for concierge, bellman, and sundry retail clerk services.

Entire hotel lobbies—not just front desks—have become multifunctional public areas. They offer a space for connection, conversation, and business activities and set the tone for the guest’s overall experience. The first impression is paramount whether the goal is to provide a home-away-from-home feel or a “wow” factor. 

From a marketing point of view, an “Insta-worthy” front desk and back wall will also positively impact a hotel’s social media presence and online exposure. 

The Changing Role of The Registration Desk

One popular and successful technology tool that many hotels have adopted is the use of an app for guests to check-in before arrival and use a digital key to enter their room. This capability shortens or even eliminates the check-in process at the reception desk.

These apps mean the front desk is often no longer the focal point where each stay begins and ends. Many times, the app allows guests to hand-pick their rooms, make payment, and check-out when leaving. In turn, hotel staff can be more efficient and prioritize tasks for the next guest’s arrival.

In many full-service hotels, unless it’s a destination property, concierge desks have combined with the registration desk or gone completely virtual instead. Innvision Design Studio is designing  front desks today to meet changing needs such as this.

COVID’s Impact on Hotel Registration Desks 

Contactless check-in was already available at some hotels before the pandemic, but adoption during COVID increased as guests prioritized minimizing physical contact. Hotels have also added clear dividing panels at registration desks to prevent transmission of the virus and to protect hotel guests and staff. Although clear dividing panels will be removed when the time comes, individual pods, technology, and multifunctional desk and lobby designs are here to stay.

At Innvision, our award-winning designers handle prototype scheme implementations all the way up to full-service custom designs. To enhance your guest’s first impression, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you design your hotel registration desk and public spaces.

Innvision designs hotels with modern front desks