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As part of a wellness center or supplementary facilities in the hospitality industry, saunas have become an essential element to offer clients for relaxation and wellbeing. While designs for saunas continue to diversify, the classic Finnish sauna seems to be the winner, with many people choosing to even build one at home. However, there is one way to enhance the customers’ experience by offering outdoor sauna options as well.

Outdoor saunas retain the benefits of sauna visits, while also giving guests to a hotel or wellness center the opportunity to admire surrounding views and combine their sauna session with lounging or swimming outdoors. They are a hot new trend that elevates your brand and offers a unique experience for end users.

In this article, we review:

  • The benefits of saunas and why customers enjoy using them;
  • Why build an outdoor sauna in addition to an indoor option;
  • Tips for building and managing the perfect outdoor sauna.
Why saunas are a perfect part of the wellness experience

Saunas has been used for relaxation, stress relief, and for health benefits for centuries. The traditional Finnish sauna has become a staple of wellness centers and is a great addition to a hotel or spa, allowing guests to mix it in with a regime of other activities.

There are a number of benefits of saunas that make them attractive to casual or regular users alike.

Saunas appear to have a positive impact on heart health
Studies show that spending time in the sauna will help extend and improve the quality of life. Sauna users appear to have a lower risk of cardiac deaths, coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and generally appear to live longer.

Rheumatic disease and asthma symptoms are reduced
Using a dry sauna regularly has been proven to help people with rheumatic diseases like fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
Similarly, people with asthma have experienced less wheezing after visiting a sauna regularly.

Better exercise performance
Saunas are also popular with athletes because of their support in increasing blood flow and also for heat adaptation for those looking to train for hot weather races.

Why build an outdoor sauna?

While the arguments for including a traditional indoor sauna in your wellness center are clear, the challenge is that this is something that many, if not most, hotels, wellness centers, spas and gyms are already offering. The question, then, is how to differentiate your sauna offering, creating a unique experience for the end users.

Outdoor saunas offer a great way to stand out from the competition thanks to their unique appeal.

They are a traditional, authentic experience
Outdoor saunas are actually not new: before they were moved indoors as part of large commercial buildings, the traditional Finnish sauna used to be built outdoors. This means that you can offer a more authentic sauna experience to customers by allowing them to enjoy its effects in a quaint, welcoming outdoor sauna hut.

Enjoy the benefits of unique views
If located in a scenic area, a wellness center or hotel with an outdoor sauna will capitalize on the view by offering an outdoor sauna experience. Customers can enjoy wintery views in the heat of their sauna hut, or admire the sea while relaxing in the heat, for example. The added benefit of scenic views is that they can also contribute to the unwinding experience.

Double the capacity
Saunas are popular and they can fill up quickly, causing frustration for those who need to wait around for a spot. Having both an indoor and an outdoor sauna doubles the capacity to serve customers, ensuring their satisfaction and an optimal wellness experience.

How to add the perfect outdoor sauna to your portfolio

Building an outdoor sauna can be a costly investment initially, but it will increase customer demand and the value of your overall offering. To ensure your outdoor sauna has the best return on investment, here are some useful tips:

  • Invest in good-quality wood for your outdoor sauna, with added insulation to help weather the elements and keep the heat inside, making it more energy efficient;
  • Locate the outdoor sauna in an area from where you can maximize the views, but also within quick walking distance from an indoor space (a gym or spa hallway);
  • Ensure the windows are made with double-paned glass and are located away from the heat source;
  • Choose between a wood-burning heater or an electric heater, paying attention to the energy efficiency of each, to ensure the sauna is sustainable and less costly;
  • Consider the capacity of your sauna – ideally, you will want it to be as large as the indoor sauna if you already have one;
  • Add bespoke decoration elements to enhance the overall atmosphere.
Embrace the trend and enhance your wellness offering with outdoor saunas

The demand for saunas is already significant, so diversifying your offer with an additional outdoor space will double your capacity, offer a unique selling point for customers, and create a great overall experience for visitors. Outdoor saunas are a great investment and will yield benefits for years to come.

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