Michael Beare of Finn Lough Resort is the visionary behind this unique holiday experience. He explains: “Our aim was to be able to offer holidaymakers a truly unique experience in this glorious setting, yet with minimal impact on these wonderful surroundings. We aimed to minimise the footprint of the domes, offering off grid power and heating solutions, minimal construction requirements and a design that blends into the landscape.”
Each Dome is kitted out with Panasonic Aquarea Fan Coils which are connected to air to water Panasonic Aquarea Monobloc heat pumps for quick reaction heating and cooling as well as domestic hot water. Panasonic additionally supply DX ERV units to maintain a constant air flow rate. Furthermore, each Dome can be monitored via the Panasonic Aquarea Smart Cloud technology to maintain the optimal environment for each guest.
Michael shared his original dream for the Domes: “I wanted to create a unique environmental experience where people can enjoy all the different elements of nature from a safe environment in a bubble of peace and tranquillity – I believe we have now achieved this.”
The first Domes were created in 2015 but had several challenges such as misting up, being cold in winter and too hot in the summer months. Michael then started discussions with Panasonic to understand and solve these issues. With continuous prototyping and testing, the team has since adapted and improved the Dome’s comfort and experience for guests.
Walter Stephens of Panasonic Ireland added “We are delighted to be part of this exciting and innovative project. The Panasonic Aquarea Mono-bloc air to water heat pump is an ideal, energy efficient solution, to heat or cool the Domes. The units have the added benefit of using the outside air and passing the air over refrigerant-filled coils (like a refrigerator). The then captured heat is automatically transferred to water, which is then ready for use in the heating or cooling system within the domes and for supplying hot water. Furthermore, the units do not require access to mains gas.”
The Panasonic Aquarea heat pump technology was chosen for this project as the units easily adapt to extreme low temperatures (-20oC) and high temperatures, whatever the climate. The units are highly energy efficient (COP of 5.08), are compact, positioned externally to save on internal living space, quick and straightforward to install.
The Domes are proving popular, with seven initially installed at the Finn Lough Resort in Northern Ireland which has recently increased to 14 Domes due to the high demand.
Visitors’ feedback is highly positive, so much so that the resort now has an ever-growing waiting list. Each dome has a unique four poster bed, ensuite bathroom, nespresso coffee machine, fluffy robe and daily breakfast included and reside in the middle of a private forest.
Visiting guest, Ainhoa Barcelona from Hello Magazine commented “Each dome has been fitted with underfloor heating and a boost button by the bed that can give you a blast of heat at intervals. This is glamping taken to the next level.”
Another recent guest commented on trip advisor “I don't know where to start, Finn Lough was incredible! We stayed in one of the Bubble Domes and it was the most amazing experience. Before going I was slightly worried it would be cold, however, it looks like they have fully listened to feedback as it has heated floors, a heater and a heated mattress. Privacy never felt like an issue and we were blessed with a clear night with an incredible view of the stars.”
Enthusiasm for the Dome experience has now reached a global level with orders for more Domes in remote locations coming from Australia, North America, Italy and France to name a few.