Breaking news! People love hot tubs when staying in a vacation rental. Particularly when staying in a more rural or remote location. While this is a crowd pleasing amenity, is it important to consider all the factors when deciding to add a hot tub to your vacation rental or not.
The most important factor when considering to hot tub or not to hot tub is maintenance. From an operational standpoint, do you have the resources and/or bandwidth to keep up with all the maintenance a hot tub requires? Hot tubs require attention between each and every guest. At minimum, balancing the hot tub takes a myriad of supplies and perhaps some patience on getting it just right. In other cases, your hot tub will require a complete drain and clean. This is time consuming so it is important that this be taken into consideration, particularly when you have a guest departing in the morning and a new guest arriving that afternoon. Having to break the news that the hot tub is not operational or will not be available for their use on the day of check in will absolutely lead to angry guests, likely even demanding they get money back. Plus you are starting their stay off on the wrong foot and it will be hard to recover.
On the plus side, did I mention that people love hot tubs? Having a hot tub will make your vacation rental a more attractive option for many people and your listings performance will be reflective of such. It is understandable that a home with a hot tub will have a higher nightly rate than a comparable home without a hot tub. This will, over time, help pay for the cost of the hot tub as well as the aforementioned on going maintenance.
In summary, if you decide to include a hot tub with your vacation rental, be sure you are in a position, whether it be hired help or yourself to service it and troubleshoot it for your guests. If you are, this might be a great option for you and the success of your vacation rental.