The brands I like and dislike and why

The brands I like and dislike and why

There are 3 kinds of hot tub companies.

  • Ones that are great marketing companies building midgrade spas at stupidly high prices
  • Ones that build mid-grade mid-priced spas. 
  • And ones that make great hot tubs in the middle price area. This last group is always where you want to be because its the best value and the best tubs. 

The great marketing ones are often owned by big corporate equity investment firms that apply a very simple business model that is very profitable for the shareholders but not a good thing for the guy buying the hot tub for a few very solid reasons.


The hot tub brands I consider to be in this messy group that IMHO is your worst options are: HotSprings, Caldera, Limelight, Endless pools, Arctic spas, Jacuzzi, Dimension One, Sundance, Hydropool.
Their business model is this:

  • Create very expensive Branding, marketing, and advertising campaigns that are seamless and harmonious and make the products appear to be a cut above the rest. They are super good at this even knowing what I know when I get immersed in their marketing I’m even impressed.
  • Go to a cheap to build places like Mexico, or china and get parts made that only fit your hot tub so you can control both the cost fo the parts and the availability… basically, ensure you get money from the customer forever at what every high price you dictate because they have zero options.
  • Build to a mid-grade standard but have lots of magic, like goofy flippy floppy jets, miracle chemical reduction systems, wifi automatic systems etc.
  • sell the spas only through high-end retail stores.

When you buy these overpriced spas you are really paying two things… You are paying half for the hot tub and half for the massive marketing and high-end retail costs… you literally are spending half your money on smoke and mirrors. and these tubs are nowhere near as well built as the really well-made spas.


The hot tub brands I consider to be in the middle group are: American Whirlpool, Vita, Maxx, Viking, Dynasty, Premium Leisure, Pinnacle, Strong etc 
Their business model is simple:

  • Build a mid-grade mid-priced spa
  • Usually, they do one or two of the expensive things (shell, plumbing, insulation, parts) really well and cut corners on usually the shell construction and insulation.
  • Some of these are reasonable buys some are absolute shit shows, its a risky group not only between brands but we see some real quality control issues with this middle group and there are a lot of lemons that get through into the market.

The hot tub brands I consider to be in Top Group: Artesian, Twilight, Garden spas, getaway spas, elite, Master, Healthy Living, Clarity, PDC, Coast (pending factory inspection), and then a bunch of fringe guys like Bullfrog, Beachcomber, Nordic, Marquis (undergoing factory revamp and having issues right now)

These guys are in the sweet spot of building to a high standard with good quality control and not blowing their brains out on the shitty 90’s style marketing and branding bullshit.

  • These guys spend the money on the build:
    • They use good nonhardening full-foam insulation- expensive but the highest R-value
    • They hand roll shells with Vinyl ester resin cores and build them strong enough to support their own weight.
    • They use efficient plumbing systems that greatly increase flow rates and they glue and clamp the plumbing lines.
    • They Use good reliable expensive OEM parts that are easy to source and competitively priced.
  • They often sell through lower overhead operations 
  • Their marketing and branding is hit and miss and scattered, it does not have the polish (or the cost) of the high-end marketing guys.

Due to increased demand we are running 5-10 days for comment responses, it sucks but its only me… I’m working to find a suitable co-writer but I’m currently running 5-10 days for responses 🙁 and 12-24 hrs for paid responses. It’s not a cash grab I just can not keep up with the numbers despite spending my entire life here 🙂 I am determined to keep this honest and true to its tenants and therefore it takes time to ramp up to the massively increased traffic over the past 3 years.

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Hi Chris, I am leaning toward an Artesian South Seas 735B or 748B. I live in Frederick, MD. The closest Artesian dealer I can find is Offenbachers in Rockville. Do you have any experience with them? Is there another dealer I should consider? Also, I want to use the least amount of chemicals possible. Can an in-line mineral system be installed in an Artesian hot tub so I don’t have to use the floating unit? Lastly, an article I read said the disadvantage to a mineral system is you can’t test to see if this system is working. Being new… Read more »

Hi Maggie, I don’t have any direct experience with the dealer but I know they also sell Caldera tubs (which are not great by any stretch) so my only issue is a dealer carrying a top-tier brand such as Artesian and a very poor brand as well. There are a couple of PDC dealers near you so have a look at our private buyers service and maybe we can get you a proper deal on a high-end tub. As for mineral systems here’s the real deal – stay away from any mechanical or electrical systems for minerals. Keep it simple… Read more »

Hi Chris i’m almost ready to pull the trigger but wanted your insight on my 2 picks its between the Artesian kona they say the tub is foam but nothing else for 7100 w/o tax or a master spa clarity Balance 7 at the same price, The place selling the artesian does not have there own service people but the master spa dealer does Any concerns on this Thanks

Hi Greg,

Go with the Master. Artesian is a good tub but the Balance 7 is a great tub an in-house service trumps out-sourced every time

Hi, Looking for your opinion on Coast Spa “Element”. Comparing against Artesian and Master Spa. Local issue is both Artesian and Master Spa are 4-6 months out on availability. Coast Spa is about 2 months. Thanks.

Hi Steve,

Almost all manufacturers are 6+ months out because with Covid has everyone at home and wanting a new hot tub. When shopping for a tub keep one thing in mind – many dealers will tell you 2-3 months and then in a couple months have “unexpected delays” pushing the delivery out further. If you buy a tub with a shorter delivery date then get a delivery deadline in writing with a full refund if the date is not met

Hey Chris I was told that Spring Dance is made by Artesian. Is that true?

Hi Dan,

Spring Dance is not made by Artesian. Artesian brands are Artesian, Island Elite, South Seas and Garden Spas.

Hello Chris – great site and resource you have here. First time hot-tub/swim-spa buyer, and I have to say, I’ve learned a ton from you. Thank you first and foremost. Currently in the age-old battle with my better-half over a hot-tub (she) vs. swim-spa (me). Any advice? Also, what reputable dealers in the Chicago-land area for your top brands?

Hi Anthony, In your area you have a ton of options but that can be both good and bad because it’s hard to know what to buy and who to buy it from. We do a ton of business with great dealers in that area so check out our private buyers service and we can save you some money and make sure you get the right unit for you. As for hot tub vs swim spa, there are a bunch of considerations depending on what you actual needs are (exercise, therapy, relaxation) so the first step is to determine need.… Read more »

Hi Chris,

By artesianspas, do you mean artesianspas[.]com ? I’m in the market for a Spa and I have it down to: Artesianspas, Sunrise Spas, HotSprint, and CalderaSpas. Looking at the higher end of each like (Grand Cayman/Captiva, sunrise-grandura, Pulse 7, Utopia respectively).

Can you recommend which one I should focus on?
Thank you

Hi Payam,

We do indeed mean artesianspas.com. I would focus on the Artesian because they are head and shoulders above the rest on that list

wonderful, thank you!

Hi Chris,
I live in Victoria B.C. and am a first time hot tub buyer. Just read your reviews here and want to pick your brain on the best place(s) to shop in town. I’m looking for a 5-6 person tub that has high value (easy to repair if needed, well insulated, easy to maintain chemically).
Appreciate any insight you may have!
Thanks,
Chris H

Hi Chris, You have tow good options. In Victoria you have Twilight hot tubs who are a Coast Spa dealer. We haven’t dealt with them personally yet but we haven’t seen anything that puts them on our bad list and Coast is a good brand. The other option is off the island but worth the distance and they do service your area. Fraser Valley Hot Tubs in Mission sells the Master brand (our top choice) and they are one of our all-star dealers so they’ve gone through our vetting process. Check out our private buyers service and we can help… Read more »

Hi Chris – What is the best 3 person spa on the market right now in your opinion? We have been looking at Marquis, Coast Spas, and Master Spas. Have a local dealer that sells Marquis that would be most convenient. Thank you.

Hi Trevor,

Master or Coast. We don’t recommend Marquis since we tore one apart and evaluated it – tons of issues. Have a look at the Master Ocho Rios or the Twilight 240 (for a better massage experience). In the Coast line, look at the Omega series. It’s more moulded and has more restrictive seating them the Master units but still a good tub

Hi Chris,
I was wondering if there is a good spa dealer near me in Connecticut? I found a Nordic Jubilee LS that I really like and wondering if that is a decent spa?

Hi Robb,

Nordic is a good spa. Get a feel for the dealer by asking lots of questions about after sale service (make sure to ask about in-warranty service fees and whether they do service in-house or farm it out). Who is the dealer? We may have some info on them

Hi,

The dealer is Shoreline Hot Tubs and Saunas in Westbrook CT. They have two stores here in Connecticut. Thank you for the help!

Hi Robb,

Shoreline is on our good guys list so you have a good dealer!

THANK YOU!!!!!

Great site, thanks for all this info! We are struggling mightily with making a decision, first time hot tub purchase. We’re in the Cincinnati Ohio area. We were looking at the Bullfrog X8 (or X7) which seems like a nice deal @ ~$8,500 w/ everything included (no wet test). But the jets didn’t feel that strong and it doesn’t have a diverter system, and individually having to manually turn off / on each jet to potentially redirect pressure seems silly. Since that’s pretty much our top end budget, I’m not interested in moving up to the jet packs. Are those… Read more »

Hi Adam, If your wife has a bad back and needs therapy then you should be looking at a true therapy tub and none of those listed are proper therapy tubs. There is one critical thing to know when it comes to therapy in a hot tub. Most tubs have a preponderance of small, low-flow high-pressure pin jets that feel like a huge amount of pressure but do little to nothing for the muscle mass. The contradiction here is that what feels like it is doing the most actually does the least. The larger high-flow low-pressure jets don’t feel like… Read more »

hi chris
been looking for a tub for a while and came across a tub for sale called an evolution 8 the site says its made by master spas are these spa any good as didn’t see them on the masters spa web site
found a video on them

many thanks
Dave

Hi Dave,

Master makes excellent spas but their website could use some work, especially on the international side….. That’s a European Master Spa and has all the same quality components and build of the NA models so that’s a great model. The dealer that posted the video is also a great dealer so I’d get in contact with them and see what they have available since availability is the big issue these days with everyone and their mother wanting a tub right now

What are your thoughts on the Catalina line? Specifically the Nantucket.

Hey Chris, hope you’re doing well. We are adding on a master bedroom and wondering if you have any thoughts on installing a small hot tub in the master bath? I’ve read it’s possible, but need to consider the wall construction materials (moisture), the ventilation and chlorine smell?? Heard of this being done successfully? Thanks for your thoughts and time.

Hey Chris, We are in the process of purchasing our first hot tub and have been in the market looking for a year or more. We’ve been to 4 different dealers in the local area and every one was different and made the decision making even harder. Most of the places felt like the stereotype used car salesperson trying to tell us how great they are and their tubs and talking down other dealers in area. The only one that didn’t was a dealer or hot spring spas but they are pricey and I read a lot of negative stuff… Read more »

Thanks for the reply. Makes sense looking back at the hot springs sales tactics. I found a dealer of PDC spas in Burlington, NC – not too far away. How would they compare to what you recommend? Have seen spotty reviews of the dealer though but know that isn’t always the truth.

Hi William,

That would be Dixon Pool and Spa and they are a reputable dealer with a good brand in PDC. Tell them you were referred by Hot Tub University and if they don’t take good care fo you we will beat them with our big stick…..:)

Hey. Made it to Dixon’s yesterday in Burlington. It was the best experience we’ve had since looking at tubs in the past two years! There was 0 pressure to sell to us and customers impromptu coming in raved on buying from them and the experience after purchasing. As you already know there is a run on acrylic and hot tub production is backed up so if we did a custom order it would be next year by the time it’s received. My wife was over waiting and there were two in the size range we were looking for coming in… Read more »

Hi William,

You found a good dealer which is most of the battle won!!! I actually like the lounger in the Freeport and yes it does have two major differences from most loungers. First it is heavily moulded so you are sitting as opposed to lying down and second it doesn’t kill the other corner when someone is in it. The luxury series doesn’t give you enough that matters to make a difference so if it were me it would simply be – great tub, great dealer pull the trigger

Hi Chris
We are seeing a great deal on at Costco.ca for a Beachcomber 658 Leep (100 flex jets) 7 person spa. From my research I believe it is the Beachcomber 380 with extras, such as the felxijets, the steps, the everbrite LED ambient lighting etc. It is down to $7999.00 CAD from $8999.00.
Wondering what you think of this deal and if it is a good hot tub or if there are better models/brands to go for this $7000-8000 price range.
Thank you for any help you can offer.
Sharon

Chris, I have never heard of PDC but when I called my local Jacuzzi Dealer for a Hot Tub they mentioned them because I live in PA and they are in Williamsport. I was looking at Hot Springs and Caldera at first because both dealers are about 15-20 mins from me. But I started researching and my head started to spin. Sounds like you like PDC but its hard to see these tubs first hand because COVID has made Pools and Spas such a hot commodity and it is now hard to find in store models so you rely on… Read more »

Hi Greg, PDC beats all those other brands by a fair amount. They make quality tubs as opposed to mid-grade manufacturing backed by fancy marketing. Salt systems are OLD tech. It works great for swimming pools where there’s a large body of water, lower temps and constant exposure to UV but for tubs, it’s still a chlorine system and you’re gonna replace the salt cell every few years at a cost of close to a thousand bucks. Your chlorine levels are lower than traditional chlorine but you are better off and will have even lower levels of chlorine using a… Read more »

Good Morning Chris – am interested in purchasing a swim spa to use for aquatic exercise and massage therapy. I am on board with your opinions regarding plumbing, equipment, shell construction and insulation. I am having trouble finding a manufacture with suitable product in the 12′ – 15′ length. Hoping to find at least 4 adult massage seats with enough space to still swim comfortably. Your help would be greatly appreciated. PS – I have 40 years in the insulation manufacturing industry. Why can’t they find a solution for equipment to work in the tub and not overheat, so an… Read more »

I am in Kansas City. Happy to share info, let me know best way to connect.

Thx Chris – first let me ask that you disregard location as criteria for my swim-spa selection. For the pricing on these units, freight is not a big percentage of the cost. I am also comfortable maintaining the unit without local support. I like Master, but that max temp is reported to be 99 degrees, hope to find 105. And you like Bullfrog, but they do not make a swim-spa. Givin my new parameters, could you please offer additional options? Also – still look forward to discussing insulation, please email me so we can communicate. Bob

Hi Bob,

The 99 degree limit is government mandated for swim spas for health reasons so that people won’t have a heart attack while working out. The good news is that a simple dip switch on the main board allows you to change that to 104.

For swim spas Master is your best bet and they have three lines depending on what type of swimming you want to do from recreational swimming to triathlon training.

I’ll send you an email and copy Chris on it so we can get the insulation conversation going.

Hi Chris,

Have you had a chance to check out this Coast Spas Simply Purfikt new for 2020 model? I will most likely hire you to do my negotiations as I am first time buyer. I am going to hit a few showrooms here in Las Vegas tomorrow and see how it goes, not ready to buy until mid-August.

Marc S. in Vegas

Hi Chris,
My family is looking at getting a hot tub and we have it narrowed down to either the Coast Apex L Curve ( https://www.coastspas.com/spa-model.php?s=cs-apexl-curve-52 ) or the PDC Bali Luxury Series ( https://www.pdcspas.com/spas/luxury/bali ). We live in Winnipeg, MB, and plan to use it year round where temps can get as low as -50 degrees Celsius. Which would you recommend?

Hey Again Chris, I appreciate all of your help and thanks for the education. Still working with master to get a TS, but it looks like it may be out of my price range. Do you have an opinion on Pacifica Hot tubs? Looks like the glue and clamp and use Balboa control packs, just not sure about the other important stuff

Hi Chip,

I visited the Pacifica factory a year or so ago and they do build tubs well. Smaller company but they do focus on the right things when building tubs

Hi, we live in Sarnia, ON and looked at Bullfrog X7, Marquis celeb elite , and the beachcomber 590, all around a price point of $12500. Each seems to have pros and cons according to what I’ve read on your site. Would you recommend any of those 3 or is there another dealer in our area you recommend checking out?

Hi Tyler,

Of those I’d go with the Beachcomber. It’s the best built of the three but the non-removable sides can become a nightmare. You can get a Master in that price range that’s better than all three though

Do you have any information about the Integrity Spas? Of course they are priced nice and only built at time of order. But I would like to know if you have more information.

Hi Billy, I would not have the Integrity on my short list, the price sounds good but you aren’t getting good value for that. They use a low cost no name control and heating system which is a bad sign, The shell relies on cradle supports, and the insulation system is a low cost cut corner as well… There is a lot of stuff out there like this unfortunatly. The one thing I do like is that they take the time and effort to properly glue and clamp the plumbing. As for performance, even on their upper tier it is… Read more »

Hi Billy, I would not have the Integrity on my short list, the price sounds good but you aren’t getting good value for that. They use a low cost no name control and heating system which is a bad sign, The shell relies on cradle supports, and the insulation system is a low cost cut corner as well… There is a lot of stuff out there like this unfortunately. The one thing I do like is that they take the time and effort to properly glue and clamp the plumbing. As for performance, even on their upper tier it is… Read more »

Thank you. I think we have now narrowed it down to Marguis or Artesian.

Do you think a lounger is worth it or captains chairs with calf massage?

hi chris
I live in the uk and after watching your vids and reading your posts i think I will be looking at an artesian nevis 45.just wondered what you thought about the Canadian spa company

Hey Dave,

Canadian Spa Company is one of those middle of the road brands, some-good, some-bad, basically a typical mass-merchant tub. Ok if you’re getting a smoking deal on it.

Go with the Artesian – great tub and very well built

Hi, I belong to a group, Directbuy and they sell Sunrise Spas. Any idea of whether they are good or not? They are not on your list.

Hi Simone,

Sunrise is a middle of the road brand. I don’t like the cradle-supported shell and their insulation system is not great but they do use a good parts list so it’s not a first rate tub but not one to run away from either

If you were to recommend a hot tub, which one do you think is the best bang for the buck but with quality…Canada

Hi Simone,

What part of Canada are you located? Master, Artesian, PDC or Coast would be the preferred brand and there may be the right dealer near you

Hi Chris, I don’t see any reference to Catalina spas (made by LPI) on your excellent site. Please can you say where they sit in your “3 kinds of hot tub companies”, thanks

Chris, after reading your article, thanks for saving my ass in making a mistake on buying one of tubs in the messy group! I figured going with a name brand like that made me feel more comfortable which but $ is pretty scary on those models. We’ve narrowed our search for a hot tub down to Artesian and PDC. Can you recommend a good dealer in NJ, PA or DE? Thx!

Hi Tom,
Glad I could make a difference for you, without knowing your exact zip code I have two I can point you towards.

East Coast Spas has Master
https://www.eastcoastspas.com/

Half Price Hot Tubs has PDC
https://halfpricehottubs.com/

I would check out my personal buyer program, I have been able to help a lot of people out in that region recently.


Backyard Fun Store Newark Delaware came highly recommended put deposit on Figi built by Artisan sold under Island spas

I just spoke with Bob this morning and I am going to take a look at a couple of models he has on the floor. Thanks for the heads up!

We live next door to Independence, Oregon, Marquis land. Do you know anything about their QC problems? We are looking at a Marquis Spirit. What are your thoughts? Thank you

I live in Southern California and I’m looking to get a 3 person spa with a lounge seat. I prefer a 110 volt so I won’t have to update my panel. What would you recommend and where could you buy them? Thanks so much, I’ve learned lots from your videos and articles.

Hi Chris, what are your thoughts on the Artisan TidalFit DT 21 swim spa. I know you are an Artisan fan, just debating between this and the Hydropool 19’ swim spa.
Thanks very much

Hi Christian,

Stay away from Hydropool. As I just said to another poster, other than the normal mid-level brand issues with the units, they use a “space-age” blanket insulation system “same as NASA uses” – bullshit. If this stuff was that good we’d be insulating houses with it. Check this article – insulation systems and, in Canada in winter, you’ll break the bank heating a swimmer with sub-standard insulation. Go with the Artesian or have a look at the H2X line from Master Spas.

Hi Chris, thanks for providing a great information resource backed by your considerable experience. What a shame you can’t offer buyer assistance in United Kingdom. I’m looking closely at the Artesan TidalFit EP12 Special Edition but am concerned whether it will be possible for someone who is 6ft 4″ tall to genuinely swim in a 12ft spa. Unfortunately no-one here has one to view or try. I would value your thoughts / advice?

Last edited 25 days ago by Nick C

Hi Nick,

At 6-4 (I’m jealous….:)) a 12 footer is not gonna be long enough but the good news is Chris lived in the UK for ten years so he can get you the proper unit at the right price with his contacts. Check the private buyers service and we’ll put him to work for you

Hello Chris,

Looking to purchase a hot tub – based in Hamilton, Ontario… max 10-11K
I guess prices are COVID crazy now … should I wait out 5-6 months to score a sweet deal.

Any deals or recommendations ?

Hey Mike,

Yep COVID pricing (and availability) right now is driving all of us insane but there are options out there. Check out our private buyers service and we can shake some tress and see what we can find you (and if we don’t we’ll refund you all but the phone consult fee)

Thank you for the wonderful information! I am located in Michigan looking for a reputable hot tub dealer I can trust since I am getting conflicting information every time I talk to a new one. What would you recommend for 7-11k range? With low maintenance and best energy efficiency? Hoping not an outrageous electric bill in the winter.

Hi Nick,

In Michigan, insulation is gonna be key so don’t fall for the space age crap that a lot of manufacturer’s are pushing. If it was that good we’d be insulating houses with it. I’ve got some contacts in the area so check out our private buyers program and we’ll save you money and get you better service (because dealers don’t want to get on my bad side on this site). If I don’t save you enough we’ll refund the difference so there’s no downside

Hi there Chris. Thank you for compiling all this useful info! We are in Iowa and looking at purchasing a blemished, 2019 Bullfrog A8. It’s about $3,000 off their new ones. But, it has less of a warranty and even after asking for over a month, I am still unsure of the exact condition of the spa. I haven’t been able to find much information on blemished spas and I was wondering what your thoughts were on them? I’m starting to become a bit uncomfortable with the situation as I haven’t had the best luck getting information from the dealer.… Read more »

Hi Amber,

Blemished spas are typically good deals because it’s usually just minor blemishes in the shell that doesn’t pass the “pretty test” but always a good idea to get details of exactly what made it a blem. I’d be more worried about the dealer not getting back to you with the information. If they’re not responding now, before you buy, how good are they gonna be after the sale when they’ve got your money? What part of Iowa are you in? I may be able to find you one of our highly rated dealers

Hey Chris,
I’m in the Charlotte,NC area (technically Rock Hill,SC). We were looking at the Viking Spa Royal or Regal. The dealer presented it as a good mid-range tub with one of the better inner shells. We have only been to one dealer. Ironically, he said he worked for Bullfrog 20yrs ago. He didn’t have anything bad to say about BF just overpriced for the interchangeable jet pack gimmick. Any dealers in my area that You would recommend?

Hi Glen,

Viking is not terrible like a lot of others but there are better option near you. Check out the Artesian line from Oasis Outdoor and have a look at our private buyers service. If we can’t save you more than the fee, we refund it (and we make damn sure you are taken care of after the sale too)

Hello, What a great website for us novice hot tub buyers. Same boat here as many of the other folks posting. We recently bought a new house just outside of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The previous owners took the hot tub with them, but we would like to get one for ourselves. Never had one so looking forward to it. Been visiting many of the local dealers and have been recommended/narrowed down to the following: American Whirlpool/Vita Spa (seems like your mid level recommend) Hydropool (seems like not a good recommendation here) MasterSpa Clarity series – Balance 7 (seems like a… Read more »

Hi Dan,

Of those brands, I’d definitely go with the Clarity. Master builds excellent tubs and the Balance 7 is a great tub. Probably the roomiest 7 footer you’ll find and you get a quality spa with full-foam, OEM parts and a self-supporting shell> have a look at our private buyers service and I can most likely save you some money (and if I don’t I’ll refund the difference) and make sure you’re not buying extras you don’t need

Hi Chris,

Wow, really appreciate your experience and insight! Looking for a solid, reliable 7-8 seat party spa (no loungers) with minimal gimmicky bells and whistles. Thoughts on the 2020 Integrity Antigua? $5500 w/free shipping.

Hi Mike,

The Integrity is another one of those low to mid range tubs with fancy marketing and branding. If you’re looking for a party spa you definitely want to avoid anything with a footwell bump like this one has because the reduced area in the footwell means you’ll be playing footsie with others in the tub

Could you provide feedback on swim spa/ all weather pools. we live in Ottawa, Canada and the temperatures goes up to -50 degrees Celsius. I only saw option in Arctic spa or hydro pool online.

Sorry for the late reply but it’s been insane with buyer’s services. There’s a few good manufacturers of swim spas that would work great for your area. Master H2X, Artesian, Coast and PDC would be at the top of the list but I’ve helped dozens of people in the southern Ontario region buy their swim spas so sign up for the private buyers service and I can guarantee you’ll save a fortune on your swim spa

Could you provide some feedback re: California Cooperage model 171?

Hi Chris. We are looking for a small tub for 2. No kids allowed! I am looking at the PDC premium series Carmel model (not available locally but they will deliver from the factory) or the Healthy Living 628L. Thoughts? Do you have any other suggestions? Atlanta area.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kim Protis

Hi Chris, GREAT! website. The quality and commitment you have to this are immediately obvious. We own an Artesian Grand Bahama which we’re very happy with although the dealer service level is pretty poor (email me if you want their name – I won’t trash them publicly). The only thing really wrong with it is the Balboa wifi unit is horrible. Once it loses connection it just stops and doesn’t attempt to reconnect itself. Power on/off reconnects it fine – very 2010 technology! Now looking for something similar for our new home on Long Beach Island. Will be sitting on… Read more »

Hi Philip,
Sorry it took a week to get back, things are crazy here right now.
It’s unfortunate you had issues with the Wifi, that technology in hot tubs has been a bit sketchy at times.

Good news is that if you want another Artesian there is a dealer right there for you, not too familiar with them but they have good reviews. Feel free to shoot us another message if that doesn’t cover everything for you. Good luck!

http://www.homeleisure4u.com/
+1 609-597-6628
East, 511 NJ-72 #1, Manahawkin, NJ 08050

I was looking at getting a tub in the $10-12k range. I was looking at the Niagara Falls made by Canadian Spa Company and a couple others made by Hydro Pool and Bullfrog, but fell in love with Beachcomber 720 AE but that unit is $15k plus tax. Any recommendations on Canadian Spa Company tubs?

Hi Patrick,

Unfortunatly the Canadian Spa Company tubs are made almost entirely in China and while I have some other issues with them the big one is shell quality, if you don’t have a good shell nothing else matters.

Go ahead and take a gander at this video I shot last year.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/18-VoBNlgbMchh9lNuGI3a_f3PwfmRECE/view

If you let me know where you are I might be able to point you towards something better.

Hi Chris, Do you have an opinion on a Saratoga Spas model R45. We are in Minneapolis, MN.
Thanks!

Hi Mark, The ABS shell is a lot less sturdy compared to a good shell. It isn’t a nightmare brand by any means but not in my top group.

Hi, I am so thankful to come across this site. We are first time spa buyers living in San Antonio, TX. We’ve been eying the Caldera series, Vacanza Series, and just today we came across the Artesian Tropical Seas series. What do you suggest either, neither? Thanks a bunch!

Hi Chana,
I would pick the Artesian hands down, Caldera builds alright but the proprietary parts is important enough to make a difference, read this: https://hottubuniversity.com/hot-tub-parts-game-affects-long-term-satisfaction/

Both are mid range for performance.

What is your opinion on Wellis tubs?

Thanks for the fantastic site! I feel more knowledgeable as I go talk to the various dealers. We’re currently trying to decide between the Artesian Pelican Bay (price: $12,499) from a highly-rated local dealer and the MP LSX900 (price: $14,000) through poorly-rated local dealer. Do you feel that one of these is clearly the better situation?

We are located in Austin, TX, so I’d appreciate your recommendation if you have a local dealer that you trust.

Marquis Resort vs Bullfrog R7L – which would you go with? Also lights a splurge or a gimmick?

Last edited 1 month ago by LaughinLizard

Thoughts on Microsilk?

We have our choices narrowed down to Hydropool and Coast Spa. Hydro pool looks great on their web site and seems comparable to a Coast Spa. Price is probably not that much different either. Did you ever make it out to the Coast Factory? Which would you recommend. We are up in Canada and get some cold weather.

Last edited 1 month ago by Warren

Hi Chris. First Time buyers in Stratford Ontario Canada. Few local dealers to choose from.. We narrowed it down to Bullfrog A7L, Hydropool 770 Platinum or Beachcomber is our other dealer just havent had a chance to meet yet.. We want a tub to withstand the winters obviously. I know Bullfrog is Utah based…. Hydropool is Missisauga and not sure Beachcomber. Oh yeah and we also considered the Dynasty Brava-ST but ran away after watching your video. Lol. Any advice would go a long way…… Appreciate it and thanks in advance. P.S. All those tubs are asking roughly $13,900 +… Read more »

Thx Christina. We ended up purchasing a Master Spa Twilight 8.25. After reviewing all of our options we found your advice to be second to none. And we feel confident in our choice. Even the Master Spa dealers are talking about you across the whole country. Lol. The one thing the Master Spa Dealer kept pushing is the Spa Boss over the Spa Marvel for chemical choice?

Thank you for this comment. We have been looking at a Bullfrog A7 all along and thanks to stumbling upon Hot Tub University last night, we are now heavily considering the Master Spa TS 8.25. I have a dealer who has the colors we want ready as well vs wait 12 weeks for a Bullfrog. I hope you love it!

Hi Chris, thanks for all the great info!! My wife and I had an inflatable tub that we tried for a year to make sure we would get use out of one and now that we have moved into what should be our forever home we are looking at purchasing a real tub. Budget is very limited and would love to keep under 3 to 4k. I know this limits me mostly to big box stores. Found this cyanna valley spa that looks to be a rebrand of Viking. Can’t find much on it but after discount the price is… Read more »

great site! Do you have any recommendations for the York, PA area? I’m hoping to spend around $8k but don’t want to buy junk. Is $8k reasonable for a quality tub?

Thank you for the response, east coast is 2+ hours away. Do you have any experience with Bob’s Spa in York, PA. I spoke with them yesterday, they mentioned I should look at Vita over Master spas.

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