Are Hotel Hot Tubs Safe? Everything You Need to Know

Relaxing in a hot tub is one of the best ways to unwind after a long day of travel or sightseeing. However, with the recent news of hot tub-related illnesses, many travelers are wondering if hotel hot tubs are safe.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: It depends on various factors such as maintenance, cleaning, and water quality.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the topic of hotel hot tub safety, including the risks associated with hot tubs, how to identify a safe hot tub, and tips for staying healthy while using a hotel hot tub.

The Risks Associated with Hot Tubs

Hot tubs are a popular amenity in many hotels, but they also come with certain risks that should not be taken lightly. Here are three potential dangers to be aware of:

Bacterial Infections

Hot tubs are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria such as Legionella, which can cause a severe form of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease. Other bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Cryptosporidium can also cause skin infections and gastrointestinal illness respectively. To minimize the risk of infection, hotels must maintain proper levels of disinfectant and pH levels in their hot tubs. It is important to note that even with proper maintenance, there is still a risk of infection.

Chemical Exposure

While disinfectants such as chlorine and bromine are necessary to kill bacteria, exposure to these chemicals can also be harmful. Guests with asthma or other respiratory issues may experience difficulty breathing, and skin irritation can also occur. Hotels should closely monitor the chemical levels in their hot tubs and advise guests to limit their exposure to the water and avoid submerging their heads.


Hot tubs can pose a drowning risk, especially for young children who may not be able to stand up or keep their heads above water. Hotels must comply with safety regulations such as installing proper fencing, covers, and safety features to prevent accidents. It is also important for parents to supervise their children at all times and never leave them unattended in or near a hot tub.

How to Identify a Safe Hot Tub

Look for Signs of Proper Maintenance

The first step in identifying a safe hot tub is to ensure it is well-maintained. Look for signs that the hotel takes hot tub maintenance seriously. This includes checking the water chemistry levels, monitoring the filter system, and cleaning the hot tub regularly.

  • Check that the water is clear and free from any debris or floating objects.
  • Make sure the hot tub surface is clean and free from any slime or slippery spots.
  • Look for any visible signs of rust, corrosion, or damage in the hot tub structure.

It’s also important to ensure that the hot tub’s water temperature is within the safe range of 100-104°F (37-40°C).

Check the Water Quality

One of the most important factors in ensuring a safe hot tub experience is the water quality. Hot tub water that is not properly sanitized can harbor harmful bacteria that can cause skin infections, respiratory problems, and other health issues.

Ask the hotel staff about their hot tub water maintenance routine and how often they test and balance the water chemistry. It’s important to make sure that the hot tub water is treated with the appropriate chemicals, such as chlorine or bromine, to kill bacteria and other contaminants.

Consider bringing your own test strips to check the hot tub’s pH and chlorine levels. If the levels are outside of the recommended range, it’s best to avoid using the hot tub.

Ask Hotel Staff for Information

Don’t be afraid to ask the hotel staff about the hot tub’s safety features and maintenance schedule. They should be able to provide you with information about how often the hot tub is drained, cleaned, and serviced.

Additionally, ask about the hot tub’s maximum occupancy and time limits for use. Overcrowding can lead to reduced water quality and increase the risk of injury or illness.

If you have any concerns about the hot tub’s safety or cleanliness, it’s best to avoid using it and notify the hotel staff immediately.

Tips for Staying Healthy While Using a Hotel Hot Tub

Shower Before and After Use

Before getting into the hotel hot tub, it is essential to rinse off any dirt, oils, or lotions from your body. This helps to keep the water clean and prevent the growth of bacteria. Similarly, it is crucial to shower after using the hot tub to remove any remaining chemicals or bacteria from your skin. This simple practice can help prevent skin irritation, rashes, and other health problems.

Limit Your Time in the Hot Tub

While it may be tempting to soak in the hotel hot tub for an extended period, it is crucial to limit your time in the water. Prolonged exposure to hot water can lead to dehydration, dizziness, and even fainting. Additionally, prolonged exposure can cause skin irritation, eye irritation, and other problems. It is recommended to limit your time in the hot tub to no more than 15-20 minutes at a time.

Avoid Swallowing the Water

It may be tempting to take a sip of the hotel hot tub water, but it is essential to avoid swallowing it. The water in hot tubs can contain harmful bacteria, chemicals, and other contaminants that can cause illness. Additionally, swallowing the water can lead to stomach problems and other health issues. If you accidentally ingest the water, seek medical attention immediately.

By following these simple tips, you can stay healthy while using a hotel hot tub. Remember to always shower before and after use, limit your time in the water, and avoid swallowing the water. Enjoy your soak and stay safe!


Hotel hot tubs can be safe if they are properly maintained and cleaned. While there are risks associated with hot tubs, taking precautions and being aware of the signs of a safe hot tub can help you enjoy a relaxing soak on your next vacation.

Remember to always shower before and after use, limit your time in the hot tub, and avoid swallowing the water. By following these tips, you can stay healthy and enjoy your hotel hot tub experience to the fullest.

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