FEATURE: Outdoor Luxury

Spas and saunas have been growing in prominence among luxury B&B properties across the UK in recent years. Now as glamping rises in popularity B&B owners are being tempted to simulate the experience and to invest both in outdoor hot tubs and indoor jacuzzis to tempt prospective, adventurous guests.

Luxury B&B owners who have created the perfect high-end environment for their guests and are looking to add a little more luxury into their offering can consider looking outdoors for an answer, with the installation of a hot tub.

HOT TUBS – AN IRRESISTIBLE FEATURE FOR HOSPITALITY OPERATORS IN 2018

Research carried out by Outdoor Living has uncovered that commercial hospitality oper- ators that install hot tubs in their accommodation have seen bookings double, customer reviews improve and repeat bookings soar.

The research surveyed 56 leading UK park and luxury lodge operators who have already taken the plunge by adding hot tubs to their accommodation. Yorkshire-based Outdoor Living has been supplying hot tubs across the county for 15 years.

More than 70% of holiday parks stated that their bookings had doubled after adding hot tubs to their accommodation. Gemma

Cooling, corporate and development manager at Laceby Manor Golf Club claims: “Our lodges don’t rent without a hot tub, it’s that simple. They provide a little bit of luxury that customers are looking for when booking a lodge break making them a must-have feature!”

ADDITIONAL HOT TUB BENEFITS

It’s not just an increase in occupancy, ac- cording to Outdoor Living. The survey also highlighted the following benefits:

An increase in rental income

Many holiday park owners stated they could increase prices on accommodation that included a hot tub. Martin Newell, Managing Director at Croft Farm Waterpark in Tewkes- bury had witnessed a 15% increase in sales and revenue from bookings with hot tubs.

An increase in positive guest reviews

One holiday park owner stated since adding a hot tub to his holiday park that he has seen a higher number of customer reviews averaging a score of 9/10 on Reevoo.

Holiday parks have also seen bookings from larger parties dramatically increase too. Lynne Lakin, office manager at Heron Lakes in East Yorkshire says: “Adding a hot tub to accommodation definitely increase party sizes. Friends will tend to chip in together for a relaxing luxury break. This leads to more bookings in the future from returning customers.”

With so many options these days for luxury breaks and accommodation, standing out from the crowd is vital. And outdoor hot tub or indoor jacuzzi are the kind of luxury facilities many B&B owners might consider.

LIFESTYLE CHOICE

Hot Tubs are usually associated with champagne parties and a lavish lifestyle.

So, it might come as a bit of a surprise to see that Bransholme has been named as the ‘Hot Tub Capital’ of Hull and East Yorkshire. This is based on Outdoor Living’s latest re- search from customers in Hull and surround- ing East Riding villages over the last 12 years. Hull itself was the City of Culture last year.

Scrutinising available data even more closely, it transpires that it was in the HU7 postcode where most sales were recorded during this period – but only by the narrow- est of margins.

In total, 6.49% of overall hot tub sales were snapped up by home owners in the Wawne Road, Bude Road & Sutton Park area – narrowly pipping the villages of Brough, Elloughton, Welton & Melton (6.41%) into top spot by just one sale.

That left home owners from North Ferriby and Swanland back in third place, with 6.33% of the overall hot tub sales, just one sale ahead of the Gillshill Road and Ings Road area in east Hull, which accounted for 6.25% of sales made.

Outdoor Living project manager Georgine Newby tells Luxury Bed & Breakfast magazine: “We were initially surprised by the results, but not by the increasing number of sales we’re experiencing. We’ve sold a lot of hot tubs in areas like Orchard Park and East Hull, but to have such a narrow margin of victory came as a bit of a surprise.”

She adds: “We always seem to do quite well with our sales in the villages, possibly because there are some bigger houses there with more room for a hot tub, but we have do have customers in all areas of Hull and the East Riding.

“When it comes to hot tub sales by area, we’re not really bothered where our custom- ers live, as long as they continue to be happy with the products and service we provide.”

The company’s hot tubs range dramati- cally in price from £2,899 for the ‘Plug and Play’Outdoor Adventure up to £20,000 for the deluxe Jacuzzi models.

Newby says: “The rise in hot tub sales could be partly attributed to the fact that people in our region are very ‘house-proud’, and our customers are often looking for a way to make their home as luxurious as possible so adding a hot tub is the perfect way to improve your guests’ experience by adding a little bit of extra luxury.”

Another reason for the popularity of hot tubs in this part of Yorkshire she suggests is that housing is still very affordable in the region. “In our experience it means people do sometimes have a bit more disposable income to spend on little luxuries. We’ve certainly seen that in recent years because our business is doing well – long may it continue.”

HYDROTHERAPY HEALTH BENEFITS

The company reports having seen an increase in of the number of people looking into the health benefits of hot tub hydrotherapy and the impact It has on both body and mind.

Newby says: “The average modern life is full of daily stress and many people want to im- prove their quality of life through taking time to look after themselves.

“As far back as the Greeks right through the Middle Ages and right up to today, water has always been used for relief or for the cure of illnesses, skin diseases and things like liver disorders.”

She concludes: “Hot tubs use Hydrotherapy which involves the use of water for soothing an aching body or speeding the recovery of other muscular ailments. It combines water with air and heat to promote wellbeing. At the end of a long day, knowing you can go home and relax in your own hot tub as the jets gently massage your tension away is a great feeling.”

HOT TUB Q&As

Why might a B&B want an outdoor hot tub? Having a hot tub has been proven to improve occupancy rates and clearly allows owners to increase prices. In addition a high number of potential guests specify a hot tub when look- ing for accommodation, and those businesses without such facilities will not be shown in results.

Are they all year round or only summer facilities?

Studies have shown that some hot tub owners use them more in winter rather than summer, so they can be used all year round. More care is needed in winter months however to ensure the water in the pipes doesn’t freeze.

How much maintenance is required by the B&B owner, and how much can be delivered by the supplier?

Suppliers generally conduct an annual service on hot tubs and spas with the general maintenance carried out by the B&B owner. Ultimately the owner of the hot tub is responsible for the health and safety of bathers.

How much servicing do they need?

It is recommended that every hot tub is serviced annually.

Are there any particular premium/ultra- premium products that luxury hospitality owners would be attracted to beside the luxury jacuzzi?

In relation to hot tubs, it is recommended that B&B owners purchase a commercial rated hot tub/spa that provides a continuous feed to disinfect the water.

What are the space requirements for in- door and outdoor products?

This would depend on the hot tub chosen as they vary in size. Our commercial grade hot tubs start from 185cm x 165cm x 90cm with the largest being 250cm x 250cm x 98cm.

Is Outdoor Living restricted to Yorkshire or nationwide distribution?

Yes we only deliver in the Yorkshire region for hot tubs, however we supply all accessories & chemicals nationwide and to Europe.

What is the demographic appeal of the tubs – do they mainly attract younger people or are there surprises they have found in the range of users?

Hot tubs in a B&B setting appeal to all demographics proving very popular with a younger audience who don’t have a disposable income high enough to buy their own.

However, research we have conducted in the past has returned some surprising results with Bransholme, a known deprived area of Hull, being crowned the hot tub capital of Hull & East Yorkshire.