This month, our Luxe Lavs series on the world’s best hotel bathrooms goes outside for summer to cool down in some of the best outdoor showers. Think local plants, fresh air and one-of-a-kind views from the shower. Contributors Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno share four of the best outdoor bathrooms to visit this summer.
On the Big Island of Hawaii, you’ll find some great outdoor showers at the Four Seasons Hualalai. This isn’t your typical high-rise tropical resort. Instead, when they opened the resort in 1995, they made an effort to blur the interior and exterior spaces by creating independent vacation “homes” as one and two story buildings. The bathroom cross from indoor to outdoor. Its mostly glass walls include operable windows over the tub and a glass interior shower door that opens onto the private, lava-walled garden. The exterior shower is located just outside the door with a rustic bamboo rain shower spout. The shower experience includes lava stone pebbles and tropical island plants that can include Orchids, Silver Queens, White Ginger and various palms. You’ll wash up with custom line of amenities created just for this resort called The Kawili Project by L`Oeil du Vert, which is made with hand blended organic raw materials from Hawaiian oils, salts, sugars, and land and sea botanicals.
Our next stop is the old mining town of Dunton, Colorado. The town was originally established in 1885 as a series of log structures spanning almost a mile, but by 1910 it was a Ghost Town. In 1994 the current owners bought and renovated the entire place (including the friendly spirits of the past), and today Dunton Hot Springs is a cozy and exclusive resort. Echo, one of the original miners’ cabins, has an outdoor shower with a powerful view of the Rocky Mountains. To give privacy, the shower is enclosed by corrugated metal rather than wood. Echo cabin’s only shower is outdoors so sometimes at night the pipes freeze rendering the shower useless! Instead, guests sometimes use the nearby natural sulphur-free hot spring bathhouse. Guests still clamor for the historic room though.
Heading west, the L’Auberge de Sedona is a rustic, but luxurious resort on the banks of Oak Creek in Sedona’s Red Rock Country. Recently they renovated and redesigned the bathrooms and created outdoor open-roofed showers in the suites. The outdoor showers expose a panoramic view of the Sedona scenery as well as the starry nights of Arizona. L’Auberge de Sedona even offers an astronomy tour by an expert, so guests can learn about constellations. The open air shower is made from cedar wood and perfect for two, so the smell of the wilderness is provided in the fragrant walls as well as the cool outdoor air. The Gilchrist & Soames bath products are set up in each shower along with TY cotton bathrobes. For extra pampering we were impressed with their shower butler service: After a massage, the therapist “draws a shower” for guests, leaving body scrub, body butter and a loofah for the finale. For all nature-lovers and Luxe Lavs addicts, L’Auberge De Sedona is calling!
Lastly, we travel to the Dominican Republic, where the Zoetry Agua Punta Cana is dedicated to environmental responsibility. One part of that focus is the eco-experience of showering outdoors on a private patio made from eco-friendly materials. Natural stones, hardwoods, cathedral ceilings and cane thatched roofs surround guests as they relax and massage under multiple shower jet settings. With a nod to the Dominican Republic’s history, Zoetry Agua provides Spanish products, Natura Bisse, for guests’ outdoor shower treatments. Local flora landscapes the private patios and local artists’ stone-work adds small touches to the shower experience. Some suites have French doors that open onto the shower so guests can fling open the doors and invite some nature inside.
Don’t miss out on out other Luxe Lavs spotlights highlighting wacky, weird and wonderful bathrooms from all around the world.
By Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno for PeterGreenberg.com