Although he longs, with his Baccarat flutes of course, to be beside the seaside, it happened that in the past month the Sybaritic Single has spent even more time at various luxury hotels and their lobby lounges. From Le Meurice in Paris, Hôtel Metropole in Monte-Carlo and Four Seasons St. Petersburg to InterContinental Hong Kong, Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai and Raffles Jakarta.
Not all lounges are created equal. Layout and functionality still remain the main concerns.
Last week, the Sybaritic Single was having a confidential telephone conversation and only after hanging up he realised that the object of the intriguing discussion happened to be sitting right next to him, back to back. Lobby lounges, especially at business hotels, should not resemble Parisian street cafés when it comes to tight seating. Neither they should have lines of guests queuing for tables.
Service – always thoughtful and efficient. There are days when the Sybaritic Single has all the time in the world for a seven-course afternoon tea ceremony, but there are also occasions when he needs to get up and leave immediately – and there is no time to run after a waiter offering to settle the bill.
Fast WiFi without any registration and concealed power sockets at each table are another must. Thanks to the hectic HICAP years, the Sybaritic Single now knows precise location of every power socket both in the Club InterContinental as well as in the lobby lounge of Kowloon’s waterfront landmark. At the same time, portable tabletop charging stations proved to be an immediate success on the rooftop terrace of The Ritz-Carlton Moscow last summer.
Like a good gym, a modern lobby lounge should remain open around the clock. Even better, when it offers breakfast at any time of day or night. What can already be a nightcap hour in Tokyo, is still breakfast-time in LA.
Finally, every luxury hotel should remain true to its status and sincerely care for its guests. That is why even when the Sybaritic Single suddenly decides to jet-set to Jakarta for the already-famous high tea at the still-new Raffles, right in the middle of outside street disturbances, the lobby lounge should also double as his welcoming bunker. Champagne popping is the only noise allowed.