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The Art of Designing Luxury Hotel Spas: Insights from an Italian Design Studio

Updated: May 18

In the realm of luxury hospitality, a spa is more than a mere amenity; it's a transformative experience that can elevate a hotel's status and significantly impact its revenue. As a leading Italian interior design and procurement studio, we at AD' Design Studio have had the privilege of crafting some of the world's most exquisite spa environments. Today, we're sharing our insights on what truly makes a luxury spa successful, drawing on our experience and the rich heritage of Italian design.




Ambiance: Creating an Unforgettable First Impression

The spa ambiance is the first thing that greets you when you enter the spa area. It sets the tone and mood for your spa journey and influences your satisfaction and loyalty. Therefore, creating a welcoming and relaxing spa ambiance is essential for a successful luxury spa design.


The spa ambiance should reflect the hotel’s brand identity and values, as well as the local culture and environment. Every detail, from the layout and materials to the lighting and music, should be carefully considered and harmonized to create a cohesive and appealing spa ambiance.



Bürgenstock Alpine Spa at the Bürgenstock Resort in Switzerland
A view of the Bürgenstock Alpine Spa at the Bürgenstock Resort in Switzerland

Image source: Divisare


A view of the Dii Wellness Med Spa in Bangkok, Thailand
A view of the Dii Wellness Med Spa in Bangkok, Thailand

Image source: Divisare


Balancing Aesthetics and Functionality in Spa Design

A luxury spa is not only beautiful, but also functional. It should make your spa experience smooth and comfortable, from the moment you check in to the moment you check out. The beauty of the spa design should convey a sense of sophistication and elegance, while also incorporating natural elements that connect you to nature. The use of high-end natural materials such as stone, wood, and marble can give a sense of luxury and warmth to the spa design. The function of the spa design should ensure that you have everything you need for your spa journey, from changing areas and treatment rooms, to relaxation areas and amenities. The layout should be intuitive, spacious, and accessible, seamlessly guiding you through the different stages of your spa experience. The design should also ensure privacy, hygiene, and safety for you and the staff.



luxury spa design at Armani hotel milan
A view of the Armani/SPA at the Armani Hotel Milano



A view of the Valentinerhof in Castelrotto, Italy.
A view of the Valentinerhof in Castelrotto, Italy.

Image source: Divisare



Embracing Wellness Technology

The pandemic has made us more aware of our health and wellness, and we want to try new ways to improve our lifestyles. That’s why wellness technology is becoming more popular in spa experiences. This technology offers new ways for you to enjoy wellness in ways you may not have access to before. For example, cryotherapy lounge chairs and meditation pods offer innovative wellness experiences to spa-goers. Cryotherapy lounge chairs target specific areas of your body with cold and heat, offering a hassle-free setup that can also boost the spa’s revenue. Meditation pods offer a relaxing and stress-reducing alternative, delivering unique, multi-sensory experiences to help you unwind.




A view of  The Wellness Clinic at Harrods in London, UK
A view of The Wellness Clinic at Harrods in London, UK

Image source: Divisare


The Rise of Immersive Spas

Another trend gaining popularity is the concept of immersive spas, which offer multi-sensory experiences that transport you into different environments. These spas incorporate floor-to-ceiling visuals, ambient sounds, and corresponding scents to augment your overall well-being depending on the treatment you’re engaging in. Imagine enjoying the sounds, well-being meals, and visuals of a calm beach morning during a yoga class or being transported into the tranquility of a lush forest during a massage session.


A view of The Finn Lough Resort - Spa in Enniskillen, UK
A view of The Finn Lough Resort - Spa in Enniskillen, UK

Image source: Architectural Digest


Catering to the Global Shift towards Holistic Wellness

With a global increase in the prioritization of wellness, hotels are adapting to cater to this shift. The definition of ‘wellness’ has expanded to incorporate better physical and mental health, fitness, nutrition appearance, and sleep. As a result, there’s an increased demand for holistic services like crystal healing massages, sound baths, and light therapy facials. These treatments employ energy, music, and light to facilitate healing, enhancing personal well-being.




A view of the Bath & Barley spa in Brussels
A view of The Espace Vitalité Chenot at the Selman Hotel in Marrakech, Morocco.

Image source: Pinterest


A view ot The Thermes Vals at the 7132 Hotel in Vals, Switzerland
A view ot The Thermes Vals at the 7132 Hotel in Vals, Switzerland

Image source: Divisare


Design Considerations for Holistic Treatments

Design Considerations for Holistic Treatments Creating Spaces that Promote Healing and Well-being Holistic treatments are becoming more popular as guests seek to improve their physical and mental health, fitness, nutrition, appearance, and sleep. These treatments employ energy, music, and light to facilitate healing, enhancing personal well-being. To design spaces that support these treatments, hotels need to consider the following factors: quietness, natural light, scenic view, minimalism, and customization.


A view of the Somnus Hotel & Spa in Lithuania
A view of the Somnus Hotel & Spa in Lithuania

Image source: Dezeen

Sustainable Practices: Responding to Growing Demand

Responding to Growing Demand Sustainability is a key focus for many consumers and businesses, as they become more aware of the environmental impact of their choices and actions. Hotels have the opportunity to show their commitment to sustainability by incorporating sustainable practices and materials into their spa design. This can help them reduce their environmental footprint, attract eco-conscious guests, and save costs in the long run.


Some of the sustainable practices that hotels can adopt for their spa design are:

  • Reducing waste: Hotels can minimize the amount of waste they generate by using reusable or biodegradable materials, such as towels, robes, slippers, and packaging. They can also implement recycling and composting programs to dispose of waste responsibly.

  • Using renewable or recycled materials: Hotels can use materials that are sourced from renewable or recycled sources, such as bamboo, cork, straw, or plastic. These materials can reduce the demand for natural resources and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Minimizing the consumption of non-renewable resources: Hotels can use energy-efficient appliances and lighting systems, such as LED lights, solar panels, or geothermal heating. They can also use water-saving devices and techniques, such as low-flow faucets, rainwater harvesting, or greywater recycling.


Here are some examples of hotels that follow sustainable practices for their spa design:


A view of The Aquatio Cave Luxury Hotel & SPA in Italy.
A view of The Aquatio Cave Luxury Hotel & SPA in Italy.

Image source: Archdaily

A view of The Wool Sauna at Ziedlejas Wellness Resort in Latvia.
A view of The Wool Sauna at Ziedlejas Wellness Resort in Latvia.

Image source: Archdaily



Conclusion

In summary, successful luxury spa design in hotels is a delicate balance of aesthetics, functionality, and innovation. It’s not just about creating a visually appealing space, but also about understanding the needs of guests and providing a tranquil and restorative environment. Today’s luxury spa design trends point towards the integration of wellness technology, immersive experiences, holistic treatments, all housed within sustainable and environmentally conscious spaces. All these elements work together to enhance guest experiences, promote wellness, and ultimately, contribute to the hotel’s bottom line.



Your hotel spa deserves the best.


If you want to create a luxury spa that wows your guests and boosts your revenue, you need the expertise and creativity of AD’ Design. Our studio creates stunning and sustainable spa spaces that embody the Italian heritage. Led by Andrea D’Anca, AD’ Design Studio can help you transform your spa into a luxury oasis that delights your guests and boosts your revenue. Whether you need online or onsite design services, AD’ Design can deliver.

Check out our related articles or contact us today to find out how we can bring your vision to life.



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About the Author:

I am the founder and creative director of AD’ Design Studio, a luxury design studio based in Rome. I specialize in creating stunning interiors that combine elegance and functionality. I have over 8 years of experience in the field, and I have completed more than 30 projects Worldwide. My work has been featured in magazines such as Elle Design, and I regularly share my design insights and tips on my blog and social media platforms. I am passionate about luxury design and delivering exceptional service to my clients. 

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