Turn your home into a luxury spa

You needn’t leave lockdown to indulge in some pampering, says Chris Carter.

Summer is around the corner. And yet, for the moment, your travel plans must not extend beyond the end of your garden. So you might as well make the most of it. One option is to turn your potting shed into your own private, luxury spa retreat. “We’ve all been in isolation lately, but it doesn’t have to be all bad,” says Hannah Elliott in Bloomberg Businessweek. There’s “a good kind” of isolation that some spend good money to have imposed, a kind that “calms and restores rather than aggravates” – think of sensory deprivation tanks. 

The Evolution Float Pod, from US-based Superior Float Tanks ($28,900 – UK delivery available), is the best. “We are the top float manufacturer for a few reasons, not just aesthetics,” Johnny Huber, Superior Float Tanks’ vice-president of sales, tells MoneyWeek. The filtration engine is “designed to handle almost any contamination”. That means, unlike other options on the market, “our customers should never need to change or dump the saltwater”. And while the company in Virginia counts “the military, sports teams, clinics and corporations” among its clients, it has noticed one side-effect of the lockdown. “Our residential market is actually exploding right now, due partly, of course, to the virus and such.”

Another option is a barrel sauna. “Originating in Finland in the 12th century, the sauna room has become an iconic addition to spas across the world,” notes Doncaster-based UK Saunas on its website. “Today, you are now able to bring wooden saunas to your outdoor space.” You don’t have to take it as far as billionaire Jack Dorsey. In a podcast last year the Twitter founder said he spends three periods of 15 minutes each evening in a wooden, barrel-shaped sauna set to a temperature of 220˚F (104˚C). That claim seems unlikely, says Nick Bilton in Vanity Fair. In the 2010 World Sauna Championship in Finland (“yes, that’s a thing”), two competitors had to be pulled out after six minutes at 230˚F and one spent six weeks recovering in hospital. The other died. Still, done sensibly, time in a sauna is supposed to aid circulation and relieve muscle tension. UK Saunas sells a two-seater barrel sauna for £2,195.

Your garden spa will also, of course, need a hot tub. Some of the hot tubs on the market “require lengthy installations”, says Sarah-Jane Butcher for T3 magazine, others you can simply “plug and play”. They come with different jet speeds, mood lighting and even sound systems. “Ensure you have plenty of space to fit the hot tub, as well as easy access to the power source and enough room to safely get in and out.” The Canadian Spa Cambridge Hot Tub (£4,994.99, robertdyas.co.uk) has 33 jets and features a high-quality amplifier and aromatherapy system. If you have a garden big enough, Canadian Spa even does a 16-foot-long version, the Swim Spa, for £17,999 – part hot tub, part miniature swimming pool.

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