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Legal Requirements 4 – Hot tubs, Saunas, and Steam Rooms

Holiday rentals with spa facilities such as a hot tub, steam room, or sauna are extremely popular. The safety of guests using spa facilities is obviously paramount.

Equipment suppliers provide advice on spa equipment for holiday rentals, plus codes of practice regarding safe installation, use, and maintenance. They also often offer maintenance contracts and online guidance and support on equipment operation.

While most guests are familiar with how to use swimming pools safely, some guests may be staying in a chalet with a hot tub, sauna, or steam room for the first time. Below we suggest some best practice guidelines, to keep guests safe, while they enjoy the private spa facilities at their holiday rental. 


Common sense and a little planning go a long way!

  • Restrict access to facilities when not in use – install key code only access, child proof locks, covers, etc.
  • Wind straps are available for equipment in exposed outdoor sites – hot tub covers can blow off in high winds, doors can blow open! Snow, ice, leaf debris and branches can cause discomfort or damage.
  • Provide alternatives to glassware – guests can then hydrate safely during spa sessions.
  • Advise guests to remove jewellery before using spa facilities; broken or lost items can ruin pumps and hot metal can burn skin.

Chalets With Hot Tubs

From a maintenance point of view, owners or managers of chalets with hot tubs can take out annual maintenance contracts.

All care plans include the following:

  • Only use manufacturer recommended products. Store products securely, follow the guidelines, and do not mix and match!
  • Plan and log water care practices ie pH. balance tests, water treatment, cleaning and swapping filters and water changes.
  • Log regular cleaning and disinfection of the equipment, including an annual service.

From a pleasant and secure guest experience point of view, owners or managers should advise guests that:

  • Taking a shower before use will maintain the water quality.
  • Areas around the spa may become slippery.
  • Alcohol and spa sessions are never a good idea!
  • Keeping water at the indicated levels keeps jets working efficiently.
  • Water temperature should NEVER exceed 40°C.
  • Sessions should not exceed 15-20 minutes.
  • They should respect the maximum number of guests allowed in the hot tub at any one time.
  • Taking a shower afterwards will rinse away any chemicals or salt.

If you are considering adding a hot tub to your rental property here is an interesting downloadable beginners’ guide available from Simply Spas.

Should some guests be excluded from spa facilities?

Some people don’t cope well with dry heat or humidity, and it always makes sense to be respectful of open water. Guests should be aware of the risks when using spa facilities, some of which may never have previously occurred to them.

If guests are in doubt about the risks of their children using spa facilities, there is plenty of advice online. Or they could ask their GP.

Pregnant women are usually advised not to use hot tubs.

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Holiday Rentals With Saunas

As well as the points listed above, here are some additional safety factors to make guests aware of, regarding the safe use of saunas:

  • Overheating is a risk – following exercise, let your body cool down before entering a sauna.
  • Avoid dehydration – drink plenty of fluids before and after each use.
  • Limit sessions to between 15 and 20 minutes.
  • Exercise caution around hot surfaces, especially the coals.

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Chalets With Steam Rooms and Hammams 

The safety guidelines for steam rooms and saunas are similar to those for saunas.

Also, point out that guests should be especially careful around the steam outlets to avoid scalding.

See chalets with steam rooms in the French Alps

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And finally…

  • The universal French emergency number is 112. Ensure guests know where to find emergency services numbers quickly.
  • Add the address of the rental property in the important contacts list for the chalet. Especially in rural areas, guests may not always be able to easily describe the location of their rental property.
  • Include the contact details and opening hours of local GP surgeries, chemists, physios, anti-venom centres and the local hospital.
  • Inform guests where the chalet first aid kit is kept.

Spa facilities are wonderfully relaxing and compliment beautiful Alpine holiday experiences all year round.

Our blog about private spa facilities and the success of your business outlines how both owners and guests can benefit from various spa facilities in a rental home.


We hope you have found this blog series useful. Links to the series on legal requirements when setting up a holiday rental property in France are below.

Part 1 – covers registering your rental property with the local commune and how to declare and pay the local tourist tax. We also briefly introduce the official classification of rental properties.

Part 2 – covers other registrations and licenses required when running a rental property.

Part 3 – examines laws and guidelines relating to the safe use of swimming pools.