Skift Take

In a growing luxury wellness trend that's built to last, nature comes indoors in the form of living green walls, natural materials, and more at high-end hotels.

Series: New Luxury

Luxury Travel News

The Skift New Luxury column is our weekly column focused on the business of selling luxury travel, the people and companies creating and selling experiences, emerging trends, and the changing consumer habits around the sector.

Picture yourself walking through a forest, surrounded by a canopy of emerald green foliage. Next, imagine yourself checking into an urban hotel. While the shift to envisioning the hotel lobby might have been jarring, forward-thinking hotels like Westin and the PARKROYAL on Pickering in Singapore are aiming to change that by incorporating elements of nature in their overall design.

Drawing upon the principles of biophilic design is a holistic approach to bringing wellness into the hospitality space using natural materials, lush living walls, and light patterns that imbue guests with a sense of well-being.

In a week when our lead story is about a growing trend in hotel design with staying power, it’s notable that one of the industry’s iconic designers is somewhat unexpectedly leaving the company she created. Skift Senior Enterprise Editor Andrew Sheivachman reports that Liz Lambert, founder of Austin, Texas-based Bunkhouse Group, is out, although there is some mystery surrounding the departure.

Such is the danger of selling the majority stake in one’s homegrown business to an international hotel company that may be more interested in expansion than quirk. Without Lambert’s visionary guidance, it will be interesting to see what parent company Standard International does with the brand.

For feedback or news tips, reach out via email at [email protected] or tweet me @dailysuitcase.

— Laura Powell, Skift Luxury Editor

5 Looks at Luxury

Rethinking Luxury Hotel Design to Connect Guests With Nature: It seems like every hospitality brand these days is eager to jump on the wellness bandwagon. Most do so by adding a gym or throwing a yoga mat in the room. But some luxury hotels are taking a more esoteric approach, namely through biophilic design.

Iconic Boutique Hotelier Liz Lambert Out at Standard’s Bunkhouse Group: Standard Hotels buying into Bunkhouse Group seemed like a perfect match, one boutique hotel innovator investing in another. The goodwill seems to have soured since then, and it’s difficult to know exactly what happens to the Bunkhouse brand without its founder.

Tackling the Abuse Problem in Hospitality Head-On: Abuse of staff is a problem in hospitality. And too often, it gets swept under the rug. What will it take for a zero-tolerance policy to actually be enforced — consistently?

United Upends Loyalty Program to Prioritize Dollars Over Miles: United’s MileagePlus program is changing dramatically in 2020 to focus more on high-spend rather than high-mileage travelers. Translation: It’s getting harder for frugal flyers to be elite.

Saudi Arabia’s New Tourism Frontier Explained: Businesses can’t resist the opportunities that a new frontier brings. In the case of Saudi Arabia, however, the gamble they take is whether tourists will actually go, given the kingdom’s poor image. The adage “build and they will come” is being tested.


Skift Luxury Editor Laura Powell [[email protected]] curates the New Luxury newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday.

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Photo credit: The PARKROYAL on Pickering in Singapore is an ideal example of biophilic design in practice, utilizing natural materials, curves, and greenery throughout. PARKROYAL on Pickering

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