Planning a superyacht bathroom, beach club or spa
Last updated: 22/12/2016
A superyacht will have a variety of different bathing and wellness areas aboard; from crew bathrooms and functional heads, to the grand bathrooms of the owner and VIP suites, and not forgetting the expansive on-board beach clubs and spas.
Yachting Pages discovers the key to superyacht bathroom and spa design, from design and décor trends, through to the most innovative toys and technologies that make design dreams become reality.
Superyacht bathrooms vs. superyacht beach clubs and spas
Matthias Dornbracht, managing director of Dornbracht International GmbH, specialists in the creation of innovative designer bathroom fittings and accessories explained the design and usage differences between the bathroom and wellness areas aboard a superyacht, detailing the features that should be considered to make these the most relaxing and functional spaces possible.
Matthias said of superyacht bathrooms, “The owner’s bathroom on board will be a reflection of the most private ideas of the superyacht owner; after all, it is among the most truly private places on the boat.
“Needless to say it should be spacious - it seems astounding to me how many bathrooms within the owner’s suite lack this space. Showers must not be cramped into tiny enclosures, and head-room, setup allowing, must be ample. Why do only the very best rooms have space to sit comfortably, while bathrooms confine users to an ugly stool tucked under the basin?
“Control of ever-more technical details must remain simple. Even at the top end of the bathroom experience, with fittings such as Dornbracht’s SensatorySky shower, features must be operated at the touch of a button for a great bathing experience.”
On-board beach clubs
Matthias explained, “The superyacht beach club will have a totally different set up. It is less private, meant for more people, and it is exposed to the elements. It has to serve functions for cleaning, rinsing and relaxing. The more you combine the necessary functions with added benefits here, the better.
“The right shower will add fun; use one to sit down in and create a shower with the best panoramic views that the ocean offers. Use a drinking fountain with hot and cold water and serve teas and infusions here instead of bringing it in from the galley.”
Matthias continued, “Ask anyone, be it a client on land or at sea, to tell you the most pampering, soothing manmade environment that they can imagine, and a spa will spring to mind. The spa has finally made the transition from an oversized, revamped bathroom and it has become a space of your very own.
“The right spa décor will create a cozy interior, reflecting a longing for security and having safe place on your own to withdraw from daily trouble, is one of the driving forces pushing spas on board with such momentum.
“Water is the defining element within any superyacht spa, differentiating it from a fitness room and other spaces on board. Water will provide the one thing any clients will harvest from a visit to the spa: Energy. Energy is heat from water, massage from moving water, and the right fragrances, all of which are best transported by water. Materials are therefore developed accordingly. A spa needs better means to speed up and maximise water flow and temperatures, and additions to water have never been controlled better than nowadays. On the other hand, all relevant materials have to withstand detrimental conditions, such as salt, steam and extreme and changing heat.
“One of the most important aspects of the superyacht spa is not its ‘gadgets’, but its human beings. Crew can maintain bathrooms, but a spa needs to be operated by professionals. Not just for massage, a spa requires a manager to be able to control this entity both inside and outside the walls. For the designer and builder alike, a spa on board takes much more attention-to-detail at a very early stage of planning the interior.”
Superyacht bathroom and spa design trends and technologies
Just as with the rooms in the home, design and décor trends and the fashionable fixtures and fittings aboard a superyacht also evolve over time, each creating new bathing environments for a different relaxation experience.
A bold contrast to the familiar neutral bathroom and spa décor, the introduction of black accents and finishes to faucets, bathtubs, lighting and tiles is becoming increasingly popular aboard, helping to prevent these sanative spaces from becoming too clinical and sterile.
Matthias Dornbracht, managing director of Dornbracht International GmbH shared that 2015 has seen bathroom and spa décor moving from clinical chromes to warming metallics.
He said, “We [Dornbracht] introduced our new copper gold finish last year, and just in time it seems. The trend from 2013 has, at least as far as we are concerned, definitely materialised. All is getting a little warmer, as finishes move from highly-architectural matt and platinum to more golden and brass hues.”
High-tech technology for the yacht bathroom
Dornbracht introduced us to the world of SensorySky (pictured below). SensorySky will probably be one of the best showers you will ever have; with settings provided to change the type of rain, mist, light and even fragrance, this ultimate shower will make a fine addition to any luxury yacht bathroom.
Lighting and LED bathtubs
Lights, lights, lights and more lights: Nothing sets the mood right for relaxing in the tub better than low-level lighting. Enhance the bathroom with innovating lighting and inventive light fittings where they will be least expected.
Chandeliers are decadent, playful and show class – a great signature finishing touch no matter what the style of the bathroom. On the other hand, Aquamass Design has developed controlled LED lighting for the bathtub that is coordinated by your smart phone (pictured above).
The ‘Big 25 D-Lighting’ tub comes in white, bold orange and green, adding a splash of colour to what can be considered to be one of the most clinical room’s aboard. This bathtub is of a translucent plasticryl finish and features subtle LED lighting, making for a gorgeous feature.
If a television is a must for the bathroom, beach club or spa, it’s a great idea to disguise it as an architectural element to help it to look less obtrusive and draw focus from the room - even something as simple as a visual parallel with another feature will work to disguise the television.
It’s obviously important to ensure the television is waterproof, and ideally fog proof too to prevent any moisture getting into the circuits.
As the name suggests, the Hydra Television is a waterproof television, perfect for viewing in these areas. This 19’’ LCD television is small enough to hide when not in use. When money is no object, a price tag of $3,000+ for a custom-coloured product will not break the bank and will make a nice and subtle addition to a well-equipped bathroom.
Smart phones, smart tablets and smart taps: The SmartFaucet from iHouse is an intelligent tap which uses facial recognition to identify users in order to automatically adjust the water temperature and flow to their preferences - Not an essential gadget, but certainly one to impress visitors.
Arguably, the Japanese can be seen as the masters of toilet tech, and they haven’t disappointed with Toto’s Neorest 550; a luxury toilet that plays relaxing sound effects on demand, such as the sound of a babbling brook or waves crashing on a beach.
Read our guide to choosing bathroom furniture and accessories to perfect your bathroom design with the ideal sizing and materials.