“Today chance encounters have all but disappeared,” laments Amar Lalvani, Standard International’s CEO, in Monocle. “People have their eyes on their phones, not on each other.” His solution? Launching The Lobby app, a closed social network for Standard hotel guests to kickstart IRL interactions. With the rise of digital check-in (in the case of Sydney’s 1888 Hotel, check-in is via Instagram) and a nomadic workforce, other hospitality brands are morphing their lobbies into co-working hubs, or adding everything from radio stations (Sister City, New York) to coffee roasteries (Lux Belle Mare, Mauritius) – in short, everything but a check-in desk – to re-kindle the hotel’s beating heart. The 25hours Hotel Zürich Langstrasse might be the first to add an art studio, for watching resident creatives at work, as well as a pawn shop that lets you trade a possession (if it’s deemed cool enough) in lieu of paying for a room. Room Mate Grace in NYC, meanwhile, decided the lobby was the place for a pool complete with swim-up bar.