5 Beautiful and Comfortable Hotels

 When it comes to hotel lobbies, gone are the days when almost every hotel out there provided grand arrivals through soaring entryways. Your stay used to start as soon as you walked through the doors, transported by glistening chandeliers, over-the-top flower arrangements, and, depending on the kind of property you’ve booked, sweeping staircases. But these days, the hospitality industry seems to be favoring a more boutique look, which means that there just isn’t as much space available for all that extravagance. But just because acreage is limited doesn’t mean that style is, too. Here, five hotels that deliver on the old adage that good things come in small packages with tiny lobbies decorated with ambitious design personalities.

 

Maison Souquet, Paris, France

In the Belle Époque era, Maison Souquet used to be a pleasure house, which typically decorated its salons in exotic motifs to create a far-flung fantasy for patrons. Today, the hotel’s Moorish-themed 1,001 lobby lounge is an homage to that design practice. Fun fact: The ostentatious interiors of this room (the ornate precious enamel panels, gilded wood adorned with leather from Córdoba) were transported to Paris from its original location in a 19th century private home in Brussels.

Valverde Hotel, Lisbon, Portugal

This 25-room boutique hotel on Lisbon’s ritziest avenida is also easily the city’s sexiest. It’s one of the darkest hotels around, which Valverde embraces in order to deliver the private club vibe it excels in. Design-wise, there are strong midcentury inflections, which is all the more obvious in its petite lobby/library, which combines stout wood chairs upholstered in rich velvet, striped walls, 1950s marble-top tables from Italy, and funny decorative finishes like porcelain turkey lamps.

Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogotá, Bogotá, Colombia

Colombian architect Santiago Medina Mejía built this neo-colonial building back 1946, when he used structural and decorative details like stained-glass windows, exposed beams, and massive stone columns to reinforce his old world design vision. The Four Seasons’ tiny lobby here is all about the desk counter, which is a meticulously carved table with a matching headboard that wraps from the wall up to the ceiling directly over the desk. Both were salvaged from Spanish era convents. 

Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

The standalone lobby and lounge at this Mexican resort boast both natural and cultural references, thanks to architect Ronald Zürcher who often combine the two to great effect. The building has wood walls, stone floors, and a cane ceiling ensuring there’s plenty of texture everywhere. There’s also an oculus directly over a central water feature, which is inspired by the region’s ancient cenotes, or underground water reservoirs, which locals believe to be mystical.

Hotel Paradox, Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz might be most known for surf breaks and its bustling boardwalk, but beyond the beach are stunning redwood forests, which serve as design inspiration for this Autograph Collection hotel. Its small lobby only has space for a few white chairs around tree-stump tables, a wall made up of glass panels embedded with a photo of a local redwood forest, and the pièce de résistance, a reception desk that is in fact a salvaged 100-year-old eucalyptus tree.