Brand Reviews

9.8 Total Score

The Top Brands
I have 4 brands I evaluate to be doing all the right things or close to it. Master, Artesian, PDC and Coast. These companies are spending the money on building good reliable tubs instead of cutting corners and relying on marketing. If you are looking to buy a Hot Tub I suggest doing some research on these four and finding one that meets what you want. If you have any questions come talk with me at Buyers Assistance

Master Spas – Brand Review
These are one of the best brands out there, especially for high end therapy tubs. Watch me take a look at my own Twilight Series 8.2 hot tub! High flow therapy jets, Hand rolled self supporting shells, Balboa flow control systems and more.

PDC Spas- Brand Review/Factory tour
I recently toured PDC’s factory and they have a great manufacturing process, well designed tubs with solid shells, OEM parts and very high quality control.  

Artesian Spas – Brand Review
Artesian builds to a high standard and doesn’t cut any corners. These tubs are long lasting and reliable.

Coast Spas – Review Coming soon
Coast has been working hard the last few years and I like what I’m seeing from them. I was supposed to be out to check out their factory and spas so I can get you guys the inside info on how they build their tubs and different lines but that’s on hold for now.

All the Rest

Arctic Spa – Brand Review
I’m not a fan of this brand, they make a good shell and have nice marketing but use proprietary heating and control systems as well as thin perimeter insulation. Too much spent on marketing and not enough on building a good tub.

Beachcomber – Brand Review
This brand is a mixed bag. I find it really overpriced by a long shot, that being said they build to the right standard. Balboa control and heating system, waterways jets, hand-rolled self-supporting shells, and glued and clamped plumbing lines. This is all the stuff I like to see in a Top Tub! I’ll look at some of the other good and bad parts of this brand inside.

Bullfrog – Brand Review
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 are so expensive to replace. Pretty good parts list compared to some brands and decent performance on their upper end but the shell construction is another thing to be worried about with these guys, too many failures with the ABS pedestal supported build.

Dynasty Spa – Brand Review
Video Review, I rank the electronic and flow control system, check out performance, price, insulation and plumping. Cradle supported which creates stress points! Great appearance but we take a look underneath and show you what is really going on.

Marquis – Brand Review
I was recommending them for a long time based on a quick look and a lot of promises from the factory, but I’ve stopped thanks to the reasons in this review. Got a brand new Vector 21 tub, one of their upper lines and wasn’t happy with what I saw.

Strong Spas (Costco) – Brand Review
Video Review, one of my first videos and biggest hits, this one made the Reddit Front Page when it was posted! Check it out for yourself to see what we are all about.

QCA Spas – Brand Review
Break down on all the major parts and construction.

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have you ever heard of Hot Spring spas? I have put a down payment on an Artesan spa from reading your reviews. I came across the HotSpring brand and was wondering if you had an opinion.
Thank you so much for your expertise it has made my buying experience a lot more bearable!

Hi Daryl
I’d stick with the down payment on the Artesian for sure, hot springs feature in our messy group of tubs!

Hi Chris! Do you have any opinions on Coast Spas Cascade? I am not set on it but saw a refurbished one for sale. I am not sure of the exact model or year but saw on their website the Cascade II has a “Fiberglass Shell with 1 1/4″ Steel Reinforcement.” Is something that is ‘reinforced’ something to avoid or can there be good self-supporting shells with additional reinforcement?

Hi Matt
Coast are in our good guys list, the only down side with the steel reinforcement, is it can resonate noise from the pumps. Just make sure none of the pluming is touching any of the steel work.

Hi Chris! We are shopping a few brands right now. One that I haven’t seen a review for is the Catalina Berkshire. Do you have any thoughts on that brand and their quality? Also looking at a Cal Spa, but a little concerned that the model we are looking at uses Thermoshield insulation vs. full foam. We live in the mountains of Colorado and it gets cold here! The sales person said the Thermoshield insulation will be efficient, and if a component breaks on the hot tub, it is easier to access than the full foam insulated models. Thoughts? Thank… Read more »

Hi Michelle
Catalina is run of the mill mass merchant build standard like most of the stuff out there. Chris toured the Cal Spa Factory a few years back and it was ok. not good enough to get into our tier one range but not a nightmare…
If its cold, you really want to go with a non-hardening icynene full foam insulation system, like found on Master Spa’s

What do you think about Clearwater hot tubs? Don’t see any reference on your website.

Hi Brian

Like most brands, it’s a mixed bag.

Good parts and they clamp the plumbing. But the shell is a cheaper cradle supported build, and the insulation is again a less expensive low R-value system.

Hi Chris, thanks for the information. I am looking to replace an older Jacuzzi. Do you have any comments regarding cedar tubs? They are much deeper than traditional hot tubs which I find appealing. The number of jets is quite low but we are ok with that. FYI … if we decide on a traditional hot tub, we will select from your top 4 brands. Thanks Thomas

Hi Thomas
The old style Cedar tubs are fine, if your just looking for along hot soak, as you already know, the jet package on those units isn’t geared to massage.

Thank you sir, have a great day

Hi Kevin,

Really enjoy all the information about hot tubs and what to look for when buying a hot tub. Definitely very helpful. I am currently looking at a new Coast Spas Freedom hot tub for $10,100 including steps, cover and lift, available for delivery in June. Wondering what you think of the quality of the tub and the price? Looking for more leisure than hydrotherapy. One thing im worried about is the urethane full foam used. Thanks for any input you have.

Hi Bob I consider Coast to be in the top group of manufactures. 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 90’s style marketing and branding hype. • They spend the money on the build: o They use good nonhardening full-foam insulation- expensive but the highest R-value o They hand roll shells with Vinyl ester resin cores and build them strong enough to support their own weight. o They use efficient plumbing systems that greatly increase flow rates and they glue and clamp… Read more »

Hello Kevin,
Thanks for a great website.. I am looking at a TS8.2, and Twilight 7.2 from Master Spa. From PDC the Monterey and Reno.. any thoughts.. trying to keep the budget for the tubs under 10K.
All 4 seem to be great tubs. I do have Master Spa service in the area, and PDC would be via a website.
I am in the metro Detroit area.. thanks again. Dave

Hi David
It all depends what your needs are for the tub. If you are looking for a true hydrotherapy massage experience, then it the Master Spa TS range without doubt over the PDC. But if its more of a leisure thing, then the PDC would be a more sensible option.

Hi, I have been trying to research the brand nordic but can’t seem to find much about them. Whats your stand on them? Thanks

Hi Luciano
Have a look at our page where chris talks about the good, the bad and the ugly brands. Nordic is mentioned in the line up.

Hey Guys
A brand new H2X trainer 12 fell into my lap last week at a great price. I can take delivery in a couple weeks (scrambling to get the spot prepped and electrical), but wondering about cover options. It comes with the standard, but do most people get lifters/assist bars, or is that a gimmicky luxury? I briefly considered the axis rolling cover upgrade, but hated the price ($3k). Any after market cover lifters you would recommend or should I stick with the master sold brand?
thanks
chris

Hi Chris
You will appreciate the convenience of a cover lifter for sure. I’d stay away from the rolling cover and opt for a more conventional offering from Master Spa

Hi Chris,

What do you think of SwimEx swim spas? They are the only ones with paddle technology which by common sense should have a smoother/wider current than proplusion or jetted systems. Thanks.

Hi Wally SwimEx Swim Spa, that’s not something that comes up very often, infact only once or twice over the last 2 years or so. Not seen one up close, but did a little bit of research – can’t find any solid info, it’s all fluffy sales talk, right off they are using wierd parts and that always a worry, proprietary parts are a scam, I want good readily available parts with full right to repair. When you are about to invest the sort of money a swim spa commands, I would seriously consider or Private Buyer Service, to help… Read more »

Hello Chris! We are choosing between a Nordic Rendezvous LS ($8299) that’s available now and a Jacuzzi J-345 ($9200), available mid-January. We were set on J-345, but the decent reviews, price and availability of the Nordic have us rethinking our decision. We live in Buffalo, NY. Thank you for your input!

Nordic is a good spa. Bang for the buck the rotationally molded spas are good value and durable as hell, it uses good parts and good fabrication the only end it is weak on is the insulation, coming in around R 10.
Jacuzzi are on the up in our mind, from what we are seeing, better insulation than the Nordic, but whether that’s important or not depends on the climate where you live. We are trying to arrange a factory visit to confirm, before we add to our top group of manufactures.

Hi Chris,
We have been looking at hot tubs and our local Great Escape has a Bullfrog X7B for $7500. Is this a good deal? Would you recommend this hot tub? How long do these tubs last?
Thanks!
Val M

Hi Val
Bullfrogs, this page has a full review.
Price, it’s hard to say right now prices are all over the place due to Covid.

Hi,
What are your thoughts on Dynasty spa – Brava ST? currently priced at $12500? Thank you.

Hi Maya

Here is a video review on a Dynasty Spa.

Hi, I am looking at purchasing a Coast Spa Element B Curve. What are your thoughts on this tub?

Hi Bill
Coast has been working hard the last few years and I like what I’m seeing from them. I was supposed to be out to check out their factory and spas so I can get you guys the inside info on how they build their tubs and different lines but that’s on hold for now.
I’d still say it’s a decent tub, and way better than the mass merchant stuff out there, just hope you can find one. Factory orders are out till 2022 now!

Thanks for the Feedback!

Hello there…..trying to research WELLIS brand hotubs and coming up short (which is normally a sign to run away). However, they claim to be Europe’s top selling brand.

Any input on Wellis at all?

Thanks so much!
Chris

Hi Chris
Wellis, is a mass merchant product, low end on the hot tub leader board, with a great sales and marketing dept. Think your senses are correct on this one.

Many thanks for the quick reply and info!

Hi. Been looking at hot tubs for a little bit.
Our local dealer sells Hot Spring tubs, which I see you are not fond of. They also come new at a hefty price and a lengthy delivery due to COVID. Good used are hard to find in our area (Maine). I am reluctant to spend $$$$ on an item that I am not sure the novelty of it would wear off. What do you think of the Lifesmart Spas? Particularly theLS550 Plus 45-Jet 5-Person Spa at $3700? Avoid or a good starter tub?
Thanks,
Tracy

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Hi Tracey To be honest on this one you have got me!!! So I had a look on their website, and they don’t give any specs on anything… The one thing that did make me raise an eyebrow was the following statement. ‘THERMAL FRICTION HEATING – The water temperature reaches a maximum of 104 degrees from generated friction of the pump moving water.’ Now that just sounds weird…. And don’t think its even possible! If you accept it might be advance landfill and give you a taste of hot tub life, then shoot. But its never going to be a… Read more »

Do you have any recommendations for dealer on Vancouver Island? Was thinking of going with Master Spas.
Thanks!

Hi Julie
We use these guys for our Private Buyer Clients, they are one of our ‘All Star’ dealers for Master Spa.

Fraser Valley Hot Tubs
32912 Mission Way, Mission, BC V2V 5X9, Canada
http://www.fraservalleyhottubs.com
+1 604-618-4198

Thank you for all of the helpful information on your site. I currently have a 2011 Hot Springs Sovereign that just started leaking. The control panel display is not longer readable and replacement requires both a new control panel and the control unit because the panel is no longer available, The sanitation system also failed a few years ago. I am considering replacement vs continued repair and after reading your site am looking at a Master Spas TS7.25. The closest dealer to me (32937) is South East Spas and I noticed you mentioned them in one of your responses to… Read more »

HI Mike
The environment is certainly favouring the sellers right now, with long lead times and high prices. The price you quote, is on the high side, but its supply and demand at work. We have some leverage with prices & lead times, but certainly not going to get you down to 8k on a TS7.25 that is for sure.
We could help on the PDC front, as you don’t have a PDC in your area, we can deal directly with the factory.

How about Master Spas Precision 7, i found one for $9777. Is this a good price and comparable to TS 6.2? The TS 6.2 is out to summer time.

Hi Scott
Both good tubs, the Twilight Series (TS6.2) is more geared up for hydro massage therapy, and as such has better jetting and pluming, and a higher price tag. As for prices, they are all over right now on available units…

What’s your stance on the Canadian spa company tubs that you can get at home Depot/Walmart?

Hi Daniel
Canadian Spa Company, sad, but these days its more or less all Chinese manufactured mass merchant stuff built to the price point dictated by the like of Home Depot, Walmart, Costco etc. There are much better options out there.
Hook up to our private buyers service and let us steer you through the mine field.

How do thermospa hot tubs fit into the mix. I am looking at an older 2010 concord model. 51 jets 3 pumps. Seller paid 11,000 and they are asking $ 4000

Hi Nicole
Thermospas, is a lower end unit comparable to the mass merchant lower priced stuff, on a spa of that age I would hire a qualified Spa technician to give it the once over. A bit like buying a used car, unless you know what to look for, you might end up buying a lemon! Also confirm with the spa tech, that parts are still available in your area, lots of these sorts of spa’s use bespoke parts that only the factory can supply. If they stop making the parts the tubs obsolete!

Hey Chris,
What do you think of Jacuzzi J235 for $8000 vs South Seas Rio (Artisian) for $7500? Thank you!,

Sean

Hi Sean
Both decent enough tubs, and both are good fair prices.

What do you think of Saratoga Canfield?

Hi Scott
Saratoga, middle of the road Spa, average shell, average performance. Make sure its average on price too.

What do you think of Integrity spa Molokai for $5698?

Hi Ya Norm
I would not have the Integrity on our short list, the price sounds good but you are not 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…
As for the price on the website, its got to raise alarm bells when they have MSRP of $15,999.00 then have an ‘Our Price’ of $5698.00 I’d look else where if I was you.

Thank you Chris – I just need a decent tub that’s low maintenance for a rental property – are there any tubs at that price point that are worth investing in at $5 to $6K?

Hi Norm
Depending on where you are, we can offer factory direct pricing, our ‘Private Buyer Service’ on PDC’s LifeStyle range, which should just about come in around your budget.

Yes – i would like to use your service! – i also like the 31″ height version of the Twilight as it keeps the profile lower but they only have the 5 seat in that height – is there any manufacturer that provides a 31″-33″ max height in a larger 8′ tub without a lounger?

Hi Norm
It’s pretty hard to find as most spas unless they are small are built to accommodate average height people 🙁
Honestly the best answer is a weighted spa cushion that you can sit on, that puts your back in the proper alignment or can get your chest out of the water to cool down.

Hello- I am putting in a hot tub and I have dug an 8’’ deep hole, put a GEO textile membrane, filled hole with 4’’ of 3/4 gravel and 4’’ of stone dust. Well compacted and leveled. Is that sufficient to hold my tub?

Hi Chris
The big important things are being absolutely level, with excellent drainage, and the ability to support the tub equally across the whole surface, with out movement. As you’ve gone this far, for the cost of pavers, finish the job off with good quality concreate paving slabs. Which are a fraction of the price of some other solutions such as EZ-pad.

Hi. I am debating between a Jacuzzi-335 or 4-5 VS Coast Element L Curve. Similar price point I am getting. Any recommendations? Thanks

Hi Danesh I’d put the Coast slightly ahead of the Jacuzzi in terms of build quality and insulation. But unless you have one on order, the factory is so swamped, they have closed the order book until 2022! That is not a typo, you are going to be waiting well over a year for a coast Spa. If you find one in a dealer, he is going to be charging way over the odds for it. The Jacuzzi is in our eyes an up and coming product in terms of build quality from what we are hearing. We are trying… Read more »

I currently have a Sundance edison 680, it’s been ok for the past 6 years. I’m moving to a new house next month and not taking the spa with me. It’s mostly just the wife and I using it, sometimes with a couple friends. I’ve been considering a clarity balance 67, a touch smaller size but fewer jets and only one pump, or the clarity precision 7 with two pumps. Wondering how these 2 stack up? We’re not big jets users, more soakers, but enjoy the hydro therapy once in a while. I see a local dealer (in greater boston… Read more »

Hi Pierre
Did you mean the Precision 67, against the larger Precision 7?
As you have already worked out, the main difference is the size, 1 pump against 2, and less jetting on the 67. The extra pump on the 7, is going to give you better therapy, but if that’s not a big issue, then save a few dollars, and go 67.
I’m guessing your local dealer is Crocker Sales Co Inc? we do loads of business with those guys. Hook up on our Private Buyer Service, and let us get you the best possible price…

Yes, I meant the precision 67. Still waiting on response from Crocker. Also considering their Getaway on the budget end of things, though their bigger ones are all loungers which I’m not into.

I’m assuming that the American Spas brand sold by Overstock is overpriced junk, right ?

Hi Pierre
American Spa, middle of the road over priced, and best avoided. I’d chase Crocker sales…

Which PDC or Artesian dealers would you recommend in my area (boston ish)

Hi Pierre
Your closet PDC dealer is around 50 miles away from Boston.
OLD STATION OUTDOOR & LANDSCAPE SUPPLY, INC.
https://oldstationlandscapesupply.com/product-category/hot-tub-spas/

And for Artesian, a little closer you have.
https://oldstationlandscapesupply.com/product-category/hot-tub-spas/

Hi. Great information. Thank you. We are interested in a tub with only a few jets. For 4-5 folks. Shape could be any, 220 wiring. What do you recommend? We live in a moderate climate zone.

Hi Susan
Huge selection to choose from… Stick to the brands we recommend, and you can’t go far wrong. Have a read of this page, and watch all the videos, you can then start your search, from an informed position. Do the research, then go shopping. Or hire us via the Private Buyer Service once you have had chance to read up on the industry a little.

Good Evening Chris, We have been casually looking at used tubs for a few weeks now and suddenly may have stumbled into a great opportunity. A family friend had a thermospa park avenue that was purchased in 2001. The spa was for an outside screened in addition. Due to some family changes, the tub has been in storage(heated garage) sitting in the bubble wrap for the last 18 1/2 yrs. I have received multiple pictures showing that everything is unopened and believe it or not the original paperwork. I realize this is long out of warranty but do you recommend… Read more »

Hi Thermo Spa, is a middle of the road brand. Mid-grade shell, that requires support, not really a good thing, no matter what dealers will tell you. Also, the plumbing isn’t clamped, and insulation is poor. As for it being wrapped up and stored in a heated garage for the last 18 or so years… who knows what’s happen to the fittings, corroded, perished, or perfect? My advice would be to have a qualified Spa tech give it the once over before you commit to buying it. Might cost you a little in the short term, but may avoid you… Read more »

What are your thoughts on Nordic Crown XL ? Round vs. Square ? I’m tall and the XL has a deep seat section. Thanks for the help/opinion.

Hi Randy
Nordic is a good spa but not your top for cold climates, Round tubs are rare, as they take a lot of space in the yard, for not a lot of space in the tub. They tend to look dated too, but that’s just an opinion.

Hello-
In the Portland OR area looking for a recommended hot tub dealer. Any leads?Your videos are super helpful thank you.

Hi Virginia
There are not a many dealer in your area that carry brands that we recommend, but check out the Artesian brand from these guys.
Haven Spa Pool & Hearth
10560 SE Hwy 212, Clackamas, OR 97015
http://www.havenspapoolhearth.com
+1 503-655-2900
Alternatively, we have a great relationship with a state-wide dealer who we work with via our Private Buyer Service. Check out what’s on offer here https://www.masterspas.com/

I am a first time buyer and am London Ontario. I am looking to purchase a swim spa for my brother who has cerebral palsy and has been unable to access his usual gym due to Covid. I have been looking at several options and while perusing your site don’t see any of them reviewed. I have looked at the Vortex Aquagym max 15, the Trevi along with some other choices. The one real necessity is that it be deep enough for him to do hydrotherapy.
Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited 2 months ago by Jenny

Hi Jenny
With your unique set of circumstances, and the significant financial investment you are considering, its vital that you choose the right swim spa. I would really advise you hire us via our Private Buyer Service, we will work with you to ensure the swim spa meets you specific needs, at the best possible price, and still be here for you post sale, should you need further assistance. Check out the no risk ‘Private Buyer Service here’

I am a pool and spa service and repair person in Northern California, looking to further my knowledge on portable spa repair. Are there any training centers that i can pay $$ to further my knowledge

I am looking at purchasing a Vortex swim spa any information on this particular product would be appreciated.

Last edited 2 months ago by Jenny

Hi Jenny
its a marquis brand, not had great luck with them… To be frank, if your looking at spending that sort of money, let us help you. We can ensure you find the swim spa that will meet your requirements, at the best possible ptice. Check out our no risk, Private Buyer Service.

I have a Marquis Epic so far so good. I asked Chris 3 years ago about that line. He gave it a 5/5. Not sure what’s happened since then.

Hi Anthony
Check out this page. https://hottubuniversity.com/marquis-brand-review/

Thank you for all this info. I am looking at purchasing my first hot tub or swim spa and this sight has been great. Was original looking at Caldera spas as as a dealer her in St Augustine, Fl (32086) has them and they (the dealer) are very well reviewed. I really like the looks of the Master Spa. Closest dealer is about 230 miles from me. What would you do?

Hi Ben
What would I do? Get on the private buyer programme…
With an investment on a swim spa, you are looking at spending a hefty sum, I really would advise that you hook up with our Private Buyer Service, and let us walk you through choosing the right product for your needs, then let us find it at the best possible price. No risk, if we do not save you at least our fee, then we offer to refund It to you.

What is a LG665 life’s great spas brand

Hi Dawn Life’s Great Spas are not on our radar, I’ve had a look at their website, and from what I can see they look like run of the mill mass merchant tubs. Before committing, check out the insulation, and if the shell has a supporting structure. Often, as not, if the shell needs support, then it’s a weak shell, and should be avoided. Also ask about the heating and control system, if its Balboa, then its getting better. Ask about the jets, if they are made by Waterways, again getting better, and if those jets have the screw fit… Read more »

Thankyou so much they said the tub is made with Geiko equipment , waterway jets 3m board molds lucite and seems well supported and insulated .

Hi Dawn
Geiko heat and control systems are second tier, Balboa is market leader. As soon as they tell you the shell is well supported, that rings alarm bells. What that really means is, it is a weak shell that needs supporting. This leads to pressure points at the supports, and ultimately can lead to cracks and subsequent leaks. A good strong shell does not need supports.

How about The Champlain by Adirondack Spas?

Hi Tracey
The Adirondack Champlain spa, looks like a rebrand of the Saratoga Champlain, same tub different name, whichever, not one we would recommend…

Chris, how come you have no reviews or opinions about Jacuzzi? And what do you think of that brand? Specifically the j-300 series.

Hi Derek Jacuzzi is in a weird place with us right now, they used to build low to mid-grade tubs but over the last couple of years they have changed a lot of how they do things. Now they are, on paper anyway, doing a lot of things right. The only reason we do not have them on our go-to list is that we have not yet been able to get our hands on one to tear it apart and confirm it. We are working on that but getting a tub that is a standard customer spec, in other words,… Read more »

Yes, delays due to the pandemic are a bit challenging. Makes sense Kevin, thank you. Do you guys have any thoughts on Jacuzzi vs Bullfrog? In other posts, I noticed Chris is not keen on Bullfrog due to mold issues. I’m currently looking at the Jacuzzi j-345 or j-335 vs Bullfrog R7 but am steering towards Jacuzzi due to that potential for mold. Would really appreciate your insights! …Have looked at Master Spa and Artesian but there just aren’t any dealers in my city (London, Ont.) so the selection of quality tubs is limited.

Hi Derek
Bullfrog, isn’t a bad tub per say, but as mentioned the ‘Jet Packs’ are not a great idea, just stay away from the models with that system.
Of the two Jacuzzi models you list, I would suggest the J-335, on the basis it doesn’t have the stupid foot blaster dome.. You will be forever kicking the dome or falling over it as you get in and out of the tub!

Hi Chris, our Coast Spa is nearly 18 years old. It has been great! We live in London, Ontario. Splashworks is the dealer in London. We have also looked at Master spas, closest dealer is one hour drive. We also looked at Bullfrog, Porky’s is the dealer in London. Any suggestions?

Hi Bill
Master Spa as I’m sure you are aware, is a top-quality brand, but you pay for that. On the face of it so is Bullfrog, but my advice would be to steer well clear of any Bullfrog that has the ‘Jet Pack System’ its been know to collect water behind the unit, which in then goes nasty, and grows all sorts of mold etc… For service, we recommend where possible to have your dealer no more than 20 to 30 miles away max. Once you get to 40 or 50 miles away, it may as well be 1000.

Looking at the Saratoga Spas L50. What are your thoughts on it? I can’t find any reviews.

Hi Christina
Maybe you missed my comments from yesterday, here is what I said.
Saratoga is a bit of an unknown, From looking at the spec sheet, performance wise you can tell they are middle of the road, they don’t say who makes the heating and control system, which kind of suggests, that it not going to be top end quality. It’s a brand we need to get hold off and do a full evaluation. But that’s not going to be anytime soon, with all the restrictions the market is facing with supply due Covid.

Hi. I think it posted my question twice by accident. So you’d recommend paying more (and waiting) for an Artesian (thinking Grand Cayman or Piper Glen) over the Saratoga Spa?

Hi Christina
I’m confident with recommending anything by Artesian, Saratoga is still a bit of an unknown, waiting for quality, or getting a quick deal… Id wait.

Just wanted to say thanks for the info and the great videos on youtube. We ordered a Master Spa from a dealer here Ontario, Canada based off what we saw and read on your site. Although it will take longer, thanks covid, we can’t wait for it to arrive.

Excellent, Quality is worth waiting for…

I live in Orlando and the nearest dealers for any of the highly recommended brands don’t service my area. I did find a retailer that sells Nordic, which seem to be a decent brand (although the other brands they sell are reviewed very badly). It looks like the manufacturers have online ordering, but I’m wondering how the warranty works on online purchases? What would you recommend with so little options?

Hi Heidi Not sure where in Orlando you are, but we can recommend the following for you. The last one is probably too far out? Try and keep to a dealer if you can within 30 miles of your home, the closer the better to be honest. Nordic is a decent enough brand, tend to be basic units, but good strong quality units, without loads of fancy what nots thrown into the spec. Artesian, probably a better bet, although likely to cost a bit more. Orlando Hot Tub Store Jacuzzi Dealer They stock Jacuzzi, it is an up and coming… Read more »

We are pretty much downtown Orlando, so Tri-County and Chemical are way too far. I wouldn’t use Orlando Hot Tub based on poor reviews. I was thinking about using your private buyer service. How does the service/warranty work in that case if one was ordered from the manufacturer? Thank you for all your help!

Hi Heidi
Check out https://www.pdcspas.com/ As they do not have any dealers in your area, we can arrange for you to have a factory direct price with them, via our private buyer service. As for warranty installation etc, we would recommend a local service guy, who would be approved by PDC to install and work on their tubs.

Just bought a house just south of Wilmington, NC. Looking for a reputable dealer in the area. Wilimington is 45 minutes away and Myrtle Beach is about 90. Any suggestions?

Hi Duke
You have a dealer near by that carries a couple of our preferred brands, Look at the PDC, and Jacuzzi range.
Ocean Blue Pools & Spas
30 Covil Ave, Wilmington, NC 28403
http://www.oceanbluepoolsandspas.com
+1 910-799-3022

Have a Coast Cascade II floor model from 2016 available from a dealer who is getting out of the hot tub business altogether. In the Chicago area. Thoughts on how universally serviceable Coast is? That is, would a local reputable hot tub servicer be able to service a Coast easily?
Also, any experience on the Cascade II covers? I assume given the unique nature of these tubs that the covers may be unique/proprietary.
Thanks!

Hi Scott
Coast, Decent enough brand, parts are easily available. Any decent service guy will be able to support you and your tub. I’d just check out the warranty details on a floor model tub, from 2016… its an old tub already!
As for the cover, take out the core, wrap it in a water proof membrane, and tape all the seems, put it back in the cover, and it’ll extend its life by at least two years.

2 months ago I ordered a Starlight 8L which was supposed to come in the next week or two. I just heard it will now be “in the new year”. Needless to say I am mad and feel swindled. I’ve got a lead on a Signature spa and a longshot lead on a Twilight (2 year old used). Should I hold out for the starlight or switch? I live in CT so I’m mostly concerned about the R-value/cost to use. Thank for your input!!!

Hi Gretchen,
When you say you have a lead on… and a longshot lead on a Twighlight. If they are used tubs, be careful. Do you know what sort of life they have had, how well they have been looked after, how well they have been refurbished?. Check out warranty coverage and time scale.
Also you may want to consider our Private Buyer Service, we are often in a position to twist some arms in relation to lead times.

The Twilight is used (they ‘say’ monthly maintained by their dealer). The Signature is new. What is your feeling between the Signature and Starlight? I’ll take the Twilight off the list.

Hi Gretchin
Clearwater is not a tub I would recommend.
It’s going to be the same quality as home depot or any of the other mass merchant price point spas.
Signature is made by the same people that make Catalina, Pinnacle and Tranquility – basically a mass-merchant mid-grade tub with a cradle supported shell, no clamps on the plumbing and poor insulation. There are far better options available
The trick to entry level spas is no bells and whistles… look at the getaway hot tubs… solid build efficient and priced right.

Hi there! We are purchasing a hot tub for the first time and looking for some guidance. We really liked the Maax spas and features that comes with it but the insulation has us on the fence, the 171 model is an all wood frame. Our next option is the 729 model by Artisan Spas. We are located in Kingston Ontario and hoping to stay around an 8k budget. Thanks for your help

Hi Amber, Of those two Spa’s the Artesian is the overall the better quality tub, Id go for that Artesian.

Hi Chris- Thanks for this site, my husband and I have been looking at hot tubs for a few weeks now , and feel overwhelmed by all the choices. We were looking at tranquility and realized it was not a good quality. We were about to pull the trigger on a hot springs relay(husband wants a tub with a lounger), but found your site. We would like a 6 person tub and looking to spend between $6 – $8K, also, we live in Charlotte NC, can’t seem to find dealers with hot tubs at the moment. any thoughts?

Hi Donna, Finding a good dealer with good stock is like finding hens teeth right now. Demand is out stripping supply by about 4 to 1. We might be able to twist a few arms for you and find a decent tub at the right price with reasonable lead times. Have a look at our ‘Private Buyer Service’ We will walk you through the whole process, avoiding the mine fields!, and get you the best deal possible. If we can’t save you at least our fee, then we refund you in full, so you have nothing to lose.

Chris,

I am replacing a 15 year old barefoot tub that is finally done! I have resurrected it a few times but now its time to replace. That being said, I have a good deal on a new Wellis Hercules tub. I did not see any review from you on them. Can you let me know what’s your opinion of these? My Barefoot had a continuous circulator pump. The Wellis Hercules doesn’t. is this an issue?

Thank you for your expertise and time in advance!

Hi John, Stand away from that tub Sir… Wellis is really not a good spa, they are a mass merchant outfit, with poor, at best mid quality fabrication. Things like, hose’s being measured and cut by hand, shells that need cradles to support them, and the plumbing doesn’t even have clamps to secure the pipes. Also, they tend to be loud, the pumps sit on a steel frame, and that tends to resonate the sound and vibration. You’d be much better off with a quality tub from Master Spas, Artesian or PDC, they are going to last an awful lot… Read more »

Live in Park City Utah and looking for a new hot tub. Note that you like Master Spas a lot but impossible to find a dealer in the Salt Lake City area except for the Expo Center

Hi Al, Good dealers are a little thin on the ground in your neck of the woods. But you could try these guys, they are on our ‘All Star’ approved dealer list.
Leisure Pool & Spa
130 36th St, Ogden, UT 84405
leisurepoolandspa.com
+1 801-392-5923
Alternatively, PDC direct is another great option. https://www.pdcspas.com/

Hi Chris – I’ve got our choices down between a Jacuzzi 235 (for $9995 CDN) or a South Seas (by Artesian) for $7999.

Which do you feel is the better hot tub? The better value?

Hi Brad, Jacuzzi is in a weird place with us right now, they used to build low to mid-grade tubs but over the last couple of years they’ve changed a lot of how they do things (it’s almost like they were reading this site) and now they are (on paper at least) doing a lot of things right. The only reason we don’t have them on our go-to list is that we haven’t yet been able to get our hands on one to tear it apart and confirm that. South seas is an Artesian brand and they make solid tubs.… Read more »

Thanks for the feedback! I checked out the South Seas one in person yesterday, and looking at the Jacuzzi today. The South Seas one was nice, but a bit of an odd layout with the filter taking up a lot of space in the tub. Will see what the other one looks like!

Thanks again for replying so quickly yesterday!

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