HOLIDAY HOT TUBS
Hot tubs can add value to holiday lets but operators need to look before they leap.
Hot tubs now regularly feature on the wish list of holiday makers looking to book a range of holiday accommodation from cabins, lodges and chalets to some of the more luxurious ‘glamping’ packages at holiday sites throughout the UK and Eire.
For holiday park operators, the addition of a hot tub is a tempting prospect. It makes a lodge stand apart from a comparable cabin at a competing location, while creating the option for a premium price level for ‘superior accommodation’ with hot tubs. It also adds to the kudos of the site generally as a ‘five star’ holiday venue.
A handful of the bigger holiday park operators have invested in ‘adapted’ portable tubs with remote commercial filtration and chemical dosing for their luxury lodges. These are generally much larger than the average portable spa with bigger and better filtration and sanitation systems along with other features that suit much heavier use in theme parks and health spas.
But, over the past ten years, a vast majority of smaller holiday park operators and holiday let owners, have just purchased and operate what are in fact domestic hot tubs only designed for home, and not intended for commercial use.
While holiday park operators rush to meet the demands of prospective customers and a welcome boost to sales – hot tub suppliers should make clear about the health and safety considerations that come with every holiday hot tub installation – advising customers appropriately and not succumbing to lower standards for the lure of quick or bulk sale.
“Any pool of water being used by a paying customer would bring it under the category of commercial use. It is the case for hot tubs installed into a holiday lodge. They are there for commercial use,” advises Jimmy Lamb, UK Bayrol product manager for the Pollet Pool Group, and a leading expert in hot tub care.
“It’s not as straight forward to simply plonk a hot tub into any log cabin, chalet or holiday lodge and expect the hirer to get on with it. If the water is not maintained properly things can quickly go wrong,” warns Lamb.
“One risk is the fast dissipation of the disinfection residual as the holiday maker, his family and all of their friends embark on the inevitable hot tub party.
“Once the disinfectant is allowed to diminish, bacteria are allowed to multiply exposing the risk of cross contamination between bathers. Rashes and skin complaints will result in an unhappy holiday maker seeking some form of compensation but, we all know that other waterborne diseases can develop in poorly treated pools that can become a lot more serious than just a rash.”
And he stresses: “A legally-required risk assessment should highlight the requirement for operating procedures of such an installation to include regular draining, disinfecting of the tub, pipework and filter after each letting.”
The HPA (Health Protection Agency) has produced a booklet called ‘Management of Spa Pools’. This booklet offers advice on the installation of what is generally a product designed for domestic use being installed into a commercial facility. It states that if there are a number of premises sharing the pool then a commercial spa is required. The British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association also offer member fact sheets about these installations and have further advice within their standards.
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