AECOM principal tells CLAD natural elements and authenticity key to spa and hotel design

by Jane Kitchen | 04 Jul 2016
We’re trying to introduce a feeling of the local place, so that visitors get to experience it though the architecture, the landscape, the use of indigenous species
– Ashley Scott

Natural elements such as spa gardens are increasingly important to today’s spa design, and creating an authentic experience through design and programming is key, said Ashley Scott, principal director of global design and infrastructure services firm AECOM, in an exclusive interview with CLAD.

“Spas were traditionally quite internal to the hotel and resort, but now what we are experiencing is that spas are very much destination components of the hotel in their own right,” explains Scott, who heads up AECOM’s resort masterplanning and landscape architecture team.

He also said spa gardens are becoming a requirement in today’s design.

“This means it's not just about the interior, it’s about the exterior too,” he said. “Offering treatments in an exterior environment – like a really nicely landscaped garden that’s an oasis for a person to stay for post treatment, or a special visual location on the secluded part of the beach front. It’s about getting back to nature and having more of an authentic experience rather than an internalised environment.”

Scott pointed to the recently-opened Park Hyatt Mallorca, which he designed with a series of courtyard spaces.

“(There are) both exteriors and interiors with panoramic views of the valley, to reinforce that sense of authentic architecture and an authentic spa treatment,” he said.

Scott said the resort industry is demanding authenticity across the board – a development in hospitality design that’s driving change.

“People want to go to a place they feel is authentic of the region,” he explained. “I think there was a period in the 80s and 90s where hotels became quite placeless. You could be at a hotel in Dubai and not know you're in Dubai, because it looked exactly the same as the one in Cyprus or Malta. So I think what we’re trying to introduce more and more is a feeling of the local place, so that visitors get to experience that place though the architecture, the landscape, the use of indigenous species.”

In the Park Hyatt Mallorca, for instance, using olive, fig and almond trees along with local plants was key in the garden design, and helped create an authentic experience with a local feel.

“We work with interior designers to make sure there is a good blend in their design that translates into exterior architecture and landscape to give a sense of continuity,” he said. “You don’t want the interiors to be completely alien to the location. Coordinating with architects, landscape architects and interior designers on a project is important and we’re seeing more of it.”

Scott said creating authenticity also adds to the variety that can be achieved in a project, and that AECOM is seeing more resorts that are inland or in an agricultural valley, where there’s an opportunity to create a “home away from home in an authentic location.”

Adding to the authenticity is a hotel’s soft programming, said Scott. Where once a hotel would include a few tennis courts and a spa, today people are looking for ever-changing and adapting experiences and programmes.

“I think what people are looking for now is yoga events on a special lawn, cooking classes, reading classes,” he said. “Elements like that are things that change day-to-day, season-to-season, and often what attracts people to come back to a resort is the fact the resort has a lot of these different soft elements happening and they change.”

AECOM  spa design  spa garden  authenticity  park hyatt mallorca 
Related stories
07 Jun 2016

DSA Architecture International and AECOM collaborate to create authentic Mallorca resort for Park Hyatt

01 Apr 2016

Moody Nolan and AECOM work on Temple University football stadium

07 Jan 2016

AECOM-designed Mississippi arena opens today

09 Sep 2015

AECOM, BIG and Populous among architectural heavyweights in final for €600m redevelopment of FC Barcelona's Nou Camp

FEATURE: Disney Special – Shanghai Disney: Expert Views

Natural elements such as spa gardens are increasingly important to today’s spa design, and creating an authentic experience through design and programming is key, said Ashley Scott, principal director of global design and infrastructure services firm AECOM, in an exclusive interview with CLAD. “Spas were traditionally quite internal to the hotel and resort, but now what we are experiencing is that spas are very much destination components of the hotel
Ashley Scott is principal director of AECOM and heads up its resort master-planning and landscape architecture team
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7784     
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7784     
featured supplier
Featured Supplier: CSI Design Expo Americas 2024 announces new Attractions & Entertainment Technology Zone
Cruise Ship Interiors (CSI) invites cruise lines, shipyards, design studios, outfitters, and suppliers to take part in CSI Design Expo Americas in Miami, Florida, the region’s only event dedicated to cruise ship interior design.
company profile
Company profile: TechnoAlpin
TechnoAlpin is the world leader for snowmaking systems. Our product portfolio includes all different types of snow-making equipment for outdoor and innovative holistic solutions for indoor applications.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
Ten Trinity Square 
was designed by Edwin Cooper and originally opened in 1922
Ed Ng
"Of all hospitality design, we feel that F&B is the most fun. You can be creative and it’s where you get all the limelight"

When ABConcept’s co-founder got The brief for the Four Seasons’ Mei Ume restaurant, he jumped straight on the plane to London. He tells us why

LED lighting makes the building glow purple
Ben van Berkel
"Making buildings more healthy is definitely the future"

UNStudio’s Ben van Berkel shares what he’s learned from projects including the Mercedes- Benz Museum and the Theatre de Stoep

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
London’s German Gymnasium by C&P won World’s Best Overall Restaurant at the Bar & Restaurant Design Awards in October 2016
Norden studied architecture at Westminster, before joining C&P in 1997. She completed her MA at the Royal College of Art in 2000
"We didn’t want in-your-face sporting references; just subtle things that allow you to tell a story"

The Conran & Partners director outlines the trends shaping hospitality design

Grigoriou’s interiors work focuses on boosting wellbeing and reducing stress
Elina Grigoriou
"Temperature, noise level and colour affect our stress levels. As designers we should be asking ourselves, how do these things match up?"

The London-based interior designer and wellness expert hopes her new book will help readers understand how to design with wellbeing in mind

David Collins Studio: The leadership team on legacy and the fun of collaboration
Dublin-born David Collins moved to London in the 1980s and founded David Collins Studio in 1985
"The Studio is such a big part of our lives, that it just continued, albeit through a very challenging period"

David Collins was behind the design of many of London’s hottest destinations Today his legacy lives on via the studio’s glamorous international projects

Linda Boronkay grew up in Budapest. Her father was an architect and her mother was an antiques dealer and collector
"Nick Jones and I are both passionate about design. When we see the same thing twice, it bores us. It’s risky but interesting creatively"

At the end of a very busy year for Soho House, the group’s design director talks us through her plans

Minimalist design was used for the interiors, allowing the exhibits to take centre stage
Konieczny studied at the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice. He launched KWK Promes in 1999
"Many buildings nowadays look interesting, but when you analyse deeper, there’s nothing more than the form"

On designing the World Building of the Year

A bright red exterior lift takes visitors up to the hotel’s 10th floor restaurant
"We tried to take over in a friendly way"

The Standard’s first London hotel is bold, fun and full of surprising touches

cladkit product news
Jaffe Holden helps bring Academy Museum of Motion Pictures alive
Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics for the Academy Museum
Magali Robathan
Acoustical consulting firm Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics and audio/video design services for the recently opened Academy Museum of Motion ...
Alberto Apostoli designs tech-forward Wellness Therapy furniture collection for Varaschin
The furniture collection draws on absolute geometries, pure lines, neutral colours and strong references to nature
Megan Whitby
Furniture manufacturer Varaschin has unveiled the new Wellness Therapy range, designed by Italian spa and wellness architect and designer Alberto ...
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...
cladkit product news
Koto Design introduces wood-fired hot tub
Koto is known for crafting modular, energy-neutral cabins and homes
Katie Barnes
A striking wood-fired hot tub has been unveiled by Koto, an architecture and design studio which has a passion for ...
Eco Resort Network conference to convene in Mauritius this May
The event will be hosted in the Mauritius in 2024
Megan Whitby
Hospitality industry event Eco Resort Network is set to take place at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Turtle Bay, Mauritius, from ...
Mather & Co and ITV unite to create Coronation Street Experience
Mather & Co has transformed the visitor centre into the ultimate haven for ardent Coronation Street viewers
Magali Robathan
Experience designers, Mather & Co, have orchestrated a remarkable collaboration with ITV to unveil the new Coronation Street Experience, a ...
cladkit product news
Codelocks develops new glass door smart lock
The new lock model allows facilities and building managers to create and manage access via an app or online portal
Megan Whitby
Codelocks has launched its first glass door smart lock to bring intelligent access control to modern spa, leisure, fitness and ...
Siminetti unveils iridescent decorative panelling range inspired by plants
The Clematis design
Megan Whitby
The Botanicals is Siminetti’s newest Mother of Pearl decorative panelling collection, inspired by the distinctive patterns found in botany and ...
Alberto Apostoli and Newform collaborate to launch the A.Zeta showerhead
The showerhead offers two modes; rainfall or waterfall
Megan Whitby
Italian architect Alberto Apostoli has renewed his partnership with Newform – an Italian wellness company – and designed A.Zeta. A.Zeta ...
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates