User Posts: admin

Cut down on Chlorine use and clean your water with enzymes. I was recommending them for a long time based on a quick look and a lot of promises from the factory, but ...

I like Artesian in general, they build good spas the way they should be built. I've had a behind the scenes look at these guys, I was allowed to visit and ...

Arctic Spa In general, I like the shell, it's hand-rolled self-supporting with a vinyl ester resin core. They also have really impressive brochures, ...

Master spa: Master Spas are one of the best brands out there, hand-rolled self supporting shells, full foam, clamped plumbing and top of the line parts. These ...

Dynasty spas: Video Review

Strong Spas Costco: Video Review

Bullfrog : Bullfrogs, like most bands, are a bit of good a bit of bad and a bit of ugly. Those goofy pods really limit the area where the jetting can go. and ...

Beachcomber : This brand is a mixed bag. I find it really overpriced by a long shot, I saw the summer saver deal for 2017 and laughed so hard I almost cried. ...

Browsing All Comments By: admin
  1. Reply
    admin December 10, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Hey Rick,
    I see what you mean by rural, you are actually pretty close to a dealer I know in Houston though, Vince and his team over at Primo Hot Tubs and Swim Spas. These guys are doing a great job in customer care and Master Spas, the line they carry has been one of my top rated for years. If you want something smaller the Getaway line is the one to check out, either the Ocho Rios LE or the Bar Harbour depending on what you are looking for.
    22315 Gosling Rd, Spring, TX 77389
    +1 281-466-2618

    Another local option is Spas Direct Of Texas, they sell Artesian out of Houston, don’t know them as a dealer but the brand is good, just don’t let them sell you a Jacuzzi.
    3429 Gulf Fwy, Dickinson, TX 77539
    +1 281-332-7727

    Anything else you have to start traveling fairly far, you have a Marquis dealer up in Dallas but I can’t recommend that at the moment, they were on my list for a while but I just took one apart recently and they have some quality control issues.

  2. Reply
    admin December 10, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Hi Charles,
    I know things can get confusing in this industry, there is enough spin and marking out there to get first time buyers all turned around on what matters and what products are good. Hope I can help cut through as much of that for you as possible, I’ll give you my local dealer reccomendations first, let me know after that if there are specific things I can clear up for you.

    The nearest Master Spas dealer for you is on the other side of Denver, about 40 miles south, and if you have been reading on here you know this is one of my go to brands. I recently stopped recommending Marquis due to some quality control issues, I grabbed a new Vector 21, took it apart and didn’t like what I saw, you can watch here Marquis Brand Review

    I’m not a fan of how Hot Springs builds either, The only other option I would recommend in your area is an Artesian tub at Colorado Custom Spas in Denver.

    Aqua Spas,
    5050 Factory Shops Blvd #1010, Castle Rock, CO 80108

    Colorado Custom Spas,
    5270 Broadway, Denver, CO 80216

  3. Reply
    admin September 12, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Alright, you get second peek at it.

  4. Reply
    admin August 30, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Hi Jamie,
    I see the Marquis is the one left, for the cover it depends on how serious the crack is in the cover core, it is possible to take it out, repair it, rewrap it in plastic and keep using it.

    Any good hot tub you get for that price is a deal but when you are looking at that kind of age things will start breaking down on it in one area or another at some point.
    You would have to be willing to either pay to repair/rebuild when something critical goes or accept the potentially limited lifespan and get what you can out of it.

    The big question is asking what service/issues the tub has had. If you are lucky some of the key parts have been replaced over the years adding to it’s lifespan. A recurring issue however can be a warning sign that either it wasn’t serviced properly. Other questions, ask how much it was used and why they are getting rid of it, if they used it a lot it probably was better taken care of than one left to sit for years.

  5. Reply
    admin August 30, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Hi Rob,
    The Wish and The Reward are both part of Marquis signature series which is one of their best from a build standpoint, the curves on the wish are a bit odd and cut down on your space for a bit of “style” the jetting on the Reward is better distributed than the Wish, the corner seats on the Wish have only a few jets and the lounger configuration is a bit odd as well. The design of the Reward is more classic and the better jet distribution means you can get a decent massage in most the chairs and lounger.

    I’m not familiar with the dealer, my local dealer recommendation is The Hot Tub Store They are worth talking to if you haven’t and seeing if any of their lines fit what you want.

  6. Reply
    admin August 30, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    Hi Rod,
    The Nordic tubs are well built and reliable but they don’t provide therapy level performance. If you are just looking for a hot tub to relax in and get some light massage jets then they are a great entry level option, good insulation, plumping glued and clamped, good shells. If you are looking for therapy though there are a lot of brands that perform better.

  7. Reply
    admin August 29, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Hi Wendy,
    Glad to hear you are happy, I always enjoy getting updates when I recommend places.
    As for the jet question, it certainly can but it depends on where you want to massage/focus on.
    If you look at the difference between the 30 and the 50 all the big high flow back jets already exist, those are the more expensive and important ones. The majority of the added jets are smaller leg and foot jets with a few mid sized hip jets which give you a more full body experience. As for 70 jets, are you sure that was still the Traditional Omega? it only goes up to 50 jets though they do have a 50 Elite with a few extra features.

    Shoot me another message if you have questions.

  8. Reply
    admin August 28, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Hi Lisa,
    It sounds like there was some kind of miscommunication, in particular with the shock use, you want to be using roughly 1 capful of shock after each use or 2-3 capfuls if you have 3 or 4 people. Chlorine you want to be using between one to two tablespoons per week, if you can smell it on your water that is generally too much. Local regulations will probably suggest higher though.
    I’m sending you an email with a tip sheet and a few points of my own.

  9. Reply
    admin August 28, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Hi Carrie,
    You must have done your research already because both are great tubs. I’m more familiar with Master and personally love the Twilight for its high flow therapy performance. Coast has invited me to go down and see their factory and construction in the next month or so and unless there is a real surprise I’ll be adding them to my top brands listing for their build quality, I haven’t checked the performance of the Apex Curve myself or their diverter setup so I can’t comment on that yet.

    Both have great shells, parts lists, insulation and plumping is properly clamped and secured.
    If you have a specific aspect you want to know about shoot me a reply to this but I can’t see you being disappointed going with either of them, go for a wet test if you can and see which feels better to you and suits what you want.

  10. Reply
    admin August 27, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Hi Moe,
    South Seas is built by Artesian, I’ve visited their factory and consider them to be one of the best built brands out there. They actually use some of the same high end parts and components as Master as well as both gluing and clamping plumbing and using a similar shell construction on most their lines.

    They are very comparable at the entry level but Master wins out on higher performance and therapy tubs.
    you can see my Artesian review here.

  11. Reply
    admin August 27, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Hi Ryan,
    You have two good options in state, Aqua Haven Spas in Oklahoma City is my first suggestion. I would start looking at the Healthy Living line, both the 7.5 and 8.5 don’t have a lounger and have seating for 7, foot space might get a bit crowded at that point but that is the case for most tubs. They also have other lines like Clarity and Twilight depending on what kind of performance you are looking for. This dealer has taken good care of everyone we have sent their way and I feel confident they would do the same for you.

    Second dealer is Paradise and carries Artesian Spas up in Tulsa, these are also good tubs and are fairly comparable at the entry level, if you look at the parts lists you will even notice overlap between them and the Master tubs at Aqua Heaven. They start to fall behind a bit in performance at the upper mid to higher end lines though.

    If you have any specific questions toss me a message and we can follow up, hope this helps.

    6700 Northwest Expy, Oklahoma City, OK 73132
    +1 405-858-7727

    6353 E 41st St, Tulsa, OK 74135
    +1 918-938-7727

  12. Reply
    admin August 10, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Hi Trevor,
    You have it narrowed down to the best options out there so you must have done pretty well wading through the information already.

    Tidalfit is a pretty good swim spa but there is a big gap between everything else on the market and the H2X/Phelps lines. The jetting on the massages chairs is much better and the swim area has a much higher flow rate. Depth is also a key factor and makes a difference in how much you can enjoy and actually do, it is what gives you the pool feel and lets you really swim, move around and do resistance training. If you can actually hop in and test them out it will let you feel the difference more yourself.

  13. Reply
    admin July 27, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Hi Kyle,
    Freestlye is a mid quality when it comes to build, they aren’t a brand I would shortlist. Roxull insulation needs to be in 6″ thick batons to be approved for houses in cold climates so why would 2″ be good in a hot tub? Timber frames also last longer than steel ones they use and don’t rattle around. They are a bit distant down in Mississauga but the best dealer and brand in your area would be to go with Master at Premium Wholesale, if you want a more local option you can grab a Marquis tub from Hot Tub Warehouse in Muskoka, I’m not a fan of the other brands they carry here though.

    Premium Wholesale Home & Leisure
    Status: HTU ALL STAR
    (519) 895-0606

    Hot Tub Warehouse
    +1 705-645-8613

  14. Reply
    admin July 26, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Hi Jeff,
    I’m not a fan of how Caldera builds, they are using building methods that were trendy 20 years ago but ended up having issues, like the old style poly foam and their ABS backed shells need cradle support to stop from breaking. Most the top companies went back to good old glass with a vinyl ester resin core and hand rolled layers of glass.. expensive but indestructible.

    They use a bunch of Goofy proprietary parts as well, check out that article and video to see why this is worth avoiding.

    Best options near you are
    Bend Spa & Hearth which carries Artesian and Cedar Works Spa & Sauna which carry Marquis

  15. Reply
    admin July 25, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    Hi Steve,
    The quality of the shell is one of the things I mention a lot on this site and that is for good reason, a well made hand rolled fiberglass shell with a vinyl Ester resin core can be filled and stay self supporting. Many other brands have shells that are too thin an need to rely on wood posts or supports to prop themselves up and stop them from falling apart when filled. This cradle support style leads to way more failures, the shell is thin so can warp or be damaged more easily and the supports create stress points on the shell around where they are built.

    As for the loungers I wouldn’t worry too much about that, loungers seem great to our dry land minds but don’t translate well to tubs, I almost never see a second time hot tub buyer going for one. Most people end up floating in weird ways or can’t keep their head comfortable and don’t even use them after the first few times.

    I assume South East Spas is where you are checking out Master, I’ve met them a few times and they are good solid reliable people, they even have a sale going on right now to celebrate their second location opening up.

    I’m not a fan of pinnacle, they use good parts but that is the only good thing I can really say, most them are OEM so you can still get them without the company but I would still be hesitant, it doens’t matter how good the service is if they aren’t making certain components anymore and the remaining ones cost an arm and a leg. I would suggest going with the Master tub, especially the Twilight series if you want a good therapy massage tub. As for the bells and whistles, you can get those if they catch your interest but I personally consider fountains a bit of a gimmick and you can grab a waterproof bluetooth speaker for a fraction of the cost installing one inside a hot tub takes.

    If you do want to go with Spa King I would suggest a Marquis tub from them, most their lines are built really well.

    Hope this helps!

  16. Reply
    admin July 25, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Ben
    Innovative Spas up in Virginia Beach is a great dealer in your area, I’ve met the owner a few times, they have a good operation and the full line for Master Spa. Everyone we have talked to or sent their way said good things.
    155 S Rosemont Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23452
    (888) 313-7727

    If you want a second option Greenville Pool & Supply carries Artesian, I don’t know the dealer but the brand is well built.
    +1 252-355-7121

  17. Reply
    admin July 25, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Hi Jim, sorry it took a few days.
    I would avoid Thermo Spas, their marketing is pretty misleading about what their tubs actually have. Many of their models/sales people mention jet and pump numbers higher than the competition, what they don’t say is that 2 or 3 of those pumps are only air pumps which are cheap, blow cold air into your tub and don’t actually do anything other than up the jet/pump count and make the tub sound like a better deal. No one uses these anymore except mass merchants and online dealers.

    Their insulation systems are also pretty bad considering their name, they rely on a perimeter system and an air gap which they say traps the motor heat but you don’t need all that empty space to do so, the only reason not to fill it with foam is cost.

    One of their other big sales points is their 10 year warranty is pro-rated which means you pay after the first year 100% coverage for the first (1) year, 75% for the next two (2) years, 50% for the following three (3) years and 25% for the remaining four (4) years with labor only being one year… You would be better with a 3-year parts and labor which is more common.

    you would have to travel a bit if you want better options, South East Spas is down in West Palm Beach and Fort Meyers but I’ve met these guys, they carry Master Spas and have taken great care of everyone we send their way.

    Other options are Splash pool and Spas up in Jacksonville that carry Artesian

    Spas and More Inc in Port Charlotte which carry several brands but the Marquis are their best built.

    You have local spa service people all over Orlando so if you do need service at some point you would have someone local regardless. Hope this helps let me know if I can answer anything else.

  18. Reply
    admin July 19, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Mike,
    Sounds like you ran into a pretty slick sales person, so lets go over everything.
    These cheap perimeter insulation systems are just nonsense, they talk about trapping motor heat but you don’t need all that empty space to reuse the motor heat, the only reason not to fill the cavity is cost. 3-4x as efficient is a pipe dream, they are picking the worst of the competition to compare themselves to, talk with the Marquis dealer and they can give you realistic daily costs for the tub you are looking at.

    Those 5 pumps 99 jets they are talking about? they are including air blowers, that is a major red flag right there. Air blowers are cheap systems that blow cold air into the tub (even the heated ones are too cool), they are noisy and are used because it ups the jet/pump count and adds value when selling but the reality is no one really uses these anymore except usually mass merchants and online guys. If he wasn’t upfront about his or tried to pass them off as water pumps then he is being pretty underhanded or doesn’t even know the tub he is selling beyond the brochure.

    Also I know you didn’t ask but Thermo’s 10 year warranty is pro-rated which means you pay after the first year 100% coverage for the first (1) year, 75% for the next two (2) years, 50% for the following three (3) years and 25% for the remaining four (4) years, the labor aspect is only one year… You would be better with a 3-year parts and labor.

    As for the heating/filtration system, does it make sense that a system that runs so much would somehow cost less in electricity or even be needed if it was so efficient at keeping heat in? It might move a lot of water but that doesn’t mean it is doing a good job.

    Going with local service itself isn’t a red flag, even many of the big companies are doing it now but with all the other details like showing up at your house, it speaks of someone who is just trying to make an overpriced sale and move on.

    Hope this answers your questions and helps you out.

  19. Reply
    admin July 19, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Hi Mike,
    I replied to your comment over in buyers assistance.

  20. Reply
    admin July 19, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Going with the shows is fine since you have good local support and independent service providers. These shows have become so big in your area that there is actually really limited local options for you.

  21. Reply
    admin July 19, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    The big issues with Cal are the cradle supported shell and the fact that they moved away from Balboa electronics, they are still a decent brand but since you have Master as an option I would go with that instead. The Twilight series is the best out there if you want good massage and therapy, the high flow jets are amazing and the ability to focus both pumps into a single chair lets you really feel it. I’ve got a video review which goes over it more. I wouldn’t bother going with Marquis since they are fairly similar to Master at the entry level and fall behind on the upper lines.

  22. Reply
    admin July 19, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Hi Corey,
    The local dealer I know is down in Tullahoma, Hice’s pool and spa.
    They they carry Master, have great service people and I have only heard good things from the people we send their way.

    If you are sticking more local I would also go with Artesian over Caldera, Watkins or Hot Springs, I’m not familiar with the dealers there but the brand is solid. I see that the dealer isn’t primarily a hot tub retailer though so my only concern would be making sure they offer good timely service.
    +1 931-455-2500

  23. Reply
    admin July 19, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Hi Laurence,
    I would generally avoid Jacuzzi if possible but I’m not seeing many other options in your area, (Sundance is the same owners with the same issues).
    Jacuzzi is one of the big names in hot tubs but they spent a lot more on marketing and gimmicks than building a good hot tub. They lock you in with proprietary parts which can cost you in the long run.

    I’ll look for some more options in your area and send another reply if I can find something.
    If you do go with Jacuzzi make sure you have a good warranty and a dealer who knows the brand and can service it well.

  24. Reply
    admin July 17, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    Cal Spas is mixed, they have some good and bad. If you want Master I suggest checking these guys out, they have showrooms in Omaha and Lincoln. You don’t have any Artesian or Marquis dealers near you.

    Home Innovations Spas

  25. Reply
    admin July 17, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Hi Mike,
    I’m not a fan of Vita, the shells are thin and cradle supported, the parts are proprietary, the insulation is cheap and the plumbing isn’t clamped.
    You have at least three dealers around you carrying better brands, check them out, Nordic is good entry level, Marquis and Artesian are better if you want higher performance. I don’t personally know any of the dealers so you will have to check them out yourself.

    Premiere Hot Tubs – Marquis

    Austin Spas and Pools – Artesian

    Ocean Quest Pools by Lew Akins – Marquis and Nordic

  26. Reply
    admin July 17, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    Hi Karen,
    I’m actually off to see the coast factory soon and I’ll put one together off what I see there. I always want the most up to date and in depth info so I can pass it on accurately to you guys.

  27. Reply
    admin July 17, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    It looks like Rome Pool and Spas changed what brands they carry, and yes, I would avoid Hot Springs for the reasons I said earlier in the chain. My other suggestion Concord still stands though, best option I can see in your area.

    Concord Pools & Spas
    136 S Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
    +1 518-587-4949

  28. Reply
    admin July 17, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    Hi Dale,
    I would go with the Nordic over the Jacuzzi, Nordic builds solid tubs with good parts, they tend to be entry level but the do it well. The biggest issue with Nordic is their insulation which is cheap poly foam and a fiber lining. Jacuzzi spends too much on marketing and doesn’t leave enough left over to build a good tub, they use proprietary parts and mid grade shells.

    If you want an additional option there is a Master Dealer about 80 miles from you down in Waynesville, North Carolina. The Getaway is built with many of the same parts the Nordic has but actually does the full icynene foam which saves you a lot in winter. If you are interested in a higher end tub going with Master becomes more important, the therapy performance on them is best in market and the high flow jetting gets you more massage action.

    David’s Home Entertainment & Recreation
    2566 Asheville Road, Waynesville, NC, 28786

  29. Reply
    admin July 9, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    I checked out your local area and can’t find a dealer I’m familiar with, spa and pool center over in Boise seems to be your only real option for sale, they do carry Artesian which is a great brand but they also carry Strong Spas which doesn’t have anything going for them other than their cover. I included web links for some independent service people nearby that you can talk to if you have any issues with the dealer.

    8403 W Fairview Ave, Boise, ID 83704
    +1 208-376-1514

  30. Reply
    admin July 6, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Hi Kyle,
    You are right near East Coast Spas, they run a good operation and take great care of customers.

  31. Reply
    admin July 5, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Hi Michael,
    The exact tub depends on what you are looking for, what I can suggest on is brand and dealer. Master Spas is built well and you can read more info about the brand in my review

    Your local dealer for the brand is Hot Tubs Inc, which is a great option, I’ve met the owner and spent some time with him before, they know their hot tubs and will take good care of you. Shoot me a message if you have any issues but everyone we have recommended them to has been happy.
    1925 Norfolk Dr, Owings, MD 20736

  32. Reply
    admin July 5, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Hi Sean,
    Master spas wins out easily against the other brands you listed with Coast in second place, Coast is good on paper but has quality control issues that have lead to a lot of dealers dropping them recently. Maxx and Cal Spa both have build and design issues that effect the long term reliability.
    Cal Spas uses thin shells that rely on cradle support and they stopped using Balboa electronics on their top lines recently which saves money but is really questionable from a quality standpoint, Maxx is middle of the road build quality but their perimeter insulation system is just not up to par for Canadian winters and would cost you in heating at a ski condo, not to mention how quickly it would suffer freeze damage if you lost power.

    Master Spas builds reliably with Balboa electronics, a hand rolled self supporting shell, easily sourced parts and has a full Icynene foam for insulation that has an r-value 2-3 times higher than some of the competition.

  33. Reply
    admin July 5, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Hi Aiden,
    Frasier Valley Hot Tubs are the people to talk to in your area, I’ll send you some info and put you in touch with them.

  34. Reply
    admin July 5, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Hi Wendy,
    I have to say the options in your area are not great.
    American Whirlpool and Vita are actually the same company and both are mid grade based on build quality for the same reasons, the shells are both thin and cradle supported on their tubs which leads to higher failure rates in the long run. The insulation on both is sub par which is more of an issue in colder regions. The plumbing is only glued and not clamped which is a simple step that decreases leaks and the metal frames have a tendency to rattle around and rust. Sundance used to be good but they got bought out by Jacuzzi and the reliability has dropped a ton, they are near number one for people asking for help online, mid grade shells, parts you can’t buy anywhere else and a high overhead because of how much they spend on marketing and gimmicky features, Hot Springs is very similar.

    Since all the brands are of roughly similar quality I would look at other factors, if you have a good dealer who knows the brand with a good warranty and service setup you can feel more confident in your purchase. Ask them questions about what things they need to fix most often and what they charge for service calls. From a brief look Hot Springs and Hot Tub Doctor seem to be set up the best in your area, you will have to talk with them and see as well as finding a specific tub model you like. Hope this helps and good luck!

  35. Reply
    admin July 3, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Hi Tina,
    I suggest you look at the H2X series, they have them at Master Pool and Spa in Minneapolis. They have a few different designs depending on what you want and your price range. Great as a pool replacement and built reliably.
    6415 Wayzata Blvd, St Louis Park, MN 55426
    +1 952-253-0665

  36. Reply
    admin July 2, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Hi Susan,
    The Grandee has a lot of features like their moving jets that add to the cost and perceived performance but they aren`t really going to add anything to your experience. Hot Springs uses a lot of custom or proprietary parts as well which are not as high quality and can cost you down the road for service and replacement.

    The Artesian south seas 850B lacks some of the fancy features of the Grandee but it is well built using high quality OEM parts, an icynene foam system for insulation and a top of the line shell. The biggest flaw with Artesian is a lack of factory support but if you have a local dealer that offers good service you are golden.

    Even ignoring the price differences I would go with the South Seas over the Grandee if I was buying for myself, it`s reliable and offers good performance at that price point.

  37. Reply
    admin July 2, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Stephanie,
    Artesian over Hot Spring any day, Hot Springs is a part of the Watkins Group which own a half dozen other brands as well, these guys are all about the marketing and profit margins instead of building a good tub. The fact that they use proprietary parts is a significant issue and all that marketing overhead and high margin means you would be paying top of the line prices for a mid grade tub. These guys are great at making a Hot Tub sound amazing or like a great deal but it costs you upfront and more in the long run as you get service over the years.

  38. Reply
    admin July 1, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Bill,
    Glad you are liking the site and all the info, I`ll see if I can pull together some price ranges for you but even if you are paying more upfront it is generally worthwhile for a Hot Tub, buying cheap can sometimes be really expensive in the long run if they cut corners on reliability, parts quality and build standards.

  39. Reply
    admin July 1, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Hi Jim,
    Viking is roughly mid quality overall, they have been around for a long time but never became too big which limits their ability to build to top spec at an affordable rate. The Plastic shells aren`t great, the plumbing isn`t glued and clamped and the insulation is cheaper but outdated. There are a lot worse out there but you have better options around you as well, check out Marquis at the Seattle Hot Tub Company or Artesian at Black Pine Spas. You can look at my brand reviews of each to see why their build quality beats out Viking.

  40. Reply
    admin July 1, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    It looks like you are probably deciding between Jacuzzi, Cal Spas and Bullfrog. All these brands have some significant weak points in their build quality, unfortunately the selection near you is pretty limited. Bullfrog is pretty good but not the top… I hate that ABS plastic pedestal supported shells, high failure rate over the years. That said, Bullfrog is definitely above Jacuzzi on my scale, they use a good parts list for the components and have a decent performance spa line with an upper mid performance on their top end spas. Cal Spa is somewhere between them depending on the particular tub, if you are considering Cal Spa make sure it has a Balboa system, sadly they moved away from them on their top end stuff.

    There is another option for you though, you have an Artesian dealer up in Courtenay and these tubs are a much better-built spa than the Bullfrog by a mile, particularly in jet performance and shell stability. If you want to make this work though check out if any of local independent service people are familiar with Artesians, it would be a longer trip for delivery but if you can get local service it isn’t a long term issue. I was going to check around a bit but everyone’s closed for Canada Day, just make a few calls and see if you can find someone.

    Here is the most local service place I saw for you.
    Island Hot Tub Sales & Service Ltd
    +1 250-390-3111

    And here is the Dealer that carries Artesian, they also carry Hot Springs, don`t let them change your mind to that if you do talk with them.
    Comox Fireplace & Patio
    4911 N Island Hwy, Courtenay, BC V9N 5Y9
    +1 250-338-8522

  41. Reply
    admin July 1, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    I just visited Atlanta a few months back and Atlanta Spa and Leisure really impressed me, I’ll put you in touch with them. As for the swim spa options, the Micheal Phelps series of swim spas is well built and has high end performance, it is designed to provide a challenge to even professional swimmers but the price point can get up there because of that. The H2X series is built to the same high standard but tones down both the cost and performance a bit, that said it is still a clear cut above most the competition in these areas. This is probably the one you will be more interested in and it works as a great pool alternative.

  42. Reply
    admin July 1, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Hi Joseph,

    Nordic is quite good at the entry level, they do roto mold shells which I would have stayed away from until recently, Nordic does them thick and well designed though, they are built to be nearly indestructible. Their insulation is their weakest point and is mostly 3/4″ or so of the old style poly foam and a thin fiber layer inside the skirt, more of an issue in colder climates. The plumbing on Nordic is glued and clamped which does a lot to prevent leaks and they build with Balboa which is the best for electronics and control systems.

  43. Reply
    admin June 22, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Hi Keven,
    I would try to check out tubs and be sure they pack enough power for you, at that price point the massage performance has limits.
    Bang for your buck I would have to suggest Master Spas, the nearest dealer is rather far from you but if you can handle service yourself that distance might not matter as much other than for the initial delivery. The nearest Master dealer for you is Hice’s Pool and Spa down in Tullahoma. Both Master and Artesian are well built with easy to source parts, if you are looking for a good massage tub though Master is the brand to go with.

    Artesian is a solid buy, the Rio is their Island line which is their entry level though so the jetting is fairly pedestrian, not many of the hi flow therapy jets and tons of the tiny inexpensive ones so it’s certainly not a high end therapy massage spa but I would say it has a good middle of the road performance with great build quality. Most their parts are easy to find and order as well, They have limited factory support but if you can service it yourself or have a good dealer that can help out that isn’t an issue. I would go for both Artesian and Master over the Viking for sure, the plastic shell and dip glued plumbing alone keeps Viking from being in the same class of tubs.
    1 931-455-2500

  44. Reply
    admin June 22, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Hi Susan,
    I would pick Artesian over Beachcomber but only if you have good local support. Artesian has limited factory support at the moment but since they use a good parts list and most the components can be ordered standard that doesn’t matter if you have a good dealer that offers good service.

    Beachcomber can be a good option, they build well but I find they are a bit overpriced. They also have a few models and design choices that just don’t make sense, if you do go with Beachcomber stay away from their Hybrid system, if you lose power in the winter you are at risk of quick freeze damage very easily because the water leaves the insulation envelope, this will also cost you more during Oakville winters due to lost heat.

    As for dealers I would also check out Premium Wholesale Home and Leisure, I know their Kitchener people but they also have a store near you in Mississauga, the entry level Master tubs are great value and if you do want to go for anything higher end Master starts to really beat out the others.

  45. Reply
    admin June 4, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Stephanie,
    I don’t know the distributor but MAXX Spas is a fairly average brand, the perimeter insulation isn’t great, the shell is a bit thin and their build quality isn’t consistent across their lines. Chandler is right next to a really great dealer in Tempe though, I’ve talked with these guys about tubs and they know their stuff. If you are looking in that area Pheonix Hot Tubs and Swim Spas are the people to see. They carry Master Spas which are built well and use top of the line parts and materials, I’ve got a review of the brand you can look at

    1746 W Ruby Dr Suite 104, Tempe, AZ 85284
    +1 480-389-9799

  46. Reply
    admin May 23, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Hi Russ,

    Out of the first three you mentioned Artesian is the only one I could rate as having a high build quality. I’ve actually been to their main factory and what I saw there impressed me. If you want a good build and reliable tub they are a solid option. Since you are getting this for therapeutic reasons though I think you should really consider the Twilight series by Master, it really is in a class of its own and there is a reason I use it as my personal therapy hot tub. The high flow jets and the ability to redirect pressure all into one seat really is getting you more value. The build quality on Master and Artesian is fairly similar as well.

  47. Reply
    admin May 11, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Hi Scott,

    I would pick Marquis over Viking any day of the week, Viking has been around a long time but they are pretty small. They don’t work on a big enough scale to build things as well and cost effective as Master or Marquis. Viking does have good parts but the shell on most is plastic instead of hand rolled fibreglass and they don’t clamp pipes or use the best insulation options. They probably look pretty similar in the store and in the pitches but you will notice the different long term. Marquis is probably the more expensive option up front but you are getting quality for that and it will save you in service costs down the road.

  48. Reply
    admin May 11, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    Hey Jack,
    There are actually Hot Tub Expos that run in your area a few times a year and they sell Master Spas, you also have a local independent service company that can help you out if you have any issues in the future making it a safe way to buy. I’ll put you in touch.

    If you aren’t willing to travel or wait, the best bet where you live would be to go for a Marquis, there is a dealer right in Sparks and they are built very similarly to Master, both use some of the same high quality and easy to find parts list. They do all the stuff I tell people to look for, hand rolled shells, plumbing properly clamped and glued, all the stuff that gives you long term quality.

    There are differences at the higher end even if the build quality is similar, Master has a better therapy line with high flow jets, molded neck areas and foot jets, if you want to go with Master it is a bit of a trip, the closest I can find for you is out towards Sacramanto.

    Master Dealer
    Hot Tub & Spa Emporium – Rocklin Store
    500, 6620, Lonetree Blvd, Rocklin, CA 95765
    +1 916-899-3242

    Marquis Dealer
    960 S McCarran Blvd, Sparks, NV 89431
    +1 775-359-6073

    local Service guys
    +1 775-826-3636

  49. Reply
    Scott April 4, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    There is sometimes a delay as we filter comments. I did some research and see a few good options near Orillia for what you want, give us a short bit and I’m sure Chris can help point you towards the right one.

  50. Reply
    scott pendleburry March 21, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Hi Jonathan,
    It is a bit of a drive but I found a place near Aberdeen which carries Artesian Spas. I don’t know the dealer but the brand is one of the few I consider really good. Here is their website