An Airbnb Hosts Guide to Wood Fired Hot Tubs

alumitubs wood fired hot tub

A wood fired hot tub is a major perk for guests! It offers a unique experience to savour that they won't find in a hotel. It's not only entertaining for guests to fill and heat the wood burning hot tub on their own, but it offers a soak unlike any other - quiet, still, and connected to nature.

A wood fired hot tub will give your rental a leg up - increasing bookings and allowing you to charge more per nightly rate. Over the years, AlumiTubs have made their way to countless Airbnbs, wilderness resorts and vacation properties with natural settings, and we continue to hear what a hit their AlumiTub is for guests.  

With that said, there's added work involved in running an Airbnb with any kind of hot tub, and especially one that's as involved as a wood fired hot tub. For guests from the city, they may have never started a fire before, much less started one to heat their hot tub with. While operating a wood fired hot tub is simple in nature, there is an art and science to it that takes practice to get just right. Unlike electric hot tubs, wood fired hot tubs don't have an automatic temperature control that can be set by the tap of a button. Put too much wood in, and the tub will get too hot. Leave it for too long while heating and the fire will diminish before it heats the water to your desired hot tubbing temperature (102-105 typically). Not only that, but if your guests are soaking chemical free, it's important to enter the tub with clean bodies, use the lids between use to prevent debris from entering the tub, and most importantly - ensuring it's never heated without adequate water in the tub, which poses a hazard to your wood fired hot tub and to those using it.

We've summed up the most important tips, things to know and advice to help you successfully manage your Airbnb with a wood fired hot tub:

1. As mentioned above, never let your guests start a fire in the wood burning hot tub without first filling it full with water. Airbnb hosts often write to us desperate for a replacement firebox because their guests lit the fire before the tub was completely full of water. It's not only damaging to your AlumiTub, but it can pose a hazard to your guests and your property. It's worth being exceptionally diligent about this step, as if forgotten, it will result in damage.

2. Keep the manual on hand for your guests, or send them the digital link provided to you at the time of your purchase. This will ensure they know how to use the tub safely - for their own sake as well as for the safety of your property and surroundings. You can also direct them to this blog post and instructional video on how to use a wood fired hot tub.

3. If there's risk of your tub water freezing in the winter, have your guests drain it after use and have your cleaner wipe it dry with a towel before heading out. Alternatively, you can use an electric trough heater to keep the water temperature above freezing, but you'll probably be changing the water between bookings anyway. 

4. If you don't have access to lake or ocean water at your rental property where your tub can be filled with either source and drained again without waste, we recommend conserving water by using a filtration system. For more information on how to do this and keep your water clean, get in touch with us and we'll customize your AlumiTub to include this compatibility while guiding you through the process. Filtration will allow you to reuse the same water between bookings using safe chemical water treatments like granulated bromine. You may still want your cleaner to scoop any debris out of the wood burning hot tub between bookings, depending on how much foliage is around your hot tub and how well your guests follow your instructions to use lids between each use.

5. Have your guests put the lids on between use. This will not only keep debris out of your wood burning hot tub, but it will keep the heat high. In fact, your AlumiTub will hold its heat for days at a time with just an armful of wood a day, so if you're feeling generous, you can get the hot tub heated for them before their first use to make it easy for them to keep it hot throughout their stay. 

6. Only rent to people you've vetted and consider having your guests sign a waiver or contract agreeing to your hot tub rules. This will ensure they've read the instructions for use and know how important it is to keep themselves and the surroundings safe through the use of a hot tub that's heated by wood. As there's inherent risks with anything related to water and fire, it's important they know safety information, such as being aware that the chimney and firebox are extremely hot when in use. Similarly, exceeding the recommended occupancy of your wood fired hot tub (up to 6 people for the Standard or up to 8 people for the Large), can cause more risk to those who use it. 

7. Have your cleaner empty and clean your AlumiTub with a soft cloth, soap and vinegar as required. The frequency that this is required will largely depend on whether you fill it with salt water, fresh water, use chemical water treatments and/or a filter. Your manual includes detailed information about keeping your AlumiTub clean.

Not all wood fired hot tubs are made alike, and it's even more important for hosts that they know this. Traditional cedar hot tubs are prone to leaks, algae growth and cracks in the wood over time, making them higher maintenance and more likely to need replacement which can cause an interruption to your bookings. Unlike other wood burning hot tubs, AlumiTubs can be filled with salt or fresh water, will arrive pre-assembled, and are lightweight enough to roll into place on any flat surface - all of which make it much easier on hosts. They're also the most heat efficient of any wood fired hot tub on the market, thanks to its internally submerged stove which heats the water directly, and three thermal layers of insulation which not only help increase the initial heat time, but retain its heat for days at a time with just an armful of wood a day. This is a major win for hosts whose guests may have never used a wood burning hot tub before, especially if they're out and about, heading to dinner or having a swim in the lake, and tending to their hot tub is more of an after thought. With AlumiTubs, it can be part of their outdoor experience rather than a consuming chore they have to tend to. This isn't true of all wood fired hot tubs.

For more information on wood fired hot tubs and what sets them apart, features to look for and key features that will be relevant for your property, check out the ultimate good to wood fired hot tubs.

For more tips and tricks on how to use a wood fired hot tub for guests, visit this blog post to learn how other short term accommodations like Spirit of the West provide their tub to guests. You can also join our Facebook owners group where customers exchange helpful information specific to different climates and settings, or get in touch with us directly and we'll be happy to help. Don't forget to visit our accommodations page to see some of the hosts who use an AlumiTub wood fired hot tub at their rental - whether an Airbnb or a wilderness resort, it's sure to boost your bookings and help you earn more per stay.