Yurts are the chameleons of the architectural world – they are suited to a variety of settings, from ski resorts to national parks to beachside accommodations. Easy setup/takedown, affordability, and singular design are just some of the myriad qualities that draw people towards them.
Simultaneously, yurt visitors are aware of their connection to the natural world within a yurt. Modern construction cuts us off from the sounds and sights of nature. Yurts’ tough walls and roofs are still permeable to sound; their dome skylights allow sunlight inside.
Resort visitors will also be drawn to yurts as earth-friendly structures. Yurt construction is gentle on the surrounding earth; all that is required is enough space for an underlying wooden platform. Compared to traditional framed construction, yurts cause far less environmental disturbance.
Filled with natural light, spacious, and circular, yurts are wonderful locations for practicing yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and other forms of relaxing movement. They are also perfect for wellness retreat centers, spa spaces, and massage therapy rooms. Indeed, one eco-psychologist in Portland now offers yurt therapy from a yurt situated behind a family health center.
Sole proprietors will find that a single yurt room is enough to sustain their businesses. However, larger resorts may instead choose to construct multiple yurts with various purposes. Retreat centers may build “yurt villages,” including a large yurt for group activities, and smaller yurts for sleeping accommodations.
When building out a yurt for retreat and relaxation, attention to details is key. Flooring is a principal concern because it tends to set the mood. Red oak, cherry, hard maple make gorgeous yurt flooring. Cork is another excellent choice—it is natural, eco-friendly, and slightly buoyant to the touch.
To facilitate healing techniques, it may be necessary to add electricity and running water. Massage therapists, for instance, will need a wired, plumbed structure to support water therapy, heating pads, and massage rock warmers. Typically, these utilities are brought up through the yurt’s flooring, underneath the support platform.
Whatever your wellness approach, there is a yurt size and arrangement to suit your needs. Take a look at some of the features to include in yurts when building wellness retreat centers, massage/spa rooms, and meditation/fitness areas.
Check out our checklist below, and download the PDF here.