Hotel Lobby

Hotel Lobby is an oil painting on canvas by American realist painter Edward Hopper; it is held in the collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. The painting depicts two women and a man in the lobby of a hotel. On the right is a woman with blond hair and a blue dress, sitting with her legs crossed and reading a book. To the left sits an older woman with a red dress, a coat and a hat. A man stands next to her, facing forward, with a suit on and an overcoat draped over his right arm. On the left wall, above the woman, is a framed landscape painting. A clerk behind the reception desk is barely visible in the shadows. Hotel Lobby is a signature piece in Hopper’s work, displaying his classic themes of alienation and brevity. The Hoppers traveled frequently, staying in many motels and hotels throughout his career. This is one of two works in his catalog that depicts a hotel, the other being Hotel Window (1955). It is also one of the two paintings that he created in 1952, both of which dealt with alienated couples. The older couple are believed to represent Hopper and his wife, at that date in their 60s. The hotel guests have been described as being “both traveling and suspended in time,” reflecting a stoic and dramatic feeling, reminiscent of the film noir movies Hopper might have seen and the complex structure and feeling of works by Edgar Degas. The painting utilizes harsh light and rigid lines to create a “carefully constructed” uncomfortable environment. The elevated and theatrical vantage point of the painting may be derived from Hopper’s love of Broadway theatre which he often watched from the balcony.

To some hotels, however, unique stone and flora are just the tip of the iceberg. From multi-ton chandeliers to indoor gardens, these 10 hotel lobbies really get that whole “first impression” thing.

1. Burj Al Arab , Dubai 
Prepare to be dazzled as you enter the most luxurious hotel in the world. Between the colorful Islamic-inspired art, 24-karat gold leaf detail, tiered waterfall, 600-foot multicolored atrium—the world’s tallest—and two aquariums, the Burj Al Arab really outdid itself.

2. Hermitage Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee
Go back in time to the early 1900s as you enter the spacious Beaux-Arts lobby of the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, which features Siena marble and Russian walnut paneling. As if that weren’t enough, the grandiose space is topped off with a stained-glass ceiling.

3. Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
You may recognize this lobby as the one that housed the gaudy $11 million Christmas tree decorated in gold and gems in 2010. While they’ve cut back on their holiday decorations, they still have their piano, an ATM that dispenses gold, the caviar bar, the 245-foot-high dome and lighting that makes the entire lobby glow gold. Not bad.

4. Al Bustan Palace, Oman
With a dome higher than the Taj Mahal’s and a 5.5 metric ton crystal chandelier, this lobby puts the Sheikh’s palace to shame.

5. ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, India
At first glance, the lobby of the ITC Grand Chola hotel seems like a spacious plain area that pales in comparison to the extravagant lobbies on this list. Look closer and you will find 1 million square feet of hand-carved marble. Any of the golden sari-clad staff members (often lined up perfectly on the grand staircase) will be happy to answer any questions you may have.