General Planning Guidelines

General Planning Guidelines


Facility Planning (Operating Plan Phase)

Important considerations when planning the location of a Discovery Well Being spa or wellness facility
  • Position the facility to avoid sources of environmental and service noises and vibrations, such as roadways, active gathering spaces (parks, public pools, recreation, sports facilities), and service areas (loading docks, trash/dumpsters, mechanical equipment, receiving docks, maintenance facilities.)
  • The spa will be accessed by members with various intentions as well as staff and other service traffic. The arrival sequence and circulation for each intention must be carefully planned:
    • Members using the entire facility
    • Members using the spa services only
    • Members using fitness facilities only
    • Members using the fitness facilities and the transition spaces
    • Members using only nail or salon services
    • Members using only the retail areas
    • Disabled members
    • Also, support traffic (deliveries, laundry, F&B, maintenance)
  • Create a guest circulation path to access the facility without passing through general function spaces, restaurants, or back-of-house trafficways.
  • Situate the facility on the site to avoid sources of odors that detract from the experience such as kitchen exhaust, and laundry exhaust.
  • Whenever possible, exploit views to scenic vistas, courtyards, and other landscaped areas.
  • It is preferred that all areas have access to natural light. Position these spaces in order of importance to take advantage of windows.
    • Position the arrival and retail to capitalize on pedestrian and vehicle access.
    • Locate the cardio areas in fitness with views to the outside.
    • Nail and salon functions require good light.
    • Waiting or relaxation areas benefit from natural light, but ensure that there is privacy.
    • Windows, natural light, and outdoor connections are desirable in treatment rooms but require attention to noise and privacy concerns. Windows and doors in these rooms are typically covered throughout the treatment unless noise and privacy are not a concern.
  • Group quiet spaces such as treatment rooms and sleep cabin functions away from active and noisy spaces like fitness, salon, or support areas.
  • Position exterior swimming pools and decks to permit exposure to the sun for the majority of the day. Balance these areas with shaded areas incorporating landscaping, umbrellas, and shade structures in the design.
  • Evaluate parking requirements if any and plan appropriately for the expected volume of daily member visitors including those with disabilities. Shelter exterior entrances from traffic noise with landscaping, and a sensitive orientation to the parking area.
  • Separate the delivery, laundry, and employee facility access from guest access.
  • Determined whether the Discovery Well Being facility will receive food and beverage service from other property facilities or if they will prepare items within the DWB facility. Plan and locate spaces appropriately.

Guest Experience

In order for the guest to fully relax and enjoy their experience, it is important to consider the following guidelines in the design:


  • Design the facility to provide a clear privacy division between genders in areas where guests are disrobed. Segregate robed guests from other types of guests such as fitness and those guests dressed in “street clothes.”
    • Evaluate sightlines at doors and hallways to avoid views from public areas into private areas that may have nudity.
    • Baffled or angled door entrances or a sequence of doors are recommended at the locker room access points.
    • Evaluate views and sight lines from windows and skylights to ensure that private areas of the facility are not compromised.
    • Keep in mind that many areas benefit from exterior views if an acceptable amount of privacy is maintained.
    • If waiting lounges are utilized, maintain separate waiting rooms for men and women. Attendants of either gender greet spa guests in this area. Therefore, plan the waiting area to avoid views into the locker, grooming, and wet lounge areas.
    • Evaluate the location of mirrors and reflective surfaces to avoid indirect views that could compromise private areas.


  • Guests assume a credible facility is impeccably clean and sanitary. Any indication or perception (sight, smell, or touch) to the contrary will undermine the guests’ ability to relax and enjoy their experience.
    • Provide adequate and easily accessible janitor and housekeeping facilities to support frequent cleanings.
    • Design the mechanical systems to ventilate spaces at rates that exceed code requirements. Carefully zone the heating and cooling systems to manage temperature, moisture, and odors.
    • The heating and air-conditioning system must reduce humidity in wet areas and maintain a reasonable level of humidity in dry areas.
    • Provide sloped floors and drains in wet areas (wet lounge, shower areas, toilets, pool decks, hydrotherapy rooms, janitor closets, steam rooms, kitchens, saunas, etc.) to assist with frequent cleaning.
    • Provide a concealed hose bib and faucet at wet areas for ease of cleaning.