From Concept to Construction: A Step-by-Step Guide to Resort Design

by | Jun 2, 2023

Designing a resort is no easy feat. It requires meticulous planning, attention to detail, and a deep understanding of both the industry and the target market. From the initial concept phase to the final construction, each step is crucial to creating a successful and profitable resort.

As an interior designer specializing in hotels and resorts, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the best resort brands in the industry. Through my experience, I’ve learned the ins and outs of resort design and the key steps required to bring a concept to life. In this article, I’ll take you through a step-by-step guide to resort design, covering everything from market research and site selection to design elements and construction management. Whether you’re a seasoned hospitality professional or just starting out, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and tips to help you create a stunning and profitable resort.

Understanding the target market

Before beginning the design process, it’s important to understand the target market for the resort. This includes identifying the demographic, psychographic, and geographic characteristics of the ideal customer. Demographic characteristics include age, income, education, and occupation. Psychographic characteristics include values, interests, and personality traits. Geographic characteristics include location, climate, and culture.

Once the target market has been identified, it’s important to conduct market research to understand their needs and preferences. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, and online research. The information gathered from this research can be used to inform the design of the resort, from the amenities offered to the overall aesthetic.

When designing a resort, it’s also important to consider the competition in the area. This includes both direct competitors, such as other resorts and hotels, as well as indirect competitors, such as Airbnb rentals and vacation homes. Understanding the competition can help to differentiate the resort and provide a unique selling proposition.

Site analysis and selection

The site selection process is critical to the success of the resort. Your resort’s site should be chosen based on a variety of factors, including location, accessibility, and natural surroundings. The site should also be large enough to accommodate the desired number of rooms, amenities, and outdoor spaces.

Before selecting a site, it’s important to conduct a site analysis to identify any potential challenges or opportunities. This includes analyzing the topography of the site, the soil quality, and any environmental concerns. It’s also important to consider the zoning regulations in the area and ensure that the site is zoned appropriately for resort development.

Once a site has been selected, it’s important to work with a team of experts, including architects, engineers, and environmental consultants, to ensure that the site is suitable for development. This includes conducting a feasibility study to identify any potential challenges and developing a site plan that takes into account the natural surroundings and topography.

Concept development

The concept development phase is where the vision for the resort begins to take shape. This includes developing a brand identity, creating a mission statement, and identifying the key features and amenities of the resort. The concept should be based on the needs and preferences of the target market, as well as the natural surroundings and cultural context of the area.

During the concept development phase, it’s also important to consider the overall guest experience. This includes everything from the check-in process to the amenities offered to the overall aesthetic of the resort. The goal is to create a seamless and memorable experience for guests that keeps them coming back year after year.

Master planning and zoning

Master planning and zoning are critical to the success of the resort. This includes developing a comprehensive site plan that takes into account the natural surroundings, topography, and zoning regulations in the area. The site plan should include the location of all buildings, amenities, and outdoor spaces, as well as the infrastructure required to support the development.

During the master planning phase, it’s also important to consider the long-term sustainability of the resort. This includes designing buildings and amenities that are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, as well as implementing sustainable practices throughout the resort, such as composting and recycling programs.

Architectural design and engineering

The architectural design and engineering phase is where the vision for the resort begins to take shape. This includes creating detailed drawings and plans for each building, as well as the overall layout of the resort. The architectural design should reflect the brand identity and mission statement, as well as the natural surroundings and cultural context of the area.

During the architectural design phase, it’s important to work closely with the engineering team to ensure that the design is both functional and sustainable. This includes designing buildings and amenities that are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, as well as implementing sustainable practices throughout the resort.

Landscape design

The landscape design phase is where the natural surroundings of the resort are incorporated into the design. This includes designing outdoor spaces, such as gardens, pools, and walking paths, that complement the natural beauty of the area. The goal is to create a seamless transition between the built environment and the natural environment.

During the landscape design phase, it’s important to consider the overall guest experience. This includes designing outdoor spaces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, as well as incorporating sustainable practices, such as native plant species and water conservation measures.

Interior design

The interior design phase is where the overall aesthetic of the resort is developed. This includes selecting furniture, fixtures, and finishes that reflect the brand identity and mission statement, as well as the natural surroundings and cultural context of the area. The goal is to create a cohesive and inviting interior that enhances the overall guest experience.

During the interior design phase, it’s important to consider the functionality of each space. This includes selecting furniture and fixtures that are both comfortable and durable, as well as incorporating technology and other amenities that enhance the guest experience.

Construction and project management

The construction and project management phase is where the resort begins to take shape. This includes overseeing the construction process to ensure that the design is implemented correctly and on time. It also includes managing the budget and timeline for the project, as well as ensuring that all necessary permits and approvals are obtained.

During the construction phase, it’s important to work closely with the contractor and other team members to ensure that the design is implemented correctly. This includes conducting regular site visits and inspections, as well as addressing any issues or concerns that arise.

Marketing the resort

The marketing phase is where the resort is introduced to the target market. This includes developing a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes advertising, public relations, and social media. The goal is to create a strong brand identity and awareness that attracts guests and drives bookings.

During the marketing phase, it’s important to consider the overall guest experience. This includes developing a website that is both informative and easy to use, as well as implementing online booking and reservation systems that make the booking process seamless for guests.

Conclusion

Designing a resort is a complex process that requires a deep understanding of both the industry and the target market. From understanding the target market to selecting the right site, developing a concept, and managing the construction process, each step is critical to creating a successful and profitable resort. By following this step-by-step guide, let’s work together and create a stunning and profitable resort that attracts guests and keeps them coming back year after year.

LESLEY WONG, Principal Designer

Lesley is committed to continuously keeping up with ever-changing trends and technology. But as every decorator knows, there’s no greater opportunity for learning than on-the-job experience. Lesley has worked in hospitality, commercial and residential projects and enjoys crafting customized and beautiful environments for her clients.

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