The Feel Good Factor29 June 2021
Wellness is becoming something we are all conscious of, more than ever. For many people, a hotel stay is the chance to rejuvenate. A welcome escape from hectic lives to restore the body and mind. A sense of vitality and wellbeing is intrinsically linked to your emotional wellbeing and the best hotels are recognising this as a wholistic experience. It goes way deeper than providing guests access to a gym or spa. By taking an all-encompassing approach to the wellness experience, through clever design and careful consideration of elements such as smells, texture, light, colour, sounds, cuisine, and customer service, a lasting effect on a guest’s mindset and sense of wellness can be achieved.
The feel-good factor involves the subtle interplay of details – whether it be the sense of space when you walk into the hotel, smells from nature, texture beneath your feet, or sounds that drift into your subconscious. The way you feel depends on the entire experience including the endorphins from a great Pilates class, resting in a tranquil environment, the healthy cuisine offering, how it looks, tastes, and smells and the quality of your interactions with staff. The experience must resonate with all of your senses.
We all feel better with a bit of nature time. Biophilic design is the bridge between interior design, nature, and wellbeing. It takes all the elements of nature that have a positive impact on us and reproduces them indoors. This principle creates interiors that actively support our wellbeing and celebrate the natural world around us. A healthy connection to nature restores our vitality.
Sunlight is also hugely important. Design that invites more natural light into spaces makes a room look and feel bigger. It also warms the air which promotes healthy airflow. Exposure to this form of light helps our bodies produce Vitamin D, improves our circadian rhythms and sleep patterns. It helps us to focus, enables us to get more done, and even makes us happier. Ensuring we get enough of this vital resource is key to our physical and psychological wellbeing which is why it is such an important consideration in any design.
Colour is also light and surrounding yourself with the right hues can have a significant impact on your stress. Since the beginning of time artists have intuitively recognised the power of light and colour to set a scene but it has now become a recognised science. Colour psychology has become a popular area of colour theory that assigns emotional and psychological connotations between colours and emotions. Many of these meanings are universal because they influence the brain, but some are only cultural. When it comes to design, colour choice that complements the purpose of a venue is key to creating the right mood and may even influence behaviours such as appetite. For example, green is considered a relaxing, soothing colour that is thought to have a calming effect and relieve stress. Blue is associated with calmness and tranquillity and yellow increases appetite!
How a space feels is also closely tied to authenticity. It’s about conveying the very essence of the unique locale of a property and designing to reflect the physical, historical, cultural context of which the hotel is part as well as supporting the local community. Drawing on the palette of natural surrounds, and the use of timbers, stone, and food from local sources all contribute to a sense of place that is kind to the planet and the local community.
Being in a beautiful environment fosters a sense of wellbeing and as we like to say, ‘luxury cannot always be seen.’ Sometimes the very small things add up to become the big things. Every touchpoint provides an opportunity to truly nurture the body, mind, and soul.