Interior designer Inge Moore has called on hospitality designers to incorporate fun, interactivity and individuality into spa and gym design. Moore is launching bespoke hospitality design studio Muse after leaving Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA), who will invest in the new company. During her time with HBA, Moore designed a host of hospitality projects, including the renovation of London’s Grosvenor House for JW Marriott, a luxury sleeper train for Belmond in Ireland and the Belmond Eagle Island Safari Lodge in Botswana.
With the new studio, Moore, co-founder Nathan Hutchins, and their team of 15 are working on a spa resort in Goa, a new hotel in Ibiza and another luxury train for Belmond. Individuality is the feature that unifies these projects, says Moore. The interior designer says that the whole way we’re thinking about travel experiences is changing.
“These days, when we stay at a nice place, we expect there to be a great spa, gym, fitness facilities and yoga,” she says. “The better you can deliver those spaces, the more special you make people’s experience. They should be super-fun areas to socialise and learn.
“It’s so, so important to stand out,” she says. “Everywhere you go, there are three or four good hotels and countless Airbnbs, so yours needs to be special. People choose to stay at the more interesting spaces, especially now the world’s become much more visual, with social media, and everyone sending selfies immediately. That creates a huge opportunity for designers to make beautiful spaces that also make people feel good and have a ‘wow factor.’”
But Moore says a truly great spa design has to do more than just look good. “For me, space has to make you feel,” she says. “If you don’t feel something about the space, you’re not going to remember the space. Feel and look are intertwined. You can’t take one away and just have the other, because it won’t be remembered at all if you do that – it’ll just be another pretty space.”
Moore says the key to success is delivering a story, as well as allowing guests to have a fun experience. “People increasingly want to learn about health and wellbeing through spaces where you do interactive things together,” she says. “Our idea is you go to a hotel and you learn something or experience something new while you’re there. By presenting these experiences in a fun, interactive way that appeals to people across the age spectrum, you can create really interesting, memorable experiences.”