We're all familiar with the concept of wellbeing in the beauty and leisure industries. There are millions of products and services out there promising to boost our health, vitality and happiness. But what about the hospitality industry? Are hotels getting in on the wellbeing act?
The answer is a resounding 'Yes'. With many of the latest hotel openings choosing to put wellbeing at the heart of their offering, it's clear that the hospitality industry is responding to consumers' need for a restorative trip that will help them rebalance mind, body and spirit. And in the light of the challenges we've faced over the last 18 months, the need for a restful, rejuvenating experience that will ease stress and fatigue is greater than ever.
How has our need for wellbeing impacted the hospitality industry?
A recent survey from McKinsey found that 79% of consumers now say that wellness is important to them, a figure reflecting a significant increase in the prioritisation of wellness over the last two to three years. The hospitality industry has responded to this increased awareness of the importance health and happiness by putting its customers' wellbeing concerns at the heart of their offering.
The trend for addressing wellbeing in hospitality now goes beyond merely providing a spa, fitness classes or highly nutritious food. The new concept of 'wellness architecture' is about designing beautiful spaces which address both the physical and mental needs of their occupants. Every decision from the choice of lighting to the selection of the colour palette is made with wellbeing in mind in order to create the optimum environment for guests.
Hospitality getaways can provide us with a vital connection with nature
A key part of the new emphasis on wellbeing in hospitality is providing ways in which guests can feel connected to nature. Based on the principles of Biophilic Design, the practice of bringing the natural world to bear on design and architecture, we're seeing new and innovative ways in which hotels are reflecting the natural world to allow their guests to feel calm, grounded and rejuvenated.
The mineral springs at Terme di Saturnia in Tuscany
Beautiful ceramic tiles and attention to details at the Terme di Saturnia
A great example of this lies in the 132-room wellness retreat Terme di Saturnia in Tuscany. The recent redesign of the hotel and spa reflects its stunning location alongside 3,000-year-old thermal springs which spill down a hillside into a series of rocky pools.
“Once the water flows down to the waterfall, it becomes cooler and the chemical reaction changes the colour to a very delicate aqua green. The view of the crisp blue and turquoise hues on a sunny day or observing the steam floating on the water’s surface late at night, it is literally an immersive experience.” – Manuela Mannino, Founder of Hospitality Interior Architecture and Design practice THDP
The design team reflected this incredible setting in their interiors, selecting handmade turquoise ceramic tiles in the lobby area to represent the natural pools, and a Toile de Jouy wallpaper to create a link with the surrounding Tuscan countryside.
Another great example of an immersive, natural experience comes in the form of the mirror-clad Casa Etérea, an off-grid holiday home in central Mexico which literally reflects its stunning natural surroundings. Made predominantly from natural, local materials, the structure of the house was designed to act like a seamless extension of its rugged environment which features volcanic rock and wild, forested hillsides.
Casa Etérea in central Mexico
Putting wellbeing at the heart of every design decision
So crucial is the need to nurture guests' wellbeing, architects and designers are now putting this requirement at the heart of all their creative decisions. For many of the latest hotel launches, everything from the orientation of the bedrooms to the choice of naturally-inspired materials has been carefully thought through to achieve optimum wellbeing benefits for their guests.
Take Kerzner’s newest launch SIRO, for example. The name stands for 'Strength, Inclusive, Reflection, Original' and this new brand of hotels aims to empower guests through wellness. Each of the hotels will have fitness at the heart of its offering with a gym, swimming pool, and a dedicated space for yoga and meditation.
Health and nutrition will also take centre stage with seasonal and organic food on offer and a resident team of specialist trainers, coaches and nutritionists. The first hotel, the SIRO Boka Place, is due to open in Montenegro in 2023.
"Holistic wellbeing is a lifestyle, not a trend. There are very few existing brands that have placed fitness and wellbeing at the centre of the guest experience in the way that SIRO will. The primary focus will be exceptional fitness and wellness to support a modern, global lifestyle, delivered with our renowned service in a transformative and nurturing environment." – Philippe Zuber, CEO of Kerzner International (see their work with FibreGuard at the One&Only Gorilla’s Nest in Rwanda)
Also embracing the wellbeing trend is Casona Sforza on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Designed by acclaimed Mexican architect Alberto Kalach, the hotel is comprised of a series of brick vaulted suites opening onto the circular pool.
Casona Sforza on Mexico’s Pacific Coast
The organic feel of the design aesthetic blends with the surrounding coastal environment, placing a strong emphasis on natural, sustainable materials such as wood, stone and ceramic.
Locally-made rustic textiles also feature in the interiors such as artisanal rugs, hammocks and palm-leaf lamps.
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FR-One is committed to combining technical excellence with quality and design, providing both inspiration and peace of mind to interior specialists around the world. Have a look at our latest case study focused on the five-star Contessina Suites & Spa on Zakynthos’ Tsilivi beach in Greece.