Buyers Assistance



I’ve been in this industry for so long and seen so many crazy things. After talking with so many people who buy the wrong tub or pay too much for a one I started HTU to help as many as I can avoid this. I spend tons of hours each week answering these and I’ve personally helped thousands in the last few years to get great deals on tubs that leave them satisfied and taken care of.

 I work for you guys and I’ll keep tearing down the spin and bad marketing out there as well as showing you which companies are playing it straight, taking care of their customers and building to last. If HTU has helped in your hunt give us a tip to help keep the content and coffee flowing, visit our funding page. I also have our Terms page and Financial page for transparency

Whether you just want advice on what to buy and where to buy it in your area or if you want me to hook you up with a super star dealer nearby, this is the place to be! Don’t worry if you don’t see your submission at first, it won’t appear until I reply.

Whichever route you want to go, fill out the comment form below and I’ll get on it!


I’ve been doing this off donations for the past two years and I want to express my thanks for everyone who has made this possible.

As the number of requests has continued to rise this has become more difficult to keep on top of so I decided to try out a bit of a priority system.


Private Buyer
You hire Chris to take you through the entire process including negotiating your final purchase price. Unlimited phone and text and email consultation.
Once you decide on a spa and feature list Chris will step in and get you the best price. If he does not save you at least $250 in extras he will refund back to a phone consultation fee.
Head here for more about this service from Chris:
https://hottubuniversity.com/privatebuyer/

Priority Assistance

1-3 Day Response time, comment below and mention you paid for priority at the start of your comment.

Phone Consultation

Chris will arrange a time to call and talk over whatever questions you have.

Assistance type

Be sure to check your spam folder for reply notifications and emails. Calls and Private Buyers will be reached out to by email.
If you encounter any issues contact Information@hottubuniversity.com

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Dan DiSalvo
17 hours ago

Hi Chris, I paid for priority response. We live in the Charlotte NC and are undecided on two models. The Tuff Spa TT650 and The Viking Royale P+ Both have the lounger. The Tuff tub has that hard cover that is easy to fold and has a roto plastic shell. Does have bagged insulation, Balboa controls, and Waterway jets. Is 110 or 220v. What concerns me is 1 2hp pump. I dont want to buy a tub just for the top cover that they heavy push. The Viking seems like a more traditional tub, again I think it has Balboa… Read more »

Editor
Kevin
2 hours ago
Reply to  Dan DiSalvo

Hi Dan Tuff Spa, Quirky things, but kind neat and original. The insulation could be an issue, we have heard that the cover is not always a good fit. Need to ensure that it is from the get-go, as this will lead to heat loss, and possible warping over time. Heating and control systems, by Balboa, and waterways jets, all market leading, then that would suggest it’s going to be decent. Viking Royale its middle of the road spa, ABS plastic shell has some stability issues and requires pedestals to support it, it’s a cheaper shell to build and not… Read more »

Jeff Chevalier
21 hours ago

I paid for a priority response.

What are fair market prices for 1) an Artesian Captiva with 52 jets and (2) 6.0 BHP 1-spd motors, and 2) an Artesian Grand Cayman with 52 jets and (2) 6.0 BHP 1-spd motors? Also, are you familiar with Passion Spas and do you have any comments regarding their products when compared to Artesian products?

Editor
Kevin
20 hours ago
Reply to  Jeff Chevalier

Hi Jeff Price is so difficult to predict or advise on right now, its often a toss up between getting it fast and paying top dollar, or going slow, and getting a lower price. You can drop lucky and find a dealer that has been left with a tub after a buyer has backed out, and they want to off load it quick. Anyway, I have done some digging… Artesian Captiva’s have been going for between $8,000 and a little over $9,000 that is on prices between June and September of this year. Artesian Grand Cayman, prices have been volatile,… Read more »

Jon R
2 days ago

Hi Chris! I live in Seattle, WA, and a few local dealers I checked out don’t have the brands you recommend. Do you have a suggestion for a good dealer nearby, or even within 100 miles of Seattle? Particularly interested in Master Spa Healthy Living or Twilight. Thanks so much!!!

Editor
Kevin
20 hours ago
Reply to  Jon R

Hi Jon
Get on our Private Buyer Service, we can get you great deals on Master Spa, in your area via large dealer we have been working with for years. He has the knowledge and infrastructure to not only sell Spa’s but also offer great customer service.

Jason
2 days ago

Hi, We are looking at Artesian grand Bahama or cayman or their 7’ versions, Antigua or captiva. With foot blasters. Or Masterspa 7.2 or 8.2. First time spa buyers. Denver. Not sure want lounger but would try it. Not sure about a lot of features but trying them. We see occasional therapy and a lot of soaking relaxation. Teen kids very excited! BUT no stock of anything anywhere. Have gotten quotes anyway, and high for supply demand. One dealer said if we want a deal, order one and wait. We would like something by Christmas or so, for the $250,… Read more »

Editor
Kevin
21 hours ago
Reply to  Jason

Hi Jason With Covid it seems that everyone is staying home and wanting a new hot tub which has prices high and availability low. Most of the decent brands right now are 200+ days out on availability and deals are hard to come by. We can for sure get you a spa before Christmas, but it’s a case of paying a high price to have it now, or you can go slow and low, and wait well into next year. But we can have a look at what’s available, and do our best to get a decent price, sign up… Read more »

Jason
21 hours ago
Reply to  Kevin

Hi Kevin, You just approved my question to you all. Thank you.
BUT, I didn’t realize my full name and phone number would be posted.
Could you delete my last name and my phone number from the post?
Thanks so much! Jason

Admin
20 hours ago
Reply to  Jason

Hi Jason, just removed the information.

Admin
19 hours ago
Reply to  Jason

Also, just to clarify, the phone number was only ever visible to you.

Gib
2 days ago

Hey Chris. Any opinion on the Artesian 735L? I’ve been quoted a price of about $7100 (pre-tax), includes delivery and install, and cover lifter. I’d welcome you opinion. Thanks!

Editor
Kevin
22 hours ago
Reply to  Gib

Hi Gib
Nice tub, nice price.

Richard Dobson
2 days ago

Hi Kevin,

I am set to pick out a brand and get moving toward a tub install. Give me a shout when you are able!

thank you,

Richard Dobson

Editor
Kevin
2 days ago
Reply to  Richard Dobson

Hi Richard
Can you reply on the Private Buyer service? It allows us to keep everything in one place, to speed the process up?
I’ll send you a message from the Private Buyer portal too, just to make sure you are connected

Reannon Wiskerchen
2 days ago

Hi There- we are a first time buyer in Green Bay, WI. 5 person family so looking for something that can fit us all comfortably. We were between the Clarity Precision 8 and The healthy living 8.5 anything particular that we shoud know about one tub over the other?

Editor
Kevin
1 day ago

Hi Reannon
The only difference is the massage jets. HL is a great tub and really its jetted out like most top-end tubs with a solid mix of 5″ high flow jets and a mix of 3.5″ and 1.5″ low flow jets. The Clarity Precision 8, is a hugely spacious tub, with loads of room, particularly in the footwell, much larger than the HL option.
What pricing are you getting? We have access to some main dealer direct pricing, check out our Private Buyer Service

Evelyn
2 days ago

Hi Chris. We have coast in Lethbridge Alberta Canada. I don’t think we have any other brands you like. Any thoughts besides coast that would deliver to Lwthbridge?

Editor
Kevin
1 day ago
Reply to  Evelyn

Hi Evelyn
Checking our database, your nearest dealer that carries any of our top group tubs is up in Calgary! Its possible we could get a PDC tub delivered to your area, but then we would need to find a local service guy to do the install and service if and when required.
Have a look on their website, we have factory direct pricing available via our Private Buyer Service.

Brandon
3 days ago

Hello Chris, Several years back I discovered that frequent hot soaks kept pain from old injuries away. I was able to take advantage of a local spa that had these really nice deep wood tubs. Unfortunately the closed permanently a few weeks after the COVID-19 shut down. So now I want my own tub, but it seems everyone else does too. I’m looking at a 3 month wait for the type of tub I prefer. I guess I can wait, bit I’m pretty handy. Now I’m wondering, if I could buy all the components, maybe I could buy a tank,… Read more »

Editor
Kevin
1 day ago
Reply to  Brandon

Hi Brandon
Sounds like a fun project… I’m sure you can buy the basics from a hardware / plumbing merchant. Keep us posted on progress.

Robert Hoffman
3 days ago

HI- Do you have any information on Dr. Wellness Artesian spas? Recommendations for spas in St. Paul, MN area? Thoughts on buying a used spa due to the current wait times?

Editor
Kevin
2 days ago
Reply to  Robert Hoffman

Hi Robert Dr. Wellness are using Balboa control systems, Just make sure! that’s a good thing but the rest of it looks gimmicky with no real substance, the parts are goofy and the radiant barrier insulation… this stuff was basically banned in the housing industry back in the 80’s it costs basically nothing and doesn’t do much more than that. Ask the questions… Are the joints glued and clamped? What brand name are the jets, pumps, and electronic controls? (you want waterways threaded jets, and Balboa controls) Is the shell supported underneath by props and supports? (if there are props… Read more »

Shelly
3 days ago

I’m looking at 3 different swim spas. I. My area I have found the endless swim spa which is the highest price at 31,000.
Then the two I cannot decide on are Master spa swim spa and Sundance swim spa they are about the same price of roughly 25,000.
What would be your choice?
Thank you,
Shelly

Editor
Kevin
2 days ago
Reply to  Shelly

Hi Shelly
Hi Pat, The Master series of swim spas are excellent units. Stay away from the Endless – they used to be good until they got bought by a large hedge fund and now profit and marketing are more important to them than building quality units.
Sundance is overpriced and full of proprietary parts with a mid-end performance
Check out this link h2xswimspa. Remember this is a big, long term investment, our private buyer service will save you money, and get you the right product.

Phillip G Racies
4 days ago

Hi Guys, so we were so excited to finally have our Master Spa Twilight 8.2 delivered after waiting about 9 weeks after purchasing. However, upon removing the front outside panel to gain access to the Owner’s Manual, etc, I discovered some damage to the wooden frame/structure, I assume from the delivery. I also discovered a random portion of a broken screw and some other shoddy work. I took pics and video immediately. Any suggestions on best course of action in this case?

Editor
Kevin
2 days ago

Hi Phillip
I think your first action is to contact the dealer, share with him the photos and video. Give him an opportunity to rectify the situation.

Jonathan Winegar
4 days ago

Chris, What is your opinion on the Frog @ease product?

Editor
Kevin
2 days ago

Frog@ease is a mineral ion system. No Matter what brand you buy don’t buy any of the miracle chemical reduction systems like salt or UV or AOP or Ozone or frog ease, just buy this stuff… its lower chemical easier to manage healthier and less expensive, plus it extends the life of the tub and gives you a lifetime guarantee on the jets.
https://hottubuniversity.com/spa-marvel-us/

Jonathan Winegar
2 days ago
Reply to  Kevin

So, don’t use the frog@ease or use it with the spa marvel? Are they a similar product?

Editor
Kevin
21 hours ago

Hi Jonathan Frog@ease is an Ion system, and it’s ok. The problem with hot tub water is the inorganics like oils, lotions, and sunscreens. They are the real issue because chlorine and the onboard systems suck at dealing with inorganics. The enzyme-based product is highly effective at dealing with inorganics leaving the chlorine-free to do its job in very small amounts. The added benefit is it stabilizes pH which make the water much easier to manage and it is super good for the plastic so much so that Spa Marvel warranties the jets for life if you use the product… Read more »

Jim
4 days ago

Hi – I didn’t see any information on Hydropool tubs. I’m considering a Serenity 6800. Do you know anything about this company?

Editor
Kevin
2 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Hi Jim
Hydropool are an excellent marketing company, hence, this question pops up all the time. They fit into our ‘Messy Group’ and as such best avoided. The biggest issue we have is with the strength of the shell. We have developed our own strength index for tubs. We like to see a score in excess of 60, Hydropool come in with a score of 25.21
If your tub starts out with a weak shell, then you have to ask what else have they scrimped on?

Jeff
4 days ago

Hi Chris. I am looking at the Master Spa TS 7.2 or 8.2. The Dealer (Atlas in Plano, Tx) is quoting $12495 and 13195 respectively with a cover lift. What are your thoughts on these spas vs the HL series and the pricing? Also, do you think it would be worthwhile to use your private buyer service of these spas? Thanks for your help.

Editor
Kevin
2 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

Hi Jeff
In your area we can certainly improve on those prices for Master Spa. Hook up to the Private Buyer Service and let us save you money!

Caroline Schaefer-Hills
5 days ago

I have money down and am suppose to take delivery very soon of an Endless Pool R200 swim spa- I got a bit concerned about the actual efficiency and ability for the swim spa to hold its temp on our freezing Northern Michigan winters outside under our carport and the vague answers when I called the company – then I found your site – saw a brief mention that you don’t like their brand. Thoughts on adding a propane pool heater to the Swim spa to save on the electric costs? I know Arctic Spas totes winter pool ability but… Read more »

Editor
Kevin
2 days ago

Hi Caroline
Thank you for purchasing our Consultation service, I trust Chris has answered your questions. Let us know if you need anything further.

Robert Porpora
5 days ago

Guys,
wiring? Does the electrician need to drill hole? Or are there access points?
Rob
private buyer member

Editor
Kevin
2 days ago
Reply to  Robert Porpora

Hi Robert
There should be an access point below the control panel to feed the cable up to the connection module

Emily
5 days ago

We’re shopping for our first hot tub. Do you have any recommended dealers in Delaware? We’re in Sussex county, specifically. Thanks!

Editor
Kevin
2 days ago
Reply to  Emily

Hi Emily
Your nearest quality dealer is over 100 miles away, but that said we have another alternative. We have a great relationship with a factory direct outfit, and we get stunning pricing! Hook up to our Private Buyer Service and let us find you a top-quality tub at the best possible price.
Have a look at this range of Spas
https://www.masterspas.com/

Len
5 days ago

Hi Chris,

I live in Oceanside, Ca. (approximately 35 miles north of San Diego) I’m looking for a 3-person spa from a company with a great reputation for quality products and customer service. Can you point me in the right direction?

Editor
Kevin
2 days ago
Reply to  Len

Hi Len
You have a decent Jacuzzi dealer just down the road from you, look at the following models, J-210, J-215 and the J-315
Aqua Paradise – Jacuzzi of North County

6990 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, CA 92009
http://www.aquaparadiseca.com
+1 760-431-7727

Robert Porpora
5 days ago

Chris & Team,
Twighlight 8.25 just delivered! Thank you for all the help…I mentioned your name Chris to the sales rep and delivery crew and both heard of you..well done.. bought the spa kit from your website. Electrical being hooked up Monday.

rob
paid buyer assistance member

Editor
Kevin
2 days ago
Reply to  Robert Porpora

Hi Robert
Great news, enjoy your tub…

Seth Macdonald
6 days ago

Hi Chris, just found your site and discussion group online. My wife and I live in Northern BC, Canada and are at long last considering buying a hot tub for our rural home. I have read your reviews and comparisons of various brands online and have already re-thought the brand I was looking at due to your publications. Currently I am wondering weather or not buying a used hot tub is a worthwhile option in your opinion? If I was to consider buying a used one, what are some of the main things I should look for? Specifically what can… Read more »

Editor
Kevin
2 days ago
Reply to  Seth Macdonald

Hi Seth ‘Selkirk, Crystal waters’ to be honest, not a tub on my radar, but had quick look. The first thing I noticed is the jets, they have a range of cool looking jets, but if you look behind at the pluming, its all the same low bore low flow pluming. Then one low powered water pump, and another air blower. The air blower is just going to cool down your water, then with only a 2kw heater, it is going to take a while to warm up again. So not a great tub. As for buying in the second… Read more »

Seth Macdonald
2 days ago
Reply to  Kevin

Thanks for the info Kevin.
I may be staying clear of the used option.
I am currently looking into Beachcomber (manufactured here in BC.) I know this was on Christmas list of high end tubs.
But had a question about the parts: From going to their site, it seems like their pumps are proprietary. From what I have read on your blogs, this is probably not a good thing?

Editor
Kevin
1 day ago
Reply to  Seth Macdonald

Hi Seth
The Beechcomber is a decent tub, having a proprietary pump is not the end of the world, the one big issue to think about, is the non-removable skirt. Seems an odd thing to do to a tub, but to get the skirt off is a headache. A headache equals higher costs for repair if the tub decides to spring a leak. Check with the dealer what the warranty conditions are, if it was to start leaking.

Ed S
6 days ago

Hi. Do you recommend a good supplier/dealer in Illinois, mainly the Chicago suburbs? Our local American Sale sells Artesian tubs, and we’re mainly looking at some in the south seas collection. All come with the foot domes, which you say to avoid correct? Trying to find the best route to go. Any assistance is appreciated!

Editor
Kevin
2 days ago
Reply to  Ed S

Hi Ed
Artesian, one of our preferred brands, but those domes… you WILL be kicking it, or falling over it every time you use the tub! But you really should, also consider Master Spa. We have a great relationship with a dealer that sells tons of tubs into your area. We can secure preferential rates from them on your behalf. Rates not available in the open market. Hook up with our Private Buyer Service, you have nothing to lose.

Garrett
6 days ago

Hello Chris!

This is a great website for a first time buyer like myself. I am located in a harsh climate (Minnesota) and we are currently between a Cal Spas LES Special Tropical LES 746-B and a Master Legacy Whirlpool “Inspire” model. Both are priced around $7000 currently at our local dealers and just wondering if you have a recommendation regarding which brand is better and why? The Cal Spas tub has 48 jets compared to 39 jets in the Master Spas model, but I know there is much more too it than that!

Editor
Kevin
3 days ago
Reply to  Garrett

Hi Garrett
Master Legacy whirlpool is decent tub, well built and very good quality parts. just make sure its not an ‘American Whirlpool’ very similar name, very different product.
Cal Spa is not a terrible brand as long as you order the right tub. They offer two different control systems so make sure you get one with Balboa heating and systems

Ray Warren
6 days ago

Hi, Chris. Great site and info. Thanks for the time and effort you put in. Do you have a dealer that you would recommend near Colorado Springs, CO? Thanks.

Editor
Kevin
6 days ago
Reply to  Ray Warren

Hi Ray The closest dealer that we would recommend is an outfit that sells Artesian spas, one of our preferred brands. They do have other brands, none of which we would recommend. Colorado Custom Spas 5270 Broadway, Denver, CO 80216 coloradocustomspas.com +1 303-468-8827 Alternatively, we have a direct relationship with a factory direct operation, who can supply into your area, we get stunning preferential pricing from them, due to the amount of business we put through them. Here is the line they carry. Again a brand in our top group. https://www.masterspas.com/ Hook up to our Private Buyer Service, and we… Read more »

GUY
7 days ago

Hi Chris; re; paid for priority assistance I would like you help in choosing a hot tub brand & model appropriate for my area – Ottawa East (Navan). I was set on buying a Bullfrog model R6L (from Mermaid, close by dealer in Orleans). They quoted me an installed price of 12,000$ (with all accessories, including the GFCI box). But after reading your review, I am second guessing myself. $12k is at the high end of my budget, but I want durability, so your recommendation is important to me. We are looking for a 4 person tub (although I will… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by GUY
Editor
Kevin
7 days ago
Reply to  GUY

Hi Guy The Bullfrog is not a bad tub, but the model you have chosen, has the ‘Jet pack System’ and as I’m sure you have read already, we are not a great fan of it. You have a couple of options, there is an Artesian dealer around 40 kms from you. Artesian are in our top group of recommended brands, being reasonably local, the dealer will be on hand for support. Purewater Total Home Leisure Chrisn@purewatermail.com 2070 Robertson Rd, Nepean, ON K2H 5Y8, Canada http://www.purewaterpool.com +1 613-726-0099 The other alternative brand, PDC, they do not have a dealer in… Read more »

Karen Manson
8 days ago

Hi team I have paid the private buyer fee, so you recognise me I’m in New Zealand and I’m looking to purchase a swim spa with separate spa, probably master spa challenger 19. I want to put it in the ground as it is huge! I have yet to swim in it but will do in the next 2 weeks.i need help with pros and cons for in ground and anything you can think of. Assistance with purchasing would be good too. Landscape ideas! The nearest dealer to me is Alpine Spas in Christchurch New Zealand

Admin
6 days ago
Reply to  Karen Manson

Hi Karen,
We sent you an email invitation back when you first signed up, just resent it again for you.
Hop over onto the private buyer’s site and we can get to helping you.

If you have any issues email me at Information@hottubuniversity.com

Stacy Swann
8 days ago

Hi there – – we are trying to decide between the Artesian Piper and the PDC Biscayne or Mailbu. We have runners in the family so looking for something good for recovery. Any thoughts on these?

Editor
Kevin
7 days ago
Reply to  Stacy Swann

Hi Stacy
Artesian, very little in the way of neck and shoulder therapy it has just 2 of the little low flow 1.5″ jets. Whereas something like a Twilight Series TS8.25 has more of the expensive large 5” high flow therapy jets. You should consider one of those, before you make a decision.
PDC Malibu & Biscayne, are great tubs, ignore the air jets, they do nothing for massage, just make bubbles and cool the water down. The malibu is physically smaller than the Biscayne. If you go with the Biscayne, check delivery and installation requirements, it a big tub.

Blake
8 days ago

Hi I bought into the private buyer program yesterday and haven’t heard back yet.

Would love to get started.

Admin
8 days ago
Reply to  Blake

Hi Blake, you should have an email inviting you to our private buyer’s service site.
If you can’t find it email me at Information@hottubuniversity.com

Vince Ranieri
9 days ago

Just stared the Hot Tub buying journey. Looking at Marquis, Bullfrog and Jacuzzi. I stil lhave lots of research to do. Any opinions on these brands? What are your top 3 brands to consider or avoid? Know of any solid dealers in teh Dallas area? Much appreciate your input!

Editor
Kevin
8 days ago
Reply to  Vince Ranieri

Hi Vince Out of that list, avoid Marquis, and any Bullfrog with the jet pack options. Jacuzzi, they are on the up, on paper anyway. We are trying to arrange a factory visit, to check out the good things we are hearing, just not been able to hook it up yet due to Covid related issues. These guys are on our ‘All Star’ dealer list, so have a chat with them before making any decisions, Atlas Spas & Swim Spas 4801 W Park Blvd Unit 448, Plano, TX 75093 http://www.atlasspas.com +1 469-209-6989 Also have a look here at the brands… Read more »

Vince Ranieri
7 days ago
Reply to  Kevin

THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Love this website and I sincerely appreciate the info. Can’t wait to have my first dip!

Editor
Kevin
6 days ago
Reply to  Vince Ranieri

Your very welcome Vince…

Trudy
9 days ago

Landed on your site when we are almost ready to purchase a swim spa. Of the dealers in our area we are looking at Tidalfit, Coast and Arctic. I’m curious if you feel the same way about swim spa brands as you do about their spas. We are leaning toward coast. We do have a Catalina brand in the area but I don’t see you mention them much? Any reason why? Any steer in the right direction would be appreciated. Thanks!

Editor
Kevin
8 days ago
Reply to  Trudy

Hi Pat, In a swim spa I would honestly not consider any of those brands other than the TidalFit from Artesian LPI, Inc. is located in Johnson City, Tennessee, with a large 320,000 square foot manufacturing site. They produce, Catalina, along with these other brands Wellness, Premium Leisure and Hudson Bay Spa’s We don’t come across Catalina very often, but they are 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. I would guess the swim spa would be no better. I would really recommend our… Read more »

Matt
9 days ago

Can you also tell me if Tuff spa is a good reliable tub? Looking at the 450.

Editor
Kevin
8 days ago
Reply to  Matt

Hi Matt… again 😉
Tuff Spa, quirky things, I don’t know too much about them, but the insulation could be an issue, also check who makes the control systems. We are being told they use Balboa heating and control components, if that is the case, then that would suggest its going to be decent. Balboa are head and shoulders above everyone else for control systems.

Clayton Wheeler
9 days ago

I have a local dealer quoting me $6000.00 installed for a 748L South Sea Spa, comes with steps, cover and cover assist. Is this a good price?

Editor
Kevin
8 days ago

Hi Clayton
I’ve seen the 748L recently listed at $6,600.00, that was just a few weeks ago. Admittedly, not in your area, but it sounds like a good solid price.

Matt
9 days ago

What are your thoughts on northern bay grand Marais hot tub?

Editor
Kevin
8 days ago
Reply to  Matt

Hi Matt
Northern Bay Hot Tub, are part of Saratoga Spas. So not too bad a tub, but I’d check out if it has Balboa control systems. Also, look out for the shell, it’s an acrylic, but it is supported by 2”x3” pressure treated wood… sounds good, but that’s actually a bad point. Have a look at the video.

Scott
10 days ago

Chris, what do you know about Aspen hot tubs? I am looking at the Quattro series.

Editor
Kevin
8 days ago
Reply to  Scott

Hi Scott
Aspen, the Gecko heating and control system are second tier, the only reason to be using those is to cut costs. Balboa has key patents that really make a difference in reliability and function.
The Aspens use cradle supported shells instead of self-supporting shells, which can really decrease the longevity of the tub, it creates stress points over time. They also don’t glue and clamp their plumbing lines which increases the likelihood of leaks and is again, just cutting cost.

Brian Sibary
10 days ago

So happy I found your site Chris! I live in Macomb, MI and my first stop was at a company who sold HotSprings, Caldera, and Limelight. I was looking at tubs in 9-13k range. The next company sold Dimension One. All my internet research showed those as top brand. I was still skeptical and kept digging. That’s when I found your site and info. My next thought was what are the chances I could find a dealer in my area that sold tubs on your approved list. Luckily I found a company that sells Artesian Spas close by. I felt… Read more »

Editor
Kevin
9 days ago
Reply to  Brian Sibary

Hi Brian
The last Grand Bahama I saw listed was for $9995.00 So it looks like on the face of it a decent price.

vanessa
10 days ago

Hi Chris! So, we know someone with a Toronto model of Candian Spa company’s hot tubs. It is two years old. What should we be asking the owner? He is selling it as ‘basically new’… There are no dealers anywhere near us, so we are a little worried for ongoing maintenace and issues that may arise. Thanks for any advice you may have for us 🙂

Editor
Kevin
9 days ago
Reply to  vanessa

Hi Vanessa
Canadian Spa Company is one of those middle of the road brands, some-good, some-bad, basically a typical mass-merchant tub. Most of the stuff is direct out of China, then branded Canadian Spa. Could be an affordable way to get a tub in your remote location. But… It should be cheap…

Vanessa York
8 days ago
Reply to  Kevin

OK, thanks Chris. My concern is primarily a breakdown of some kind during a cold-snap, where we need someone to come repair or replace something, asap, to avoid the hot tub or pipes freezing… and the cost of such an emergency call-out/repair. There is no dealer in our area.

Editor
Kevin
7 days ago
Reply to  Vanessa York

Hi Vanessa
You have a local dealer, who sells the Jacuzzi brand, but also offers service. Maybe give them a call to see if they can support a Canadian Spa hot tub. Ask for Jac.
Eden Spas Jacuzzi
892 Central St E # 105, Prince George, BC V2M 3B8, Canada
edenspas.ca

Stew Lauterbach
10 days ago

Hi Chris, I am interested in Bali Hot Tub Spa by INTEGRITY SPAS. Seems like what we would like 3 person, circulation motor, 24v. per the site well insulated. Any comments. or alternatives. I’d be willing to join you consultation service if that would help me.

Editor
Kevin
9 days ago

Hi Stew
Looking at the spec, it’s a low end mass merchant tub, probably out of China, no mention of who makes the heating and control systems. Also, the circulation pump sounds like a great idea, have a look at our link for more information on why its not such a good idea.
https://hottubuniversity.com/24-hr-circulation-pumps/
Your zip code is unrecognised, so I’m unable to recommend a dealer with better options.

Stew Lauterbach
8 days ago
Reply to  Kevin

zip 95404, Santa Rosa CA.

Editor
Kevin
7 days ago

Hi Stew
You have a ‘Coast’ dealer close by, Coast, we are waiting to do a factory visit with these guys, but they are on the face of it a decent quality brand. Although right now, they are going to be on back order for quite some time, the factory is swamped with orders.
http://www.coastspas.com
3451 Airway Dr a, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
+1 707-235-7421

David
10 days ago

Sent you a donation as thanks. I knew nothing about hot tubs and almost made a bad decision on a new tub that looked nice but had poor insulation. I used HTU to inform myself and asked the company a bunch of questions and got bad answers (thernofilm is space age reflective insulation! No need for foam!) So I ended up buying a Getaway Spas San Miguel from a sales expo, and went into that knowing far more about tubs and what to look for – and what brands as well. I let them know I’d heard about the event… Read more »

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  David

Hi David,
Glad we could point you in the right direction,
for your area my first call would be here:

https://chinook-hot-tubs-saunas.business.site/
+1 613-729-1447

megan
11 days ago

Hi, Chris. Ever heard of this company out of Minnesota, Great Northern Hot Tubs (link below)? They’re doing what seems like a hybrid spa and traditional wood soaker and I wonder if you have any thoughts/experience with them?
We like the depth they offer, and the lack of “confined”molded seating (we have boys!) but we live in Wisconsin and obviously it’s cold here and we can’t quite figure out the insulation situation. Is this a terrible idea?

https://www.greatnorthernhottubs.com/about-gn.php

Editor
Kevin
8 days ago
Reply to  megan

Hi Megan
A traditional Cedar hot tub, certainly has a place in the market. If its going to fit in nice with your style of backyard etc. In terms of insulation, they are never going to match that of a full foam insulation system of a modern spa. Difficult to advise, it’s a bit like trying to compare apples and pears.
As for Great Northern Hot Tubs, its not a dealer that I have any experience of, sorry.

Eleri Murray
11 days ago

Hi, looking at Free flow spas? Any comments?

Editor
Kevin
9 days ago
Reply to  Eleri Murray

Hi Eleri
Not a brand I’m familiar with, I’d say it’s a cheap Chinese white label import with a ‘Free Flow Spa’ label stuck on top. Just looked at their website, I’d stay well clear.

Madou
12 days ago

Hello,
We are trying to buy a hot tub and the salesman highly recommended a brand called “Aqua Master” which has a tremendous options with a price range $9k to $11k and we aren’t sure if this is a good brand or not. We are in Niagara Falls.
We appreciate your advice and recommendations.

Editor
Kevin
9 days ago
Reply to  Madou

Hi Madou
Aqua Master is lower-end mass merchant quality stuff, should be cheap, like really cheap, as you are going to be racking up the costs as you start paying for the many repairs its going to need over the coming years. Better off buying quality from the start, might cost a little more upfront, but you will be saving in the long run.
Talk to these guys, and mention us, they sell far better-quality spas. Ask to speak to Debbie, here are her contact details
Phone: 905-684-0770
info@niagarahottubs.com
http://www.niagarahottubs.com

Madou
6 days ago
Reply to  Kevin

Hi Kevin,
Thank you for your reply and recommendation. Thank you for confirming my thoughts regarding Aqua Master and also confirming my thoughts about niagara hot tubs which I had contacted a week ago. Yes I agree, they’re good.
Thanks again

Joshua
12 days ago

Hey there. I paid for the buyers assistance. What now? You will email or call me? Thanks. Looking forward to your help

Joshua Grodin
12 days ago

Hey Chris. I live in a suburb of Boston. I just put down a deposit for a Sundance Altimar at New England Spa. It was a great experience but I wasnt able to negotiate the price much as demand is quite high and i’d like the tub by year end. I feel like I may have overpaid but the deposit is refundable. I didnt realize you were not a fan of Sundance until i just stumbled on this sight. I need your help!!!

Thanks

Editor
Kevin
9 days ago
Reply to  Joshua Grodin

Hi Joshua
What you’ve found is the Covid effect, prices are high and supply is low, so dealers are getting away with selling tubs at over inflated prices right now.
We have a great relationship with New England’s largest spa dealer, we use them all the time, and as such we can obtain discounts not available to the general public, and often as not get to queue jump on delivery dates. Hook up to our Private Buyer Service, and let us negotiate on your behalf.

Jon Biedermann
12 days ago

Hi Chris,

What is your opinion on Tropic Seas Spas? We are looking at the Tahiti model (7 people), and it’s $11k. One thing the sales rep said was that it uses the OEM pieces your site talks about for ease of maintenance.

We are also looking at Marquis- looking to buy in the next several days.

-Jon

Editor
Kevin
9 days ago
Reply to  Jon Biedermann

Hi Jon
Tropic Seas Spas – it’s all Artesian parts so is going to be good quality, much better than your other option. Marquis is not a brand we would recommend right now. Check out this review.

Jon Biedermann
6 days ago
Reply to  Kevin

Thank you! We just bought the Tropic Seas Spas, Tahiti. To be candid, the dealer’s physical location for the Marquis tubs was in a very sketchy building/location. Thank you for this website, it’s very much appreciated and we feel we made the right choice. (When we get in I will come back and make a donation!)

Editor
Kevin
3 days ago
Reply to  Jon Biedermann

Hi Jon
I’m sure you will be happy with your purchase, pleased to help. Look forward to the donation, that’s what allows us to say what we think about the industry 😊

Matt
13 days ago

Hi Chris

What can you tell me about Hatana and garden leisure ?

Editor
Kevin
9 days ago
Reply to  Matt

Hi Matt
Hatana is a white label cheap tub… Garden Leisure, similar in that they are built to a budget, and as such don’t build with quality components, they do glue and clamp the plumbing, but with low quality clamps, they do use Icynene (the best) insulation foam, but only a very thin layer.

James Williams
13 days ago

I was about to purchase a Hot Springs spa and then discovered your site. My challenge is that of the four top manufacturers that you recommend, none have local dealers in my area (Jackson, MS). The closest I can find is an Artesian dealer 150 miles away. So my question is whether it is better to buy a spa that is not the best but offers local support or roll the dice and buy a higher quality spa online or out of area and hope for the best

Editor
Kevin
9 days ago
Reply to  James Williams

Hi James Its always a difficult one when you are out of area for decent quality tubs suppliers. Do you go cheap and cheerful and then have the guy local to do the repairs, or do you go quality, and not need the service, but then if you do it’s a way away? We have a great relationship with a major dealer, who does service your area and does it very well, does not have a store close by, but does have the infrastructure in place. We can get excellent prices and better than retail delivery times via our Private… Read more »

James Williams
9 days ago
Reply to  Kevin

Kevin, Thank you for your response. We are very interested in purchasing through your private buyer service. Is it possible to still get a spa from one of your top recommended companies for 8-9k given the mark-ups during covid? (the size of the spa is important given that I am 6’6″ and don’t want to be crammed into a tight space.)
The only other issue is delivery time. If delivery is well into next year, do you advise waiting in hopes that availability will increase and cost will return to pre-covid prices?

Editor
Kevin
8 days ago
Reply to  James Williams

Hi James
It’s impossible to say if prices will drop in the new year. But what we are seeing, is softer prices for orders placed by people willing to wait till next spring / summer for delivery.
Basically, immediate / prompt delivery equals no discount, and a premium price in most cases, there are exceptions. Long and slow delivery times leaves us much more room for negotiations on the price.
I am sure we could find you something suitable for your budget.

Chris
14 days ago

Hi. I’m looking at a coast spa element lounge has full foam,stereo,and a upgrade light package.4hp pump 30 jets. The dealer quoted $12,999 cdn. Are they still in your top five and is the price reasonable given covid?

Editor
Kevin
9 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Hi Chris
Coast are still on our good guys list of recommended spas, The price is fine, given how the market is right now.

Karen
14 days ago

Hi I’m wanting advice on putting a master spa swim spa in ground. What do I need to know pros and cons

Editor
Kevin
9 days ago
Reply to  Karen

Hi Karen, In your situation, looking for a swim spa to set in the ground, considering the large financial investment you are about to make, I would highly recommend our ‘Private Buyer Service’. This will ensure you get the right swim Spa for your needs, at the best possible price form a top dealer, and we will be on hand to help with tips and advice regarding actually setting the spa in the ground. The fee is fully refundable, if in the very unlikely event we do not save you at the very least our fee… But its not just… Read more »

Karen Manson
9 days ago
Reply to  Kevin

I’d love your help Do you provide this service in New Zealand ?
The dealer here is saying he wouldn’t recommend putting a swim spa in ground!

Editor
Kevin
8 days ago
Reply to  Karen Manson

Hi Karen
I’m sure we can help with a Swim Spa in New Zealand, via our Private Buyer Service. In fact we have just completed a deal in mainland Spain. So we are not just North America based. There are a number of concerns when putting one in the ground, drainage and access to the panels being the main ones.

David Wise
14 days ago

Hi Chris, I haven’t seen any reviews anywhere on the Innovaspa Urbania. What are your thoughts on the brand and model?

Editor
Kevin
13 days ago
Reply to  David Wise

Hi David
Innovaspa are made in Quebec by Lumi.
Roto-moulded spas are durable they use good parts but the insulation is low end, that might be an issue to you, given your location.

David
13 days ago
Reply to  Kevin

Thanks, that’s very helpful. I’m being quoted $6500 (w/tax) for end of the month delivery. I am worried that the light insulation may cause Heater wear or difficulty in maintaining water temp through an Ottawa winter! Wondering if this is a good price for the urbania, alternative seems to be waiting 6 months for something else…

Colleen
14 days ago

Hi Chris,

I was wondering what the wait time is for the private buyer service or phone consultation. We are in Portland, OR. We are looking at a local spa company West Coast Spas and Coast Spas. Was thinking about checking out Artesian and Master Spas (but no dealer in area). Max $10k budget, one lounger, seats 6 ish, nothing fancy just quality.

Thank you!

Editor
Kevin
13 days ago
Reply to  Colleen

Hi Colleen,
Private buyer service, and telephone consultation will be within 24 hours, Monday to Friday. We have a great relationship with PDC, and as there are no dealers in your area, we can go to factory direct pricing. We guarantee to save you the $250 fee for the private buyer service.

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