Great Marketing Vs. Great Hot Tubs

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.




  1. 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 to an Indiana location.
    I don’t fully understand how an “out of market” transaction works if you run into any problems.
    Would you recommend we go that route rather than buy the brands sold by local dealers?
    Thank you!

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

    • The Artesian or the TS

      If it’s all about the massage then the TS for sure, it has a lot more of the expensive large therapy jets than the Artesian.

      If it’s more about chilling and entertaining than either the ASrtesian or The Healthy Livings.

  3. 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 Tina

        For the whole package, the Twilight is hard to touch. There are spas that perform as well that are poorly built and there are spas that are built as well but performance wise are not quite there.

        For Swimmers the Trainer 19 Deep hands down… Its the official spa of the Ironman competitions. Flows tonnes of water, 60″ deep, and built and insulated right…

  4. 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?

    • Both brands have great marketing as do all the big corporate brands,Sundance is owned by the same arent at Jacuzzi… its what they do best. unfortunately the cost of doing great branding and marketing is that there is just not that much left to build the actual product… they use a lot of no name parts they have made for them that just fit thier spas.

  5. Mark Newbigging

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

    • The red flag here is the insulation system. They like to advertise the Icynene name and to say they are using expanded foam but it looks like they are only using a thin layer on the shell. this is doubly bad because the pitch is all about the heat from the motor being trapped under the spa and soaking into the shell but they have insulation on the shell 🙂 It’s like bad on top of stupid on top of cheap. they also use a gecko controls I really like to see a Balboa system.

      Can’t find anything about the shell but they do glue and clamp the plumbing.

      It’s not that it’s a bad tub it’s just like 90% of the stuff… some good some bad and some ugly…

  6. 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? 😬 But will you say it anyway? Thank you so much!

    • Buy the Artesian… better more reliable, and easier to source competitive parts for, also don’t buy into the miracle onboard chemical reduction systems, ACE is a salt system that just makes chlorine or bromine… there is better tech out there for sure…

  7. 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.

    • Hi Tricia

      The Marquis or the Master would be my preference. but have a look at the new Getaway Hot Tubs Your Master dealer can get them and they are arguably one of the best plug-in models out there.

  8. 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!

    • I don’t really read reviews anymore for anything, What started as a great idea to provide honest feedback has been taken over by the industry. There is no way to know if they are real and I always think the best ones and the worst ones are bullshit.

      The expo events are a big target. They come into a town and sell a pile of tubs in a city. The local dealers who live and work there get furious… You have to know that there is a real high likelihood that those guys are going to slam the event every way they can including posting reviews and posing as customers on discussion forums. You can’t really blame them this is their market where they work and support the local community.

      I know 100% for a fact that companies post fake reviews, and pay bloggers to post on forums and review sites… the only ones you can really trust are the BBB and things like consumer affairs and if you look into it master has the BBB Torch award for marketplace ethics and routinely wins the Consumers Digest best buy awards, and you can’t buy or influence or even advertise with them.

      • Hi
        Thanks again for all the helpful info. the show I went to was in Manchester nh and was actually sponsored by a local dealer. I called this morning to ask about hl 7 vs hl 8 because I am nervous about decision to go bigger due to energy cost in nh. was pleasantly surprised when phone was answered on 2nd ring. Lewis was very helpful too! i hope the experience will continue to exceed expectations. I guess im looking for confirmation im spending my hard earned money on the h8. 7700 including rocket cover and extended 5 year warranty and that the h8 monthly energy cost won’t break my bank.

  9. 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?

    • Yeah Genko sells the marquis that’s the only brand in your area I would buy, speak to the master dealer frankly 1.5 hours away for a busy dealer is nothing…

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