His and hers superyacht bathroom and the place to be at the start and end of every day.
Unique, not uniform
Andrew Winch Designs has created some of the most complex and exquisite bathrooms seen aboard superyachts. Each strives to evoke harmony, space and relaxation, regardless of the yacht’s size.
Andrew, whose philosophy is to turn his clients’ dreams into reality, said, “Each of our projects is totally unique, reflecting our clients’ tastes and lifestyle. When it comes to bathroom design, we continue with these values to create individual areas tailored specifically to our clients’ needs.”
Andrew continued, “As with every aspect of our projects, communication is essential. Establishing whether the clients would prefer separate ‘his and hers’ bathrooms and the sort of facilities preferred are all addressed from the outset, and incorporated into each project.
“Attention to detail is vital to the success of each our designs. We recently designed an exquisite bath carved from a solid block of onyx marble. Weighing in at a staggering 0.5 ton, specialised engineering was incorporated to ensure the water temperature would not decrease too quickly. Experience showers and even unique details such as refrigerated make-up units have been incorporated on occasion, too.”
Emily Naumann, of Reymond Langton said:
“Years ago, bathrooms were functional rooms with easy-clean tiles and standard equipment. Now, decoration and atmosphere play just as important a role as practicality. Bathrooms are seen as much more than purely functional spaces. They need to be inviting, relaxing and reviving.
“Our bathrooms are always designed in conjunction with the bedrooms of the owner or guest suites. We repeat certain materials and design details from the bedroom in the bathroom, building connections between both rooms and giving the bathroom a warmer, cosier feel.
“We often use sliding doors. When these doors are kept open the suites feel more spacious and enjoy better circulation. We’ve also designed open-plan suites with no doors between bedroom and bathroom. For one design, the bedroom and bathroom were under the same ceiling, divided by a medium height wall, allowing the design to flow between both areas.”
Emily continued, “To heighten a bathroom’s enjoyment, adaptable lighting concepts are needed ranging from ‘getting dressed brightness’ to more relaxing ‘hot bath’ settings. As weight is always an issue on board, we use thin-cut stone where possible, though this doesn’t work for all materials. We can also introduce beautifully panelled timber walls and parquet flooring to add warmth and softness. We strive to ensure that our bathrooms feel like little spas within their suites.”
Jonny Horsfeld, principle of London-based H2 Design, believes there are two kinds of yacht bathrooms. A functional guest bathroom, and a grand owner’s bathroom. He said, “Due to relative lack of space, the guest bathrooms are generally pretty compact and rectangular. We tend to advise clients to go with comfortable showers rather than bathtubs, or to reduce the number of tubs.
“We enjoy designing bathrooms for grander owners’ suites, which combine dressing areas and bedroom. Though often open plan, in reality most clients still want some level of privacy including separate enclosed WCs for each, a bath for the wife and a large shower for the client. On Talisman 2 we designed an interesting split-level bathroom with the shower upstairs, above the bathtub.”
From bath to objet d’art
In Germany, Franz Kaldewei believes that the filigree designs on their enamelled shower surfaces and bathtubs transform them into individual design objects.
They told SYOG, “Nothing cheers us more after a cold winter than watching spring awaken, with buds bursting and a plethora of plants displaying their first blooms. Our floral trends are inspired by this, from baths decorated with durable ornamental lily patterns to statement showers with individually enamelled surfaces.” This delicate flower décor, from award-winning design firm Phoenix Design Stuttgart/Tokyo, harmoniously adds an element of eye-catching spring freshness to Kaldewei’s timeless enamelled products.
Water goes digital
Matthias Voit, key account holder at Dornbracht describes their business as a globally active family-run manufacturer of high-quality fittings and accessories for bathrooms and kitchens. Highly-qualified employees and the most modern production technologies guarantee the highest manufacturing quality.
With ‘Culturing Life’ as its brand claim, the company broadens its foundations of competence in the areas of design and water: technological progress in terms of connectivity and convenience, and prevention in terms of health and well-being, increasingly characterise the brand orientation and product developments of the future.
It seems that combining electronics with water is very much the next step in bathroom evolution. In a world where technology now often dictates how we spend our time, how we organise our lives and with whom and how we communicate, it seems that Dornbracht have really jumped on board.
The possibilities available when using their products are akin to a science fiction film set far into the future. Imagine a bathtub that fills at a touch of a button, to your required temperature, adding a splash of the latest bubble bath, or a shower experience that can imitate a waterfall, including the smells and sounds of an outdoor bathing adventure.
The wonders of wood
Alegna AG of Switzerland is another bathtub supplier with a time-honoured superyacht pedigree. With considerable experience in yacht building, Alegna AG understand how to incorporate high quality, expertly varnished woods with the most modern composites to produce wonderfully characterful bathtubs of impeccable quality, designed to retain their charm for years.
A leader in the realm of superyacht spas is 4 Season Spa, headed up by Willem-Jan Kuipers in the Netherlands. Ideally placed to collaborate with yacht builders across Europe and beyond, their speciality is spa and wellness equipment from saunas and steam rooms to whirlpools and swimming pools. With conversation-stopping kit at the heart of bathing suites, on-board spas and decks, 4 Season Spa is already working with five new-build superyachts in the making at four leading Dutch shipyards.
Bathe your troubles away
It is said that the bathroom denotes the start and end of every day. Making this room a space to relax in and enjoy should be a priority. Like good food, an exquisite bathroom can enhance any visit or holiday, and an average washroom can put many people off the most luxurious of locations. It seems though, that the genetic makeup of a bathroom is changing.
At a recent seminar in London, the question “who actually uses a bidet anymore?” was aired, and after a stifled giggle, the room of leading superyacht experts agreed that the bidet may have had its day. 20 years ago a bathroom of any worth would include a bidet, but most modern, western bathrooms have forgone this misunderstood bathroom fitting in exchange for high-tech gadgets, separate multi-person showers, flat screen TV’s to watch your favourite show in the bath, surround sound systems and touchscreen water temperature controls.
The Eastern world and the Japanese in particular have taken a different view, and by 2010, 72% of their domestic toilets were a combination of the bidet and flush toilet commonly called washlets.
The age old art of keeping clean
This is unsurprising when you delve into the cultural nuances surrounding the age old art of keeping clean. A typical western washing experience is short, practical and something to get out of the way before you get on with your day. Barring the occasional candlelit bath with champagne on the side, (and let’s be honest, how often does that actually happen) washing is functional and to the point. Put yourself on the other side of the world and bathing transforms into something beautiful. Washing your body is ritualistic.
Slow, practised and all-encompassing, bathing is a custom, a tradition to be enjoyed but taken very seriously. You wash away the daily grime on your skin, but also cleanse away the stresses and strains you picked up along the way.
With that much emphasis on a good scrub in the tub, improvements to the commode were sure to happen. It is important to keep clean and unclean areas separated in Japan. House interiors, including bathrooms, are considered clean. The latrine is considered unclean. Special slippers are worn solely in the restroom to make sure you don’t walk from a dirty area to a clean one.
While you are in there though, wearing your slippers, imagine toilets that are capable of measuring the user’s body fat, blood pressure and level of sugar in the urine and then reporting the statistic to your doctor. Contemplate seats that warm your bottom while you wait, self-deodorising units and clever little devices called the Otohime, also known as the Sound Princess, which mimic the noise of a toilet flushing to protect a ladies dignity.
All of these products are widely available to the superyacht market, so whether you charter your superyacht and want to make sure your guests enjoy the best possible experience from bathroom to bow thruster, or if you simply want to future-proof your own facilities, look to the East for inspiration.
However, to find out how Roman bathes, you’ll have to charter Eclipse. But to emulate the legendary lavish Romans themselves – inventors and innovators of the modern day bath as we know it – find inspiration for your superyacht in the SYOG suggestions above.