Month: August 2015

Dröm UK head to Sweden

After 18 years of working closely with our Swedish suppliers Tylö, the Directors of Dröm UK have been talking for a while about taking the whole company to visit their offices and showroom in Halmstad, Sweden, which is also where our CEO, Kicki Carlsson, grew up.  So while the trip was mainly work related, it also gave the employees a chance to kick back and relax after a really busy few months, socialise with each other out of the office, make new friends and enjoy the delights of this beautiful Swedish town.

So 8.00 a.m.  Thursday found us all at Gatwick airport eagerly waiting to board the plane to Copenhagen.   From Copenhagen we took the train across the Øresund Bridge, then along the stunning coastline to Halmstad.

Train Journey

After hastily dropping our bags off at the Hotel, we drifted out in various groups to investigate our surroundings.   The weather was gorgeous, hot and sunny, and it wasn’t long before we all found deckchairs by the river and sat down to watch some unexpected live music taking place alongside the pop up bars and cafes.

deckchairs

Eventually the more curious amongst us headed over the river into the town itself and found a bustling marketplace and fun fair in the central square!   After a bout of shopping (had to be done), we settled in an outside bar and watched an alfresco salsa class taking place nearby!

Dinner that night, with a couple of our Tylö friends, was in a sports themed restaurant, with a bowling alley.  So of course, after dinner we all headed over and had a mini competition between two teams.   Obviously we let Barry, one of the Dröm co-founders, win overall 🙂

BOWLING

Friday was an early start as we had a full day of product and technical training to fit in.   This included information about new products and packages, with most of the saunas, steam rooms and showers available to view in the Tylö showroom.   The morning session culminated in a factory tour.   Here we learned about, and watched, how heater elements are made, saw where steam generators were put together and tested, watched profiles being cut into the sauna timbers, learnt about the quality control process, and came away with a massive dose of warehouse envy……

After lunch we continued with some more product information then spent some time learning about the latest control panels (concept, programming, design).   Then it was time to test the rooms ourselves!   It was pure bliss after a hard days training to relax in the various saunas and steam rooms that we had been learning about, cooling off in between with quick dips (and dives) into the inviting plunge pool!  Cheeky mojitos were served in ice tumblers, which we then used to rub over our skin in the saunas to help us cool down!   Dinner was served in the Tylö restaurant, followed by awards for us all!  Good students deserve diplomas 🙂

tylo training

Tylo August 15

Then we went into town with Torbjorn and Anki from Tylo to sample the local nightlife!  We found a nightclub which had a welcome outside bar space, and also a couple of black jack tables therefore catering for all tastes.  As you may have seen in our ‘Happy’ video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj5t5g1Wxus) we have a couple of staff (well, mainly Kevin really) who can really throw some shapes and that night was no exception!   So we couldn’t help but take some more videos of his dancing, where he was partnered by Jake …..

On Saturday we moved across to the Tylösand Hotel situated on the coast, which is part owned by Per Gessle, vocalist and guitarist with Swedish rock band Roxette. (http://www.tylosand.se).  Tylö have been involved with the spa environment here for many years and it was our opportunity to see and experience it for ourselves.  The boys headed straight for the gym while some of us relaxed on the loungers overlooking the sea.   We roused ourselves long enough to sample the saunas, steam room, kneipp walk and experience showers before cooling off in the pools.Spa

There was a fantastic foot-golf course close to the hotel, so a group went across to play.   Each hole had obstacles to contend with, so it wasn’t as easy as they had first thought.   Their accuracy needs some work too ….

The sun wasn’t shining when we first arrived at Tylösand, but it didn’t stop us taking some pictures of the stunning, windswept scenery.  Luckily the sun came out again around lunchtime, so we could take some even better pictures – what a contrast!

scenery

scenery 1

The remaining group headed out for some lunch in a little restaurant on the dunes which started to fill up rapidly during the time we were there, due to visitors arriving for the ‘After-beach’ party that Tylösand host each year.   It started as a concert for those heading back to the hotel after a day at the beach, to prolong the enjoyment of their day, and has developed into a major Summer annual event!   So we headed out with a bottle of Prosecco to reserve a spot on the sand dunes and enjoy the music!

 

beach one

sand dunes concert

We all had a bit of a surprise as we returned to our rooms to change – the car park looked a bit different than it had earlier…….

cars

All too soon it was dinner time on the last evening 😦    And it was very, very, chilly as we took our places at our outdoor table!   Once again, the food was absolutely delicious – we couldn’t fault the menus all weekend.   Blankets were handed round to protect us from the breeze and maybe we were a bit disappointed that it was so cold as we had been really looking forward to the last outdoor concert of the summer that evening…..

Chilly

But the moment the music started, the blankets came off (what cold temperatures??!) and the whole restaurant and hotel came to life with dancing, singing and the odd drink here and there!   The group – Duo Jag – were brilliant!  They sang covers of all types of songs from Eminem to Beyoncé and we quickly learnt the words to ‘The Sun is shining’ – a song none of us had heard before, but now play regularly in the Showroom!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h30CEnMdVH4

It was a very tired, but happy, group that headed homewards the following day!   We are still talking about what a great time we had, and laughing at the photos, a week later!

hometime

Thank you to Kicki, Barry and Tylö for their generosity and hospitality.  When are we doing it again??!

 

 

 

 

CREATING A COMMERCIAL WELLBEING ROOM

Creating the perfect thermal wellbeing room usually involves months of detailed planning, design, ordering and construction.   When we were asked to build a new dry sauna experience in a local Hotel and Spa, the brief was slightly different as we had to change some of our methods to fit in with the requested timeframe.  Here we take you behind the scenes, as we build Pennyhill Park’s new sauna room.

Pennyhill Park is a 5* Exclusive Hotel and Spa, set in the beautiful Surrey countryside.   Already home to an extensive range of bathing experiences in their renowned Spa, they decided to add a dry sauna room to complement their existing thermal rooms, as one of the first steps in their spa rejuvenation project.

The brief was to design and construct a sauna with a strong visual impact, both internally and externally, with minimum guest disturbance in a working spa.

To begin with, CAD drawings were produced to show the Client the initial design concept and once these were agreed a build programme was arranged.   The Client requested we were on site during a specific two week period so that the project could be finished by a certain date, ahead of the England rugby team taking up residence for their World Cup 2015 training.

Project_Daisy - copyright picture

Beautiful cedar wood tongue and grooved panels, chosen to give a more natural feel to the room, were used on the walls and ceiling with the two tier benching created from complementary Thermo Aspen timber.  Frameless glass was used for the walls and door so that guests look out across a view of the outdoor swimming pool.  The frameless glass door and frontage was decorated with etched flowers (in keeping with the Spa’s existing theme) which gives a greater visual impact both internally and externally, allowing a spectacular view across the outdoor pool and grounds.

Due to the size and layout of the room, we used a unique combination of hidden and visible heaters.  The EOS Corona S60 heater, with stones and slate detail, can be used for traditional sauna bathing, where water is ladled over the stones manually to increase the heat.   The traditional heater will also be utilised by if a Sauna Master is employed to give guests a more intense sauna experience.

Our installers then had to overcome the challenge of constructing the sauna with minimum guest disturbance in a working spa!

The majority of work was undertaken behind the existing walls before they were removed and the sauna benches were built off-site to cut down on noise, disruption and dirt.   A lot of the noisy work was undertaken early in the day before guests arrived.    There was a lot of stopping and starting as we had to wait for some of the extremely disruptive work to be completed overnight, such as the eventual removal of the walls and floor tiles.

work on php

One of the major tasks was co-ordinating several different trades in the timescale we were given, e.g. tilers, glass installation, plumbing and electricians, not all of whom were under our supervision.   The electrical supply was found to be inadequate for the sauna requirements and we had to bring in our own electrical experts to run new cables and provide a new, more suitable, supply.    Materials had to be procured in a different sequence to normal.  The glass had to be ordered before the sauna was even built due to a long lead in time and only a two week time scale on site.  This meant that the sauna had to be millimetre perfect to ensure the glass fitted perfectly when it arrived.

An S-guard safety system was installed which detects any abnormalities with the sauna heater and automatically shuts it off.    Not everything goes to plan however and it is not unusual to have a few teething issues when commissioning large commercial rooms.  For example, the engineers were unaware the S-guard system needed to be calibrated when the temperature is below 25 degrees Celsius (due to this not being encountered when dealing with new builds or residential installations).  However, due to the spa being in operation we could not get the temperatures below this level during normal working hours.  We therefore had to turn off all the heating and add in additional ventilation overnight to be able to calibrate the S-guard system early in the morning, prior to the spa opening.

The finished room looks beautiful and spa guests have been tweeting their delight with the new dry sauna experience.

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Let’s hope the England Rugby Team enjoy it too!

‘Wear the Rose’ and follow England Rugby in the Rugby World Cup 2015 starting September 18th.