Design for Leisure Expands to Meet Surging Demand for Saunas and European-inspired Thermal Bathing
The hydrothermal design and build specialists have added more designers, project managers and support staff to better serve clients looking to incorporate custom wellness solutions in both commercial and residential properties
March 7, 2023 - As the popularity of communal wellness and hot and cold therapy surges, award-winning hydrothermal spa and wellness specialists Design for Leisure (DFL) is expanding to better serve both new and existing clients. The company, with offices in the US and the UK, has a 30+ year proven track record of creating luxury spa and wellness thermal bathing circuits for commercial and residential clients across the globe.
“For years, most of our clients were well-known hospitality spa brands – with the odd country club, luxury home or multifamily residence thrown in - but now we’re seeing an incredible demand for custom wellness solutions in different and growing segments, like urban bathhouses, social wellness clubs and gyms looking to add more recovery options, especially in North America,” said Matthew Williamson, COO, regarding DFL’s expansion.
In the US, where the company has spent two decades educating and sharing the benefits of traditional European bathing culture with the American market, Williamson leads the team responsible for the installation and build of luxury residential KLAFS saunas and spa suites, as well as commercial hydrothermal bathing circuits found in luxury spas, gyms and bathhouses.
DFL’s hydrothermal design services team operates out of the UK and is led by Don Genders, Founder and CEO. Genders recently expanded the UK team of designers, adding crucial new expertise to the team to better integrate with the latest tools being used by architectural and interior design teams they work with.
“After 20 years serving the US market, it’s incredibly gratifying to be witnessing such unbridled enthusiasm for thermal bathing in the region,” said UK-based Genders. “Back in 2003, wellness-leader Canyon Ranch tapped DFL when it was expanding its offering. I knew then that the US market would be ripe with opportunities, but this current surge is even beyond my expectations.”
Recent DFL projects include: the first-ever purpose-built Event Sauna at Resorts World AWANA Spa & Wellness in Las Vegas; conceptual and planning designs for WORLD SPA, a 50,000 square foot social wellness lounge in Brooklyn; Accor’s new Fairmont Spa Century Plaza in Los Angeles; a new spa at The Edition Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland; a refurbishment at Claridges London spa; and dozens of residential sauna and spa suite installations in Beverly Hills, Montana, NYC and more.
Some of DFL’s earliest build projects in North America include the Canyon Ranch SpaClub at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, Caesars Palace Qua Baths & Spa, Las Vegas, and the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills, CA. All three of these prestige properties continue to stand the test of time – with the same design and layout as when installed in 2007, 2006 and 2005 respectively. Proof that projects that are designed well from the beginning and maintained properly, are still popular and viable a decade and a half later.
“We’re exceedingly proud of our work over the years and are so excited about the future – and being part of the movement to bring hydrothermal bathing to more and more consumers as more accessible bathing options open up in urban areas throughout the US,” said Genders.
About Design for Leisure: Design for Leisure specializes in the design of award-winning hydrothermal spa and wellness environments. Headquartered in London and Austin, TX, the company has been creating high-end, turnkey wet spa areas for both luxury homes and commercial wellness projects for almost three decades. Clients include well-known hospitality and spa brands, such as Disney, Canyon Ranch, Caesars Palace, Four Seasons and Six Senses, as well as well-known architect groups, including Foster and Partners, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Bjark Ingels Group, Michael Graves and Thomas Heatherwick. DFL also owns and operates KLAFS USA, providing market leading saunas, steam rooms and spa suites to residential and commercial markets.