THE FUTURE OF WELLNESS IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

Story By
Sri Utami

Current travelling trends are to explore the great outdoors, open spaces, and experiences connected with nature.

For more than a year, we have been adapting to the new normal. Holiday concepts seem incomplete if traveling to a hotel or resort that does not provide a complete range of wellness amenities and facilities to support travelers’ health that include things like a gym, yoga studio, swimming pool, outdoor garden, healthy menu selections, outdoor excursions and many others.

 Interestingly, these requirements have long been adopted by the BLINK Design Group and Artura Insanindo in their renowned portfolios, as shared in the following interview with their respective founders, Clint Nagata and Diana Nazir.

The BLINK Design Group is internationally recognised for their award wining designs, where the company is reshaping the hospitality landscape and reimagining the luxury experience. With over a decade of experience and a portfolio of projects that spans five continents, BLINK have the collective expertise to accomodate the market in one defined vision. According to Clint, “One of the key features of luxury has always been space, which is in-line with physical distancing and other temporary measures such as screens between the guests and hotel staff, in the reception area, for instance.” He also adds “Some owners have looked to reduce the number of restaurants and bars and the size of their hotels but at the same time they have allowed for future expansion if necessary".

Furthermore, wellness has become a compulsory element in designing a hotel or resort in the new normal. The focus has grown beyond spas as a place to be pampered. Now, a wellness concept describes a lifestyle shift that embraces a new way of living.  Some of BLINK’s current projects have incorporated wellness concepts from the lobbies to the rooms with biophilic design features that instil a healthier environment and feel closer to nature.

Two of BLINK’s resort projects truly emphasize the wellness concept, with one set on a 500ha site in Costa Rica and the other on the Red Sea. Both seek to take guests through a transformative experience with the design of each space and BLINK has incorporated design features that focus in the wellbeing of one’s mind and body.

ARTURA Insanindo has received recognition over almost three decades with the award-winning company renowned for its exceptional modern contemporary designs for private houses, hotels, resorts, offices and many other portfolios. They are founders of the annual Indonesian Contemporary Art & Design (ICAD), which celebrated its 10th year in 2019, and have been invited to represent Indonesia in prestigious International architecture and design events and exhibitions.

According to Diana Nazir, as behaviors now need to comply with health and safety protocols in the new normal, this has also changed the design, functionality and lay-out of public spaces. For instance, in separating entrance and exit ways, airflow circulation, hygiene and sanitation, and supporting facilities, etc.  Other changes in adapting to the new normal include working from hotels, online schools and Zoom meetings or hybrid conferences, which have dictated a warmer, home-y ambience. Open air spaces, gardens and green-themed interiors also play with design elements that favor the sustainability of the earth.

Some areas that can be explored, according to the concept of wellness, are mainly in public areas such as the lobby, restaurant or coffee shop, function rooms, public toilets, lifts and corridors. In a restaurant, the seating capacity is reduced due to physical distancing requirements, and menu cards now use QR scanners. In elevators, buttons are now touch-less and rooms are cleaned according to the highest hygiene standards. Even the concept of private resorts and villas has become more desirable due to fewer crowds, evidenced in one of ARTURA’s luxury private villa portfolios named the edge – Bali, located on the southern tip of the island and comprising of just eight villas with a total of 17 bedrooms, two swimming pools, one day club, 2 restaurants, 3 bars, bowling, a pool table and karaoke, and a tennis court.

Diana closed our interview by saying, “The element of wellness is the most important element in the future development of hotels and resorts, because it has become an essential requirement for guests traveling for business or leisure, and that also fulfills the three important aspects in this pandemic or post-pandemic: something that is stable and guaranteed, set-up for hygiene and health, and has a new optimism in the experience.”