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Towels optional: Finnair to open unisex sauna in new airline lounge

updated 4:00 AM EDT, Tue June 24, 2014
Finnair is capitalizing on its culture with an in-lounge sauna. The only thing missing is a post-sweat dip in an icy lake.
Finnair is capitalizing on its culture with an in-lounge sauna. The only thing missing is a post-sweat dip in an icy lake.
  • Finnair adds a sauna to its new airport lounge in Helsinki
  • In Finland, there is one sauna for every three people
  • Towels are recommended, although tradition in Finland is to be naked

(CNN) -- Fancy stripping off before a flight and getting sweaty with fellow passengers?

Finnair think you might like to and has backed the idea by adding a sauna to its new premium lounge in Helsinki Airport.

Airline lounges are prime ways for airlines to promote their brand and showcase all the luxury and service frills they can muster, but with a traditional unisex sauna, Finnair has upped the ante.

The airline has added new shower suites, too. Courtesy Finnair.

The airline has gone big on the Nordic theme throughout the new lounge that opens later this year.

Open to passengers holding Finnair's platinum and gold cards, the 407-square meter space is decorated with a variety of Finnish designed homeware from the likes of Marimekko, Iittala Ultima Thule and Eero Saarinen, while video projections reflect the time of day and season.

Our aim was to create an emotional experience for Finnair's clients.
Vertti Kivi, designer

In a country where there's around one sauna for every three people, incorporating one into the new lounge seemed a natural thing to do .

"Our aim was to create a high-quality, even emotional experience for Finnair's demanding clients," says designer Vertti Kivi. "Different zones for work, refreshment, silence or bathing are unified with a light Scandinavian design touch, creating a space that clients won't forget."

Finnair's new Premium lounge will be lit to reflect seasons and times of day. Courtesy Finnair.

The sight of fellow passengers in the nude in a tiny room heated to nearly 100 degrees Celsius could be part of that unforgettable experience, but perhaps not the kind of memory some would want to retain from a business trip.

Traditionally saunas in Finland are taken naked, but guests are "recommended" to use towels, states the airline.

Finnair did have an airport sauna before, but according to the airline, it closed over two years ago because it wasn't financially viable. With an expansion to Helsinki Airport, the airline believe it will be a greater success this time.

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