Entrepreneur builds ‘ultimate suburban hideaway’ complete with hotel-sized sauna and hot tub

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A recycling guru has created the ultimate “suburban hideaway” – a luxurious spa in the garden of his Cheshire home.

Businessman Tony Gibbons, 49, who lives in Runcorn, has treated his sport-loving family to a five-star spa experience – every day of the week– courtesy of Deeside firm Rubicon Garden Rooms.

The plush room measures 38sqm and boasts a top of the range, seven-seater wellness spa as well as a custom-built 11-seater sauna, shower room and toilets for guests to refresh after a work-out in the existing home gym.

Dad-of-three Tony, who owns Widnes-based recycling firm Yield UK Ltd, could not be happier with the new addition – although he joked he’ll never get the kids to leave home now.

“We’ve had the idea for a while,” said Tony, who lives with wife Alison, 49.

“Originally, it wasn’t going to be a spa at all – it was going to be a golf swing room. I try my best to be a golfer and my son and wife play too, but we changed our minds. We’ve already got a home gym and thought it would be nice to have a spa as well.

“We’ve been in there every day since! There’s at least something in use every single night and the family have all really enjoyed it.

“My son still lives at home. The two girls live with us on and off. We can’t get rid of them – there’s just too many home comforts, especially now!”

Tony, who has two daughters, aged 27 and 22, and a 21-year-old son, set up his environmental management firm just over 20 years ago.

Based in Widnes, Cheshire, the firm provides cardboard, paper and plastic recycling, confidential and specialist shredding and product destruction services across the North West and throughout the UK.

“I’m a local businessman myself and I try to give as much work to local businesses as possible,” said Tony, who grew up in Frodsham.

“I found Rubicon online and realised it was based in Deeside which is fairly local to ourselves. I saw some of the work online and thought the company looked like a good outfit.”

Tony visited Rubicon’s showroom for a closer look at the materials and finish and was impressed with the workmanship, quality and design.

“I made my mind up there and then,” he said.

Rubicon’s team created a perfectly insulated, super-sized wet room to ensure Tony’s new spa facilities had a moisture-resistant, maintenance-free home.

The industrial-grade base is so strong that it could easily withstand the weight of an elephant or a parked car – and easily accommodates several tonnes of water-weight.

“Rubicon was fantastic. The guys did what they said they would do. I got to know them all quite well, they were really great lads,” said Tony.

“Considering the conditions they had for the first couple of weeks – it did not stop raining – I couldn’t fault them.

“Rubicon also provided the flooring and spotlighting. The room itself is heat-rated and totally sealed from outside. The floor has a special protective seal so really it’s like a large wet room.”

Rubicon’s buildings are made from a wood fibre composite material devised by founder and managing director John Lyon, who was inspired by his 20 years as an engineer at Airbus. With proper “breathing walls”, ventilated roofs and damp proofing membranes, they are miniature houses with the same level of care and workmanship as in a modern timber-framed house.

The bespoke top-of-the-range units are used for everything from home offices to art or music rooms, yoga studios, teenage dens and “man caves”.

John Lyon said: “I couldn’t think of a better way to relax after 18 holes than in the fabulous surroundings of my own suburban hideaway.

“Tony was looking for a high-quality, well-designed space that could literally entertain the whole family which is exactly what we were able to provide. We are delighted it is already being put to good use.

“There are so many inspirational uses for a Rubicon Garden Room – the sky really is the limit.”

Tony is now making the final touches to the landscaping around his new spa, which includes a new patio area, fresh turf and steps leading up to the room.

The family have wasted no time getting acquainted with their new garden hideaway and Tony admits his eldest daughter, who is currently working in the US on a cruise ship, will not find it too difficult to adjust to life in Cheshire when she arrives home after 10 months at sea.

“We’ve already had guests around and it’s a great social area, we’ve no regrets at all. It’s really added to the appeal of the house,” said Tony.

“I probably benefit more from the spa after I’ve had a bad round of golf! Work doesn’t stress me out these days. I try to play golf as much as I can and my son is quite sporty and plays a lot of golf and football. It’s a lovely place to be once you’ve done some kind of exercise to relax the muscles and unwind. We’re really happy.”


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