Idea To Design... And Beyond

Your spa design must strike a unique chord of relaxation and inspiration in your guests. You want to help melt your clients’ stresses, but you also want to provide a memorable experience at a one-of-a-kind retreat.

Since many spas are built as part of a hotel or resort, it’s essential that your hotel design matches your spa interior without overdoing it. Here are a few ways to create the perfect atmosphere for your spa design.

Outside, Inside

Nature has perfected the art of relaxation – use it to your advantage. Nature-inspired spa design creates a balanced atmosphere and encourages your clients to let go of their stresses.

Bring plants inside and use them as living artwork. Include indoor water features in your spa design, such as ponds, fountains, aquariums and waterfalls. The rhythms of waves, ripples and running water induce sleep and help your guests relax. Use botanicals to add calming scents and pops of color.

If your spa is in a picturesque location, use glass walls and elongated windows to showcase the exceptional views. Spa Fasano, developed by Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld, is a great example of using beautiful landscapes to your advantage. The breathtaking granite cliffs and boulders of Uruguay comprise a relaxing and awe-inspiring sight. With views like these, you can afford to have a simple, understated spa design – the landscape speaks for itself!


The green lifestyle is all about oneness with nature, and spa design is the perfect medium through which to channel this connection. Incorporate sunlight, green hues, recycled or sustainable materials, natural essences and plant life into your spa design to create an intimate, nature-inspired space.

At Six Senses in Paris, “eco-zen” is the name of the game. Personal relaxation pods are built with elegant bent wood slats and carte walls. Its spaces are decorated with living artwork, such as wall-mounted gardens and bamboo accents.

Mixed Media

Modern architecture and design often features uncommon and unexpected pairings. Play with different textures, materials and media. Metal typically seems cold and harsh, for example, but it’s easy to soften the starkness and liven it up by mixing it with plant life, wood and delicate textures.

Think outside the box when you’re planning the interior design and décor of your spa. Frames and canvas are no longer the only forms of art worth considering. Try using bits and pieces for a different purpose than they were initially intended: Tweak wallpaper swatches by turning them into artwork, transform free-standing sculptures by mounting them on a wall or use uncommon objects for lighting, as seen in the spa design at Viceroy Snowmass.

 Light, Dark And Shadows

The interplay between darkness, light and shadows is a powerful tool in spa design. You need illumination to keep spaces navigable, but too much light is disruptive to a relaxing atmosphere.

Choose your artificial lighting wisely. Match your selections to your interior design theme – a glamorous spa should have bejeweled chandeliers, while an eco-friendly spa design might use bamboo fixtures. Install dimmers and use soft illumination like candles or small sconces that add ambiance without flooding the space with artificial light.

You don’t need to choose strictly between natural and artificial lighting, either. Incorporate different types of light and play on the differences with a naturally lit pool surrounded by vaulted, perforated ceilings and intricately carved wooden screens to throw shadows.

Take Away

As you’re looking into renovating a spa design, focus on your goals for the space. You want to keep consistent with your resort while including unique elements that help you stand out. By your utilization of innovative ways to induce stress relief, your guests see your spa not just as a place to get a massage, but as a destination worth revisiting.

Need advice on a spa design project? Let us show you how we turn your vision into reality. Click the link below to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our architectural design experts.