As they rushed to get the facilities ready for the impending arrival of the England rugby team, it was a race against time for the teams behind the refurbishment of the spa at Pennyhill Park Hotel in Surrey.
The spa facilities underwent a facelift as part of a rejuvenation programme, carefully planned for completion by the time the rugby team arrived to take up residence at the hotel for their 2015 World Cup training. Already home to a large range of bathing experiences, the spa at Pennyhill Park boasts eight indoor and outdoor pools, plus saunas, a laconium, tepidarium and a schnapps steam room.
Now the renowned spa has upgraded its offering with the addition of a three-level floating seat sauna from Drom UK and a foot spa experience by DaleSauna. The Herbal Saunas and the Osmanian steam room have also been refurbished, while the Ice Igloo has been re-tiled and now features new lighting and additional seating.
Drom UK were approached by the spa managers to design and construct a sauna with a strong visual impact, both internally and externally, with minimum guest disturbance.
“One of the major tasks was coordinating several different trades in the timescale we were given,” explains Drom UK project director Erin Lee.
“The electrical supply was 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.”
Cedar wood tongue and grooved panels, chosen to give a more natural feel to the room, were used on the walls and ceiling of the sauna, while the two tier bench was created from complementary Thermo Aspen timber. The frameless glass door and frontage was decorated with etched flowers – consistent with the spa’s existing theme – offering views across the outdoor pool and grounds. Due to the size and layout of the room, Drom UK specified a unique combination of hidden and visible heaters. An S-guard safety system was also installed which detects any abnormalities with the sauna heater and automatically shuts it off.
Erin comments: “Things don’t always go to plan 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°C. However, due to the spa being in operation we could not get the temperatures below this level during normal working hours,” she adds. “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.”