There’s one in Tallinn that’s particularly special to us though.
At the end of the Tondi tramline and the edge of Tallinn’s city centre, there’s a typical Tallinn townhouse built in 1910 back when Estonia was still part of the Tsarist Russian empire. It’s special to us because there’s a modest apartment inside that used to be our home and it has a surprisingly nice sauna where we’ve spent many enjoyable evenings unwinding with our family and friends. It’s here where we started hosting friends from around the world to introduce them to Estonian sauna culture and also started writing this blog to document other saunas around Estonia.
Away from the spas and public sauna houses, Estonian saunas are mostly enjoyed like this in private, which is why it’s important to have a good home sauna. This is also why it is often difficult for visitors to Estonia to experience an authentic Estonian sauna experience though.
This apartment, which we’ve knicknamed Tondi Saun, is now available to rent on Airbnb here so you can try this one out for yourself if you looking for a place to stay in Tallinn.
We want to offer a special experience for fellow sauna fans so we ensure the place is not just clean and comfortable but also stocked with viht (a birch branch for beating yourselves in the sauna), a couple of ‘Rangi Saun’ birch beers from our nearby smoke sauna, and also a a guide to Estonian sauna culture and traditions.
We are also very happy to provide our guests with more advice about enjoying the sauna or discovering other saunas around Tallinn and Estonia.
We had one problem to solve before we could open up Tondi Saun to guests though.
The sauna had a great wood-burning stove, but it wasn’t quite safe enough for guests (or even insurable) so we had to upgrade it.
We didn’t want just any new stove though. It would need to be electric, but still provide the highest quality sauna experience based on ancient sauna building principles. It should also, of course, represent the very best of Estonian design and innovation. As a result, we chose the award-winning DROP, which is made in Estonia by HUUM.
A lot of electric saunas today are a bit too clunky and industrial-looking because they have a large amount of metal taking up most of the focus. The DROP features a large number of stones, which are the central focus of the sauna — as it has been in saunas for thousands of years. These exposed stones aren’t just more visually appealing, but also produce a superior heat and steam experience.
This is me (excitedly) installing it:
To provide an extra special experience though, HUUM has now added a WiFi control system so that the sauna has been turned into an ‘e-sauna’ that can be heated up from anywhere. Using the app, you simply choose your target temperature and can also see the current temperature at any time. There’s also a timer if you’d like it heated for a specific time later, as well as a load of safety features.
That means guests can maximise their time in Estonia and ensure the sauna is the perfect temperature when they arrive to the apartment after a long day exploring Tallinn — or perhaps swimming in an Estonian bog.
As you can see, we’ve put the new sauna through rigorous testing ourselves and it has surpassed all of our expectations so far.
HUUM’s sauna stoves are increasingly sought after around the world, although we’re very proud that Tondi Saun is the first sauna to receive their new WiFi sauna technology.
In fact, we’ll give you the sauna log-in details before you start your journey here so that you can start heating the sauna as soon as your plane’s wheels touch the runway at Tallinn’s Lennart Meri International Airport. The sauna will then be ready by the time your tram or Bolt taxi arrives at our door, which is the best way to recover after a journey.
You can watch the full 2-minute video we made about about our e-sauna testing here:
How to book your stay at ‘Tondi saun’:
The apartment is available to rent through AirBnb here: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/16377724. You can also email us at email@example.com.
The apartment is ideal for solo travellers or couples, including those with young children. The building is home to families so it is not suited for parties.
About ‘Estonian Saunas’
Thanks for reading. The Estonian Saunas blog is run by Anni and Adam, explorers and exporters of Estonian saunas.
Anni is a green building specialist who grew up here in Estonia immersed in sauna culture, while Adam is a väliseestlane (‘foreign Estonian’) whose family were exiled to the UK during Soviet times but he has now returned and is still trying to understand the sauna — and everything else about his Estonian heritage.
Together, we love finding weird and wonderful saunas all over Estonia and telling the world about them. Check out our plan to make 100 Estonian saunas more famous around the world.
We also offer two saunas in Tallinn that you can visit. Both are based on the best of Estonian design and technology, although in very different ways. The first is our smoke sauna, Rangi saun, which combines an ancient sauna heating technique with a contemporary Estonian design. The second is our WiFi-controlled e-sauna (you’ve just read about), Tondi Saun, which is part of our apartment that you can book through Airbnb.
In addition to reading our blog, you can follow Estonian Saunas on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. There’s also a Facebook group for fans of Estonian saunas where you can share advice and stories.
Finally, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org