Hospitality Photography: Great Hotel Lobbies of the World

hospitality and hotel photography

Lobby of The Langham Hotel, Haikou, China, photo by Gerry O’Leary

Hospitality Photography: Great Hotel Lobbies of the World

Over the past 30 years, I have photographed hotels from India to Hawaii. I’ve dipped into the archives to share some of the spectacular hotel lobbies I’ve captured.

The entrance to a luxury hotel is often striking, sometimes even imposing, however the lobby has to emit an ambiance that makes the guest feel welcome and ensures them that their every need will be met with discretion. Every time I arrive to recce a hotel shoot, I keep this in mind. How do I create this narrative for the viewer?

I also need to align with the brand guidelines, which can be very precise when it comes to hotel imagery.

  1. The Langham, Haikou, China

Strategically located in the heart of Haikou, guests have an expectation when they enter this hotel. The Langham Hotels and Resorts truly understand luxury hospitality – they have been offering it for over 150 years!

There are several remarkable features when you enter The Langham Haikou, from the glorious natural light that spills through the windows to the Arabescato marble floors. Of course, I had to balance the light against the many surfaces it can bounce off in the lobby to achieve the desired effect.

Designed by SRSS Interior Design Studio, it firmly encapsulates the brand promises of The Langham, and even though it only opened in 2016, it has an air of gravitas.

Hotel & Resort Photography: Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa
Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa, hotel photography by Gerry O’Leary
  1. Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa, United Arab Emirates

Projects close to home are always welcome, so I was delighted to get the call to photography Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa, just over the border from Dubai. Ray Fit-Out, who recently won the Best Luxury Interior & Fit-Out Company Award in 2023, designed the interiors of this hotel, which sits majestically on the Sharjah coastline.

The angles are wonderful in this hotel lobby, with many interesting architectural features to draw the eye. I particularly appreciate the tribute to Arabic traditions in the design, from ornate hanging lanterns to the graceful arches (reminiscent of the local souks) and the motif on the ceilings.

Lifestyle Photography: Radisson Blu Fairedabad, India
Radisson Blu Faridabad, hospitality photography by Gerry O’Leary
  1. Radisson Blu Faridabad, India

Radisson Hotels has been a client of mine for over a decade and providing hospitality photography for its hotels has brought me to a variety of fascinating destinations across the globe.

It can be difficult to pick from my extensive portfolio, however the colour and vibrancy of the lobby at Radisson Blu Faridabad was something that caught my attention and I wanted to give the prospective guest this feeling by looking at the image.

What is simply a rectangular space is softened by the modern club armchairs and curved tables. The stark marble reception desk lends the right air of authority while the marvellous mirrored wall feature behind it is a statement piece inviting the guest to check-in without being bored by the process. It’s a great representation of form and function complementing one another.

Me by Melia Hotel interior image, photographed by Gerry O’Leary
Me by Melia Hotel interior image, photographed by Gerry O’Leary
  1. Me by Melia, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

I couldn’t leave the lobby of Me by Melia Dubai off the list. This hotel is the only one in the world that was fully designed by the great Zaha Hadid, and it meets all the expectations I had when I heard about it!

I was already mesmerized by the exterior of the building (which I discuss more here) however the lobby transcended any of my initial expectations. It’s bold, fluid and modern and there certainly isn’t any other hotel lobby in Dubai quite like it.

Though the interior design is undoubtedly remarkable, the sleek white curves seem to invite the guest into the safety of the hotel’s interior, a respite from the buzz of the city outside. The lighting design is another element that impressed, while the cozy seating areas look like perfectly crafted cakes sitting in this contemporary scene.

Where design and service meet

Although potential guests will seek out images of the bedrooms and facilities of a hotel online, the photos of the hotel lobby will be among the first they see. If their initial impression is good, this will encourage them to view more. Thus, my role as hotel photographer is integral to marketing the hotel, and getting the tone right on lobby images is vital.

If you’d like to learn more about booking professional hotel photography for your brand or property, please get in touch and I’ll get back to you.