The concept for this project was to add sleeping quarters and a restaurant to the successful spa and hot pools which are open to the public. Eighteen rooms (built in the form of duplexes) were designed to fit into the environment on the hillside above the terraced spa.
The word SPA has been associated with Latin phrase “Sanitas Per Aquam”, meaning “health through water”. Kawilal Spa assures health benefits derived from its thermal water springs emerging from Pacaya volcano's underground watercourses. All organic skin care products and natural materials are used in the spa. The Urbina family is dedicated to the hotel and restaurant being of the same quality and experience. Enhancing health, preserving the environment, as well as supporting the local community are the primary goals of operations and maintenance.
All new employees of the hotel will be given bicycles to use in their commute to and from home. Public transportation is also already available at the new driveway entrance to the hotel. As with the spa, uniforms for employees are made locally, from locally grown organic materials. An organic garden is being developed onsite which will provide herbs and vegetables for the new onsite restaurant. Local residents are already welcome at the spa facilities (this is not a private club) and opportunities for art/handicraft exhibits and sales will be enhanced once hotel is opened. It is important to note that the scale of this spa and hotel is in keeping with the local community, of which the family members and design/construction team have been active contributors for generations.
The hotel will function as an independent project but will share some of the activities with the existing spa and thermal baths. The architectural design had to be distinctive and original, the green roofs have generated a lot of expectations with the project demonstrating best practices from start to finish. When the hotel is operating, it is expected to be a role model of sustainable operatings in Guatemala, and an example of quality with low operating and maintenance costs. The indoor spaces will serve as an art gallery space, providing a platform for younger artist to show and sell their art. The community has been involved in the overall scope of the hotel and everyone is looking to LEED certification to document the project as an outstanding example of sustainable design, construction and operations.