Great Marketing Vs. Great Hot Tubs

Great Marketing Vs. Great Hot Tubs
7.4 Total Score

Great Hot Tubs or great marketing. You can’t have them both and you can’t relax in a brochure.

There are 2 business models for Hot Tub manufacturers and unfortunately, the best business model is to Build a mid grade spa and spend a lot of money on fancy marketing, spin, and advertising.

The reality is marketing trumps, and the pitch and the spin are nearly impossible to sort from the reality.

One of the best things you can do is this analyse where the money is being spent.

For example, we can pitch reflective foils as a good insulation system, and we can pitch perimeter foam or full foam as great systems but looking past the hype and the pitch to what costs the most is a great way to determine what is really the best system, it’s easy… Full foam uses 3x more of the expensive expanding foam so it costs 3x more… similarly, the good North American parts cost more than the cheap Chinese parts and building a good hand rolled fibreglass shell cost the most.



7.4 Total Score

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Hi there, I live up near Edmonton AB, First time spa buyer. We’ve narrowed down to master or Artesian, both from what seem to be very good dealers. We’re looking at Artesian 860B or an 84″ master, not decided on model yet. (twilight is listed at 15k CAD, which is more than we can really afford so we’d likely have to go with a lower model, whereas Artesian is $10,200 CAD). Just wondering whether you have any advise? We just want a solid spa that is reliable and good for Alberta winter, and hopefully has some reasonable massage capability. Many… Read more »


What is your opinion of ThermaSpa Concord Silver and their non foam approach? And low chemical bacterial system? They quoted $12k. We live in Bay Area. Does this seem reasonable?

The reflective system is just mylar with a bit of closed cell foam on the perimeter,

They use a lot of Thermo branded terms for things to make them sound special or different but most them are just standard methods or in some cases old ones.

for 12k you could get a much better hot tub, you have tons of service people in the area so I would consider looking at a factory direct or a spa expo, I’ll see if I can find you something.


I was looking for information on how noisy hot tubs are, particularly during the filtration cycle. Are there significant differences between the brands on your A list? or between high end models and middle of the line? I found that very few manufacturers provide the actual DB ratings.

Janet Campbell

Help! I need to settle on a hot tub and have only looked at Marquis and Bullfrog. There seems to be so much information and I don’t have huge amounts of money. Trying to get a 5-6 seat hot tub that is quality for less than $9000.


Just curious about the dr wellness it has been a year or so since you last commented on them have you found out anymore it’s 6400 for g12 tub with has extra foam it’s the higher series. With the other brands you mention for similar features and warranty couple thousand more


Moving to the Flathead Lake region in Northwest Montana. What would be your choice of a dealer in that area and hot tub choice for a 4 person?

Roberta Kalar

Do you think $10,295.00 is too much money for the Master Spa HL7 (Clarity) . 84x84x36

Marit Mears

Hello! Thank you for the information… it’s all VERY helpful (and humbling as I now realize how much we DON’t know!) We’re in Hudson, WI (relatively close to St. Paul, MN) and wondering if you have can suggest brand/model for 7+ person tub in/around ~$10/12k. Would love to spend less if we could, but we were just about to go with a Vector 21 until seeing the “behind the scenes” review showing the deficiency. It’s our first tub, but we do have a salt water pool that we love and with the automatic cover it’s been relatively low maintenance so… Read more »

Jenny Shank

Looking to buy a hot tub. Pinnacle Hot Tubs are at a home show. Would you recommend the Pinnacle brand? We live in the Allegheny Mountains in South Western PA where the winters are harsh.

Austin Cloninger

Wondering what you would recomend for a spa for a couple, children are grown, say 4-6 size, living in the WA area around Tacoma. We’ve had several used fixer uppers, but would like something maintenance free for awhile!

Hello- Thanks for the information you have provided, it’s been very helpful.I have been in the market for almost a year looking for hot tubs and I’m caught at the crossroads. Essentially I’m looking to buy a tub around 6-8k but I want a larger tub that holds at least 7. The one company I keep coming across online is Aqua Living who stands by these spas callled Dr.Welness, and from what I researched they used to be called Laguna Spas. Do you know of these spas or have any opinions om their product? I checked out Hot Tubs and… Read more »

Thanks for all your info…IT IS a ‘hot tub minefield’ out there..after the wife and watched your vids and read info articles we decided on a Master Twilight 6.2.(with the aquafinesse water system). Lucky for us we have a reputable dealer in Calgary. Keep up the excellent work!…regards…Brent and Elaine

Danielle W

Thank you for all of this information. It is a huge thing to try to educate yourself on. And the more I look the more there is to know. And the marketing is really starting to confuse me. That said…what is your opinion of a good dealer in the San Diego/Chula Vista area? And also what is a good hot tub brand available…I don’t think we have Master. But there is Artesian, Cal Spas, Beachcomber, and Marquis. There might be other good ones that I haven’t mentioned. Just trying to avoid the ones on your no list. And did you… Read more »

I’ve tried to pay as much attention as possible. Really looking for therapeutic massage and $8500 is the budget. I have an Atesian dealer as well as a Marquis dealer and both seem to hit your top 5 must haves list. I really want to know which brand and model Atesian Captiva vs Marquis vector v84 for overall use and therapeutic massage.


Looking for just a two to three person hot tub. Is a 110 volt hot tub worth a look?


Your site is amazing, I am lost reading all the conversations and recommendations! We are a family of 4 looking for our first spa. Want something easy to maintain with very little to zero chemicals, good massage therapy options, captains chair with leg massage. In the $6-$8k range. We have a marquis dealer and that seems to be the way to go based on everything I’m reading on your site. Anything else you’d have us check out? We are in Ardmore, PA and there are a number of places within an hour or so. Thank you so much for your… Read more »


hi was looking in to buying either a beachcomber 740 model or a master spa twilight ts 7.25 or twilight 8 ts 8.3 was wondering what the better choice would be and how much from Toronto

Brenda Enyeart


We live in Coeur d’alene ID. and looking at a Viking Heritage 71. What is your opinion of this brand.


Hi, I have a Vita,Jacuzzi and Bullfrog dealer in my area and a cal spa. The cal spa dealer is just a rep, he does not have a place to go see the tub. His price is much lower. They have all been around for 15+years. Being a first time buyer its hard to buy a tub that i can’t see first. what do you think? Thanks


First time buyer….been reading your comments and watching your videos….so much information. We have only one dealer close to us, we live out on the Olympic Peninsula, and one of your top recommendations is to buy from a local dealer. They sell these brands….Hot Spring, Hotspot, Cladera and Fantasy. Any recommendations on which to buy?

Hi We are first time buyers and live in Winnipeg. We are trying to decide on a brand which has good insulation (given our extreme winter weather), good jet power for a healthy massage, relatively low maintenance and reliability. We looked at Arctic as they have a nice esthetic (cedar surround) and promote their insulation factor but they seemed to come on with a hard sell and it looks like you have some unfavorable opinions. What other options could you suggest? Do you know of any other recommended companies have the cedar surround? Could the surround be changed to cedar… Read more »


Hi Chris. Great wealth of info. Thanks. Do you have any insight into Dimension One Spas?


In my area ottawa ontario we are looking at 3 different hot tubs; beachcomber, artic and signature and as well there is a guy who sells his hot tubs out of warehouse Pinnacle hot tub. Everyone has a pitch why they are better. Looking for 6 to 8 person hot tub reliable under 10k.

Gail Heck-Sweeney

Looking for a Master spa dealer in the Spokane, WA area. Seeking a small spa 2 to 3 person thar will retain heat in cold winter usage. I did locate a Marques dealer. Thank you, GHS


HI, first time hot tub buyer. Looking to buy local in San luis obispo, CA. we have 3 choices. Jacuzzi J-335 ($8500), Vita 300 elegant($6400) and Bullfrog RL7($7700).
Any thoughts? thanks for your help


Hi. I dont know if you still see these new comments now. Our heads are spinning from looking at hot tubs. We have looked at so many. Currently between a Dynasty, a Maxx, or a Mira. We are in the USA in Ohio. Finding reviews on these have been so tough. Maxx acts like thier perimeter insulation is best. We question that with the cold Ohio winters. Have you heard of these brands and have an opinion on which may be best?


Hi again. Apologies for asking again but we are in the market ASAP for a new hot tub. We have stuck way too much money in trying to kerp our old one alive that we are biting the bullet and going new. Need it for chronic back and neck pain management. Used almost daily. Must be goid in cold weather. Looking in St. Cloud MN. Too many manuf. Touting they’re the best and don’t know what to believe. Narrowed down sumwhat to Arctic. Cal Spa. ThermoSpa. Master spa. Any and all info into these brands and others is greatly welcome.… Read more »


How about Hot Springs highlife series. Jetsetter?


Your site has been really informative so keep up the great work it’s really appreciated! We live in Eastern Ontario just outside of Ottawa and have been shopping around the local dealers. Wow what an experience as it really is a gong show of information (one says one thing and the other says the opposite). I think we’ve narrowed down our decision (much due to the info on your website and feedback from others). So a little about us. We are 2 adults who will be using the tub for our own use with maybe 5% of the time having… Read more »


In this post you talk about expo shows and your concerns with them. Master Spa is having a show in my area soon. There is no Master Spa dealer in my area so should I stay away from the “show” or go ahead and purchase here?


I have a 14 yr old daughter with very bad psoriatic arthritis. She also has the skin plaque psoriasis and chlorine is an irritant. I need to get the best massage tub with the best salt system. I’m overwhelmed with decisions . We live on the east coast where everything is accessible. Your opinion would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.


Hi, what a great resource your site is! We live in Clayton, NY on the Canadian border, and are looking to replace our (still working!) vintage Tiger River Bengal. The Canadian dealers I called either won’t deliver to our area and/or say they would charge sales tax. On the US side, there are 3 dealers who would deliver & service: Hot Springs, Caldera & PDC. We’ve used the Hot Springs dealer over the years with good results. There is a Marquis dealer about 2 1/2 hours away that will not deliver to us, and the Master Spa site directs me… Read more »

Mike Ballough

Chris, I’m down to a Sundance 780, Master twilight 8.2, and artesian grand bahama. Please help.
Thanks, Mike


Chris I chose the twilight. After they delivered I discovered it was a new 2016. Is there any difference between a 2016 vs a 2017? As a dealer would you ever deliver a year end model instead of current yr model without telling the customer? Also how does if affect warranty? Haven’t decided whether to make them take it back.

Mike Pitts

We are trying to decide on a Hot Tub. Choices are limited here in Lake Havasu City, Az. Have narrowed down to Hot Springs Pulse or Tropic Seas Oahu. Any thoughts on these would be appreciated!


Hi! Great website! Looking for a hot tub south of Boston. Have 6 in my family, so something large, with great therapeutic jets for tight muscles. Thinking of master twilight based on your reviews. Are there any other brands/spas that are a good value in this range and area? Also, thinking of perhaps a spa/swim spa combo–any recommendations on those? Thank you so much–this is a mind boggling process!


Hi we are first time hot tub buyers. We are looking at Sundance, or one of the Jacuzzi brands. Mostly Sundance, what are your thoughts on this brand?

Mark Newbigging

Hey what are garden liesure tubs like is cement a good foundation to put a tub on thanx


Hi! Thank you for all the information. It’s a bit mind-boggling! This will be our first hot tub purchase, I haven’t found anyone in Boise Idaho who sells master spas. So it’s between the Marquis vector 84 and the Hot Spring Aria. The Hot Spring is $12599 with the Ace system included (promotion) With a 5 year warranty. The Vector is $7795. I think it was a 2 year warranty. Both are reputable dealers and good reviews on their customer service. That’s a HUGE price difference, and from what I’ve read here…I think I know what you might say? ????… Read more »

Hi, we are also looking for help in Sacramento ca to purchase hot tub. Really appreciate all the info on your site, things not on our radar and we try to be educated shoppers. We are looking at a Marquis 425, a cal spa gen ll S-621lL Hawaiian and a Master HL 630 or HL 616L so far as we want lower profile, 110v if possible and of course a good price. Any feedback or input on these or maybe others is much appreciated.


thanks so much for sharing your knowledge ! I’m shopping for a 5-6 person looked at caLadera, hot springs, sundance and masters (HC8 – put deposit at a show today price is 7700 with rocket cover and extended warranty 5/7… saw some scary reviews about shows and masters bug u seem to be a fan am I doing the right thing with my hard earned $’s?!? I have 72 hours to change my mind help!


Hi. looking for help. I live in Simpsonville SC. looking for a hot tub ( 6-8 person) that is extra deep . I like it for massage and relaxation. I have read several of your reviews. Can you give me some guidance on who to contact in my area for the best spa available. Looks like master spa dealer is about 1 hour and 45 minutes away. just reached out to someone who may carry marquis in my town. any other thoughts?