People

Arlene plans to bring authentic Finnish, wood-fired sauna to Sandbanks and other beaches

Arlene Lukkarinen, Founder, The Saltwater Sauna.

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: November 6, 2020 | Updated: 7th November 2020

It’s already been hailed as “the best news all year” and it could be coming to a beach near you within months.

Cold water enthusiast Arlene Lukkarinen is planning to bring an authentic Finnish, wood-fired sauna to Sandbanks, and other East Dorset beaches, from as early as February 2021.

The 27-year-old was born and raised in Finland which has a ratio of 5.5m people to 3.2m saunas.

Developing year round wellness in the community, people will be encouraged to plunge into the sea, socialise and warm-up in the ‘löyly’ (the steam that rises from the sauna stove) and adopt a new way of healthy living.

But first Arlene, who graduated after completing a student exchange at Bournemouth University, has to raise £6,000 through her crowdfunder rewards and donations campaign.

It launches on Sunday, November 1, and will help cover a portion of the purchase and licensing of the portable, wood-fired sauna.

The rest of the costs for establishing The Saltwater Sauna will be covered by Arlene.

Agreement has been reached with UK-based provider Heartwood Saunas for a bespoke sauna.

Arlene said: “The beach is an integral part of why we all love living here.

“What better location to connect beachside living with sauna culture than our stunning East Dorset beaches, starting with Sandbanks.

“In Finland, sauna life is simple; it’s what brings people together as the cornerstone of our weekly routines.

“No matter the day you’ve had, once you step into the sauna you’re immersed in a blissful state of peacefulness and calm, and leave feeling revitalised.

“I want to help others slow down and experience golden sunsets and sunrises, crisp autumn and winter mornings, moody skies, and stormy weather fronts, all from the comfort of the seaside sauna.”

Arlene hopes to have the sauna up and running on the beach early next year, depending on the future implications of safety measures surrounding Covid-19.

With Covid-19 to the forefront, she initially plans to offer private hire in 30 minute/60 minute sessions for groups, such as households and support bubbles, and reflect the government guidelines for sauna spas in the UK.

The sauna will be deep cleaned between sessions.

The plan is to operate the sauna with daily sessions; early in the morning, throughout the day and/or late into the evening, reflecting initial demand.

As the sauna grows in popularity and Covid-19 eases, The Saltwater Sauna will also be available to hire for communal beach sauna sessions.

Arlene is also hoping to work with local charities and non-profit organisations to offer wellbeing experiences.

She said: “I’ve had a hugely positive reaction to my plans.

“I had between 500 and 600 followers within weeks of announcing it on social media with comments such as ‘This is the best news we’ve had all year’.

“There has been no negative feedback at all.”

Arlene said similar saunas were “popping up” all over the country and some already existed in Dorset including one at Bridport.

“There is a such a large watersports community and many have expressed support for The Saltwater Sauna.

“I’m very hopeful that we’ll raise the funds we need to get going,” she said.

There are three ways to support Arlene’s crowdfunding campaign:

1. A pledge is a sum of money given by a ‘supporter’, in return for a reward. The rewards on offer include local yoga and water sports experiences as well as gifts such as candles, wetsuit shampoo, cupcakes and coffee together with discounted sauna experiences for future use once The Saltwater Sauna is up and running.

2. A sum of money given by a supporter to the project, to help see the project come to fruition.

3. Sharing and promoting including inviting people to like The Saltwater Sauna’s Instagram and Facebook accounts and spreading the word.

Arlene is operating a ‘fixed’ Crowdfunder.

This means The Saltwater Sauna only receives the funds raised if it meets the full target.

All money will be returned unless Arlene successfully reaches the end with the full amount raised, thereby limiting public risk.

To get involved and to support Arlene then visit her Crowdfunder page here.

The Saltwater Sauna can be followed on social media at:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sandbanksbeachsauna
Instagram: www.instagram.com/thesaltwatersauna

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