Nature nurtures. The healing power of the outdoors—whether it’s a gold-soaked sunset, a hike in the woods, or the songs of birds—transports us away from our troubles. And in a year that has seemed so inside out, bringing the outside in has become more important, especially in hotels.
As properties around the world are making changes in lodgings to ensure safety, many also are employing biophilic design, a concept that invites nature into guest rooms, lobbies, and other public spaces to promote well-being and the human connection to nature.
They’re retrofitting once sealed windows to open, where practical and safe. Some are replacing surfaces with natural materials, such as wood or stone. Carpeting is on its way out in some places, replaced with throw rugs or sometimes polished concrete. These changes are meant to make cleaning easier and help assure you that you’re in a COVID-safe zone.
“The health crisis caused by the pandemic is also a design crisis,” wrote Steffen Lehmann, professor of architecture at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, in an email. That not only suggests significant design changes for new buildings, “but more important, in the replanning of existing environments–retrofitting existing buildings, including hotels.”