Hotels bring the outdoors inside

To help guests feel calm and closer to nature, hotels are bringing the outdoors inside.

At Ellerman House in Cape Town, South Africa, the hotel’s wine gallery was influenced by the Japanese design principle of katei, which weaves the outdoors into architectural spaces; the gallery looks out at an extensive vertical garden featuring indigenous plants, a koi pond and a landscaped walkway (room rates from about $460 per night).

In Miami Beach, 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach was designed to reflect the natural world, with 3,000 feet of living wall wrapping the exterior, made up of 11,000 local tropical plant varieties. There are nods to nature throughout, with a moss mural in the lobby entrance, suspended terrariums and a lab where guests can make their own terrariums (rooms from $400 per night).

Others weave in more sweeping natural elements. The Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort in Costa Rica, on 1,100 acres of rain forest, replicates a lush rain forest feeling through an entryway featuring indigenous plants and flowers (rooms from approximately $340 a night).

At Big Cedar Lodge in the Ozark mountain range in Missouri, the 18,000-square-foot wilderness-inspired spa has aspen trees, river stones and moss flanking the hallway entrance.

Ma Yansong, founder of MAD Architects, who has designed nature-inspired hotels like the Conrad Hotel Beijing and Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring resort, says that hotels are increasingly realizing that natural elements can enhance a guest’s experience.

“People need to feel connected to nature in order to find their place in the city; bringing nature into our design can help bridge that connection,” he said.