How to Prep Your Pool or Spa for Holiday Guests

How to Prep Your Pool or Spa for Holiday Guests

Do you love to entertain for the holiday or did you draw the short straw this year? Regardless of how your fate was determined, we have a quick and easy guide to get your heated pool, spa and outdoor space ready for holiday guests in short order. Get started one week before your company is due to arrive and your guests will want to come back year after year – for better or worse.

Here are 10 ways to give your guests a memorable stay this holiday.

1. Clean Your Pool and Spa

Brush or wipe down interior walls, vacuum pool and spa floors, empty your skimmer and change any overdue filters for fresh, clean water. If your pool or hot tub requires a complete drain, do so one to two weeks in advance to avoid feeling rushed. Be mindful in extremely cold temperatures that draining and/or filling your pool or spa can result in significant damage to expensive equipment and features. Also, take a look around your pool and spa deck, sweeping up or removing any debris that may be tracked into the water by your guests.

christmas elf with maintenance brush near pool and spa

2. Balance Your Chemistry

Monitor your water chemistry for one week prior to your company arriving. Test your chlorine and bromine levels, and pay special attention to your pH balance, which should read between 7.2 and 7.6, ideally. If the water is particularly cloudy or unbalanced, you may want to consider a pool or spa shock treatment, or use of a clarifying agent to clear things up.

christmas elf using testing strips to check chemical balance of pool water

3. Maximize Heat Retention and Save Energy

Heating a pool or hot tub can be expensive. Make the most of every dollar by retaining as much heat as you can during your guests’ stay. Ensure your spa cover is well insulated and has a tight seal. Consider the use of a solar cover for pools or floating spa cover to keep the heat in when guests have retired for the night. In the case of in ground pool and spa combinations, keep in mind that your heated spa water will cool off completely as it circulates through your pool if you decide to run a pump cycle, negating all your efforts to keep the heat in. Consider pausing your pump cycle in order to stabilize your water temperature. Furthermore, when enjoying your spa, run jets at a lower speed to minimize the amount of air forced through the water by the blower, and turn jets off completely when the hot tub is not in use.

christmas elf adjusting automated spa temperature

4. Prevent Damage in Extreme Conditions

Check your water levels daily to ensure your water is not evaporating to quickly, or that displacement hasn’t caused your water to fall below your intake and exhaust valves. This can cause costly freeze damage to your interior components and equipment.

christmas elf using tools to repair pool and spa equipment

5. Provide Comfort and Warmth Out of the Water

While enjoying the outdoors year round can make your home feel larger and more inviting to guests, make sure your outdoor space is as equally comfortable as your indoor space. Have a warm place for guests to change into and out of their swimsuits or swim trunks. Provide robes and slippers they can wear during the transition from inside to outside and vice versa. Have plenty of clean, fluffy towels they can wrap themselves up in and dry off with. Consider providing blankets on nearby seating for those that want to be part of the conversation but don’t want to get in the water. Add extra warmth and ambiance with an outdoor heater, fireplace, or fire feature that guests can gather around.

christmas elf wrapped in towel with cucumbers on eyes near spa

6. Create a Scent Experience

Push your party over the top by tapping into your guests’ sense of smell. There are dozens of spa-approved aromatherapy powders that aren’t oily and won’t clog filters. If you like the scent of citronella, grab a few outdoor candles to provide a citrus-like smell and repel insects at the same time. Move any outdoor garbage cans or recycle bins close by that may be smelly and can negatively impact your guests’ experience.

christmas elf on pool float

7. Light the Way

Lighting really sets the mood in any outdoor space. Guests are most comfortable when they can safely see as they enter and exit the pool or hot tub. 5-Color LED lights for pools and spas can be controlled from a smartphone when paired with automation hardware, allowing you the opportunity to provide a one-of-a-kind light show for your guests. Landscape lighting on the pathway to the pool or spa, paired with string lights and lanterns are functional while adding high style and cozy atmosphere. Don’t be afraid to get super festive and add some twinkling holiday lights along your fence, on trees and shrubs nearby and under the eaves of your home.

christmas elf sitting poolside with pool light illuminating face

8. Delight Guests with Unexpected Extras

Have an extra set of swimsuits and swim trunks on hand in a variety of sizes in the event your guests’ forget theirs. Provide travel-size bottles of leave-in conditioner so they can comb through tangled hair, or lotion, to relieve dry or itchy skin for those that may not be used to the cold air and chemical components of pool and hot tub water. Direct them to hooks for their wet swimwear and towels and consider providing use of your washer and dryer so they can pack dry items. Have fun with your exterior décor and add a fragrant wreath, a bright poinsettia, or sprigs of pine near your outdoor entertaining spaces.

christmas elf sunbathing near the pool with umbrella

9. Eat, Drink & Be Merry

Use plastic or aluminum serving dishes and cups whenever possible so no glass breaks near your entertaining space. Provide inflatable drink holders for those that may wish to take their beverage in the water with them. Food is generally not a good match for filters, so serving snacks that don’t crumble easily or those that can be consumed in a single bite are ideal for poolside dining.

christmas elf lounging on hammock with beverages near pool

10. Consider Every Safety Measure

Avoid an event that is memorable for all the wrong reasons by taking safety precautions whenever possible. Remove obstacles that may block the entry and exit points of your pool and spa. Ensure that all electrical cords and outlets are away from the “splash zone” to avoid contact with water and prevent electrocution. Remind guests that moving from one extreme temperature to another in short time is dangerous. They should limit their spa time to 20 minutes per session and you may want to keep your water temperature at or below 100 degrees. Lastly, hot water intensifies the effects of alcohol, so please drink responsibly and stay hydrated with purified water.

christmas elf floating in pool with safety vest life jacket

Now You’re Ready… the Holidays are Approaching Quickly!

Entertaining guests is certainly work, but well worth the effort. We hope these 10 ways to prepare your pool and spa have helped you and put you in the mood for creating wholesome holiday memories! Happy Holidays from all of us at PoolSupplyWorld.    

If you don’t have a hot tub and want to own one without the expense, permanency, and continuous maintenance, you’ll LOVE our portable, inflatable, Splash Lay-Z-Spa Miami.

If you liked this article, we suggest reading Enhance Your Backyard Party Presence with Patio Heaters for more information on patio heaters and how they can fan the flame during your next event.

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Brian Champ
When Brian isn't writing pool-related articles, he enjoys anything that will take him outdoors: hiking, biking and trail running ...to name a few. Brian is excited to share his pool knowledge with helpful how-to guides, product reviews, comparisons, and more!