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Hotel lobbies are no longer just a place to stand in line waiting to check into your room. In fact, many hotels are turning their common areas into public work spaces—attracting non-guests like loafing locals, creative types and other remote workers. These buzzy lobbies have become de facto social hubs offering free Wi-Fi, plenty of outlets, communal tables, on-site cafes and lots of networking opportunities. Here are nine hotels leading the way with a new type of office and hangout space.

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Freehand: Los Angeles

Located in the historic Commercial Exchange building in bumping downtown LA, this hotel lobby boasts a retro ’70s vibe and offers outlets galore, no-password-needed Wi-Fi, on-site café, plus it’s dog friendly. Staying for the night? Opt for a shared accommodation if you’re looking to rub shoulders with other creatives.

Ace Hotel: New York City

This buzzing Midtown lobby set the gold standard for turning hotels into work spaces and is a hot spot for young working professionals. Take a seat on the couch, the communal table or at the bar and settle in with free Wi-Fi and a cup of coffee, or end the day with tacos and tequila. Curated music and artwork make the space warm and welcoming.

Pod 39, Manhattan, NYC

Pod 39: New York City

The Playroom at the budget-friendly Pod is a space for collaboration offering free Wi-Fi and outlet-laden communal tables, as well as friendly competition with ping pong and board games. Work and play over a burger and beer in this friendly space.

The Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery: New Orleans

Once a 19th-century boat supply warehouse, this historic hotel in the port district (just steps from the Quarter) now serves tourists as well as artists, students, entrepreneurs and hipsters looking to work and mingle. The communal table in the lobby is a hub for business and schmoozing. Bring your pooch, grab a cup of artisanal coffee and enjoy being surrounded by the city’s innovators.

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Image courtesy Robey Hall

Robey Hall: Chicago

Situated in the 1905 Hollander Fireproof Warehouse smack in the middle of the Wicker Park neighborhood’s bustling “Crotch” intersection, this hotel lobby’s communal space attracts an eclectic group of worker bees. With industrial design, a hip collection of vinyl and rotating art, this work and social space is an appealing place for entrepreneurs to get to work.


Montage Laguna Beach: Laguna Beach, CA

For those craving a bit of luxury, the Montage Laguna Beach offers free Wi-Fi in their oceanfront lobby with live piano music, a fireplace and beverage service. It’s a great place to make a good impression if you’re looking to close that high-digit deal.

Tru by Hilton

Image courtesy Tru by Hilton

Tru by Hilton: Cheyenne, WY

This innovative hotel concept offers a communal space called “The Hive” that includes four zones—work, play, eat and lounge. The work zone features semi-private alcoves and free wireless printing and Wi-Fi. Had enough work? Head to the play zone with board and table games.

Tagged: California, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York

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Sharael Kolberg |
​Sharael, founder of Family Travel Channel (, has been writing about travel since 1995. Her work has appeared in Sunset magazine, Outside magazine,,, and many others. Follow her on Twitter @FamTravChannel, FB and Instagram @FamilyTravelChannel. See more of her work at
Sharael Kolberg |


Where to stay, where to eat, and what to do once you arrive. Follow me on Instagram @familytravelchannel. #familytravel #travelblogger #influencer
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