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13 Jul 2024 World leisure: news, training & property
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Spa Business
2021 issue 3

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Leisure Management - TechnoAlpin



Snow rooms are creating a ‘wow’ factor for customers, while reducing operating costs in the delivery of hot and cold experiences, says TechnoAlpin partner, Derek Barton from Barr & Wray

Cold bathing offers numerous health benefits photo: technoalpin
Le Meridien Dubai recently installed its first Snow Cabin, adding a wow factor photo: Technoalpin
Snow rooms at Hotel Weinegg photo: technoalpin
Snow room at Hotel Tritone Terme in Italy photos: technoalpin

Hot and cold bathing is known to strengthen the Central Nervous System, so the value to people of using these types of facilities can’t be understated,” explains Derek Barton, MD at Barr & Wray. “Alternatively, if the guest just wants to use the wellness experience to get away from it all, then that’s good too.”

While Barr & Wray offers a variety of hot experiences, Barton says large-scale cold water experiences can be more of a challenge to deliver, due to the cost of cooling large volumes of water. “Wet areas typically have air temperatures of between 29-31 degrees,” he explains, “so chilled pools cost a lot to run and to keep cool. Additionally, cold water experiences can be expensive when it comes to water usage and we find some are just not sustainable”.

Snow room solutions
If operators want to optimise their spa and wellness installations in terms of operating costs, but still want to deliver hot and cold experiences, Barton suggests they consider snow and ice rooms. “They’re a good fit,” he says. “They deliver the wow factor while also being constructed and operated to ensure sanitary conditions. They also accommodate multiple users, when compared to cold plunge pools and showers, which generally only accommodate one person at a time.”

When it comes to snow room trends, Barton – who partners with specialist TechnoAlpin to deliver these experiences – says larger wet areas are becoming more popular in the Asian and Middle East markets. “Whether this is to do with the pandemic and the need for more personal space, or simply that consumers are developing a preference for larger bathing areas remains to be seen,” he says. “In this context, snow and ice rooms can be the jewel in the crown, offering a unique experience for many regular spa users who have become a little jaded from seeing the same facilities time and time again.”

New installations
Barr & Wray has recently installed a snow room with TechnoAlpin in the spa at Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre Dubai and is also working with them on a design project in Qatar, which will also incorporate snow.

So can a snowroom installation help the bottom line? Barton says although extra budget is required for the installation, it’s not possible to underestimate the power of the ‘wow’ factor when it comes to the impact of these playful cold experiences: “In addition to providing guests with a curative treatment, a snow room can be incorporated into a spa or wellness offering to simply put the property on the map,” he explains. “It could be the reason why guests make the journey to your spa rather than visiting another property.”

More: www.technoalpin.com

About TechnoAlpin

TechnoAlpin’s indoor snow concepts offer experiences for hotels and wellness areas, as well as indoor ski and retail venues, with solutions ranging from 10sq m snow cabins to snow-covered ski areas of 50,000sq m.

The company’s SnowRoom can be manufactured in a range of sizes from 5 to 20sq m. Real snow provides an innovative, dry cool-down, as well as snow experiences 365 days a year that stimulate the senses in a wintery environment.

Room design options include Rock, Forest or the Cubic option, which was designed by renowned architects, Snøhetta. The rooms are cooled to between -5°C and -10°C and fresh snow ‘falls’ every night.

The EcoSnow2.0 multifunctional unit is the central controller for snow production, while cold air is also blown into the room via the snow nozzle to maintain the temperature, with no additional cooling required.

When it comes to the layout of the spa, the unit can be installed up to 50m from the SnowRoom to give more flexibility in the installation.

A seven-inch touch display ensures easy control and monitoring of all of the EcoSnow 2.0’s operating functions. A timed program allows for the automatic control of the production of snow and also the defrosting times.

For ease of operation, TechnoAlpin can access the device and update settings remotely for maintenance purposes.

Derek Barton - Barr & Wray

"Hot and cold bathing is known to strengthen the Central Nervous System, so the value to people of using these types of facilities can’t be understated,” – Derek Barton, MD at Barr & Wray

Originally published in Spa Business 2021 issue 3

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