World Class Resorts: Choosing the Right Resort Architect

World Class Resorts: Choosing the Right Resort Architect

Choosing selecting resort architect

Do you want to develop an average, good or great resort?  Your choice of architect inevitably impacts how visitors experience the resort. The importance of choosing the right resort architect goes without saying.

In this post we go beyond the professional and technical aspects of selecting an architect. Instead we bring to your attention qualitative considerations that’s perhaps even more important in any resort development process.

Beyond Functional

At a fundamental level your architect can simply ensure that the resort design is functional. Everything about the resort works. Yet something is missing. Something that’s not easily put in words yet when you experience the resort you know ‘it’.  That ‘it’ can mean the difference between a good resort and a great one. ‘It’ can mean repeat visits, word-of-mouth endorsement and media recognition. Isn’t that what you’re seeking!

Resort architecture beyond functional

Qualitative Considerations

So what are some of these qualitative aspects that should manifest in your resort?

Architecture & Planning

How well does your architect handle –  topography, entry spaces, building massing, spatial proportions, flow of spaces, proportion of architectural elements, harnessing views, building materials, natural lighting, or harmonizing with the local architecture? In other words is the experience coherent?


How well does your architect take into consideration the impact of local weather on the overall design? Is the design sympathetic to local conditions or fighting against it?


How well does your architect interface with the engineers to seamlessly integrate building structure, mechanical & electrical systems and spaces? Does the design work well the technical aspects or does there appear to be needless clashes?


How well does your architect work with the landscape architect to integrate interior and exterior spaces? Do the interior/exterior spaces interface well or is there a sudden transition that’s awkward?


How well does your architect interface with interior designer in selection of interior materials and fixtures? Does the interior design enhance the resort experience or is it a misplaced effort?


How well does your architect work with the hotel management company to integrate the back-of-house (BOH) and front-of-house?  Is the BOH unobstrusive yet serving its function?

The Whole

Lastly, don’t look at these qualitative aspects in isolation. Have a look at the architects completed projects.  Experience how the resort has been integrated as a whole. Its not unlike listening to a piece of music. You listen in entirety.


1. The Modern Thai Resort Context

The thesis Design Guidelines for Modern Thai Architecture in Resort Context by Khiensak Seangklieng further elaborate on these principles.

2. Resort Architecture in South East Asia

(Re) Presenting the Vernacular / (Re) Inventing Authenticity : Resort Architecture in South East Asia by Tan Hock Beng

Photos: Jaime Perez, Bill McIntyre

Share this article Email this to someonePrint this pageShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+