wooden benches

Wellbeing in the City – ESPA at The Corinthia

The Corinthia is a luxury 5 star spa hotel set in the centre of London, just a short walk from Trafalgar Square.   When we were invited to visit from Magdi Abdelaty, the Spa Operations Manager, we jumped at the chance to experience the renowned Espa facilities first hand.

espa-life

The spa spreads out over 4 floors, including15 treatment rooms, a gym, hair salon and a Thermal Floor with heat experience rooms and pools. The décor is luxurious and relaxing mood lighting sets the ambience to an almost decadent level.

Our evening began with a leisurely swim in the shimmering silver stainless steel pool followed by a cool shower. We then took a ball of ice from the fountain and headed to the Amphitheatre sauna, set down into the floor with a spectacular suspended ceiling.   When the heat became slightly too much, we headed outside for more ice, bringing it back with us to the sauna and letting it melt over our bodies as we sat there!   The frameless glass sauna walls allowed us to watch the mesmerising flames of the nearby fire set within the wall.

david de vleeschauwer

david de vleeschauwer

the-vitality-pool-espa-life-at-corinthia-copy

 

sauna-at-corinthia

Next on our thermal journey was a visit to the Vitality Pool with its built-in loungers and powerful swan neck fountains.   This provided full relaxation for mind and body whilst relieving tired and aching muscles.  After the warmth of the pool, it was time to cool down again in the Dornbracht ‘Big Rain’ shower before moving on to the glamorous black mosaic tiled steam room to relax in clouds of fragranced steam.

david de vleeschauwer

david de vleeschauwer

We repeated the above journey before settling onto the heated marble relaxation loungers by another fireplace, luxuriating in the warmth of the beds and the glow of the fire.

spa-2a-1

Eventually it was time to get changed and take part in the real world again.   But our journey of relaxation and luxury wasn’t over yet.   The changing rooms had a sauna in the Ladies Area and a Tepidarium in the Men’s.    And both rooms had sleeping pods, small booths with cushions and blankets where you could take a revitalising nap or even meditate in private.  A totally private oasis with no distractions in the middle of a bustling, busy city!

We all agreed it was a wonderfully relaxing experience.   Favourite part?  The sauna got a lot of votes due to its innovative design and the sleep pods were a definite hit!

 

For more information please visit:

https://www.espalifeatcorinthia.com/

Tel:                  +44(0) 20 7321 3050

Email:             espalife.london@corinthia.com

For more information on thermal wellbeing and how to gain optimum benefit from your thermal journey please visit:

http://www.dromuk.com/online/dromology/

Perfect Prefabs

As well as offering bespoke solutions to your wellbeing requirements, Dröm UK can also provide you with a stunning, prefabricated room option.   These can still be personalised to your tastes at a fraction of the cost of a full bespoke room.

Encompassing wellbeing into your daily routine is becoming increasingly popular as everyday stress levels rise.  Instead of heading to your local gym or spa, why not create a personal spa area in your own home?  It is much easier than you think.

e68-expression_scandinavian02

 

One of the main benefits of having your own sauna or steam room, is that you can bathe in a temperature that suits you, not everyone else in your gym or spa!   You can personalise the experience even further with the addition of essential oils, choosing whichever matches the level of relaxation or rejuvenation you wish to achieve.  Sound systems can be incorporated within the rooms and you can even watch television!   Add some chromotherapy lighting to further relax and reinvigorate you.

Another benefit is that it is a perfect way to introduce children to the concept of wellbeing.  Children can use the lower benches of saunas where the temperature is lower and the whole family can use the time to relax together.    A ‘soft’ sauna, which is a sauna with more moisture in the air, therefore making the heat less intense, is more popular with women and children.

evolve_1719_low_spruce

Evolve Sauna Room

As long as there is room for one person to sit down, there are no minimum or maximum space requirements needed to install a sauna or steam room, with some prefabricated saunas as small as 1.3 sq m.  Tylö Evolve sauna rooms are delivered in prefabricated modules and are the easiest, quickest way to realise your sauna dream. The benches and backrests are made of Aspen with a choice of Aspen or Spruce wall panelling. The Evolve comes in 17 different sizes and shapes which can be supplemented with glass sections, lighting systems and accessories.  Glass fronted variations are also available, again in several different sizes.   Choose a combination heater to enjoy a steam sauna experience.

Alternatively choose an Impression sauna room.

Impression sauna room (corner)

Impression sauna room (corner)

This comes complete with two benches at different levels.  The lacquered aluminium profiles of the frame simply clip together so no screws are needed for assembly.   The sleek lines of the design and the detachable jalousie make this simplicity itself to clean.   These sauna rooms can be installed onto an existing hard base/floor.

 

 

Another way to experience the benefits of both steam and sauna in your home, is to have a combined unit.   The Tylö Impression Twin combines a sauna and steam shower giving you the best of both worlds.   This is available in various sizes, the smallest being 1.4 x 1.9m.

Impression Twin Sauna & Steam Room

Impression Twin Sauna & Steam Room

Tylö also have a range of prefabricated steam rooms supplied in ready to assemble wall and ceiling sections, again available in various sizes, one of the smallest being 1330 x 930 mm.    The Elysee and Excellent steam rooms are made from high tech, vacuum formed, special grade white plastic.  The more modern Panacea range incorporates chromotherapy lighting and has benches and accessories styled from Corian.   All steam rooms are very easy to clean with no grout lines, which helps keep them hygienic.

Elysee and Panacea steam rooms

Elysee and Panacea steam rooms

There are no special water requirements needed for a home spa.  Steam rooms just need a basic water supply and drainage.   If you are thinking of incorporating an experience shower then the water pressure will need to be appropriate for the fitting.   A water supply is not required for saunas.

Installing an Infra Red sauna cabin is even easier as most can just be plugged in to a normal electrical socket.   The Tylö range of Infra Cabins start at just 914mm x 914mm.

For more information on any of the above options please contact Dröm UK on 01932 355655 or visit http://www.dromuk.com.

 

 

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.

1-IMG_9309

 

1-IMG_9312

 

1-IMG_9316

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep it Clean!

There is nothing worse than entering a sauna or steam room in a beautiful spa or leisure facility and being assailed by the smell of sweaty, stagnant air!

Hygiene is possibly one of THE most important aspects of any commercial venture, both in terms of how the rooms are built and also how they are used.

Whether you are currently refurbishing your spa or residential wellbeing space, or even building new rooms to complement your existing set up, it is important to take the following points into account.

The correct air flow in a sauna prevents air stagnating or hot spots being created.  A correctly located passive air ventilation system will ensure fresh air is replenished and the heat is distributed evenly throughout the room.  Fragrances can also be added to further enhance the bathing experience bringing in refreshing, pleasant aromas.  Kicki Carlsson Essential Oils are a great way to add that perfect fragrance to revitalise or relax!

Ensure consideration is given to the type of products used for the construction of the rooms.   The wooden benches in a sauna help prevent the spread of bacteria but the floors can harbour the growth of dermaphytic pathogens which can contribute to fungal foot disease.   It is advised to choose large format, easy to clean tiles for the floor.   Clean the sauna floor with an ordinary cleaning detergent daily.  It is important to never keep water in a sauna bucket for longer than 24 hours, so ensure you change the water and clean the bucket daily to prevent bacteria growing.

DROM_0254

Always encourage guests to sit on a towel while bathing

Advise, and encourage, guests to always shower before and after sauna bathing.  This helps remove perfume and after-shave, the smell of which can become stronger in the heat of a sauna.  It can also leave unsightly marks on the timber.  The water also removes any chlorine on the body or swimwear which can become volatile in the high temperatures and cause irritation to eyes and lungs.  Bathers should also be reminded to sit on a towel when using a sauna to avoid having to sit or lie in other peoples sweat.

Urban Shower (2)

Shower before sauna bathing to remove perfumes and after shaves which can leave residue marks

Corian is a brilliant low maintenance, hygienic material to use for steam room benches as there is no grouting to clean.   Always have benches sloping away from the walls to avoid having to sit in stale pools of water which have collected on the seats!

Corian is grout free and easy to clean.  Perfect for steam room benches.

Corian is grout free and easy to clean. Perfect for steam room benches.

It is also a good idea to install Kneipp hoses in steam rooms so that guests can cool themselves down and also wash down the benches after use.

DROM_024

Use a Kneipp hose to cool down and clean the seating!

 

 

Keep it clean ……… !