Hot Tubs

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
25,008
DFW, TX
#2
Welcome to TFP!

Hot Spring is one of the top spa makers in the US. They have a lower cost line that we bought called Free Flow. It was our first tub and we weren't sure how much we would use it. We got the Monterrey, https://freeflowspas.com/shop-spas/monterey/. We've had it for 5 years or so and we love it. Cheap to run, I converted it to 240v, I like the rotomold shell.
 

EVChargeGuy

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 16, 2014
340
Long Island, NY
#3
Ditto, Welcome to TFP!
I had a Hot Springs Grandee for many years at my last house & after 20 years in my current house i recently bought another one(Envoy) which so far I'm very happy with. I bought it because I just had Cervical surgery and I'm in the Tub a couple of times a day for pain relief. It's really been helping and I think the quality and design of the Tub makes a difference. Hot Springs is on the high end as far as cost, although there are other brands in it's price range. I found the Jet placement key to my needs & more important than number of jets. This is something you should check out on any tub your looking at.

I wasn't aware of the Free Flow line of tubs but as they're made by Watkins I feel they should be good value as well.
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
25,008
DFW, TX
#4
Yeah, the Free Flow used to be listed as the low cost option on the website with Hot Spring and another Watkins brand. It was the old good, better, best lineup. I guess the brand grew enough to be moved out on its own.

I just took a look at Wtkins site and they also acquired Endless Pools in 2015.
Here are their brands
BRANDS
Hot Spring® Spas
Caldera® Spas
Freeflow Spas®
Fantasy® Spas
Endless Pools®
 

Holydoc

Well-known member
Jul 17, 2016
268
Navarre/FL
#5
I have owned Marquis Spas and have loved them. They are a quality product that I have never had any problems with. Mine has a fountain, drink holders, hidden filters, head cushions, neck massagers, different speeds, digital readouts, and selectable zones. We keep ours at a nice 102deg 24/7, 365 days a year.

Things to look for:
  1. Leg room - be sure there is plenty of room so you are not ontop of everyone's feet
  2. Auto-off - That way you do not have to worry about shutting your spa off once everyone is out. It turns itself off.
  3. Self-cleaning cycles - The fact that it comes on during times of the day to circulate and ensure that the spa is filtered and heated. Ours actually also runs a cleaning cycle immediately after the spa is used to ensure it is pristine for the next time.
  4. Bottom drains - Especially if you have it outside like ours. You are always going to track in some sand and dirt on your feet. That sinks to the bottom. If you have a bottom drain, then cleaning it is easy to just sweep the sand to the drain.
  5. Lockable digital controls- Don't want the kids jumping in turning the spa to 70 deg because they are hot.
  6. Easy open Hard top - It is amazing how much heat loss and evaporation this cuts down. We had a bubble wrap top on our first spa, 20 years ago. It was a nightmare as far as energy costs and maintenance. Don't skimp here. These tops are worth it.
  7. Drink holders - we are always in the spa with a glass or wine to relax. It really makes a difference to be able to put your glass down and relax rather than having to hold it the whole time.
  8. Adjustable nozzles or zones - allows you to reach those perfect spots on your back or legs to relax those muscles.
  9. Cool off seats - These are areas that are a little higher in the spa than the other seats that allow you to get a bit out of the water so that you can cool off some. My wife likes the heat better than me, so by the end of the session, I am in the cool off seat so that I can stay and talk with her while she enjoys the full emersion.

Things whose charms wear off:
  1. Disco lights - light shows are fun but with a spa, you really want a calming atmosphere. We like the ability to switch the color of the lights with a push of a button, but dancing or flashing lights just get old.
  2. Water features like falls and fountains - pretty to look at but serve no real purpose. After a while we hardly ever turn on our falls.
  3. Sound systems - Just not worth it. We use our stereo and/or outside TV for any sound needed.

We don't especially care for lounge areas in the SPA. Basically we float too easily, so the lounge is too hard to stay put in. Chairs are much nicer for us.

Hope this helps some.
 

mpkelley20

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2012
145
#6
The common belief is that the following brands are all of equal stature but your decision on which one comes down to features and how it feels when you wet test it. Don't buy a tub without trying it first. Can't stress that enough


Marquis
Hot Springs (made by Watkins)
Caldera (made by Watkins)
Bullfrog
Artisian
Sundance

There may be a couple I missed but the above are the consistent brands that people consider top of the line. Each generally has a top model line and then has cheaper alternatives.

Do a search for hot tub dealers in your area and start visiting them. Most should allow you to setup a time to try the tub you are considering.


For the record, I own a Marquis Promise. It was a close decision between that tub and one from HotSprings but the size and feel of the promise is what made my decision.
 

ride525

Gold Supporter
Jun 17, 2010
316
Pleasanton, CA
#7
The common belief is that the following brands are all of equal stature but your decision on which one comes down to features and how it feels when you wet test it. Don't buy a tub without trying it first. Can't stress that enough


Marquis
Hot Springs (made by Watkins)
Caldera (made by Watkins)
Bullfrog
Artisian
Sundance

There may be a couple I missed but the above are the consistent brands that people consider top of the line. Each generally has a top model line and then has cheaper alternatives.

Do a search for hot tub dealers in your area and start visiting them. Most should allow you to setup a time to try the tub you are considering.


For the record, I own a Marquis Promise. It was a close decision between that tub and one from HotSprings but the size and feel of the promise is what made my decision.
What about the Masters Spa Brand? They show at our nearby fairgrounds, and seem to have a good BBB rating. A couple of websites seem to rate them highly also.

Thanks
 

dunginhawk

Bronze Supporter
Jul 10, 2018
254
CLIVE/IA
#8
I would actually echo what holydoc said almost to a T.

However I purchased a Dr Wellness hot tub recently. Dr. Wellness Therapy - G-12 Spa
I paid around $7k all in, but i upgrade all jets to backlit LED, and SWG/Prozone system so that added a little.

The points holydoc made are all valid. This spa met all of those. The lounger is amazing, there are multiple height levels in the other 5 seats. Auto off, locking controls, drain on the bottom (although its slow as heck in most tubs, so just buy a powered drop in pump, much better). All the points were met with this tub, and its priced very very well compared to the big name brands.
And service/support has been really good. There was a little tear that occurred in my cover, and they sent me a new one no questions asked.

I bought mine through a local warehouse that sells them