Your Guide to Hotel Bar and Lounge Seating

Your Guide to Hotel Bar and Lounge Seating

There is plenty of choices when it comes to contract quality seating. From very simple timber dining chairs to large accent chairs and sofas and banquettes of all shapes and sizes, it can be hard to make a choice with so many options available. Our basic guide will try to help clarify each seating type and how it can be incorporated into a hotel bar or lounge seating area.

Hotel bar and lounge seating fall into the following categories:

Tub Chairs and Club Chairs

Tub chairs are typically medium-sized and comfortable enough for guests to sit in for a significant length of time whilst enjoying a drink from the bar or watching a television.

The term tub chair is the most traditional description of the category and refers back to the classic barrel shape of the design. More contemporary versions of the tub chair deviate from the traditional tub shape and are more commonly referred to as ‘club chairs’.

Some tub chairs and club chairs are fully upholstered to the seat, back and sides with no polished show wood exposed except for the timber chair legs. 

The addition of show wood arms and backrests to contract chairs is a more luxurious option and reduces the chances of premature soiling of upholstery as guests handle the chairs. But is also costly and can scratch and chip.

Browse our range of contract tub chairs here.

Lounge Chairs

These are a larger scale of hotel chair and are ideal for guests who want to relax for longer periods of time, perhaps to read a newspaper or for late night drinkers in a bar area. Lounge chairs envelop the guests as they take their seat.

For contract seating in bars and restaurants foam filled seat pads are the most popular filling and to comply with British contract standards for these environments, the foam needs to be Combustion Modified High Resilient Foam (CMHR), meaning that it’s of high density to prolong its lifespan due to regular use and is also treated so that it’s fire retardant. Foam filling is great for retaining its shape and is largely maintenance free. Lugo uses different densities of foam across the seat pad and back of our chairs to ensure that maximum guest comfort is achieved.

Our contract chair designers can accommodate client’s preferences by altering the foam densities depending on the comfort level needed, whether they would like a softer or firmer seat pad. This is a brief we have faced in the past with hotels that have an older clientele who require a little additional lumbar support in their chairs.

View our range of contract lounge chairs here.

Teal high back lounge chair and beige sofa in bar area


The standard contract sofa sizes are generally 2, 2.5 and 3 seater options, and like our contract hotel armchairs, our sofas are supplied with CMHR foam cushions as standard. Most sofas, however, can be cross-railed (i.e. lengthened or shortened) to suit any space. Hotels tend to have plenty of awkward alcoves

However, if a client requires a feather or fibre filled cushion to increase the comfort levels, Lugo can accommodate this request. Small independently owned hotels sometimes request feather filled sofa cushions to provide more of a domestic experience in the resident’s lounge areas. Feather cushions are lovely to sit on but require plenty of plumping throughout the day by hotel staff which is why foam filled cushions are by far the most popular choice.  

Sofa seat pads can be fixed, for example, they cannot be removed, or left loose for a more luxurious appearance. A fixed seat pad is generally a less expensive option and can also avoid the seat cushions from sliding or losing shape over the years. Fixed and loose seat cushions can also be combined on the same sofa if preferred. Or alternatively, if the appearance of loose seat cushions to the back of the sofa is favoured, an additional strong zip can be added to attach the seat cushions to the back of the sofa to achieve this desired appearance.

Most of our sofas can be manufactured with a button back detail if that meets the client’s specifications. Button back contract chairs and sofas continue to be popular particularly within the boutique hotel sector. Most of our sofas are customisable which in many cases includes an option to alter the feet. We have a range of options from solid wood and metallic to ornate castors.

Lugo has an extensive portfolio of sofas for the hospitality sector ranging from voluptuous traditional scroll arm designs to neat contemporary compact “box sofas” for where a limited footprint is available.

Browse our sofas here.

Bar Stools

Bar stools can be quite simple in their design without backs so that the guest can just “perch” on them whilst at the bar or they can be designed to be more comfortable for the guest to sit at the bar for longer. All are designed to meet the specific needs of those seated at high-level tables or bar counters. Whether at a bar or a poseur table in a restaurant, bar stools are designed to be significantly taller than other types of seating and narrow in their design in order to reduce the footprint they take up and avoid blocking the bar excessively from other guests wishing to order their drinks.

Many have a sturdy wooden frame and upholstered padded seat for comfort. Increasingly popular design features for bar stools are the addition of back and armrests. This demonstrates the shift from function to aesthetic and comfort but it’s important to remember that the addition of armrests will increase the width of the stool and may reduce the number of barstools you can fit along a bar.

View our wide range of bar stools can be viewed here.

Bar Stools Lined up against a Poseur Table

Restaurant Chairs and Side Chairs

Generally speaking, a side chair refers to a more upright chair without arms. They are the most popular option for restaurants. However, side chairs are not restricted to simply restaurants. They can be easily adapted to other hospitality settings as they are such a versatile seating option.

Side chairs are an economical option when used as bedroom desk chairs where the guest may wish to work or dine at a bedroom desk. They require a small footprint which also makes them an ideal choice with challenging guestrooms that lack space. But they do also work well in bars or lounges as casual seating because they can be easily relocated and stored as they are and are smaller and less cumbersome than the larger tub or lounge chairs.

Restaurant chairs are often armless which gallows capacity for more chairs to be placed around a table, which is ideal for settings where guests need flexible seating options for additional guests. Many of Lugo’s restaurant chairs are available with or without arms to allow the hotelier or restauranteur to intersperse a few armchairs into the restaurant to give the scheme some variety. Lugo’s restaurant chairs come in many different frame shapes and design styles so it will be easy to find one that suits your bar or lounge design scheme.

View our wide range of restaurant chairs here.

Banquette Seating

Banquette seating derives its name from the Italian word banchetta meaning little bench. Fixed seating or booth seating is a great way to maximise the capacity of dining covers y of your lounge or bar area.  This type of seating can also be used to “zone” a room or even separate a restaurant from the bar area.  It can help to create corridors for waiting staff and provides another dynamic to the restaurant.

This type of seating is often fixed and therefore cannot be moved around the venue. However, Lugo also supplies freestanding banquette seating in modular designs that are relocatable and provides the operator with both function and flexibility.

Banquette seating can be as creative as you desire with designs that are U shaped, L shaped, Z shapes, snaked and lots more. Banquette backs can be anything from dramatic high wing-backed designs to understated low backs for the more minimalistic restaurant.

Upholstery can be deep buttoned, fluted, have contrasting stitching details, be piped, accommodate speakers, sockets for laptops and grills to allow heat from hidden radiators to escape.

A popular choice of fabric when upholstering banquette seating is faux leather due to its easy wipe clean surface and minimal maintenance. These days there is the widest range of faux leathers available with many being hard to distinguish from authentic leather.

Discover how we can provide functional banquette seating here.

Dark Green Banquette Seating next to Restaurant Table

Bespoke Chairs and Customisation

Lugo boasts a team of experienced in-house contract furniture designers who can help customers with bespoke designs. If clients have an eye-catching chair design in mind or a custom size requirement, we can usually cater to their specific requirements.

Sometimes the customisation of an existing chair design is all that is needed to completely change the aesthetics of a chair. This may be as simple as extending the back-rest higher, making a deeper seat pad or adjusting the back incline to steepen or reduce the rake of the chair. 

Wheather a simple customisation or a completely new seating concept, Lugo's clients are encouraged to let their imaginations run free. Contact us here to discuss your unique design.

Upholstery Fabrics

Lugo supplies only contract quality furniture to the hospitality sector which primarily incorporates hotels, restaurants and bars. As a result, all the fabrics we use on our contract furniture must comply with regulations set by the government.  Fabrics must undergo the Martindale abrasion test which measures the endurance and longevity of the fabric. This test simulates the natural wear the contract fabric could encounter within day to day environments. To be used within a contract hospitality environment the fabric must reach a minimum of 40,000 Martindale rubs before it's considered to be of contract quality.

Upholstery fabric must also meet the minimum fire rating of Crib 5 to be used in hotels and restaurants. If the specified fabric is not inherently fire retardant from a contract fabric manufacturer, in some cases it can still be treated to help it meet the necessary Crib 5 fire rating.

Lugo works with leading fabric manufacturers such as Sekers Fabrics, Skopos Design, Panaz Fabrics, Zoffany Fabrics and Harlequin Fabrics to name but a few.

View a sample of our fabrics and finishes or visit our preferred fabric suppliers here to find your ideal shade or texture for your desired upholstery.


Request samples of our fabrics and finishes here to find your ideal shade.

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