Sopwell House Hotel Spa, a four star hotel, called upon Edge Leisure for the second time to breathe new life into their hotel spa. With an exclusive interview with Paul Lowe, from Edge Leisure, we were able to find out the details of this particular rejuvenation.
Tell us about the project.
Sopwell was a very challenging project. The client approached us as we had done a very successful project there two years earlier. They have an area called the “Mews” which are exclusive two and four bedroom suites with a communal garden designed by Ann-Marie Powell, a Chelsea flower show winner and BBC presenter. Some have a private garden and deck area with hot tubs. Our scope was to provide five wooden hot tubs and a large communal Hydropool.
What were the challenges you faced with this project?
One of the issues they had is that there was nowhere to put the equipment to run any of it. So we installed it inside a 20ft shipping container and built the equipment for both products. This was hidden in the back of the car park by a row of trees and a fence, the pipes and controls buried in the ground. In the floor of the container we cut a hole out for all the pipes and services to come in and out. The distance from the plantroom to the tub was over 50 meters, so our pipework and ground works meant our design had to be flawless; as we are not aware of this being done anywhere else.
What else had to be considered?
The other challenge was ensuring the tubs could be used 24 hours a day as the suites were occupied most of the time, unlike a swimming pool or communal spa / Hydropool where the facility has downtime so maintenance can be done in the closed period. We designed the remote plantroom so that pretty much everything could be done from the container with little to nothing being done to the tubs on a daily basis. This was achieved by having a secondary water supply that is used for backwashing and cleaning the system, meaning the heating didn’t suffer nor did the tubs have downtime.
Tell us about the hot tubs you built and how they were different to others.
The most common type of wooden hot tub can be purchased quite cheaply as they are often made from a low grade Canadian redwood, which over time degrades and the chlorine bleaches out the colour and look. We chose a very hard, long wearing timber for these tubs, Siberian Larch, it has a very low moisture content and a unique make-up in its DNA that prevents it rotting for many years.
The Wooden tubs were made in Europe and shipped to our offices where we then plumbed and pre-built them and then shipped them to be dropped at the site as each area became ready. These tubs have a hydro-jet system and underwater light to each one, the smallest being a two seat version in the honeymoon suite. The Hydropool is closed overnight for safety reasons so does not have the same issues of no downtime.