What is the right Spa for me?

Spa.   The Oxford English Dictionary defines this in two ways:

  1. A place or resort with a mineral spring
  2. A commercial establishment offering health & beauty treatments through such means as steam baths, exercise equipment and massage.

This can be further broken down into different commercial spas:

  1. Destination spas
  2. Spa Resorts
  3. Days Spas

So far, so confusing.   Let’s take a closer look at each spa to understand what each one offers  🙂



Destination Spas are residential facilities that concentrate on improving health and fitness through exercise, nutrition, spa treatments and thermal wellbeing. They are all about relaxation and rejuvenation and learning how to live a healthy life.    The spa is the destination, you are there for a reason and that is to spa and nothing else!  You can stay for as long as you want, from days to months if budget allows!  The aim is to restore your health and vitality.

Six Senses Yao-noi Spa, Thailand

The cost usually includes all meals, exercise classes and some spa treatments, but obviously check before you book.

They are staffed by experts in various disciplines e.g yoga or nutrition or herbal medicine, and promote a healthy and active lifestyle during your stay.   Some personalise therapies to their guests so that they gain optimum benefit from their time there.

Children aren’t normally welcome in a destination spa.  It is however suitable for people travelling alone but who want to spend time with like-minded people and for couples.



A spa resort caters more for families in a hotel situation and is less focused on an all-encompassing health and wellness experience.   The spa treatments are usually only one part of the stay which can include outdoor pools, tennis, cycling and golf.   They are likely to have a suite of saunas and steam rooms with maybe an ice room or plunge pool alongside a gym for guests to use during their stay.

Treetop Sauna, Centre Parcs, Sherwood Forest

At a spa resort the focus is on enjoying yourself, eat and drink healthy if you like, but if you don’t there are other options available on the menu!

Some spa resorts can also act as a day spa, whereby access is allowed to day guests who aren’t residents of the hotel.



As the name suggests, these aren’t residential – you literally visit a day spa for a day without any overnight accommodation.

They usually have a variety of pampering facilities for the guest to experience such as massages, beauty therapies and holistic treatments and have thermal rooms and swimming pools. Gym facilities are very common now too.   Packages generally include a treatment and lunch or afternoon tea.


Pennyhill Park Spa

Day spas vary in price depending on what treatments they can offer.   Some may just offer manicures and massage alongside a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi, whilst others offer a full range of treatments, some even including more ‘medical’ ones such as Botox and laser facials, with a selection of thermal wellbeing rooms and pools.

A lot of day spas are attached to hotels or country clubs and allow guests to stay at the hotel if they wish and then revisit again the next day.





Why do so many spa’s say ‘No Children’?  Why can’t children experience the same wellbeing benefits as their parents?

Children today live increasingly stressful lives.   There is a pressure to do well in exams, to fit in, to make friends.   More than ever they are expected to attend after school clubs as their parents are working long hours and dealing with manic rush hour traffic.  With this and homework  they don’t have time to play creatively or even just to sit and relax and get the proper rest and nutrition they need.  They also listen in to the conversations of their parents about money troubles, work, life, divorce etc.

So we should be helping children to find a way to manage this stress and to understand the benefits of everyday wellbeing.

This can start almost from birth!   The Baby Spa franchise hold hydrotherapy sessions, a natural sensory experience that calms babies from as early as 2 days old!  Regular visits to the spa floatation pool can benefit the cardiovascular system and their movement through the water has a positive effect on the digestive and circulatory systems.   Babies also enjoy massages including gentle exercises to build flexibility and strength.

In Scandinavian countries, thermal bathing with the family is an accepted way of life.  Children bathe with their parents from as early as 5 years old, although it is important to remember that children cannot regulate their body heat as efficiently as an adult.   It is a great idea to introduce children to the heat by setting it lower than usual (for example around 45 degrees) and letting them sit in the room while it warms up, gradually acclimatising to the temperature rather than walking into a blast of heat.   The heat in a sauna isn’t as intense at lower levels so to start with let children sit on the lowest bench.

Don’t let them stay in for very long to begin with either – 5 mins is perfectly adequate.   Or bathe in a ‘soft’ sauna – this has a lower temperature due to increased humidity which provides a gentler form of sauna bathing therefore can be enjoyed for slightly longer.  Again let them sit in the room as the steam starts to circulate so their body temperature increases slowly.

It is also important for adults to remain in the sauna with children to teach them bathing etiquette and to make sure there are no accidents with them burning themselves on the heating elements.   After bathing, try to avoid rapid cooling – have tepid showers rather than cold showers, especially if they are going to jump into a cold pool.   Cool down slowly and gently.

Tylo ‘Harmony’ Sauna Room. Contact Dröm UK on 01932 355655 for details and pricing.

Another benefit of family bathing is that it gives everyone a chance to talk with each other without the distractions of phones, tv’s and outside distractions.   This is incredibly important for children’s wellbeing as it will encourage an open relationship where they will be comfortable talking about their life from a young age through to their teenage years and beyond.  It helps to build their confidence and self-esteem as others listen to what they have to say.

A great way to introduce younger children to sauna bathing is to use an infrared sauna as the heat is at a much lower temperature.   Infrared saunas can also have music systems installed so they can listen to their favourite music whilst they relax increasing the feeling of calmness.

Tylo ‘Infra’ Sauna Room. Contact Dröm UK on 01932 355655 for details and pricing.

Saunas (and steam rooms) are great for helping with respiratory ailments in young children and skin conditions which can beset the teenage years.  Research also shows that sauna use leaves you less susceptible to depression and neuroses and the soothing effect of thermal bathing can also help to get rid of aggression within the bather.  Salt rooms are also beneficial to youngsters with respiratory and skin problems and is 100% natural.  Children can play within a salt room and even watch movies on TV as they breathe in the tiny salt particles.

It is really important to ensure that bathers rehydrate after thermal bathing to replace the lost minerals and fluids lost through the sweating process.

One problem facing the wellness industry is that it is not seen as accessible to all – especially those in ‘poorer’ areas.   To combat this, schools have jumped on board with the wellness factor and have started to incorporate mindfulness and yoga into their PE lessons and after school offerings.   Mindfulness and meditation helps the younger generation to control and guide their own thoughts, handle stress better and develop skills to help handle their emotions.   The Mindfulness at School Project in the UK partner with parents and youth organisations to bring this form of wellness to a wider youth audience.

Many spa resorts are now starting to realise that wellness is a family affair and offer more tailored spa treatments for children and teenagers such as massage therapy (both for injuries and to help with sleep issues) alongside yoga and mindfulness classes.  Six Senses Laamu are actively encouraging their younger guests to appreciate the importance of good health and how to integrate wellbeing into their everyday lives through specially designed classes and interactive games.  They also teach children how to make music using singing bowls 🙂   The Schlosshotel Fiss in Austria is another example of where families can spend quality time together in the spa.

Helping children to understand wellness from an early age will hopefully promote a healthy, balanced, less stressed future generation.

So why do so many spa’s say ‘No Children’ ………


For more information visit:








Techno Spa

The benefits of relaxing in a spa are well documented – peace, tranquillity, soothing music gently playing in the background.

But what if that soothing music was techno, dance music with a thumping beat?!  Would you still reap the same benefits?


Not everyone relaxes in the same way.   We are all different and what works for one person may not work for another.   So why shouldn’t we have wellbeing areas with loud music?

Music has proven effects on wellbeing.   Students at Manchester University found that when the sacculus organ in the inner ear responded to the beat in loud music it caused the brain to be stimulated into releasing feel good hormones which make you happier and calmer.

Loud music works on the auto nervous system to release endorphins which are the body’s natural painkillers. These act as an analgesic and a sedative.   Dopamine is also released which motivates us, helping us to work towards rewarding goals and to seek out pleasurable activities that impact positively on us.  It also helps us to stay mentally alert.

Liquidrom Spa pool, Berlin

Some spas are beginning to realise the uplifting effects of dance music on our moods and are starting to incorporate this into their wellbeing rooms, holding techno themed evenings for clients and guests.   The Liquidrom Spa in Berlin has a saltwater pool where you can float and swim and listen to the underwater techno music from sophisticated sound systems.   They also have weekly DJ sets.   This can result in guests leaving the spa feeling refreshed and alert – and ready to continue partying!

Happy Friday everyone!


Digital Silence and Mental Wellbeing

We are all very aware of the importance of everyday physical wellbeing. Most of us try and exercise regularly and eat well and we understand the benefits of using a spa to relax and reinvigorate our bodies.  Indeed the global wellness industry was estimated to be worth $3.72 trillion in 2016.  But it is only fairly recently that the correlation between physical and mental wellness has been highlighted.  The importance of mental wellbeing has almost been forgotten in the past.

In today’s world of portable technology, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, it is very difficult to switch off our brains.   We are bombarded with images, news, sport, videos, texts, status updates, and emails all day, every day.   And very few of us actually switch off our phones, let alone our brains.



This digital noise has a detrimental effect on our mental health.   The line between work and home becomes more blurred as we are constantly connected to our emails.   This can lead to lost sleep as we worry about how to reply, or about a meeting that has suddenly come up, which in turn creates higher stress levels and greater anxiety.


We mindlessly scroll through social media, worrying about other people’s status updates – how are they so thin/rich/happy/beautiful?   Why don’t my posts get as many likes as others?   Social media makes a lot of people feel inadequate and as if they don’t match up to social expectations.   Before getting stressed about it, we need to take some time out to remember that people only portray what they want people to see.   Most of it is completely fake, or at least only true at that one moment in time (hence the need to boast!).   We never post the really bad things, the rows, the money and drink problems.   We just put up photos of perfectly dressed children in impractically neat houses in front of that perfect roaring fireplace!   The pressure that people feel trying to keep up is incredibly stressful.   But still we scroll.

(In a recent survey it was found that young girls take around 40-50 selfie shots of themselves before they see one they like.   Once uploaded, if it doesn’t reach a certain amount of likes they feel as if they have failed, as if they’re not beautiful and they take down the picture and start again).   Rates of depression in young people have increased by 70% in the past 25 years and it is estimated that around 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression.  Online bullying has a huge impact on this and we must ask how much is social media to blame?

So how do we combat this digital noise? We need to help the digital generation switch off more and we all need to re-train ourselves back to a time before we relied so heavily on looking at a screen 24/7!

Constant looking at a screen before bedtime interferes with sleep patterns, and as we have highlighted in a previous blog (Goodnight, Sleep Tight ….) sleep is essential to mental and physical wellbeing.   So make a point of turning the phone off an hour or so before bedtime allowing your mind to relax.  Read a book or have a soothing bath, leaving the phone out of reach!


Start to interact with others more.   All too often we text or email rather than actually using the phone to talk to people.  Even at checkouts in shops we are too involved with screens to interact with the people serving us.  Face to face interaction also reduces misunderstandings that can arise from reading a text or email in the ‘wrong’ way and putting meanings into it that weren’t intended.  Any issues can then be cleared up quickly, not allowing us to fester and stress over them.   Instead of using free time connected to a pocket computer – get out and socialise with friends.   Take up a hobby that stops you looking at your phone for an hour or two!

Beth McGroarty, Research Director at the The Global Wellness Institute has recognised a growing demand for digital silence in the world of spas and travel, with the Mandarin Oriental spa group holding a global silent Spa evening last December.   Silence, both digital and physical, is becoming more popular with spas even being developed in former religious spaces such as monasteries and abbeys.    These spas have a no mobile rule and offer absolute disconnection along with noiseless bathing and treaments.   This offers the opportunity to re-connect with your inner self through contemplation, mindfulness and a truly peaceful environment.    Spending time in true silence can improve memory, aid restful sleep, reduce stress and stimulate brain growth.


Eremito eco-retreat and spa, Umbria, Italy

More industries are realising the benefits of switching off from the digital world with trains offering mobile free zones and even restaurants, gyms and some airport lounges having quiet zones.

So take some time out to think through how you interact with your smartphones and tablets.   Set some boundaries, especially with work, and let everyone know when you are and aren’t available.  Make time for socialising with friends and family and switch off screens well before bedtime so that you can benefit from a decent night’s sleep. Your mental and physical wellbeing will thank you for it.






National Sickie Day? Not at Dröm UK …..


So today, February 6th, is #nationalsickieday!  The first Monday in February is the day that traditionally sees a higher number of UK employees absent from work through sickness including colds, flu, stress, back pain and other ailments.   Bear in mind that this is also the first weekend after Dry January for many, so add hangover and alcohol related problems to that list!

One way of beating the winter cold and flu season, and thus helping you to avoid being a statistic on National Sickie Day, is to concentrate on your physical wellbeing throughout the year.   Thermal wellbeing is one way of staying healthy, and with most gyms and spas having at least one sauna and/or steam room, it is fairly accessible to all .   Bathing in saunas or steam rooms has a profound effect on your heart, brain and skin, helping to detoxify your body and reinvigorate you.

The heat encourages you to sweat, which opens the skin’s pores and helps reduce the level of toxins and impurities in the body, eliminating waste and reducing the load put on the kidneys.   Sauna bathing also lowers blood pressure temporarily and improves circulation as the blood cells dilate, increasing the oxygen levels around the body.

Herbal Sauna 1

Herbal sauna at Hotel Campiglio Bellavista, Italy

There are also many benefits to steam bathing too.   The heat produced by the steam helps the blood vessels to dilate which increases blood circulation which can help provide relief from headaches and boost your immune system.  Inhaling the steam is a great treatment for respiratory complications and is recommended for dealing with the common cold, flu, bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma and allergies.   Dry air passages are moistened and mucus is loosened by coughing or blowing the nose.


Bella Steam Room – Dröm UK

Adding fragrances and/or herbs to your sauna or steam session can also help improve certain ailments. Different herbs have different benefits.  For example, Pine or Eucalyptus fragrances can help with finding relief from infections, coughs and colds and also help relieve aches and pains.   Citrus fragrances are very uplifting and can help with feelings of depression, anxiety, nervous tension and stress.

Another way to help alleviate respiratory problems is to sit in a salt room.  Salt therapy, or Halotherapy, is high effective in reducing the symptoms of asthma and allergies.


Backlit, colour changing salt wall – Dröm UK

For more information on thermal bathing rituals and their benefits, and how they can help you navigate the winter flu season relatively unscathed, click here http://www.dromuk.com/online/dromology/

IMG_9229 dpi

Drömology – Wellbeing Personified



SBID Week – November 23rd – 25th 2016

Dröm UK were lucky enough to be finalists in the SBID International Design Awards and were therefore invited to attend the various networking opportunities that the SBID hosted in the days leading up to the Awards ceremony.


Kicki Carlsson, CEO Dröm UK – SBID 20-20 Networking Event

This started with a table at the 20-20 Networking Event held at The Dorchester.   The SBID had succeeded in bringing together top designers from all over the world and we had appointments to see 10 other companies and spend 15 minutes with them each, although one company stayed for 2 sessions!  We made some new friends and also bumped into some clients we had worked with before.   One of our new contacts has a number of spa projects across Europe which is a perfect fit with Dröm UK.





Kicki Carlsson & Barry Smith – House of Lords

The following day there was a reception at the House of Lords for Award Nominees.   This was a great chance for us to get to know some of the other companies nominated for Awards, including those from further afield such as New Zealand and Beirut.  We made some great new contacts who we will hopefully work with in the future.   The House of Lords was such a special occasion, a great place to host a business function with beautiful views over the River Thames.




Finally, it was Awards day! Designers, Architects and their guests met at the Ballroom in the Dorchester for a gala ceremony, compered by Ken Bruce, the Radio 2 stalwart!   There were some amazing entries and deserved winners.   SBID Fellow of the Year 2016 was awarded to Eve Pollard for her contribution to journalism and for helping women earn the right to be treated equally in the workplace. Although Dröm UK didn’t win our category, it was still a fabulous afternoon!  Thank you to the SBID for making everyone feel so welcome – see you next year!


New Employees

We are delighted to announce the addition of two new members of staff.:

Sam Smith is the newest member of our Install team and is enjoying furthering his carpentry skills on our various high end sites.

Ross Francis has joined our Accounts Department and is currently studying for his AAT level 3 qualification.   He is a massive Chelsea FC fan which goes down well with most of the staff here!

We hope they both have  long and happy careers with Dröm.


Athletics success

Dröm UK are proud to sponsor two British decathletes, Ashley Bryant and Dylan Carlsson-Smith.    We were even prouder when they were both recently selected for the British Athletics Combined Events International Indoor Match taking place in Prague, Czech Republic on January 28th and 29th.


Ashley is Britain’s leading decathlete whilst Dylan achieved several competition PB’s to qualify for the mens U20 GB team and is competing in his first international.

We wish both of them the best of luck.   For more information click here: http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/media/news/2017-news-page/january/10-01-17-combined-events-team/


Showroom Video

Our showroom is a stunning showcase of what the talented team of Dröm UK designers can create.    Our clients find it very inspiring when they visit, helping them to decide on various rooms, finishes and accessories.    However we wanted to take the Showroom to a wider audience and commissioned a video to help.   See it here first:









You can keep your hat on!

Wear a hat in a sauna?  Why would anyone want to do that?   Isn’t it hot enough already?!


Well yes it probably is.   However, although the heat from a sauna stimulates the internal organs, opening up the skin’s pores and helping reduce levels of toxins and impurities in the body, it doesn’t have the same therapeutic effect on the brain.   The capillaries in the head don’t react well to intense heat, with the head heating up quicker than the rest of the body, which can result in the bather experiencing nausea, faintness, headaches or dizziness.   Not a great feeling to have when you are supposed to be relaxing.   This leads to people bathing at lower temperatures or abandoning their sauna session early to get some relief by taking a cool shower or heading to the plunge pool.

Many bathers, especially in Scandinavian countries, wear felt sauna hats whilst using the sauna.    The felt acts as an insulator against the heat, keeping your head dry and cool.  This enables them to remain in the sauna for longer periods thereby gaining optimum benefit from bathing at higher temperatures.


Sauna hats are mainly made from wool felt and you will find a huge variety of colours and designs on the internet.   Dröm UK have hats on display at their Showroom in Byfleet.   For more information on how to buy, call us on 01932 355655 or visit http://www.dromuk.com/brochures/Clearance_Items.pdf to check out our discounted prices.

An Evening of Physical and Mental Wellbeing at Pennyhill Park Spa

Dröm UK partnered with the Spa at Pennyhill Park and Technogym UK to present a unique evening of wellness aimed at educating people about the increasing importance of physical and mental wellbeing in their everyday lives.

A group of spa professionals, interior designers, architects, holistic practitioners, press and members of the public gathered together in the beautiful setting of Pennyhill Park to meet industry experts and experience first hand the various thermal spa facilities and wellness workshops on offer.

guest-1 guest-2

The afternoon began with guests sampling a selection of healthy smoothies whilst listening to the first speaker; Commonwealth medal winning decathalete Martin Brockman. Martin talked about physical wellbeing and finding that “1%”.  This included:

  • How he qualified for the 2010 Commonwealth Games by the narrowest of margins
  • How as athletes they are looking for that 1% over their opponents
  • How he trains
  • Adopting the athlete lifestyle
  • Recovery strategies
  • How we can combine these to find our 1% and gain an advantage



Martin was followed by Laura Forbes, a Bodytalk expert and Energy Practitioner.   Laura explained how the mental, emotional and physical levels have to align to create ‘wellness’. She discussed how a thought holds no power until we attach an emotion to it and the combination of ‘thought plus the emotion’ will then determine our experience. Laura also explained how the mental level is not a ‘passive observer’ and when we think we are observing ourselves i.e. ‘I’m fat’, ‘I’m scared’, we are actually instructing the physiology in our bodies to respond and create that reality.


Then the guests took advantage of the various wellbeing workshops, including thermal bathing with a Sauna Master (or Aufgiesser), training with Technogym instructors, experiencing the pure air in the Natura Bisse Bubble and yoga and meditation classes.   There was also an Ohso Chocolate representative present who brought lots of samples with her – and who was very popular!



Everyone should bathe with a sauna master at least once! Each will have his or her own techniques and rituals but basically they will pour water (or ice) enriched with essential oils onto the hot stones creating a burst of scented steam, making the air more humid and the heat seem more intense.



Then they will start waving a towel, using different movements, to agitate the hot air and circulate it around the sauna, intensifying the sensation of heat. Then they will fan the bathers by wafting the towel in front of them creating a wave of heat that rushes over their body. The bathers breathe deeply inhaling the healing vapours of the essences.   It is recommended to cool down in a plunge pool or ice room, before repeating the process several times.



The yoga and meditation class was especially popular. Our Yoga Master, Lee Hopkins, gave a taster class to a full studio and everyone agreed it was a very enlightening experience that they were keen to repeat.




The Natura Bisse Bubble was also really busy as people were intrigued with what it did! The bubble is filled with 99.9% pure air which is breathed in during various spa treatments.   The air is completely free of polluting particles and allergen agents.   It has been shown that treatments in the bubble can help prevent signs of ageing and reduce wrinkles so is very popular in the professional beauty sector.   The pure air can also help with sporting/athletic performance by regenerating respiratory tracts after work outs.


Although it was one of the hottest days of the year, a few hardy people still headed to the gym where the instructors talked them through how to get the best out of the Technogym equipment and worked through some weight based exercises.   The instructors also talked about nutrition and how to eat healthier to get the optimum benefit out of your exercise routine.




To continue the theme of wellbeing and relaxation the guests slowly gravitated to the stunning outdoor pool and hot tubs where Emma Jane Kennedy was singing. To hear more of this very talented lady please visit http://www.emmajanekennedylive.com/home. Barbecue canapes and drinks were served and this was a great chance for the guests to network and ask questions of the ‘experts’ about what they had just experienced in a friendly, relaxed setting.



For more information on any of our speakers or workshops, please contact Sarah Gibson on 01932 355655 or visit:






All enquiries for Laura Forbes:  forbes@flaura.orangehome.co.uk



Drömology at Pennyhill Park


PHP - Spa pool (crop) High Res

Dröm UK is passionate about wellbeing.  And we really want to educate EVERYONE about how wellbeing can benefit them in their everyday lives!    So we have collaborated with Pennyhill Park Spa and Technogym to bring you a unique event:

Drömology at Pennyhill Park

Thursday 15th September 2016

4.15pm – 9.00pm

This event is aimed at showing how to incorporate wellness easily into daily routines and also for spa professionals, architects, designers and  developers to understand more about the concept of including spa areas into their projects.

We have brought together some of the industry’s top companies and speakers to help demonstrate the importance of wellness, both physically and mentally, in the beautiful setting of the 5* Spa at Pennyhill Park.   And what better way to discover how to improve your wellbeing habits than by trying them out!   We have provided a selection of workshops to showcase various disciplines.

To finish the evening off, we have live music and a barbeque by the outdoor pool.


image courtesy of good spa guide

Schedule of Events:

4.15 pm Welcome Drink & Canapes

4.30 pm Physical Wellbeing: Guest speaker Martin Brockman (Commonwealth Bronze Decathalete)

5.00 pm Mental Wellbeing: Laura Forbes (Energy Practitioner)

5.30 pm Meet the Experts Your chance to ask questions of our various wellbeing professionals

Then experience the amazing wellness benefits of Pennyhill’s five star thermal heaven facilities (Worth in excess of £120pp) and/or join our various Wellness Workshops below:

Sauna Master Experience 6.40/7.20pm

Fitness Circuits/Demos 6.40/7.20pm

Natura Bisse Bubble Experience

Meditation/Yoga demonstrations

7.30-9.00pm Live Music from Emma Stevens / BBQ

As you would expect, tickets for this event are going fast and there are limited places available.  If you would like to reserve your tickets please contact:

Sarah Gibson on 01932 355655 or email sarah.gibson@dromuk.com.

Alternatively contact Rachel Warnes at Technogym:  rwarnes@technogym.com.