First resort

A speculation of post-pandemic hospitality.

COVID-19 has left us with a ‘new normal’ to govern our lives; constant usage of face masks, temperature checks, rigorous hand sanitation, location tracking and physical distancing will linger on throughout the days and even years to come. Amidst our fears of this invisible foe, the yearning to travel, explore and escape has never been stronger, amplified through the lockdowns between and within countries, forcing the vast majority of our global population to shelter in the confines of their homes over long periods of time. It stands to reason that a new concept of travel and the getaway might emerge from this isolating pandemic. We beguile ourselves with the idea of a West World-esque ‘Sanitised Resort’—a safe haven for those yearning to escape, to relax, be amongst fellow travellers and be tended to while in a secure and traceable environment, momentarily putting thoughts of confinement and distancing behind them.
A dedicated train arrives at major city transport hubs, to shuttle travellers to and from the resort located far from densely inhabited areas. Upon arrival, visitors enter the resort through a portal which scans for temperature and provides thorough sanitation to all guests and belongings, through UV irradiation and other developing germicidal technologies.
The resort will be a model for carefree mobility and convenience, all transactions and actions being powered through each guest’s dedicated wrist band; accessing hotel rooms, paying for meals, buying drinks in the pool bar or booking facilities will be contactless and trackable through simple scans. Each guest will also be required to input mucus swabs onto a receptive plate on the wristband every 24 hours to check for any signs of infection. Lack of input will lock out all access to facilities, including guest rooms, except for designated holding areas. As all actions and movement are logged, contact tracing can be easily carried out should any outbreak clusters occur within the resort.
An immersive activity zone is situated behind another portal, where guests will be sanitised again before entering the ‘wild west’. A mini-city of sorts, this zone houses museums, sports arenas, man-made beach clubs, nightclubs, bars, restaurants and other such activities. Guests will be able to mingle freely and easily flow between various areas. The ways out are through dedicated sanitation pool exits. Not only will guests be thoroughly rinsed down to eliminate potential viruses lingering on the skin, the waves and water jets allow for a relaxing swim directly back to guest suites through private patios.
Each suite comes furnished with lavish beds and baths, a lounge, separate study, green space and alfresco dining overlooking an expansive inner courtyard. The typical guest is provided not only with luxurious space, but viable accommodations for a non-suppressive quarantine if required. A suite functions as a singular home, allowing for quick and non-disruptive transitions from relaxation to quarantine mode.
Other small, unobtrusive additions will be implemented throughout the resort. From motion-sensor doors requiring hand sanitation to open, to face shields on waitstaff serving food on trays with vacuumed sealed lids, precautions from the new normal will be quietly introduced to uphold safety. Dining, even within larger restaurants and halls will evolve into something of an exclusive, private event, where guests will be housed within small to mid-sized private rooms and pods.
Bars, instead of the conventional long format, will sport a wave-like profile where guests stand at stipulated concaved points to order drinks, each point minimally one meter apart from the next. Patrons then select a booth on a distanced grid they would like to enjoy their night in.
This fantasy for a safe space to relax, socialise and reclaim the way of life we had prior to COVID-19’s outbreak grows stronger as we realise that the world may never be the same again. As absurd as they may seem now, some of these interventions in the Sanitised Resort may hold potential directions for the evolution of travel and recreation, as we navigate the wild west of a post-pandemic world.