Taking The Plunge
With thousands of models to choose from, selecting the right hot tub for a holiday let can be a potential minefield.
Shrewd operators and owners will look before they leap when it comes to showing duty of care, not to mention doing the necessary sums to ensure a profitable bottom line. Over the past ten years, a significant amount of holiday park operators and holiday let owners have purchased and operate what are in fact domestic hot tubs only designed for home, and not intended for commercial use.
Commercial spas, the type found at health clubs and spas, 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 bather use. Chris Brady of Lincolnshire-based hot tub retailer 1 Stop Spas advises customers to avoid the temptation of buying a cheap hot tub on the internet, which may not be robust enough to cater for the high demands of a holiday hot tub.
“We come across plenty of customers whose opinion when buying was ‘I only want a cheap spa because I’m only renting it out’. Like most electrical equipment, buying cheap isn’t always cost effective over a few years,” says Chris. “Cheap spas can cost up to ten times as much to run, meaning higher overheads. They are often fitted with cheap components, therefore the reliability is not very good meaning in inconvenient downtime for you and rental customers.”
1 Stop Spas’ bestselling holiday hot tub is Vita Spa Joli, which is a compact shape and has low sides that can easily be incorporated into new or existing decking. The Vita Spa range also uses off the shelf Balboa control systems and pumps, therefore sourcing parts quickly is easy, meaning minimal down time if you were unlucky enough to develop a fault. Chris adds: “The biggest consideration which is often overlooked is aftercare. We recommend that you have the spa serviced at least every six months to ensure any wear and tear is identified early and rectified to avoid breakdowns. It is advisable to team up with a local hot tub retailer, who can provide aftercare on your doorstep.”
In accordance with regulations made by the Health & Safety Executive, regular testing of both pH and disinfection should be made at least three times a day and the results logged and kept for at least five years.
A monthly microbiological test is also required, testing for Legionella every quarter. The Management of Spa Pools booklet insists that the tub ‘needs to have a continuous chemical feeder built into the spa to continuously treat it with disinfectant’.
These devices are not always installed into a hot tub at the point of manufacture and would therefore have to be retro-fitted at a later stage. “Choose a known quality brand and make sure that it fits the requirement of the park,” advises Anthony Schneikert of leading retailer Spa Solutions.
“Too many brands are just labelled up by other factories that churn out numbers and don’t focus on quality and innovation.”
Spa Solutions recommend the Viking Spas brand of hot tubs for holiday parks, which are renowned for being tough, robust and manufactured to a high quality. Their bestselling models are the Regal and Royal models, which are lightweight and are manufactured using slip-resistant material. Anthony advises that holiday park owners can expect to pay between £3,495 and £4,995 depending on the model and specification. Spa Solutions offer special discounts for bulk purchases and all Viking Spas come with a seven year shell warranty.
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