FLUSHED WITH SUCCESS
It pays to invest your washroom facilites pennies in wisely, as Emily Martin investigates...
The average person uses the bathroom 2,500 times year and for about 20 minutes every day. Apparently, that works out to a whopping three months of the average lifetime sitting on the proverbial throne. That timing may vary, of course, because the more features your smart phone has, the longer you sit on the toilet! Whether it is holiday parks or restaurants, or both, I always judge a venue by the standard of its toilets and it would seem, I am in good company.
Filtering the all-singing Trip Advisor by toilet blocks, Holiday Park Scene found numerous reports of a ‘spotlessly clean’ facility at one outstanding site, the Macrihanish Holiday Park, near to Argyll in Western Scotland. Offering a variety of accommodation from camping and touring to camping pods and lodges, Macrihanish boasts a block of eight brand new individual toilet and shower rooms similar to the standard you would expect in an ensuite hotel bedroom. “I think the fact that we have private rooms is the unique point,” says Macrihanish’s Ewen MacDonald. “Parents with younger children love the facilities for getting the whole family sorted in the morning and ready for bed at night,” Ewan continues. “When we installed the block, we knew that it would be several years to realise the investment but it has been worth every penny. “It’s without a doubt the most important thing customers are looking for when visiting holiday parks,” Ewan emphasises and adds: “You can have the best pitches, the best views and the best staff in the world but if your toilets aren’t clean or appear scruffy then none of your other hard work is worth anything, you’ll just be remembered for your grubby loos!” Macrihanish Holiday Park is also cracking COVID considerations on health and safety measures implemented since the pandemic. ‘With Covid, last year, it meant we could operate very safely as individual blocks are perfect for social distancing. They are normally cleaned up to five times a day, with hourly buff ups,” says Ewen.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
‘We can also easily isolate each room to fumigate or fog which is something else that we have been doing periodically each day throughout the pandemic.’ Clearly a lot of effort goes into keeping these loos sparkling clean. Does Ewen think it has been worth the investment? “Without a doubt,” Ewan responds enthusiastically. “We have guests rebooking several times a season and now returning as a result of our facilities.” Browsing the internet for getaways, potential customers might prioritise fabulous views, comfortable accommodation, attractions nearby, children’s entertainment, catering… the list goes on. But forget those wash facilities at your peril.
James Feltham from Aaztec.com, a leading installer of holiday park wash- blocks, and asked how much holiday parks tend to budget for the toilet block or washroom and, how important is being eco-friendly to his typical holiday park client?
‘We have completed wash-block projects ranging from a few thousand to over a hundred thousand pounds,” says James. “Caring about the environment is at the forefront of our design. A recent installation at the Lake District National Park included environmentally friendly options such as recycled-plastic vanity units. Other outstanding examples include Flamingo Land in Malton that was designed geared up for a mechanical feel with chequered race-car style cubicles and real tyres for the hand basins. Other Aaztec projects that amplify luxury finishes include the Vale of Pickering in Pickering and Don Amott in Derby James believes customer expectations are constantly changing with guests expecting more, more and more. “Gone are the days when going camping in the UK was about getting stuck in the mud,” he says. Clientele of holiday parks now desire the glamping experience when it comes to facilities.Whether it is a long hike in the forest or a day chilling on the beach, holiday makers want to come back to the park for a hot shower in privacy with all the home comforts.
James continues: “Many holiday parks are now opting for unisex and family orientated wash-blocks, where full height cubicles and space efficiency create the feeling of separation from the guest in the cubicle next to you. “It is important to make the most of the space available and depending on capacity requirements, some wash- blocks can feel small because too many cubicles or basins are placed close together. “It is key to remember guests will spend a lot of their holiday using the facilities provided and it’s not just a quick stop like at a service station, thinking about choices of colours and theme are also fundamental when making a washroom feel cosy.” So with cleanliness at the top of the washroom pops, what other tips can James share? “Holiday park washrooms can be subject to intensely high footfalls at peak times of year so you need durable decor and technology that will ensure your wash-block lasts a lifetime,” James emphases, advising strength and sturdiness when it comes to washroom design.