The 12 Most Jaw-Dropping Hotel Entrances in the World
From open-air concepts and majestic crown moldings to art-embellished hallways, prepare to be amazed by these astonishing hotel entryways.
Andaz Mayakoba Resort, Riviera Maya, Mexico
This exotic resort town in the eastern portion of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula offers white-sand beaches and scenic ruins—but step one foot in the lobby of the Andaz Mayakoba and you’ll be in for a jaw-dropping sight. Designed by renowned architect and Costa Rican native Ronald Zürcher, the lobby is draped with striking sculptural beams and features an open plan with a large, circular lake-like feature and oculus (a circular opening in the center of a dome). This body of water is meant to reflect the region’s ancient cenotes—mystical underground reservoirs—and the oculus symbolizes the stars and sky. Be careful; you might get so lost in the beauty that you forget about the stunning room awaiting you upstairs! And don’t miss this incredible island just off the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula—it’s one of the top 30 island escapes around the world.
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE
Designed by architect Tom Wright back in 1999, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah has since served as a symbol of Dubai to the rest of the world. At 321 meters high, it’s 14 meters taller than the Eiffel Tower and just 60 meters shorter than the Empire State Building! It’s safe to say that this 24-carat gold leaf-laden lobby is quite deserving of its home tucked inside one of the world’s most iconic and opulent hotels in the world. In addition to the gold pillar embellishments, guests can marvel at the coral-filled aquarium and kaleidoscopic fountains, not to mention the tallest atrium in the world. But the true crown jewel of the lobby is without a doubt the floral display; it’s tended by a team of 16 florists who source blooms from all over: Holland, Kenya, South Africa, and more.
Hotel El Palace, Barcelona, Spain
It’s easy to tell that this regal and grandiose hotel is among the oldest of Ritz Carlton’s—it opened just one year after the owner himself, César Ritz, passed away in 1918. Today, the current El Palace continues to exude sophistication and glamour in classic style. The most wow-worthy aspect of the lobby, aside from the pearl-encrusted crystal chandelier, is the cascading, wrap-around staircases that guests can use to enter from either end of the lobby. Here are more of the most luxurious hotels and resorts around the world.
The Sanchaya, Bintan Island, Indonesia
When guests visit the newly opened The Sanchaya on Indonesia’s scenic Bintan Island, they experience not one, but two entrances. First, there’s the VIP lounge in the ferry terminal that’s specially created to ensure guests (referred to by the staff as “residents”) enjoy a seamless arrival and departure experience, complete with express immigration and customs clearance handled by the estate’s staff (referred to as “artisans”). For an even more exclusive experience, a yacht is available for private transfers from Singapore to Bintan, private charters, and sunset cruises. After express immigration at the VIP lounge, followed by a short drive, guests arrive at The Sanchaya’s main entrance, comprising of formal gardens with concentric rings of alternating grass and stone as you enter the resort’s main building: the Great House, a two-story beachfront manor. At the Great House reception area, guests take in an incredible view of the reflecting pool, infinity pool and stunning ocean in the distance.
The Hermitage Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee
With a grand entrance fit for royalty, the distinctive Beaux-Arts style lobby of the Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, will leave you slack-jawed. Built in 1908, the lobby has been updated ever-so-subtly with touches of glamour and class, evidenced by the blend of classical Italian and French Renaissance features and Tennessee marble that adorns the lobby floors. A magnificently painted glass skylight is the crown jewel of this cherished landmark.
ITC Maurya, New Delhi, India
ITC Maurya, located smack-dab in the center of New Delhi, features a lobby rich in both history and design—it boasts one of India’s rarest art collections. As ITC’s flagship property, it serves as a tribute to the Golden Age of the Mauryan Dynasty, the first dynasty of India’s empire builders. The hotel was built according to Mauryan architecture and is probably one of the only two examples of authentic Mauryan design in the world, the second being a library at Oxford in the United Kingdom. The property also is home to one of India’s rarest collections of contemporary masterpieces: One of the first things you’ll notice is the stunning mural, titled “The Procession of Life,” painted across the ceiling by Indian artist Krishen Khanna.
The Art Hotel, Denver, Colorado
You don’t even have to step inside this mirror-clad, multi-dimensional masterpiece of architecture to know that something magical awaits. ART is located in Denver’s Museum District, so it makes sense that some of the most captivating contemporary pieces of artwork are displayed throughout the lobby and elsewhere in the hotel. As guests arrive, they’re greeted with an impressively large custom light installation—a 22,000-LED-light bulb creation by Leo Villareal, the well-known artist behind the San Francisco Bay Bridge’s “Bay Lights.” Next comes the hotel’s Portico Gallery, which houses contemporary pieces curated by former Denver Art Museum curator Dianne Vanderlip. From the Portico Gallery, guests are escorted to an art-adjourned elevator to the fourth floor, where a welcome gallery houses masterpieces like Ed Ruscha’s “Industrial Strength Sleep” and pieces by notable artists like Deborah Butterfield and Kiki Smith.
Marquis Los Cabos, Los Cabos, Mexico
The elegant, arched entrance way into the breathtaking beachfront resort in San José del Cabo, Mexico, opens to a scenic view of the Sea of Cortés just beyond one of the hotel’s three large pools. The front and concierge desks at the Marquis Los Cabos are fashioned from reclaimed tree trunks. Guests are instantly greeted with a refreshing welcome cocktail and a chilled towel before they’re politely asked to rest their legs and relax on the white-and-wicker furniture. Other stunning features of the lobby include a 40-foot cascading waterfall, blue-glass fire pits, and live music.
The Anam, Cam Ranh, Vietnam
The open-air lobby of The Anam is inspired by Vietnam’s Indochine era, and was designed to take advantage of the resort’s impeccable weather. (Cam Ranh has more than 300 sunny days a year and an average temperature of 80°F year round.) The lush, 12-hectare property is shaded by 3,000 coconut trees and sits atop the white sands and turquoise waters of Long Beach. Traditional flat-bottomed wooden boats, known as sampans, and small, round ones, known as coracles, still cover the waters and picture-perfect Vietnamese islands loom just offshore. You’ll also want to see these beaches with the clearest water in the world.
Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston, Massachusetts
Built more than a century ago in 1912, this luxe Boston landmark is a symbol of Boston’s rich history. The grand entrance exudes sophistication—it has been referred to as Peacock Alley since the 1920s, thanks to its ongoing parade of elegantly dressed Bostonians strolling through its lobby. Visitors enter through the main hotel entrance on St. James Ave. and proceed down the original mosaic-tiled walkway to the main lobby and front desk, where they’re greeted by a 21-foot-high, gilded and coffered ceiling with crystal chandeliers. While the hotel’s architecture is a masterpiece in itself, the Fairmont Copley Plaza also features a collection of art and antiques that complement the grand historic spaces, such as “Bearded Man” by Pablo Picasso and “Divine Comedy” by Salvador Dali.
The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This is truly unlike anything you’ve ever seen before: Step inside this hotel and you enter a column-lined, contemporary masterpiece of a lobby designed by both LW Designs and Wimberly Interiors. The building was originally built as a bank, The Girard Trust Company, which was finished in 1908. The neoclassical style of the original design was a reproduction of the Pantheon in Rome—fitting, since this landmark hotel sits across the street from the iconic Philadelphia City Hall. Upon entering the Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, guests will be astonished by the spectacular domed marble over the lobby—marble that’s been imported straight from the Carerra quarry in Italy. Don’t miss these unique hotels you need to see to believe.
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Maui, Hawaii
Stunningly positioned on Maui’s premier southwestern coastline along Mokapu Beach, the 15-acre beachfront Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort greets guests with a walk across a glowing Ambrato marble bridge framed in African mahogany. Designed by the award-winning Rockwell Group, the framed bridge sits upon a still infinity pool and leads guests to a striking, open-air lobby inspired to reflect the humbleness and simplicity of Hawaiian hospitality. A recreation and reinterpretation of traditional timber longhouse buildings, the lobby features a lowered pitched roof with walnut slat ceiling that exudes intimacy and serenity, two essential qualities of a vacation paradise. Stacked doors open up to reveal stunning views of the infinity swimming pool, saltwater lagoon, and ocean.