The Value of Refurbishing Your Campsite or Holiday Park’s Toilet & Shower Block
When holidaymakers seek out the best campsite or holiday parks in the UK, there is more information than ever available to help guide their decision. As well as traditional rating systems, websites such a Trip Advisor can make or break a holiday site as guests feedback honestly on everything from customer service, price and location to the quality of the toilet and shower facilities. With so much at stake, can your business afford to fall short of visitor expectations? Here is our guide to the regulations and requirements for first class washroom facilities to help boost your campsite or holiday park.
When refurbishing or refreshing campsite washroom facilities, the design should be a key consideration. Natural woods and plain colours are often a popular choice as they blend in with the natural setting of the parks. The use of natural light where possible will also add to the feel of the washroom and enhance the camping experience whilst providing the comfort of necessary facilities.
The material specification used for the cubicles, vanity units and ancillary items is extremely important. Due to the high traffic and wet area environments, it is highly recommended to use Solid Grade Laminate panels where possible. This is an exceptionally hardwearing panel which is totally impervious to water and resistant to mould, rot and vandalism. The Dunhams Challenger cubicle system has been used extensively in holiday and campsite washrooms all over the UK, providing a long-lasting and robust solution.
Consider that the user of your washroom will include both adults and young children. Baby changing and family washing facilities have been very popular in recent refurbishments. Introducing lower sink and vanity units alongside the standard height is a great way to consider children in your design and will be appreciated by your guests.
Think about the features that can make your toilet and shower facilities stand out from other parks. Lockers are an extremely useful security feature for shower blocks whilst small details such as shelves, towel and coat hooks can make all the difference to the user experience. Finally, if you are going to invest in new facilities, ensure you regularly clean and maintain them as this will be the first thing visitors notice.
The AA and Visit England both award star ratings that are highly regarded and are a great way to promote your park. Not only do they recognise your site’s facilities, they provide credibility to potential visitors. In order to obtain a rating from these two bodies, park’s must meet set requirements which include detailed guidelines for toilet and shower facilities.
As the authority of English tourism, gaining a high star rating from Visit England can be extremely lucrative for holiday parks. Their rating system looks at a number of factors for a holiday/touring parks and campsites, including the standard of the toilets and washing facilities.
Visit England offer guidelines on the standard of washroom facilities for parks with an accreditation system which runs from a 1-5 star rating. The overall minimum requirements for washroom facilities are:
- All toilet and shower facilities must be adequately lit, internally and externally, during the hours of darkness whilst the park is open.
- All shower facilities must have sufficient lighting, natural or artificial, for safe usage at all times.
- An adequate supply of hot and cold water must be available in all ‘in use’ showers and toilet blocks at all reasonable times.
- All shower and toilet facilities in use during the period 1st October to 31st March must be provided with adequate heating.
Visit England will only award a 4 or 5-star rating to sites with a high standard of washroom. To meet these requirements, toilet and shower facilities are judged on specific categories, including the décor, flooring, lighting, heating and ventilation. Fixtures, fittings are also assessed as well as the general space, comfort and ease of use. The benchmark for a 5-star rating is:
Mark 5 (Excellent) General Space, Comfort & Ease of Use:
- Very spacious facilities of an excellent design. • Likely to be a generous provision of spacious private washing cubicles. • Shower trays of above standard size. • All shower cubicles provided with generously sized and fully effective dry change area
Mark 5 (Excellent) Fixtures, Fittings & Sanitaryware
- Full size wash basins. • High quality sanitary ware throughout. • Mirrors all in pristine condition and of a high quality. • Easy to use responsive controls. • Excellently maintained waterproof partitions. • Highest quality light and heat fittings throughout all facilities
The AA inspects and rate campsites and caravan parks on a scale from one to five black pennants. They assess the quality and variety of facilities offered by a park, including the toilet and shower blocks. In order to be awarded Four Pennants, a site must offer:
- Spacious vanity-style washbasins or similar, including some in lockable cubicles • Fully tiled or equivalent shower cubicles with doors, dry areas, shelves and hooks (at least one per gender for every 30 pitches) • Some combined toilet and washing cubicles, at least 2 for up to 150 pitches, 4 for over 150 , and 6 for over 300. • Toilet blocks heated October to Easter • Baby changing facilities
To gain Five Pennants, a site must also provide:
- Several designated self-contained cubicles ideally containing WC, washbasin and shower • Remaining washbasins ideally cubicles • All toilet blocks to be heated
Holidaymakers are increasingly turning to online reviewing sites such as Trip Advisor for impartial opinions before booking with a holiday park or campsite. A browse through the reviews of any site will usually include a reference to the shower and washroom facilities. Clean and modern washroom blocks can speak volumes for the quality of your park. Guests are quick to praise toilet facilities that surpass expectations and are not shy to mention if they fall short.
Dunhams has recently worked with a number of holiday parks and campsites to supply brand new washroom facilities. The impact and benefit of the washroom refurbishments can be clearly seen in reviews for the parks.
Pinewoods Holiday Park
- “The toilet/shower blocks were amazing!!!”
- “Amazing amenities, plots are big, toilet blocks are superb, brand new, clean and very modern.”
- “The toilet and shower blocks were excellent, very clean and the showers were excellent with a lot of private space for changing.”
- “The attention to detail is obvious from the quality of fixtures and fittings in the showers, toilets, washing up room, etc through to the pitch hook up points with water taps and water waste.”
- “The owners are very friendly and the facilities excellent with superb shower/toilet blocks and very handy electric hookup and water supply to each pitch.”
- “The toilet and shower block were fantastic!! Enjoyed every minute and will certainly be back!!”
Haw Wood Farm
- “Beautiful caravan and camping site with excellent on-site facilities. Staff very friendly and incredibly helpful. Toilet and shower blocks are just superb.”
- “Facilities at this site are first class, toilets and showers are the best ever”
The power of reviews should not be underestimated, with some research suggesting that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. A good review could be extremely profitable for a holiday business and likewise a bad one detrimental. Can you afford for your washrooms to let you down?
Guidelines for campsite toilet and shower facilities often refer back to the Caravan Sites & Control of Development Act 1960 Section 5: Model Standards for Touring Caravan Sites 1983. Actual guidelines can vary depending on the local council, but as a guide, campsites and holiday parks should provide:
- 1 WC & 1 Urinal for men/ 2 WCs for Women – Mandatory for sites between 10-30 pitches
- Location to be to the satisfaction of the licencing authority
- Showers: not obligatory on sites with less than 70 pitches/ If are required provision should be 1 shower per 25 pitches and hot water to be available.
- Provision for Disabled persons should be made with Toilet/shower facilities.
Contact one of our expert project consultants to discuss your park’s requirements today.