10 ways memorable outdoor experiences can elevate your spa

By Wendy Golledge


By Wendy Golledge

18 December 2022

The benefits of immersion in nature are well documented and the movement to connect spa guests with the outside world shows no sign of abating.

Spa gardens have grown from minimally designed simple spaces to become an essential part of any new build or refurbishment. With considered planning and design, a spa garden can draw in new visitors and be a profitable enterprise.

A spa garden can enhance the guest journey, provide a multitude of revenue-generating opportunities and, when used creatively, add an entirely new dimension to the wellbeing offer.

Here four leading international designers talk to European Spa’s Mark Smith about how to maximise opportunities for your spa garden.

Cottonmill Spa within Sopwell House in St. Albans

Beverley Bayes, creative director of Sparcstudio

  1. Find the best aspect that captures the vista your surrounding natural landscape has to offer.
  2. Ensure your garden is situated so a link to the outside can be easily formed from inside your spa and make sure that access minimises draughts so it doesn’t adversely affect the balance of the AC.
  3. Create a meandering spa journey into ‘rooms’ – don’t reveal everything at first. Be sure to create a good balance of social spaces and intimate niches for more private relaxation.

"Create a sanctuary. In case of a sudden downpour or very cold weather, build a space where people can take shelter and seek warmth if needed."

Beverley Bayes

Creative director of Sparcstudio

Matteo Thun, architect and founder of Matteo Thun & Partners

  1. The key to providing an interesting and balanced outdoor experience is to offer a combination of pools with different temperatures, for example an outdoor sauna with a nearby plunge pool. Blur the boundaries – swim-through pools allow guests to seamlessly transition outside without leaving the comfort of the heated pool.
  2. Consider al fresco massage. There is a strong trend towards delivering targeted massage treatments in pools, ranging from neck to foot rituals.

"Create a change in the experience of the spa from day to night by changing the look and feel of the spaces with garden lighting. Light up the night to highlight landscaping and plants."

Matteo Thun

Architect and founder of Matteo Thun & Partners

Alberto Apostoli, founder of Studio Apostoli

  1. Create signature points that can emphasise the four most significant moments of the day – sunrise, noon, sunset and midnight. Each structure should have at least one place that benefits from these moments.
  2. Protect the earth. We must respect the importance of the earth to the subsoil; each place has its own characteristics and must be absolutely valued. Build your project with reference to sustainability, being considerate of the relationship between materials, energy and water.
man with beard and glasses wearing blue shirt

"Find within an outdoor spa space at least one or two places where there can be a strong spiritual connotation, to help both the body and the mind/soul."

Alberto Apostoli

Founder of Studio Apostoli
The Nero Spa in Montegrotto Terme, Italy

Philip Jaffa, founder of Scape Design

  1. Create moments of intimacy and privacy within the garden – places for contemplation and meditation. But also, do not forget places for social connection, like a pool area or juice bar.
  2. The art of wellbeing should not just be limited to the spa gardens. The grounds of the entire resort can be activated with idyllic spaces for yoga stretching, meditation, scent gardens and relaxing connection with nature.
Founder of Scape Design

"Lead guests on an unfolding journey through the gardens with moments of surprise, such as chancing upon a plunge pool or hidden sauna grotto."

Philip Jaffa

Founder of Scape Design

Be inspired...

To find more expert insight and read the Winter 2023 edition of European Spa magazine, click below


Sign up to our digital edition

Sign Up Now

European Spa Magazine is published by Spa Publishing Ltd    |    Company registration number: 6293825

About    |    Contact Us    |    Privacy Policy    |    Terms & conditions    |    Disclaimer

© Copyright 2024 - Spa Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.