But luxury is changing. The current Gensler index claims design has a quantifiable impact on experience – ignore social space at your peril but be aware that single-use space is becoming obsolete. The gal thinks of such beautiful city hotels as Los Angeles’ Bel-Air and Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, Bal Harbour’s St Regis, Paris’ Peninsula and many more.
When it comes to resorts, less is more, and LUX*, based in Mauritius, does this brilliantly, with unique elements of fun. At LUX* Belle Mare, Mauritius (a conversion of the boring old Beau Rivage), designer Kelly Hoppen has put displays of panama hats on some walls. Similarly, at LUX* South Ari Atoll in The Maldives, Thai design company P49 made over-bed lighting into an art feature (see above), and wall art in villa 140 includes a witty take on an eyesight-testing chart.
Design does not have to be expensive but it should be well thought out, and not intrude. And when it works, guests at luxury hotels are happy, and so are operators and owners and it is win-win all round.