Hospitality Design

Designing for Wellness: How to Create a Hospitality Experience that Focuses on Health & Well-Being

In recent times, there has been a growing cognizance and apprehension regarding the impact of the constructed milieu on the welfare and well-being of individuals. Consequently, the hospitality sector has pivoted its attention towards fashioning environments that foster wellness and proffer guests a rejuvenating and invigorating experience. The crux of designing for wellness in hospitality is to orchestrate an aesthetically pleasing ambience that seamlessly incorporates elements that bolster physical, emotional, and psychological vitality. Here, Ar. Khozema Chitalwala, founder and Principal Architect at Designers Group sheds light upon the cardinal tenets of wellness-focused design in the hospitality industry and expounds upon the art of crafting an immersive experience that revolves around these very principles.

“Crafting spaces that promote wellness through deliberate designs has been a driving passion of mine as an architect and designer. We are given the privilege of prioritising health and well-being through our design choices while creating spaces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing,”says Khozema. The approach to creating healthy spaces is centered around the three cardinal pillars of health: physical, mental, and emotional.  “When designing for wellness in hospitality spaces, understanding the unique needs and preferences of guests are essential. It is imperative to conduct research on the users and examine their requirements” he avers.

Incorporation of thoughtful design elements in hospitality projects is paramount in promoting the wellness of guests. The layout of a space can impact guest experience, with open and flowing spaces creating a sense of freedom and ease, while segmented and enclosed spaces can feel restricting. Natural light, for instance, serves as a stimulant for improved mood and productivity while also regulating the body’s circadian rhythm. Providing ample exposure to natural light through sizable windows or skylights allows for the influx of natural light and a captivating view of the environment. As an illustration, at Devi Ratn, a top-tier project by Designers Group, the rooms feature generously sized wooden windows that take inspiration from the building’s intricate filigree work and geometric design, presented in a parametric format. Furthermore, the selection of an appropriate colour scheme is essential in creating a calming ambience. The use of soft and muted colors like pastels and earthy tones has a relaxing effect, while bold and bright colors may have a counteractive effect. The employment of natural materials such as wood and stone, which offer texture and warmth, adds a cosy and welcoming atmosphere to a space. Additionally, incorporating biophilic elements like plants and water features can improve air quality, reduce stress, and promote relaxation. Attention to acoustics is also necessary in creating a tranquil environment, with proper soundproofing and the use of acoustic materials ensuring a peaceful space. The bar area at Devi Ratn underwent a transformation in which the hard flooring was removed and replaced with a custom-made carpet, and curtains were also added to improve the acoustics of the space. These changes had a significant impact on the overall atmosphere of the bar, effectively improving the previously inadequate acoustical treatment. Lighting, too, plays an integral part in determining the mood of a space, with soft, warm lighting promoting relaxation and bright and cool lighting enhancing alertness and focus. Ergonomics should also be considered, with comfortable and supportive furniture reducing physical discomfort and strain.

The future of hospitality lies in the art of creating spaces that cater to wellness needs, extending beyond the mere provision of yoga studios or meditation areas. By engaging with wellness experts and practitioners, an array of sensory experiences and personalized services can be woven into the hospitality fabric, thus elevating the guest experience to a new level of comprehensive well-being. “As pioneers in the creation of hospitality landscapes, we at Designers Group are resolutely committed to unlocking the full potential of this endeavour, aligning with the needs and preferences of the discerning customer, and forging spaces that are both alluring and pragmatic,” avows Khozema. “By taking into account the individualistic lifestyle, choices, and requisites of the customers, wellness-focused spaces can be rendered as unique and bespoke as the customers themselves,” he concludes.