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With staycations on the rise and the self-catering market in the UK becoming increasingly competitive, it’s unsurprising that many holiday homes provide the additional luxury of a hot tub, not only to ensure a relaxing and memorable break for guests, but to also set them apart from other properties. Full of information, our hot tub guide for holiday lets details the benefits of owning one, important rules and guidelines, maintenance and more, so you can provide your guests with a relaxing experience, as well as creating a lucrative investment for your letting future.
Use the quick links below to skip to a particular topic or continue reading for our complete hot tub guide for holiday lets:
Having a holiday cottage with a hot tub has massive appeal and is a sought-after feature for guests when booking a break. So much so, Google Trends identified +170% increase in search frequency for the term ‘holiday cottages with hot tubs’, from 1st June 2020 to 1st June 2021, compared to the previous time period.
Not only this, Google identified that in the UK, from May 2020 to May 2021, there were over 12,000 average monthly searches for the phrase ‘holiday cottages with hot tubs’, and a staggering 200,000+ average monthly searches for the phrase ‘lodges with hot tubs’.
With this level of interest, it goes without saying that self-catering properties with hot tubs are high in demand, likely to generate more bookings and receive high occupancy levels when compared to similar accommodation without, proving a worthwhile investment.
Not just for long summer nights, hot tubs provide year-round appeal, allowing guests to make the most of their holidays even out of season. Especially in the colder months, guests will appreciate the added appeal of coming back from a blustery walk to sit under the stars in a warming, bubbling oasis – a memorable holiday highlight.
A haven of relaxation, a hot tub ‘ups the ante’ in a holiday cottage and affords your property that ‘unique selling point’, increasing its desirability. When faced with increasing competition, having a differentiating factor will set you apart from the crowd, especially if you wish to command a good rental rate. Little ‘extras’ could really make the difference between someone booking your holiday let over another.
Many customers often seek to book a holiday cottage that offers them luxuries they don’t have at home. Downtime with family and friends is the ultimate luxury, and there is no better place to spend it than in a hot tub. Having a unique experience which offers something special like this is likely to increase guest satisfaction, which could result in positive reviews.
View: A hot tub should be a real feature of your holiday cottage so make sure you are making the most of any views. After all, what could be better than relaxing in a warming tub with friends and family while looking out over the seaside or rolling green countryside? An impressive vista is definitely a desirable attribute and affords guests the chance to enjoy their surroundings, making for a truly relaxing holiday.
Privacy: Provide guests a haven of relaxation, where they’re able to cut off the outside world and simply relax in privacy. Strategically placed gazebos or screening with fencing and climbing plants or shrubbery will give guests a degree of privacy and ensure the spot isn’t overlooked.
For more top tips and other ideas, read our blog on how to maximise your holiday lets outdoor space.
Whilst a hot tub could be the reason a guest chooses your property over your competition, as a holiday let owner it’s important to ensure that you provide a safe and relaxing environment. By implementing some basic house rules and safety guidelines, your guests will be warm, cosy and in the midst of tranquil bliss, sipping on fizz and watching the sunset in no time. The most convenient way to include these instructions and any other property information is in your guest information pack.
Clear operating instructions: Every hot tub is different, so it’s important to provide guests with clear and simple instructions that demonstrate the functionality of the tub. From where to store the cover when it’s not in use to how to switch it on/off, and including guidance on how to operate the temperature and jets, having comprehensive instructions will not only make life easier for guests but ensure that your holiday let’s hot tub is well looked after and used properly.
Keep it covered: Key to protecting a hot tub and making sure guests get the most out of it is making sure it is covered when not in use. Keeping the cover on not only keeps a hot tub clean and prevents debris, but it also acts as an insulator to keep it warm for when guests want to use it again. Making sure a cover is in situ and properly secured will also provide guests peace of mind and allow them to relax if there are children and pets about.
Shower first: It is always a good idea to encourage guests to shower with their costumes on before using the hot tub. This will not only help to remove detergents but will also remove cosmetics and lotions from the body, helping the water to stay clean.
No glassware around the tub: Accidents happen, so be prescriptive about guests not using glass in or around the hot tub. Reduce any potential risk by specifying not to eat or drink in the tub, or by providing plastic glasses for use around the tub to prevent guests from inadvertently using glass.
Responsible adult supervision: Make sure that everyone is kept safe by making it clear that non-swimmers and children should not be left unattended. Generally, it’s advised that children under the age of five shouldn’t be allowed to use a hot tub.
Number of guests: For the purpose of both safety and comfort, every hot tub is designed for a maximum number of bathers at one time. Advise guests what the limit is and let them know that this should be strictly adhered to.
It is important to understand the guidance on operating and maintaining hot tubs to make them safe and enjoyable. The Health & Safety Executive has published guidance for anyone responsible for managing hot tubs as part of a business activity. Every property owner has a general care of duty to assess a hot tub’s risk and implement appropriate measures to ensure guest safety. By following a few simple steps and guidelines, it allows you to ensure that you are compliant.
Find out more on the Health & Safety Guidance 282 (HSG282) document.
Ultimately, the guidance is there to protect both guests as well as the holiday let business owners by offering advice on effective ways to safely manage and control systems through various testing, inspections, operation and maintenance. Other important information and guidelines can be found on the British and Irish Spa and hot tub association (BISHTA) website.
All self-catering holiday homes are subject to specific holiday let rules and regulations. As an owner, it’s imperative to know and understand the legal requirements for letting your holiday property. For more insight into what you need to know as an owner, read more on our blog about holiday let rules and regulations.
For the health and safety of your guests, cleaning your holiday let’s hot tub is essential. Having a suitable cleaning routine and using the correct products is key, and makes your hot tub cleaning regime easier while prolonging your hot tub’s longevity.
Once the tub is completely drained, it’s recommended you wipe all the surfaces with a soft cloth or tub scrubber to remove any sediment, dirt or debris. Part of the process is also to check and ensure that the filter is clean. A filter works continuously to trap particles in the water to keep a hot tub clean, so it’s important to check that the filters are rinsed and working properly to help ensure a hot tub’s overall performance and long life. The last part of your hot tub that should be regularly cleaned is the cover, especially the underside.
Hot tubs do require specialist cleaning products as regular household products are often unsuitable and can cause issues with water maintenance and possibly damage the tub’s structure. It’s recommended to adhere to the manufacturer’s guidance on cleaning products which have been developed specifically for individual hot tubs.
A hot tub in a holiday cottage will need to be drained, cleaned and refilled at each changeover. Once refilled, your hot tub will then need to have the pH level balanced and water sanitised.
Depending on its size, most hot tubs take between three to eight hours to get back up to the desired temperature, so it is probably worth letting guests know that it might need a bit of time to heat up the water before they have a soak.
In order to ensure your hot tub remains clean and protected, and the water quality is safe for guests, it’s important to ensure you have a suitable water sanitiser. A sanitiser is what kills bacteria and purifies the water and is the most critical component to a healthy hot tub experience. Chlorine and bromine are the two commonly used disinfectants and are most effective at keeping a hot tub clean. Other chemicals needed for a hot tub are pH increasers for when the water is too acidic, and pH decreasers for when the water is too alkaline. Both sanitiser and pH levels can be checked using specific testing strips.
To keep a hot tub running smoothly, it’s recommended that it is professionally serviced on a regular basis to keep it in an optimum condition. A full service usually includes a complete overhaul of the hot tub, a deep clean from top to bottom, and a thorough clean of the internal plumbing and filtration system. Contact your hot tub supplier regarding service and maintenance requirements or get in touch with our Managed Services team who will be able to assist you in finding a trusted local contact.
Hot tub maintenance is fairly straightforward and if done properly will keep your investment in great condition, safe and ready for guests to use.
Safe hot tub installation: It is essential to plan the layout of the hot tub’s installation and consider the area at your property you want it installed. A hot tub when filled with water and people is extremely heavy and will need a strong, solid, level base to support it.
Ideal water temperature: While the ideal hot tub temperature varies from person to person and depends on factors such as age, health, and personal preference, 37-38 degrees Celsius tends to be a comfortable bathing temperature. Both BISHTA and the HSE HSG282 recommend that the water temperature in your hot tub should not exceed 40 degrees Celsius.
Safe chemical storage: Hot tub cleaning chemicals should always be used safely and stored in a locked location or out of the reach of children.
Prevent slips and falls: Use adequate and safe non-slip materials on steps and flooring. Installing anti-skid treads for steps and providing rubber mats on floors will safeguard guests from accidents as they enter or leave the tub. Depending on where your hot tub is installed you may want to consider using sand paint for decked areas or make sure the flooring around the tub is non-slip. You may even consider providing additional towels or keep a mop handy to use around the hot tub to help guests keep the floor dry after use.
The best hot tub for your holiday let will enable you to comply with your legal responsibilities and provide a variety of low-maintenance features, whilst also managing the safety and satisfaction of your guests. Fortunately, there are hot tubs specifically designed for holiday lets with commercial needs in mind, many of which are now HSG282 compliant. These tubs offer easy to use controls, often only allowing guests limited access to basic functions. As with any high-value item, it is worth doing a bit of research before you invest.
There are many variables to factor into the overall running cost of a holiday let hot tub.
It is essential to work out the cost of operating a holiday let hot tub and to keep track of all your outgoings in order to make your holiday let business a success. For more information, read our blog on what is the cost of running a holiday let?
Planning permission is not usually required for installing a hot tub, but it is always worth checking with your local authority to be entirely certain. In some cases, there will be a requirement, if for instance your hot tub is in a conservation area, or it forms part of a structure in your garden or property. If at any point you are in doubt about whether planning is required, check with your local planning office for clarification.
Read more on our guide to understand the importance of holiday let planning permission.
A comprehensive holiday letting insurance policy is essential and is designed to protect you, your holiday cottage and visiting guests. You will need to make sure your insurance covers any damage or accidents that might occur as a result of a specific feature like a hot tub. For detailed information on why it’s important to have the necessary cover, read our holiday let insurance guide.
Though it can seem like there are a lot of rules and restrictions in place with having a holiday let hot tub, if managed properly a hot tub can be an amazing addition to a property. With opportunity for increased occupancy, higher revenue and returns and most importantly, a haven for guests to unwind under the stars after long days of exploring a new destination, a holiday hot tub is an investment that offers fantastic potential to your property.
Whether you are considering letting your holiday home or you already have a holiday letting business, the following owner guides may be useful to you:
If you own a holiday home and you’re thinking of adding a hot tub or are looking at other ways to improve your property, visit our property owners blog for a whole host of advice for homeowners. With over 20 years’ experience, from advice on energy performance certificates to housekeeping and laundry, our team are here to help!
To find out more about holiday letting with Coast & Country Cottages, request your FREE owners guide today or call our team of holiday letting experts.