Leading Spa Hotels – a design journey through tranquillity

Deputy Editor Megan Christopher explores the design journeys of these leading spa hotels, from elemental escapes in Atacama Desert to modern sanctuaries in Switzerland…

The spa hotel sector is experiencing a renaissance. No longer just a place for a massage, today’s spas are holistic sanctuaries, designed to rejuvenate mind, body and soul. In this realm, interior design plays a pivotal role, crafting immersive environments that amplify the guest’s wellness journey. Let’s delve into some of the leading spa hotels, where design sets the stage for transformative experiences.

Tierra Atacama, Chile

tierra atacama spa chile

Image credit: Tierra Atacama

Nestled amidst the stark beauty of the Atacama Desert, Tierra Atacama embraces a design philosophy that mirrors the raw power of its surroundings. Volcanic rock walls are juxtaposed with woven textiles in earthy tones. The spa’s communal areas are open air, blurring the lines between the dramatic landscape and the treatment experience. Here, deep soaking pools are carved from volcanic stone, offering a primal connection to the natural world.

Chenot Spa Marrakech, Morocco

chenot spa marrakech

Image credit: Chenot Spa

Nestled within the opulent walls of the Salman Marrakech, Chenot Spa Marrakech waves a spell of Moorish magic. With intricate zellige tilework adorning the walls, plush fabrics in warm jewel tones draped across treatment beds and the soft glow of lanterns casting an air of mystery. The spa’s centrepiece is a heated central pool, reminiscent of the grand hammams of ancient Istanbul, creating a sense of timeless serenity amidst the vibrant energy of Marrakech.

Six Senses Kaplankaya, Turkey

Six Senses Kaplankaya, Turkey spa

Image credit: Six Senses Kaplankaya

Six Senses Kaplankaya on Turkey’s Aegean coat seamlessly blends Ottoman influences with a focus on sustainable luxury. The spa’s interiors are a celebration of handcrafted details – intricate tilework adorns the hammam, while handwoven rugs add warmth to treatment rooms. Locally sourced materials like Turkish marble and warm woods create a sense of place, while strategically placed skylights bathe the space in natural light, fostering a connection with the surrounding nature.

Gstaad Palace, Switzerland

gstaad palace switzerland

Image credit: Gstaad Palace, Switzerland

Gstaad Palace offers a unique juxtaposition of historic grandeur and cutting-edge design. The spa’s historic Roman baths are meticulously restored, transporting guests to a bygone era of opulent relaxation. In contrast, the contemporary treatment rooms boast sleek furnishings and state-of-the-art technology. This interplay of old and new creates a dynamic tension, reflecting the hotel’s rich heritage while catering to the modern wellness seeker.

Waldorf Astoria Lusail Doha, Qatar

ESPA life at waldorf astoria lusail doha

Image credit: ESPA

Waldorf Astoria Lusail Doha elevates the spa experience with a design that blends the essence of the Arabian world with modern sophistication. Geometric patterns adorn the walls, with shimmering fabrics that echo the sand of the desert and strategically places light that creates a sense of mystery and intrigue. Treatment rooms are individual sanctuaries, featuring luxurious finishes and private balconies, allowing guests to relax and rejuvenate in unparalleled style. The spa’s centrepiece is a stunning hammam, a calming haven inspired by centuries-old bathing traditions. Here, guests can unwind amidst intricate tilework, soothing steam and the gentle murmur of water, creating a truly immersive wellness experience.

These leading spa hotels showcase the transformative power of interior design in shaping the wellness experience. From embracing the raw beauty of nature to offering modern sanctuaries of serenity, these spas provide a glimpse into the future of hospitality design, where every detail is meticulously crafted to nurture mind, body and soul.

Main image credit: ESPA