Private spa facilities are the focus of part 4 of our series on extra facilities we know guests love. Similarly to ski rooms, private petanque courts, and outdoor spaces, we know that private spa facilities improve guest loyalty and boost occupancy rates.
Let’s take a look at the considerations and benefits of adding a spa facility to your chalet…
We are seeing more and more guests searching for chalets with private hot tubs, saunas, hammams, swim spas and swimming pools. And statistically, chalets with one or more of these spa facilities benefit from higher occupancy rates throughout the year.
In fact, our data shows that owners who have added a hot tub have seen their annual gross revenue increase by approximately 21,000 € on average compared to before they installed it.
Chalets with hot tubs
Electric-powered hot tubs
What is an electric-powered hot tub?
An electric hot tub is a large tub of water powered by an electric heater, pump and controller. Indoors or out, once an electric-powered hot tub reaches temperature, it is guest-ready 24 hours a day.
Different models come with jets, fountains, underwater massage heads, coloured lighting, speakers and even waterproof phone docks!
- They boost your occupancy rates year-round and are one of the most popular spa facilities amongst OVO Network guests
- Generally, they are more convenient to operate compared to wood-fired hot tubs
- You can add impressive features which create a really novel experience for guests
- They can be a more expensive option due to electricity bills
- They’re usually considered less sustainable
- You’re more limited as to where you install the hot tub
- They require a moderate amount of maintenance including water changes and chemical sanitisation
What is a Nordic bath?
Nordic baths are another type of hot tub, built with natural wooden materials. The water is usually heated either by an immersed stove or an external wood-fired boiler. It’s also possible to install jets for bubbles.
- They’re considered more sustainable as wood is a renewable energy source
- They are often cheaper to run as they’re not running constantly
- Nordic baths blend into natural surroundings well, creating a true Alpine feel
- There’s more preparation/attention required eg prepping firewood and clearing ash – which may take up more of your manager’s time
- They aren’t as ‘user-friendly’ as electric hot tubs, where you just have to press a button to turn it on – this may put some guests off
- They require a moderate amount of maintenance
- You have to be very careful around the chimney – it can cause burns if you touch it
Hybrid hot tubs
These hot tubs look like traditional wooden baths, yet operate like hot tubs, as the water heater and filtration system are hidden beneath the steps.
Chalets with saunas
What is an indoor sauna?
Indoor saunas are small interior spaces installed with a heat source which omits ‘dry hot heat’ (between 10 and 25% humidity), in scented wooden surroundings.
Traditionally known for their detoxing and relaxing benefits, they are very popular features in Alpine chalets.
What is a barrel sauna?
With benches and curved lens-like windows, barrel saunas adopt the same attributes of an indoor sauna, whilst you enjoy magnificent views! This allows owners with limited indoor space to reap the benefits of this particular spa facility.
- They can improve your bookings and promote off-season bookings
- They enhance the ‘cosy Alpine feel’ and can look very attractive
- They don’t require as much maintenance as hot tubs
- They’re expensive to install and can be costly to run depending on your energy bills and how often guests use them
- You need a good amount of indoor space for a traditional sauna (although if you have outdoor space you can add a barrel sauna instead)
What is a steam room?
Similar to a sauna, a generator pumps hot steam into the room instead of dry heat. Scented essential oils clear the airways, while skin is deeply cleansed, and tired aching limbs can relax in the humidity. This enveloping detox provides a completely different style of relaxation.
- They appeal to guests year-round, allow you to increase your booking value and attract low-season bookings
- They don’t have to be maintained as much as hot tubs
- They’re expensive to install
- They require regular, thorough cleaning – meaning your fees can increase
- Improper installation and maintenance can cause mould
OVO Network partner properties with steam rooms…
What is a swim spa?
Cheaper to install and run than a swimming pool, swim spas are like long hot tubs with a deep central groove so that guests can stand or swim against a counter-current.
- They are becoming increasingly popular and can be installed indoors or outdoors
- They appeal to both fitness enthusiasts and wellness travellers
- Indoor swim spas can be used year-round which can improve occupancy rates
- Advanced technology eg insulation and self-cleaning helps to reduce energy use and maintenance requirements
- Avid swimmers may prefer to swim ‘true lengths’
- They’re expensive to install and require a relatively large space
- If guests don’t want to use the current, the pool may feel a little small
Normally only available in the summer, unless heated, a private outdoor pool while on holiday is for many the ultimate luxury.
- They add significant value to your property
- They’re a great way to promote summer bookings
- They’re better in hot weather as guests prefer to be outside
- Outdoor pools create an attractive centrepiece in your garden
- You need a large outdoor area to begin with
- They require a considerable amount of maintenance from manual cleaning to sanitisation, which means increased labour costs
- They can only be used in summer unless heated all year round, which limits the time when you can profit from it
- They are expensive to heat and not considered environmentally friendly
With poolside showers, relaxation areas, fountains, counter currents, secured access, pool toys, and views while swimming – guests have so much to look forward to when they stay at a property with an indoor pool.
- They can be used all year round, so you can benefit from the increased occupancy at any time
- They feel luxurious and often create a very modern feel
- When fitted with large windows, you can bring the outdoors in, so guests feel immersed in nature
- They require a very large amount of interior space
- They’re costly to run
- If guests do not adhere to the rules, it can cause a lot of maintenance or safety issues
- In summer, guests often prefer to be outside
Ten things to consider when adding private spa facilities to your chalet
- Provide extra spa towels (we’d recommend blue ones so you can distinguish easily), bath robes and products.
- Provide clear, simple instructions for safe use and any prohibited use close by.
- Where possible, organise maintenance training for your physical property manager.
- Keep a maintenance log, observe cleaning regimes, and service regularly as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Store strong cleaning/disinfectant products in a locked cabinet, out of children’s reach.
- Take out a maintenance contract or extended guarantee, and have the relevant local number on hand before you need it.
- Ensure any repairs are carried out straight away. If the spa facilities were the reasons your guests chose your chalet above others, they will be very disappointed if they can’t use them.
- Factor in any extra cleaning/maintenance time and other overheads.
- Ask your physical property manager to politely remind guests about respecting neighbours when using outdoor facilities.
- Provide plastic glasses – broken glass in water is dangerous and costly.
Why not install a combination of spa facilities?
Most of our partner chalets offer one spa facility, and over 100 properties listed on our site have hot tubs and saunas.
Some of our most successful rentals offer three or more – and the fewer facilities there are for guests to benefit from, the more bookings you are likely to receive.
Do you own a chalet in the Alps? Or are you investing in a property rental business?
OVO Network advises on property optimisation, pricing, interior design, marketing and more. Plus, we provide insights into the complexities of the financial and legal requirements. Click on the link below to find out more…