Cover Shangri-La Boracay Main Entrance / Shangri-La Website

The lobby says a lot about an establishment, especially the tone and ambiance it aims to set to make the best possible first impression

They say, “first impressions last” and this could not be more true than when speaking about hotel lobbies. As one sets foot through the front entrance, the architecture and interior of the lobby immediately indicate the core values and ethos of the establishment. Read on as we explore the finer details that make an entrance note-worthy and have guests coming back to recapture the admiration and awe they experienced on their first visit. 

Here are eight lobbies that welcome its guests with sophistication and allure: 

The Peninsula

The Peninsula Manila is fawned over for its exquisite and expansive lobby. The world-renowned hotel has a palatial charm to it with its marbled floors, grand ceiling and four-storey atrium. While taking in the beauty of this historic hotel, a peaceful melody by the orchestra plays, magnifying its serenity. The Sunburst sculpture by Napoleon Abueva commands attention with its stunningly intricate detailing in bronze-copper and steel. Leading from both sides of the front desks are the neoclassical stairs that lead to the mezzanine where one can admire the gorgeous panoramic view of the entire lobby. From the palm trees to the warm lighting, it's no wonder why "the Pen Lobby" is a favourite for meetings, celebrations and high tea.  

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Grand Hyatt

Inspired by the Banaue Rice Terraces, the multilevel platform of the Grand Hyatt is undeniably impressive. However, the lobby's allure does not stop there. By the platform are pillars made of patterned glass that compliment the lighting fixtures of the ceiling. The massive space is accentuated by the minimalist design of the central area, mirroring the hotel's ethos as an establishment: modest elegance. 

Pearl Farm Resort

The Pearl Farm Resort has received a huge amount of praise for its exotic and adventurous architecture. Francisco Mañosa, a world-renowned architect, was inspired by the stilt houses of the Samal and Badjao people when designing the highly-acclaimed resort. Owned and managed by the Floirendo family, their vision for the resort was met by Mañosa who, with the use of native materials such as bamboo, coconut and yakal, espoused a truly Southern Filipino atmosphere. The front desk building which houses the lobby is designed with Maranaw-inspired walls, a concept brought to life by Maricris Floirendo-Brias in her collaboration with Tes Pasola, a paper artist and product designer. Leaf and vine patterns surround the interior and an eye-catching lighting fixture by Renato Vidal sits in the centre of the room. The location, the collaborations, and the design all focus on showcasing the Filipino heritage and guests from all around the world can't get enough. 

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Fairmont Makati

Simple yet elegant— two words that are often associated with Fairmont's lobby. Guests feel right at home as they are welcomed by a warm and neutral palette. Luxurious in its purity, the grand staircase and the accent centrepiece are the main focal points. Above the latter's impressive floral arrangement is a dazzling lighting fixture that adds a touch of glamour and sparkle. The cosy atmosphere felt in the hotel lobby is an indication that the guests will have a comfortable stay. 

Shangri-La Fort

Designed by the Hirsch Bedner Associates firm, Shangri-La Fort's interiors took inspiration from Filipino culture. Characteristics of traditional Philippine fashion and jewellery are reflected in the lobby's textiles, art, and furniture. The phenomenal chandelier, custom made by Lasvit, was inspired by an antique brooch, while fashion designer Bea Valdes custom designed the textile art pieces found behind the concierges' desks. A celebration of the beauty of Filipino culture is evident in how the spaces were crafted, welcoming guests with a rich and abundant history, made fresh and current. 

See also: Your Own Cut of Paradise: Aruga Resort and Residences Offers Discerning Patrons a Tropical Haven in Mactan, Cebu


Manila Hotel

Although the Manila Hotel has undergone a number of renovations throughout the years, the history and elegance it possesses remains steadfast. Manila Hotel's lobby is admired by many for its lavish design and light fixtures, as well as its historic significance. The famed hotel helped establish Manila as a major economic centre in the country. It has witnessed the country's ups and downs, reminding the people of the different stages of our history. The hotel's lobby has the ability to invoke lasting conversations thanks to its warm and comfortable setting. 

Shangri-La Boracay

The architecture of Shangri-La Boracay is a juxtaposition of land and water elements. Surrounded by open sea is a timbered infrastructure that houses the main lobby. The pillared space and earthy atmosphere leads you to a scenic view of gentle crystalline waves and pure white shore of the iconic island. Designed by FSC Architects and James Freeman, they described the resort as “mesmerising at first sight” and they could not be more right. 

See also: Your Own Cut of Paradise: Aruga Resort and Residences Offers Discerning Patrons a Tropical Haven in Mactan, Cebu


Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

With Independence Day coming up, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a place you must visit if you haven't yet. Situated in the heart of Bataan, the historical architecture and interior of the resort pays homage to the rich culture of the Philippines. Every corner has a story to tell with its Spanish-Filipino designs encouraging nostalgia and appreciation. The lobby in particular embodies excellent craftsmanship with the combination of wood, gold, and marble that are thoughtfully used throughout. Depicted on the ceiling is a fresco reminiscent of a bygone era, setting the scene for an experience that takes you back in time.


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