General

One of the most increasing property features in demand this year is ‘holiday cottage with a hot tub’ (Simply Business 2021 report). Many holiday-goers appear to be interested paying a little bit more to add a bit of luxury to their holidays, while owners are investing in this next-level comfort to ensure a relaxing and memorable break for guests.

Benefits of having a hot tub in your holiday home

Increase in booking rates all year-round

Due to a boom in monthly searches for ‘cottages with hot tubs’ over the last year, there is no doubt that self-catering properties with hot tubs will help to achieve higher booking rates and occupancy levels. Hot tubs offer a wide appeal in all seasons which means it attracts many holiday seekers to book your holiday home in low season, to escape the cold whilst soaking in hot bubbling water after a long day of exploring.

A touch of luxury

Have you ever thought of USP (unique selling point) at your holiday rental? Adding a hot tub without doubt is a memorable holiday highlight that not only adds a luxury touch but also gives you an edge in an increasingly competitive market.

Happy guest – happy owner

There is nothing more relaxing than soaking in a hot tub and sharing this experience with closest family and friends, meaning positive feedback and word-of-mouth recommendations.  What is even better, it has been proven to have a variety of health benefits including muscle relaxation, stress relief and improved sleep (Healthline 2020)

Finally, with your very own hot tub in your second home, you can take a full advantage of this luxury addition and visit the property when it’s empty or whenever the mood strikes!

Hot Tub Maintenance and Safety

Whilst having a hot tub certainly has many benefits, it also requires a lot of maintenance and must comply with the HSG282 document to prevent any health and safety risks. Understanding how hot tubs operate and ensuring that your holiday let is a safe environment, is key to all parties involved.

Servicing a hot tub

A regular hot tub service is necessary to prolong the life of your hot tub by keeping it in immaculate condition, reducing breakdowns and safeguarding holiday makers’ health. There are daily, monthly and yearly jobs to take into consideration.

A yearly full service usually includes a complete examination of the filter and plumbing performance, a deep clean from top to bottom, and making sure all parts and the control system work smoothly. We recommend trained experts from Hot Tub Technicians to carry out a full maintenance.

Hot Tub Water Maintenance

For the health and safety of your visitors, and for a longer lifetime of a hot tub, cleaning the water in your holiday home hot tub is essential. Having a suitable cleaning checklist which includes maintaining the right water temperature, cleaning filters regularly and putting in the correct products are on the top of the list.

It is very important that the water is drained and refilled with fresh water after every set of guests, to prevent any health and safety risks. Once it is drained, all of the surfaces must be cleaned, throughout, including the shell and the cover, to remove any dirt on the exterior. Part of the process is also making sure that any maintenance and cleaning work is recorded.

Chemicals for Hot Tubs

The water in a hot tub is usually heated between 35°C and 40°C, which is a base for bacteria growth. There are many ways to treat hot tub water, the most common being chlorine and bromine as they are proven to have the strongest effect dealing with bacteria. For the sanitizer to work effectively, the pH levels are very important, and it must be maintained between 7.2 and 7.6.

Specific testing strips are used to check the level of sanitizer and pH.

Safety Advice for Guests

By providing a clear guidance on the hot tub, your guests will be assured that, it is easy and safe to use. This information usually includes how to switch it on/off, adjust the water temperature and avoid certain items whilst in the hot tub or within a close proximity of it. Some of the recommended rules for visitors to be placed at the holiday home are:

–          Shower before using the hot tub – it helps to reduce the amount of detergents and lotions contaminating the water.

–          Adult supervision at all times

–          No glassware in the hot tub or around it

–          Limited usage time (i.e. not to be used after 10pm)

–          Slippery surfaces

–          Not to exceed seating capacity

Choosing a Hot Tub

There are many different types of hot tubs on the market, but what is really important is to make sure it complies with your legal responsibilities, is easy to maintain and has a long lifetime.

There are two ways of getting a hot tub to your holiday home, its either installing a permanent hot tub or hiring out by a professional company who will deliver, set it all for guests and safely take the hot tub away. More information on the companies we partnered with is in the second part of the blog.

With no doubt long term hot tub is not a cheap investment and the cost with delivery itself can vary between £4,000 and £20,000, depending on what you want. Of course, you can always have an external company hired out to look after your hot tub and keep it maintained.

Having a rented hot tub is a hassle-free solution for those owners that don’t want a large investment to start with. However, DCH would only recommend using the hard-shell tubs to offer the customer the very best and safe experience.

Since a hot tub is high-value item, some key things to remember include.

–          The capacity of a hot tub to accommodate the number of guests the cottage can accept

–          Easy control system with limited access to basic functions for guests

–          Good insulation making the hot tub cost less to operate at any time of the year

–          Great water filtration system – adding a sub pump will allow the water to be pump out a lot quicker, saving you time and money.

–          Fast drainage facilities

–          Look out for hot tubs with heat pumps

Is your property right for a Hot Tub?

When it comes to getting a hot tub there is a few criteria that require attention prior, whether its a permanent or hired one. Unfortunately, not every rental property is fit to have this luxury addition.

Planning Permission for Hot Tubs

The first question that comes to mind when in debate of having a hot tub is whether you require approval from your local authority. In most cases you do not need the permission to install a hot tub in your second home, but there are some exceptions, i.e. if your property is a listed building. However, be sure to double check with local council.

Insurance

To have peace of mind, we recommend to get a comprehensive holiday letting insurance policy that covers any risks and unexpected accidents arising whilst guests using the luxury of your home spa. We work with David Upshall who would happily advice you on the best holiday home insurance cover.

Privacy

One of the most important things is to make sure there is an enclosed spot, tucked away for neighbours, so the guests can fully relax and enjoy the privacy. There are many ways to make your location enclosed by adding fencing or planting to ensure the area isn’t overlooked.

Access and Lighting

One of the criteria for a hot tub is to have adequate space available around the hot tub to allow for access to the equipment panel and free movement. Equally, it is important to have easy access to the street outside, and make sure that gates and doors are large enough to get a tub through, as many tubs are bulky and heavy. Installing a hot tub on an even surface and solid ground, that supports the weight of the tub shell as well as water, and the weight of holiday makers – is key.

Another feature to consider is making sure the hot tub has got plenty of lighting to guide the guests getting in and out of the hot tub. Especially, with days getting shorter and darker, and possibility of ice, paying a special attention to the pathway is key avoiding trip hazards.

Right Target Market

It is really important to understand that hot tubs are not for everyone, and offering this luxury might not attract every age group. What every owner should be analysing is the demographic of the guests booking the property, and deciding whether or not it would add value to those returning guests.

Owners of properties with hot tubs have also been looking to gain a higher quality clientele so this is where it is important to know the age of your returning guests. Also, analysing reviews from previous guests and ‘what would add value to the property’ can help you make the decision on whether or not a hot tub is right for your holiday home.

Key Things To Consider

There are a few things to factor in when dealing with hot tubs and one of them is timing. To empty and refill a hot tub is between 2-6 hours, whereas the heating of the water can take between 8-14 hours, which means in most likely scenarios the guests might not be able to use the hot tub on the day of their arrival.

As with anything outside, its enjoyment is highly dependent on the weather. If there was a thunder storm on the forecast, guests would not be able to use the spa due to safety risks.

Hot Tub Costs and ROI?

ROI

With so many costs involved in hot tub buying/hiring and maintaining process, it can be hard to calculate the value it will add to the bookings. According to Lowland Lettings, booking charges increase by 10-20% (2019) for hot tub holiday properties, however with fuel prices going up and the demand for holiday homes fast increasing, we believe that this figure has grown.

What is key to remember, that offering a high quality and reliable hot tub is an important decision that will increase the number of your bookings and will make your holiday home more appealing across the market. With that saying, you might not see ROI within the first year, but more likely in upcoming years.

Ready To Get the Ball Rolling?

Are you ready to take a big step in upgrading your holiday rental with a luxury of a hot tub? If yes, get in touch with us so we can give you an insight into your guest demographics and rates for your current bookings. Make sure to read the second part of the ‘Buy or Hire’ to make the best decision to suit your holiday home.

We are ready to take the basic hot tub training to ensure that we have the knowledge to safely maintain your hot tub, and be always on hand if in need of visiting your property. Please contact us on 01929553443 or manager@dhcottages.co.uk.

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