Construction & Design / Earn More

Adding a swimming pool to your rental property in the Alps

In order to run a successful holiday rental business in the Alps, you need to know how to attract bookings all year round – not just in those peak winter or summer months.

There are many factors which affect your bookings including pricing, the quality of your property/photography, successful marketing and much more. But, in this series, we’re focusing on chalet equipment and the associated considerations, costs and benefits that come with investing in additional features.

Swimming pools, especially indoor ones, are a great way to generate more bookings, boost your revenue and help you stand out from the crowd.

Here’s an introductory guide to adding a swimming pool to your rental property in the Alps…

What to consider before investing in a swimming pool

Indoor vs outdoor

This is a big decision to make. Indoor pools can stay open to guests all year round, meaning you don’t have to limit the use of the facility. However, outdoor pools are great for keeping the whole family entertained in summer, whilst enjoying the sunny weather.

Of course, both require ample space. If you have a sizeable garden, it may be an easier option to go for an outdoor pool. However, if you have a large, unused floor at your property, or the ability to extend, an indoor pool may be the right option for you.

If you’re really torn between the two, there are options which allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds. Some owners install exterior pools with a shelter, others install indoor pools which bring the outdoors in. Take a look at the following examples from OVO Network partner properties…

large indoor pool with big retractable sliding door leading out to beautiful mountain views.

The large sliding door at Chalet Ladroit, Les Clefs makes you feel like you’re immersed in nature whilst still remaining undercover.

In spring and autumn, the swimming pool at Chalet Kalyssia, Saint Jorioz is fitted with a three-sided removable cover, keeping the water warm and clean. This means guests can enjoy a swim during these periods even on rainy days!

Ultimately, the decision is up to you, but we recommend owners of Alpine properties invest in indoor pools, which are more luxurious, rare and sought after, and generate revenue all year round.

The costs

It goes without saying, adding an inground swimming pool to your property is a big investment. It’s far from a quick renovation job and it will require a lot of labour and materials. You’ll need to establish what kind of pool you would like to build, based on your budgets and preferences.

Prices, of course, vary on a number of different factors including materials, size, heating systems, etc. But you can see a summary of approximate costs below:

Outdoor inground pool

Type of inground pool Estimated prices
Inground concrete pool– Poured concrete: from 20,000 to 40,000 €
– Sprayed concrete: from 30,000 €
– Breezeblock: from 5,000 €
Shell inground swimming poolFrom 15,000 €
Inground kit poolFrom 10,000 €
Inground swimming pool of less than 10m2 (concrete)From 8000 €
Natural swimming poolFrom 30,000 €
Overflow swimming poolFrom 30,000 €
Source: Guide Piscine
An outdoor swimming pool in the sunshine with a traditional chalet in the background.
The sunny outdoor pool at Chalet Beauvoir 12, St Jean de Sixt.

Indoor above-ground pool

Indoor above-ground pool Estimated prices
PVC indoor swimming poolBetween 600 and 1000 €
Indoor kit poolBetween 3000 and 7000 €
Source: Guide Piscine

Inground indoor pool

Inground indoor swimming pool Estimated prices
Shell indoor swimming poolFrom 30,000 €
Indoor concrete poolFrom 50,000 €
Source: Guide Piscine

For a more accurate quote, you can use Guide Piscine’s online calculator to see how much you need to budget for your project.

Once you have installed your swimming pool, you’ll also need to consider the costs of installing and running the heating/filtration systems.

Indoor pool with lounge seating and purple lighting and rolled up towels
The owners of Chalet Colombine in Villards-sur-Thônes have really considered the lighting and ambience around their indoor pool.
A bright blue swimming pool with pink lighting and deck chairs.
Chalet Nougat and Chalet Caramel share this stunning indoor pool in Manigod.

Cost of filtration system installation

Type of filtration systemEstimated price
Cartridge filterApproximately 100 €
Sand filter150 to 250 €
Diatomaceous earth filterApproximately 1000 €
Source: Guide Piscine

Cost of heating a swimming pool

Please note the following figures are estimates and can fluctuate depending on the energy supplier, inflation, size of the pool, outdoor temperature, usage, etc.

Heating systemEstimated price based on 5 months usage, 8x4m pool
Swimming pool heat pump120 to 150 €
Natural gas heating system350 to 400 €
Oil heating system630 to 680 €
Propane heating system1000 €
Electric heaterApproximately 700 €
Solar heatingFree (installation costs not included)
Source: Guide Piscine

There will also be added costs such as:

  • A pool maintenance service (cleaning the pool, maintaining the correct pH level, etc),
  • Pool chemicals such as chlorine, shock treatment, and algaecide (depending on the supplier and size, some chemicals will cost approximately 200 – 250 € per year),
  • Cleaning equipment such as a brush, vacuum and net.

French taxes

After building your pool – you will need to declare it to the tax office within 90 days. After this, there will be two additional taxes to pay.

You will need to pay the ‘taxe d’aménagement’, which is a one-off tax payment calculated using the size of the swimming pool.

In addition, your ‘taxe d’habitation’ is likely to rise, as it is based on the rental value of your property, which will increase after adding a swimming pool.

A sunny swimming pool in front of a traditional wooden chalet and green fields.
Chalet Bonnevie’s swimming pool enjoys a reomte location among nature in Villards-sur-Thônes.

Legislation and planning permission

In 2006, a law was passed in France which stated that all swimming pools must have some form of safety protection. Owners can choose from a fence, a hardcover (the more popular choices) or an alarm. You will need to consider pool security in your budget too.

When building any kind of pool bigger than 10m² in France, you will need to make sure you have gained the right permission from the local Town Hall or ‘Mairie’. (This applies in the majority of other countries also.) You can enter the details of your project here for more information.

The advantages of adding a swimming pool to your property

1. They’re in high demand

Swimming pools are OVO Network’s second most popular search filter, so they’re a very desirable feature to have at your Alpine chalet.

2. You can boost occupancy rates

Swimming pools are an attractive facility which helps you stand out from the crowd on listing sites. If your property struggles to get summer bookings, an outdoor pool could make a significant difference to your booking success.

Similarly, if your chalet is in a remote area or lacks other facilities such as a sauna, hot tub or games room, an indoor pool could really improve your occupancy in the winter and off-season.

3. You can earn more

If you invest in impressive chalet equipment, you can justify increasing your prices, as people will be willing to pay more.

At first, you will, of course, be paying back the cost of installation, but once you have covered this as well as your bills, you can reap the rewards of the additional profit.

4. The value of your home will increase

When you choose to install a swimming pool at your chalet, you will not only earn more from your rental business, but you’ll also be making a solid investment for the future. According to Capital, owners have seen an increase of around 19.5% in resale value.

5. Boost guest satisfaction

Guest satisfaction is vital when it comes to running a successful rental business. On the whole, it is easier to retain loyal guests who spread the word about your property, than to try and acquire new ones due to guests not wanting to return.

Positive reviews are a great way of grabbing the attention of future guests and increasing the level of trust in your property – and extra chalet equipment is often something that is mentioned in glowing reviews.

Here are some reviews of OVO Network partner properties which showcase the popularity of private swimming pools…

The pool and sauna are a source of joy for kids and adults alike!

Dalia M – October 2022 – Chalet Ladroit

The icing on the cake was the heated indoor swimming pool and the nordic bath – in short, this is a top quality property.

Olympe C – February 2019 – Lodge La Source
The natural wood finish on this luxurious pool at Chalet Manoe, Manigod blends seamlessly into its surroundings.

The disadvantages of adding a swimming pool to your property

  • The cost – swimming pools are one of the most expensive pieces of chalet equipment you can invest in. There is not only the cost of installation but ongoing bills are also high,
  • They require a lot of maintenance – compared to a relatively self-sufficient facility such as a games room, home cinema or gym, swimming pools require a lot of ongoing attention,
  • Outdoor pools can only be used in summer, limiting your revenue,
  • If guests don’t respect guidelines, then damage could be caused easily.
Swimming pool overlooking snow capped mountains with a wooden deck surrounding it.
The lovely swimming pool at Lodge La Source, Manigod boasts undisturbed views over the stunning surrounding mountains.

Safety guidelines for swimming pools

Some rules can be implemented at the discretion of the individual owner, but make sure you have a similar set displayed clearly at your property and communicate them verbally with guests upon their arrival…

  • No running,
  • No diving,
  • No glass in or around the pool,
  • Shower before use,
  • Children must be supervised at all times,
  • Toddlers must wear swimming nappies,
  • No more than a certain number of swimmers in the pool at one time,
  • No animals in the pool,
  • No smoking,
  • Keep noise to a minimum after a certain time,
  • Swim caps are to be worn at all times.

Our top tips

  • Provide plastic cups for guests to use when lounging next to the pool,
  • Take high-quality, well-staged photographs of your swimming pool and list them clearly on your website,
  • Conduct weekly checks for cleaning and maintenance,
  • Provide blue towels which guests can use for spa facilities, to distinguish them from their bath towels,
  • Provide flip-flops or other slip-on shoes which can be worn between the chalet and the pool,
  • Kindly ask guests to dry off before re-entering the chalet to avoid slips or water damage,
  • Invest in a high-quality pool and avoid DIY ‘kits’ – these do not create a high-end feel and aren’t as durable,
  • Install a cover to retain the heat and save energy,
  • Consider the lighting around your pool to ensure it is not only safe but creates a pleasant ambience,
  • Provide pool toys to keep kids entertained.
A modern luxury indoor swimming pool with a swing
The addition of a swing at Chalet Meleze in Les Gets means guaranteed fun!

For more ideas on how to maximise your bookings and increase your revenue, head to our ‘Earn more’ archives. Or, contact our revenue management experts to learn how much more you can earn per year by installing a swimming pool.

Looking for a complete solution for your Alpine property? OVO Network can help you run a successful rental business while hardly lifting a finger. Discover more about our offering by clicking the link below:

And if you’re keen to discover more about the chalet rental industry, as well as gain expert insights into running a rental business, make sure to sign up for our Alpine Property Newsletter today.

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