i + D - July/August 2020 - 29

Safe Havens - By Jessica Goldbogen Harlan

Opting Outside
For many properties, landscaping and outdoor spaces have
taken on new significance in a time when getting out in the
fresh air has been a salvation. Once just a perk of a space,
open-air amenities are now essential to many resorts and spas,
as they help clients feel like they're being safe and socially
distant from other guests.
Hotel SLO was designed with copious outdoor spaces,
thanks to its beautiful surroundings and the favorable climate.
"Incorporating that indoor/outdoor flexibility and lifestyle was
something we really thought about when designing the hotel,"
says Danielle Velasco, interior designer at Gensler, the firm that
designed Hotel SLO.
A huge courtyard is central to the hotel's interior, with the lobby,
bar, reception area, and meeting rooms all opening onto this
outdoor space. The fine-dining restaurant has an airy covered
patio, and there's a covered outdoor meeting room with two
large tables providing seating for around 25. Large doors can be
rolled open in the lobby to offer fresh air, and every guest room
has a comfortable patio or balcony.

Outdoor spaces
have only increased
in popularity at the
Gensler-designed Hotel
San Luis Obispo.

The roof also boasts outdoor space. "They've been utilizing
it so much," notes Velasco. "There's a bar on the roof and a
trellised area with lounge and dining seating, plus a bocce court
and a small garden where herbs and vegetables are grown
for the restaurants. They've even been doing yoga on the roof."

(Image: Tanveer Badal)

When it comes to materials, those new cleaning procedures
might mean rethinking the types of furniture, surfaces, and
other design elements and finishes within a space. "Materiality
is going to take on a new level of importance for a variety
of reasons," says Kathryn Findlay. "These spaces haven't
really been designed to take on that degree of cleanability.
Think about the seating upholstery at a nail salon: Was it
really designed for the wear and tear of harsh cleaning?"

Solar power is in play at a boutique resort in Placencia, Belize, where Core Essence
is leading design, development, and ongoing operations of spa and wellness.
(Image: Core Essence)

As people cautiously plan to
resume their lives in a changed
world, a shining star is emerging
in the hospitality sector:
the wellness travel industry.

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i + D - July/August 2020

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