Bathroom inspiration is all around us, from architectural styles to regional aesthetics and beyond. If you’ve ever stayed in a luxury hotel, perhaps you’ve felt inspired by the bathroom design you found there? If this is the case and you want to bring that style into your home, then read on.
If you’ve not stayed in a luxury hotel, the words ‘hotel bathroom’ might bring to mind something simple and modest, cramped spaces filled with tacky features overdue a refresh, or something designed for convenience. So, in this guide, we will look at what is actually meant by the style and how you can achieve this in your space. We will also cover:
- What is the Hotel & Spa Style?
- What are the defining features of hotel & spa bathroom design?
- What colours feature in hotel & spa designs?
- What period of time does this style cover?
- What are the influences of hotel & spa style bathrooms?
- How to create a hotel & spa bathroom
- Can you mix the hotel & spa style with other styles?
- Design advice for hotel & spa bathrooms
What is the Hotel & Spa Style?
The hotel & spa style is an indulgent yet understated style that evokes a stay in a luxury hotel. This means five star features and decadent styles that are out of the ordinary when it comes to bathing, and design and comfort are paramount considerations. The inclusion of the spa concept in the style places importance on wellness and relaxation, two things that aren’t necessarily prioritised in a wholly practical bathroom refit but that have really been brought into focus in both 2022 and 2023 bathroom trends with more people spending time at home.
Designing a bathroom from the ground up with these things in mind invites a more mindful approach to the redesign. With the hotel & spa style you are crafting a calming space to unwind in, even if you don’t have time to fully unwind very often. Stepping into your spa-inspired bathroom should raise the possibility of breathing deep and leaving the worries of the world behind you, just as a stay in a luxury hotel should.
What are the Defining Features of Hotel & Spa Bathroom Design?
While the unifying qualities of this aesthetic are less formal than other styles like Art Deco, you will come across common design features. Some of these are explored below:
- Natural design cues: expect to see prominence given to natural or natural-looking materials, like bamboo, brushed stone, limed wood, or even marble. This is a style which invites connection to nature and, by extension, with ourselves.
- Industrial accents: natural and industrial may seem strange design bedfellows, but used properly, they can bring each other to life. Brass and copper are two very popular industrial-inspired materials that can be used to great effect in a spa style bathroom.
- Dim lighting: natural materials and subdued industrial accents work better with atmospheric lighting, rather than bright illumination as you might find in other styles. In this style, lights are used to cultivate a calming atmosphere.
- Ambience as a core consideration: a hotel & spa bathroom is, first and foremost, somewhere to relax. It’s a space for your regular ablutions, too, but emphasis is placed on creating ambience.
- Deep baths, often standalone: submerging yourself in various relaxing settings is a mainstay of the spa experience, and a deep, standalone bath is often the closest possible approximation in a home bathroom.
- Walk-in showers: spacious showers that you walk into rather than entering the bath or a self-enclosed unit are definitive of the spa style, although obviously they may not be realistic for all bathroom sizes!
- A wide range of influences: hotel & spa design differs depending on where you are in the world, and it’s possible to draw on one or more of these constituent styles. A Moroccan spa style bathroom will be quite different from one inspired by a Japanese spa, but both fall under the broader aesthetic.
- Fewer restrictions: with the above in mind, it can be more liberating to work in this style than some others, as there are fewer restrictions implied by how the style is conceptualised. You’re free to follow your impulses to create a bathroom that’s perfect for you.
What Colours Feature in Hotel & Spa Bathrooms?
In the classic interpretation of the style, you’ll find nothing too overstated or intense. Subtle creams and beiges may form the backdrop for earthy tones, for example various shades of brown inspired by (or even represented by) natural wood. These may be accented by copper, brass, black, or similar.
Bright white is usually avoided, excepting the porcelain of the features, which in a luxury hotel you’ll likely find polished to perfection. Bulbs usually cast a dim, warm glow as opposed to dazzling white light.
If you’ve stayed in a few hotels though, you’ll know that real-life interpretations of this style can vary wildly. Some bathrooms will make more use of colour; others may choose a darker, more intense approach.
What Period of Time Does This Design Style Cover?
Hotel & spa style bathroom design isn’t linked to a specific period of time, as hotels are a mainstay in our lives and the trends that determine their style evolve over time. Nevertheless, many think of this as certainly more of a late 19th century, and early 20th century trend as people have travelled more, and the ability to explore new places has grown. Some hotels are at the forefront of this design wave, while others hold onto dated designs either by choice or necessity.
Browse some hotel bathroom ideas and you’ll quickly see that the style can just as easily evoke classy vintage design as it can cutting edge modernity. The choice of which time period to evoke in your hotel & spa inspired bathroom is left up to you: another reason why this style can be liberating to work within.
What are the Influences of the Hotel & Spa Style?
This varies depending on the particular hotel you’re staying at, but if we think about the most common conceptualisation of the style, you’ll likely find these influences:
Stone, wood, marble and other naturally-occurring materials have been used for millennia, initially out of necessity - when there was nothing else available - and more recently as a considered design choice.
While many design styles deliberately eschew natural materials in the name of modernity, there are tangible benefits to having wooden furniture and features in your home. Any bathroom designed to facilitate relaxation can benefit from choosing natural, exposed wood.
Modern design involves clean lines, minimal clutter, and bold tones. You’ll not find colour overused; instead, blacks, greys and metallic tones will delineate lines and shapes to stunning effect.
Many hotel & spa style bathrooms feature at least some aspects of modern design: it makes sense that they would draw on the latest designs to give customers an impression of staying somewhere innovative and on trend, and these design elements are popular for a reason.
Spas the World Over
How to Create a Hotel & Spa Bathroom
If you’re inspired to build a bathroom in the hotel & spa style, here’s how to do it.
Step one: decide whereabouts on the spectrum you’re going to base your design. Do you prefer the lighter colours and earthier tones? Or the darker, moodier styles?
Then it is on to the style: are you aiming for a more contemporary, modern and Instagrammable look? Or a more traditional, period-style, and decadent look making use of colour, curves and shapes?
When you’ve made that decision, step three involves choosing the base colour that your bathroom will be built around. Usually the base colour is reflected in fixtures like the bath, sink and toilet, but this doesn’t have to be the case. If you choose a beige or a slate grey as your base colour, you could still use white fixtures for example.
Step four involves choosing your accents: will you lean towards wood or stone? Brass or black? Knowing this from the outset makes it easier to be consistent throughout your design, and leads to a more unified end result.
With a decision made about colours and accents, you can move onto thinking about the individual fixtures and fittings that will make up your bathroom.
Hotel & Spa Bathroom Suite
This style is flexible but there are some features that occur frequently:
- Countertop basins, which evoke modernity and works well against a range of tones.
- Freestanding baths, which act as a centrepiece for the bathroom that invites relaxation and indulgence.
- A walk-in shower, which integrates showering effortlessly into the space, rather than having it in a self-contained area.
- An unassuming toilet, which contributes to the aesthetic while not drawing too much attention away from the other features.
Hotel & Spa Sink
Hotel & spa style works well with a countertop basin.This type of basin echoes the visual appeal of the freestanding bath, while embodying a sophisticated, modern-inspired style.
Our range of countertop basins includes a wide array of styles from traditional white porcelain through to undeniably characteristic metal countertop basins, including brass and copper.
Hotel & Spa Bathroom Taps
With a focus on relaxation, a hotel inspired bathroom should have taps that are easy and graceful to use. For this reason, modern bathroom taps frequently make an appearance: their clean lines, minimalist profile, and smooth controls make them a popular choice.
To lean more into the spa aesthetic you can also explore waterfall taps. These taps spotlight flowing water in a way that draws the eye and, in a spa context, evokes the relaxing majesty of water flowing in nature.
Hotel & Spa Bathroom Cabinet
In a spa inspired bathroom you’ll often find the usual bathroom clutter tucked away out of sight, to avoid detracting from the overarching aesthetic. Bathroom cabinets in this design style should be stylish and subdued.
Using a cabinet that is simplistic but also has built-in LED lighting is a way to bring ambient light to your bathroom without relying on too many overhead lights, too.
Hotel & Spa Shower Screen
The hotel & spa style practically demands a walk-in shower, if your space allows. These showers make use of a floor to ceiling screen to section off part of your bathroom, meaning that an aesthetically pleasing screen is key.
Many walk-in showers have one screen that extends from the wall, such as recessed shower enclosure, to create the space but others, can be combined with wall-fitted bracing bars outwards to create a space you can simply walk in and out of from either side, also known as a walk through shower. Your decision will be informed by the size of the space you have to work with.
Hotel & Spa Tiles
Lots of hotel & spa bathrooms incorporate tiles, whether in a configuration involving straight lines and right angles - either small or large - or a more geometric pattern inspired perhaps by a Middle Eastern spa aesthetic.
If you go for tiles, choose something that contributes to and aligns with the other design decisions you’ve made. A tile design that complements the fixtures and fittings in your bathroom can draw the whole style together beautifully.
Can You Mix the Hotel & Spa Style with Other Styles?
This is a style with a wide range of influences and interpretations, meaning that you’re definitely able to mix the style with others. Perhaps more so than many other design styles.
Moroccan and Japanese have made an appearance already, but you can look to other regions when searching for spa bathroom inspiration. A Scandinavian spa for instance, with clean lines and a focus on minimalism, shows how well hotel & spa can mix with the Scandi style.
Or browsing vintage hotel bathroom ideas on Pinterest makes a very good case for combining the modern interpretation of hotel & spa style with more vintage designs.
Design Advice for Hotel & Spa Bathrooms
Luxury hotels have big design budgets and a desire to be at the cutting edge of design trends. Drawing in and delighting guests relies on creating a space that’s a pleasure to be in, and all this combines to create bathrooms that are stylish, comfortable, and inviting. It’s no wonder then that many people look to the hotel & spa style when designing their bathroom at home.
Our range of bathroom fixtures and fittings contains everything you need to bring the hotel & spa style to life. We’d love to help you find your dream bathroom, so why not book a 3D Bathroom Design Service appointment today or get in touch with one of our experts. We’ll be happy to help.