The Finnish sauna is a source of wellbeing. It is a place where the mind and body can relax and become cleansed. In a hectic world, the Finnish sauna helps you shake off everyday worries and woes, significantly reducing stress, improving sleep quality and promoting holistic health. We at Sauna from Finland have studied different kinds of Finnish sauna experiences, sauna services, and customer journeys for years to find out what makes the sauna experience great, memorable, and of high-quality. As a result, we created eight (8) Core Values of the Authentic Finnish Sauna Experience, which have to be present throughout the complete experience—before, during, and after the sauna. The Core Values define specific criteria for different kinds of sauna experiences which have been divided into four categories: 1) Sauna URBAN, 2) Sauna NATURE & GARDEN, 3) Sauna SPA, and 4) Sauna UNIQUE. The criteria helps sauna service providers to build and develop sauna experiences to meet high standards of the best sauna experience in the world. If the sauna experience meets the criteria, Authentic Finnish Sauna Experience Quality Certificate can be granted. Are these Core Values present in your Finnish sauna experience? AUTHENTICITY The sauna is built according to Finnish sauna building standards and includes parts and equipment from Finland. All the elements of Finnish sauna are present in the experience: living fire, stone, sauna stove, water, and löyly (the steam that evaporates from the heated stones on the stove). Authenticity doesn’t mean that the saunas should be old and traditional. Authentic Finnish sauna experience can also be modern and trendy, and traditions can be implemented in an imaginative way to a new kind of sauna experience. MULTISENSORIALITY Multisensorial Finnish sauna experience considers all the five senses, vision, smell, touch, taste, and hearing, as part of the entirety. Every sensory perception is an important part of the sauna bathing, as they work together to create a memorable sauna experience. People prefer different kinds of sense experiences. Some enjoy the smell of birch in the sauna room, other appreciates indulging an after-sauna snack. It’s important to create a balance between the senses for the sauna bathing to be as relaxing as possible. PRESENCE & RELAXATION Presence and relaxation refer to one’s possibility to forget the time, worries, and the surrounding world when sauna bathing. Sauna experience has to be quiet, calm, and pleasant for the stress levels to decrease. To relax is to find balance—to stop for a moment and connect with yourself. Leave your phone behind well before sauna bathing and focus on the upcoming moment. Pamper yourself with sauna treatments, whisking, or sauna yoga. Focus on the moment at hand and let your thoughts come and go. WELLBEING & HEALTH Finnish sauna experience is good for both your body and mind. Above all, sauna bathing is taking care of oneself. The various, scientifically proven health benefits of Finnish sauna make it an excellent part of a healthy lifestyle. Creating a sauna experience that promotes wellbeing and health takes many aspects into account. For a start, the sauna experience has to be safe and clean. The sauna has to be built correctly (e.g. proper ventilation and insulation) and the parts used have to be of high-quality. It’s important to emphasize that the health benefits are reached by regular sauna bathing that’s conducted by listening to body’s signals. CONTRAST Creating contrast in the sauna experience means that going to sauna offers something unique, outstanding, and new to the bather. Contrast adds additional value to sauna services and helps to stand out from competitors. Our studies have found out that the customer will remember and return to the sauna experience if it differs remarkably from their everyday life and offers something positively surprising. Remember that contrast differs from sauna bather to another. An experienced sauna bather needs something different than a person that visits sauna for the first time. CLEANLINESS An enjoyable sauna experience is clean and hygienic from beginning to end. The air should smell good and fresh in the dressing rooms, showers, sauna, and cooling down areas. Cleanliness is the most important thing that the customers notice when they enter the sauna area. Clean the sauna area regularly and let the rooms dry in between uses. Remember bench covers and remind sauna bathers about showering before moving from sauna to the pool area. SAFETY Safe sauna environment isn’t necessary the first thing that the sauna bather notices, but sliding while taking a shower or burning yourself by accidentally touching the sauna stove certainly ruin the whole experience and might even damage the perception of sauna bathing overall. Remember to instruct sauna bathers to safe sauna experience, preferring DO’s instead of DONT’s. Maintain the sauna area regularly and check that nothing’s broken. Add handrails and safety rails to the sauna room. Avoid the risk of sliding but choosing non-slippery materials or adding plastic mats that increase traction. RESPONSIBILITY Authentic Finnish sauna experience is responsible. It takes into account what kind of economical, environmental, and social impact the sauna experience has. Finnish sauna experience doesn’t harm the nature and welcomes everyone to enjoy sauna bathing. Ecological sauna experience aims to save and use energy, natural resources and materials wisely. Economically sustainable sauna experience prefers services and products produced locally and supports co-operation between different operators. Socially responsible sauna experience is available for everyone regardless of gender, social status, or abilities. Need help with creating your own Finnish sauna experience? Order the Authentic Finnish Sauna Experience Quality Handbook and you are one step closer to a high-quality experience.