Against The Grain
Switched on holiday operators are rushing to add hot tubs and spas to their holiday offering. Hot tubs can typically add between £75 – £125 to the value of a weekly rental charge on holiday lodges, chalets or luxury caravans. With an average initial investment of £6,000 per hot tub unit, payback is achievable within just one or two seasons, even when taking into account the additional costs of water treatment and maintenance. Most established hot tub suppliers offer finance options, many at 0%. It may also pay to ask about rental or lease options to reduce initial outlays. With so many cottoning on to the pulling power of the holiday hot tub trend though, it can prove challenging for your holiday offering to stand out from the crowd. Currently enjoying a European-led resurgence, wooden hot tubs are fast becoming a popular choice for customers looking for an aesthetically pleasing and natural way to relax and unwind. “Hot tubs are seen as a luxury item for holidaymakers, so for that reason they can add great value to a holiday property,” says Robin Cranston, director of Riviera Hot Tubs. “In fact, almost 50% of the hot tubs we sell go to holiday homes or holiday rental properties,” says Robin. “They offer the added entertainment for guests, without having to leave the comfort of their holiday lodge.” Robin continues: “Very little maintenance is required to keep wooden hot tubs to a high standard. Our hot tubs come with the option of having an ultra violet water treatment unit, which reduces the amount of chlorine needed. We only recommend stabilised chlorine granules for our hot tubs because it’s kinder to the wood but other than that the water treatment is exactly the same.”
EYE FOR DESIGN
Boasting hydro massage jets, wooden hot tubs combine the best of both old and new worlds.
Riviera Hot Tubs specialise exclusively in the supply and installation of traditional wood barrel style hot tubs and saunas, from their workshop based in Devon.
“When selecting a hot tub style, I would urge holiday park operators to consider their clientele. A high end wooden hot tub can complement a timber lodge in a peaceful setting and increase the value of a property. I would also point out that it’s worth spending that bit extra to get a good quality tub. Lower priced tubs are available, but they can look cheap and aren’t guaranteed to last as long.”
Riviera sell only their own brand hot tubs made from Canadian kiln dried cedar, chosen for its clear grain, long-term stability and natural resistance to decay. The standard range of tubs come in 5ft, 6ft and 7ft diameters and are 4ft in depth, which is considerably deeper than acrylic spas.
The extra depth increases buoyancy creating a relaxing, luxurious tub. Prices range from £5,995 – £11,000 and bespoke sizes and oval tubs are available on request.
The company also offer discount rates for customers looking to purchase more than one tub.
Robin reveals: “In the last few years our hot tub sales have changed in the fact that we are selling more abroad. Currently, sales in the UK stand at around 50% of our business while the other 50% is in Switzerland and Europe. We have several hot tubs in ski chalets in the Alps and clusters of them in certain resorts. We’ve even sold one to Abu Dhabi this year.”
It is thought that the early American settlers were among the first to build wooden tubs.
The earliest examples were put together with cedar planking, made water-tight in much the same way as a wooden barrel with heating to warm the water generated from natural springs. These early wooden spas rose to prominence across America and were widely used until the introduction of today’s more modern looking acrylic-lined hot tubs.
“Demand for wooden hot tubs is on the up,” declares Aurimas Makauskas, director of Pembrokeshire-based Eco Hot Tubs. “We find that the simplicity appeals to many of our customers,” she continues. “You can place the hot tub in any spot where you can get water access, so even in the middle of nowhere you can enjoy hot water, fresh air, and the sounds and smell of nature.”
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