Plan view sketch of resort concept in Mexico

Resort Planning

Have you ever noticed that most advertisements for resorts include the swimming pool? There is a subconscious biological reason for this: Blue Mind. It is the result of great marketing but it only works after great planning has created a winning watershape – a memorable pool that makes guests want to stay for lunch and drinks throughout the day.

We begin our lives in amniotic fluid that is remarkably similar to seawater. Our bodies are made up of about the same amount of water as that which covers Mother Earth (71%). We are attracted to water and when we search for the ideal vacation destination we instinctively pursue resorts with beautiful pools.

Successful resorts require more than just surficial details. Elements and principles of design are tools but they must be applied to the project with a keen sense of expected use and flow of guests entering, interacting with, and leaving the space.

The Villa Resort

For example, a client wished to have one large resort pool but the concept was flawed because the expansive size dividing the property meant that guests had to traverse a long path around the watershape to reach the other side where restaurants and other amenities were located. Additionally, the 4 star resort would likely attract guests without kids and it seemed prudent to have an “adult pool” free of youthful noise and distractions.

The site also had a slight grade to it so we conceived a vanishing edge adult pool 30″ higher than the family pool, separated by a winding wood “bridge” that would also allow guests direct access across and between the two watershapes.

Resort concept sketch
This draft resort concept sketch was developed for a specific site and included several desired features discussed with the clients during the initial kickoff meeting. The primary purposes of this sketch was to open up a more detailed dialog about concepts and details with the client before moving to the schematic design phase of the project.

Plenty of sun-shelves supporting in-pool lounge chairs, multiple hot tubs, arbors and sail sunscreens provided options for relaxing and rejuvenating. A beach entry, sand-bottom wading pool and small waterslide provided hours of entertainment for younger kids as well.

Resort planning begins with a programming document that attempts to list and rank the many competing goals of the project.