Increasingly, the hospitality industry has been tapping into elements of wellness in a variety of ways. Embedded in pristine, remote landscapes across the worlds, excursions like the ones listed here are offering guests truly unique ways to tune out the outside world by diving into the relaxation that natural immersion has to offer.
Capturing a one-with-nature essence, RAAS Chhatrasagar celebrates the 800 acres of pristine forestland at the top of an old dam in the town of Nimaj, India.
Guests moving from the entrance of the property are immediately surrounded by a dense groves of trees gradually fading away from courtyard to views of the dam and the reservoir, framing the lake therein. “The site is revealed in layers,” explains Studio Lotus principal Ambrish Arora, whose firm runs the property, “Uniting the experience of discovery with an element of surprise by working in harmony with the context and tying numerous touchpoints to establish meaningful connections.”
The sensitive ecological nature of the site was not lost on the firm, either. Any new addition to the property needed to have a minimal footprint. To that end, the new camp is imagined as a system of low-impact foundations and lightweight superstructures that blend with the environment. Furthermore, most of the design connects with the outdoors with lounging decks, natural skylights and vibrant fabrics that nod to the native flora and fauna.
Terme di Saturnia
Thermal springs dot the landscape at the reclusive wellness retreat Terme di Saturnia in southern Tuscany. Here, crystal blue waters flow from the top of Mount Amiata to an underground river forming the signature pool of the resort.
THDP derived the design concept from a sense of belonging to the land; a deep attachment to nature and its cycles. The entire resort comes alive in a color palette of earthy gold and rich water hues that reflect the celestial quality of the natural pool. “Once the water flows down to the waterfall, it becomes cooler and the chemical reaction changes the color to a very delicate aqua green,” explains Manuela Mannino, partner and founder of the London-based firm. TDHP also translated the ideas of reflection, corrosion, erosion, and ripples into subtle design moments.
“From 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 and first thing in the morning, it is literally an immersive experience,” says Mannino. “There is a deep ancestral connection with the water in Saturnia.”
Paradero Todos Santos
The Paradero Todos Santos, “looks like it emerged from the soil,” says Bibiana Huber, creative director at B-Huber, the Guadalajara-based firm tasked with the hotel’s interiors. Here, desert, mountains, farmland, and sea come together to form a sustainable resort that seemingly melts into the picturesque landscape
Tornillo timber, black metal, and sand-colored concrete provide a bohemian, earthy aesthetic to the design. The desert-inspired tones are only enhanced by the half-moon infinity pool and a 100,000-square-foot botanic garden that is home to 60 endemic plant species. Suites follow in muted design, allowing guests to rediscover the landscape through weaving indoor and outdoor spaces. The open-air living room, for instance, hums with activity while also instilling a sense of calm.
“[We focused] on textures, colors, and smells that harmonize with the context,” says Ruben Valdez, principal at Yektajo & Valdez Architects, who worked on the project alongside B-Huber. “The selection of the materials aims to understand luxury not as a material idea, but rather an experiential one.”
Nestled in the Nasu Highlands of Japan, PokoPoko brings joy and playfulness to the Risonare Nasu hotel. The clubhouse connects to the hotel’s two existing complexes via a new route and footbridge, designed with families in mind. This cultivates a sense of connection and togetherness that in the past couple of years has become more important than ever.
The act of discovery was also important to the design concept. Tokyo-based firm Klein Dytham Architecture worked on the clubhouse, which features three roof cones made from local pine that peek out from the trees. Meanwhile, inside an indoor playground offers a separate world for children to explore, while parents bask in the panoramic views of nature surrounding an open fireplace at the opposite end. “It reveals itself magically in the forest,” Dytham says. “We want people to wonder what it is and be drawn closer.”
Another version of this article previously appeared in Hospitality Design.