Sam-Erik Ruttmann Hospitality Tomorrow: Delivering Exceptional Guest Experiences Through Nature Resort Design

Have you ever thought about what makes a hotel truly unforgettable? It’s not just about how the customer is made feel by the service staff , but also the architecture! The architecture of a hotel gives the first impression and  customer service is the additional important layer providing the  lasting impression on guests, and once they leave makes them want to come back again and again. When a hotel is conceptualized, architects  have one goal in mind: creating spaces and creating memorable  moments that transport guests to another world, and as memorable gifts to bring with them. 

The comprehensive hotel experience is a journey that starts by the arrival through the gates to the hotel estate. You arrive at the main entrance, are warmly welcomed by the hotel staff. The journey continues through every single touch point, until it is time to bid ¨Bon Voyage¨. 

One of those memorable experiences for me was the arrival to The Chedi Hotel in Muscat, Oman. We drove along a narrow winding road with high sand dunes surrounding us, and no site of the hotel. Suddenly the majestic hotel appeared in front of us. It is a palace of a luxury design that combines contemporary Asia flair with subtle Omani undertones. The palace rises amidst the elegant landscaped garden oasis designed by a landscape architect. We were amazed about the  great first impression of a magnificent place we were about stay for few days. We stepped out of the car and were greeted warmly by the hotel staff, and  escorted to the elegant lobby. We saw in the distance the serene waters of the Gulf of Oman, and felt we had arrived to a place like no other. 


Image by The Chedi Muscat

Unique and Immersive Experiences 

To create an immersive experience that truly wows guests, hospitality architects need to think about every single aspect of the hotel – from the way it looks to the way it works for the guest seemlessly. It’s like putting together a puzzle, and every piece needs to fit perfectly. When nature resort architects do it right, they create an amazing experience that guests will remember for a lifetime. 

To do this successfully requires designing every aspect of the hotel with your guests in mind: from their first interaction with the brand until they leave again (or even longer). You need a clear understanding of who these guests are  and what experiences and moments they can be offered  so that you can deliver on their needs at every step along their journey. 

It is important to discuss in detail with the developer their vision for the hotel. Once the hotel operator and hotel brand is on board it is crucial to get their views and input on; 

  • What defines their brand 
  • The brand philosophy 
  • The brand values 
  • Who defines the brand ( what experiences is their target customer seeking) 
  • The brand experiences 
  • What sets the brand apart 


We hear often that certain hotels are for particular travellers. Broadly travellers have been divided to groups such as, 

  • Backpackers 
  • Retirees 
  • Families 
  • Solo travellers 
  • FIT’s (free independent  travellers) 
  • Couples 
  • Vacationers 
  • Adventurers 
  • Medical tourists 
  • Business travellers 
  • etc. 

However paradigm shift has changed this way of thinking, and I would argue that it is not enough and  not applicable to simply group target customers that broadly, as the needs of the customers are changing.  

In fact customers should defined by their beliefs and values rather than the standard demographics, and this has an impact on the designs being made. 

The stressful life we are living in  has resulted in people traveling to resorts for example for wellness reasons, and to find themselves for well-being reasons. This reason for traveling can fit any of the above  mentioned travellers groups. 

Customers today want experiences they have personal connection with, and makes them see their own lives in a different way. Brands and hotels that drive emotional responses will be the ones that last, and designers have an important role to play in this regard. There is an old saying that if you  you don’t understand your customer, how else will you meet and exceed their expectations. 

Wellness in pursuit of health and happiness 

Wellness is action orientated about the pursuit of health and happiness, for example venturing into a national park with a off road bike to explore the nature. Combining the stay at a  high end Spa to get your yearly preventive health screening, or pampering treatments. Perhaps seek help from a life coach to help changes in your life for better. 

Nature Resort architects look at  the nature for inspiration and prepare some interesting viewing points for the guest, like place to view the sun rise or sunset, perhaps an area for star gazing, or creating a walking path into the orchards to smell the flowers, which we would summarize as a sustainable experience. 


At the Solea Valley project we design in Cyprus, in the mountain area we designed seating areas with the stunning viewing of the valley, or a walking path leading to the national park and back. The large orchards  are the home of 200 bee hives. Its an eye opening experience to follow and  observe the master bee keeper, and to learn about the fascinating and intricate details of the production of organic honey.  The spa  will also house an Apitherapy center. The center will provide holistic treatment utilizing be venom. These apitherapy treatments are managed by licensed medical professionals. These treatments are sought by people suffering from arthritis. Over and above honey is also an excellent remedy to be enjoyed, and  honey when applied to your face will leave the skin soft.


Designing a hotel that caters to the unique needs of its guests is a truly rewarding and fulfilling experience. By taking a personalized and holistic approach, you can create a space that encourages interaction and socializing among guests and staff, resulting in a memorable and enjoyable stay. The power of sustainable hotel design is truly remarkable in setting your hotel apart from others in its market segment, and it’s an opportunity to showcase your creativity and passion for hospitality.

Hospitality Tomorrow is a blog series by Sam-Erik Ruttmann our Director of Global Hospitality Development.