Hotel lobby design: Study of parameters of attraction
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Many older hotels are redesigning their lobbies to meet the needs of travelers by balancing aesthetics and design while also providing guests with the services they require (Andorka, 1995). Both the rational-price, location, service qualities-and emotional considerations-happiness, excitement-are customers' motivating factors when choosing hospitality products (Kwortnik, 2003). Various literature reviews (e.g., Bitner, 1992; Lucas, 2003; Mattila, 1999; Mehrabian & Russel, 1974; Veronique, 1997; Wakefield & Blodgett, 1996) suggest that a stimulating physical environment has the potential to make a positive impact on customers' perceptions and behavior. Salient attributes of a desirable physical environment include facility aesthetics, including the function of architectural design; interior design and decor; layout accessibility; seating comfort; and lighting also help ease or restrict movement. However, there is a lack of data pertaining to the physical environment that emphasizes attractiveness of hotel lobbies. The purpose of this study is to explore the design features that guests find most attractive in a hotel lobby, and thus, determine how these features affect their overall behaviors toward the total hotel's environment. This study used quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitative data were obtained from questionnaires that addressed eighteen questions pertaining to the physical environment attraction. Qualitative data for this study were obtained from photographs and physical observations, which permitted a triangulation of the data. The eight different hotels, located in three areas of Lubbock, were selected to promote diversity in sampling and to include different phases of expansion. Data for the study were collected during the fall of 2006. One hundred and twenty two usable questionnaires serve as this study's source of data collection. The photographs helped generate themes that were not discovered on site. Of the 122 respondents, 62 were male and 60 were female. Majority of the respondents were either business or leisure travelers. A correlation analysis found significant relationship between various design elements, such as color, furniture layout, lighting, floor treatment as well as interioscaping and accessibility. This result could support that aesthetic features alone do not have much of an effect on guests unless the end result creates an effective environment. Since the samples were all drawn from the city of Lubbock and limited to 122 travelers staying at three stars hotels, this has limited this study's generalisability to other hotel categories. Because sample sizes varied between hotels, the samples obtained were incongruous in carrying major statistical analysis, however, the location of these hotels allowed the tangible elements in their lobby to be observed, which provides important insight into the physical environment and variables that influence the definition of lobby attractiveness.