Boutique Design - July/August 2009 - (Page 36)

BATH AND SPA SECTION BY WANDA JANKOWSKI Global Bath Trends Established in 1945 in Hawaii, today WATG operates four offices in the U.S., one in London and one in Singapore, and is a leader in the design of upscale hotels and resorts around the world. Meagan Jacobi, Associate, Senior Designer, WATG, shared her insights on international bath design trends accompanied by WATG-designed projects that reflect them. WATG’s Meagan Jacobi Reveals Out of the Box International Ideas Wanda: What design themes are universal around the world? Meagan: The bathroom is becoming more of a showcase for the guestroom, with the lines of the guestroom, living area and bathing spaces blurred. The area allocated to the bathroom is increasing — even in urban properties where space is limited. As choice is the ultimate luxury, often privacy preferences are accommodated with sliding panels to allow for the concealment or opening of the bathroom spaces. The relocation of bathrooms to allow for natural light is also becoming more popular. And just as bed/bath lines are blurring, so too are lines between interior and exterior spaces, especially in resorts. Wanda: What cultural differences influence bath design? Meagan: There are several Asian trends that have been expanding globally, such as the wet room. This consolidates the tub and shower into a more luxurious compartment that allows for more compact bathroom arrangements, while providing a more gracious shower experience. Certain luxury hoteliers such as Hyatt International and Mandarin Oriental have embraced this trend and have brought it into other markets, such as the U.S., where it was not commonplace. Wanda: Are eco-friendly concepts being implemented worldwide? Meagan: The use of locally available resources which have long life spans, such as stone, is something luxury designers have been doing for some time. It helps to relate the project to the region with a subtle sense of place and it makes good sense for our clients financially. The use of eco-friendly linens and amenities is one of the biggest changes taking place worldwide, with the introduction of new natural fibers in textiles, such as bamboo and eucalyptus. 36 • boutique DESIGN july/august 2009 Top: This Costa Rican WATG project-in-progress uses open, refined, design and natural materials. Bottom: At the Grecotel Amirandes resort in Crete, Greece. The destination is reinforced with sandstone surfaces. Wanda: Is there a significant design difference between luxury boutique hotels and large chain hotels internationally? Meagan: I do not see a real difference. The differences start to show as you move down into mid-range product and then the boutique properties stand out, as they tend to be more personalized in catering to guests’ needs. Wanda: What international bath trends do you foresee taking hold five years from now? Meagan: The tub/shower combination is gone from most new properties, unless it has been reinvented with updated plumbing, such as rain showers and soaking tubs. Many urban operators are opting to remove tubs and replace them with luxurious showers that feature built-in benches, multiple showerhead options, steam, etc., to create a unique experience in a space where the old shallow tubs of yesterday are no longer utilized by guests. I believe the lines between bed and bath will continue to blur. The bathroom has definitely come out of its box and I don’t see it returning any time soon. BD

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Boutique Design - July/August 2009

Boutique Design - July/August 2009
Boutique Buzz
Photos from YLH Las Vegas
Snaps from the Boutique 18 Bash
Hotel Designers, Owners and Operators Speak to International Design and Development Trends
Banyan Tree Mayakoba Fuses Cultures without Missing a Beat
Celeste Cooper Creates a New ‘Comfort’ Inn, The Inn @ St. Botolph
Business Sense
GKV Architects Design the Ultimate Bathing Experience, an In-room Spa in Istanbul
ICRAVE Takes its Experiental Design Style Global
Point of View
Wanda Jankowski Interviews WATG’s Meagan Jacobi
The Best of ICFF
The Goods
Calendar/Advertisers Index

Boutique Design - July/August 2009