If you run a holiday rental business in the Alps, you’ll appreciate the importance of maximising your bookings, especially in the off-season – and making your property stand out among the crowd.
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.
According to our expert Revenue Managers, hot tubs are one of the top earners for owners of Alpine rental properties. In this post, we highlight the advantages of this well-loved asset, as well as share some of the challenging factors when it comes to installing and maintaining a hot tub of your own.
What to consider before investing in a hot tub
Installing, heating and maintaining a hot tub is not cheap.
The cost of purchasing and installing a hot tub ranges from 8,000 € and 23,000 €, with an average price of €15,000. Find the full list of costs below…
|Minimum price||Medium price||Maximum price|
|Accessories||5 €||60 €||200 €|
|Inflatable hot tub||300 €||600 €||1100 €|
|Above-ground hot tub||6500 €||10, 000 €||15, 000 €|
|Built-in hot tub||7000 €||13, 500 €||20, 000 €|
|Installation||900 €||1800 €||2700 €|
|Total for supply and installation||1200 €||9800 €||22, 700 €|
On average, hot tubs use around 2500 to 7500 kWh per year, costing between 1000 € and 1500 € per year.
In January 2023, the price of a kWh of electricity in France was 0,1740 € per kWh according to EDF rates, for a 6kvA meter. Based on these findings, the electricity consumption of a hot tub, therefore, costs around 1300 € per year.
Summary of costs: The average installation cost is around 15,000 € and the annual maintenance costs are roughly 4,200 €.
Hot tubs require a fair amount of maintenance to ensure they are safe to use and operate efficiently. And depending on the make and model you go for, the level of care will vary.
If the hot tub is not properly maintained, it could be a breeding ground for bacteria. In some extreme cases, this can lead to skin irritation or Legionnaires’ disease – a form of pneumonia caused by inhaling contaminated water.
This is why pH levels need to be checked and recorded regularly and the tub needs to be drained and refilled each week for the next arrival. On top of this, the tub itself needs to be thoroughly cleaned, as well as the filters, which will need to be replaced at least annually or more frequently if required.
Bear in mind that hot tubs can take up to 8 hours to heat – so make sure this is something that is done early on a changeover day and warn your guests that they may need to wait a few hours to use it depending on when they arrive.
Also, ensure guests are fully aware of the guidelines before use. These should be included in your welcome book and your guest manager should brief them on arrival:
- Shower prior to use
- No glass in or around the hot tub
- No jumping or diving
- Limit use to 15 minutes
- Pregnant women, elderly persons or those with existing health conditions should consult a doctor before use
- Children must be supervised at all times
- Replace the spa cover after each use and do not lean/lie down on it
- Turn off jets after use
- Do not use any cosmetic products in the water
- Keep noise to a minimum after a specific time if you have neighbours
Be sure to hire a good technician who can train your manager on the maintenance and draining of the hot tub, and who can help you out in case of problems.
Hot tubs can be installed inside or out and can be used all year round, which is one of the reasons they’re so great for securing year-round bookings.
But, from a practicality and comfort point of view, you’ll need generous space to fit the hot tub.
Different models require different terrain, depending on whether you go for below-ground, above-ground or a Nordic bath.
Aim to install the hot tub close to one of your chalet’s entrance points so that guests don’t have to trek back and forth in the cold. Plan the access route and lay decking or patio in this area so guests aren’t walking across snow or wet grass – this also reduces the risk of dirt contaminating the water.
We’d recommend making the most of stunning mountain views by positioning your hot tub where guests can marvel at the scenery. Or if it’s inside, create a relaxing wellness zone with ambient lighting and quality finishes for a high-end feel.
Remember that most guests will desire a certain level of privacy. You may want to think about planting some trees/hedges or adding a screen to make the space feel less exposed.
The advantages of adding a hot tub to your property
1. They’re in high demand
The hot tub is the most popular type of chalet equipment on OVO Network. In fact, our dedicated hot-tub page is the 3rd most visited page on our entire website, and the hot-tub feature is the second most important property feature following the number of bedrooms to guests.
2. Top-class chalet equipment increases occupancy rates
A hot tub that can be enjoyed all year round is an attractive feature that is sure to increase the occupancy rate of your property, especially in the low season.
Rental properties that benefited from the addition of a hot tub during their partnership with OVO Network saw an average of 25 extra rental nights per year (3.5 weeks).
3. You can earn more
The addition of a hot tub justifies higher rental rates per week, so you can increase your prices to cover the cost of the hot tub, and once you’ve paid it off, enjoy the additional profit.
Put simply – higher prices and increased occupancy means you boost your annual revenues and earn more.
4. They can increase the value of your home
High-end built-in hot tubs will boost the desirability of your home and therefore help to increase the value of your property if the time comes to sell it.
5. Guest satisfaction
Happy guests leave good reviews, spread the word about your property and best of all – keep coming back! Overall, a hot tub will make your property more attractive and enhance the guest experience – the reviews below speak for themselves!
The jacuzzi and sauna are a real plus!Mansouri – February 2022 – Chalet Hartza
The jacuzzi and pool were very welcome after a day of walking or skiing.Alice – January 2022 – Chalet Caramel
The disadvantages of adding a hot tub to your property
- The cost – as well as the upfront cost, there will be ongoing expenses to budget for.
- If the guidelines aren’t respected, damage can easily occur and impact future guests.
- They pose a risk to health if they aren’t maintained properly.
Our top tips
- We strongly advise against buying an inflatable spa – it may be cheaper, but it is less durable and will look like a poor-quality addition to the holiday experience.
- Make sure the hot tub has a good view or is in a room with character. The photo of the hot tub needs to look good on your website, to attract the maximum number of guests.
- Plan to install the hot tub in the off-season so you don’t have to close your calendar in peak weeks to get the work done.
- Pay close attention to the lighting and general ambience around the hot tub to create a high-end experience.
- Provide outdoor shoes such as flip-flops for guests to use when walking back and forth to the spa, as well as blue towels so guests can distinguish spa towels from bath towels.
- Make sure to buy an insulating cover that is appropriate for your hot tub, and doesn’t let cold air in or steam out. It needs to be thick enough to provide good thermal resistance and be waterproof, as wet insulation loses its effectiveness.
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 hot tub.
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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