Brand Reviews

9.8 Total Score

The Top 3
I have 3 brands I evaluate to be doing all the right things or close to it. Master, Artesian and Marquis. 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 three 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.

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

Marquis – Brand Review
Marquis builds great long lasting tubs but they have a few lines they went in a weird direction on. The shells, plumbing and jetting are great but the parts list on these series could be a problem depending on your dealer. Their Signature line is the best bet if you don’t want to be restricted on service.

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.

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.

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.

Hydropool – Brand Review
“The next bit of misleading craziness is that they say that it is 100% filtration! This is just using a buzzword to fool you… How all filter systems really work is the water goes through a filter which cleans all the debris out of the water, then that water gets dumped back into the tub so right away it gets mixed into the unfiltered water… over time more and more water is filtered and after a few hours, there is no debris left. The only way to really have 100% filtration is to pump the water through a filter into another container, then once it is all filtered you can put it back into the hot tub… This is simply dishonest and they should not be claiming it is 100% filtration, it is marketing Spin all of it… ”

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Scott Bugbee
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Scott Bugbee

Thanks for the info and YouTube videos you’ve taken the time to post! Very informative!
Im wondering if you can provide a review or opinion on the Jacuzzi J-375 2018 model. Living in Michigan year around use and efficiency it’s a key factor. After wet testing I as very satisfied with the product. It appeared to be comfortable, well built and reputable. Can you offer any assistance with this model/brand?
Thank you!

S B
Guest
S B

David’s would leave a better impression if they would use the term “drop off” instead of “start up”. I thought they were going to fill it and start it up. Nope, they just told me what to add & if it didn’t run, then call for warranty service. They said, “get your hose and it should take about an hour” … I was a bit worried – what if I got a lemon – but everything has run fine for 4 months now.

Alex
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Alex

Hi Chris,
Have you heard of American Whirlpools series called Elite Spas? Can’t find anything online about them and the rep states “This elite series model spa is a special unit made for our buying group. We are part of 45 stores that order these that’s how we get the prices we get for a 3 pump system spa with a 5 year warranty.”. And if you have heard of them, which would you rate better, Elite or Bullfrog?
Thanks!
Alex

Mary
Guest
Mary

Hi Chris,
Can you please recommend dealers in my area for therapy hot tubs. I live in Albuquerque, NM. I an interested in the Master Twilight series and the Marquis Signature Series.
Thanks!

Darcy
Guest
Darcy

Very informative. Thanks for clearing up some of the misconceptions within the spa industry.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Chris, looking at buying a used hot tub on a limited budget. Any thoughts on a 2015 Bullfrog X7L vs. a 2010 Hotspring Jetsetter ?

Mark
Guest
Mark

Hi Chris, Thanks so much for all you do on this site! Couple questions. I live in long beach, Southern California, and the dealer I am working with is 2 minutes from my house. They’ve been in business for 40 years, and most people I talk to that have spas have used them and have had great experiences. The only problem is, they mostly sell Hotsprings, Bullfrog, and Sundance spas. Price point wise, we are looking at Hotsprings Hotspot model. I know you don’t recommend them because of their proprietary parts, but can you elaborate on things that can go… Read more »

Robyn
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Robyn

Hi Chris, love your site and videos, very helpful indeed. Originally was looking at Artesian Antigua Island, but dealer does not bring them in anymore, concentrates on Sundance. Looking at Sundance Bristol (also a 7×7 w/ lounger), I also have Beachcomber, HotSprings, HydroPool and Arctic Spa dealers could go to. Which of these consolation prizes would you recommend, as far as tub companies go? Cheers and keep up the great work.

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

Hi Chris. First time buying a hot tub so I appreciate your help. We live in the Philadelphia area, specifically 19073, and I need a good dealer. First place I went to only sold Jacuzzi brand.

admin
Admin

Hi Kyle,
You are right near East Coast Spas, they run a good operation and take great care of customers.

https://www.eastcoastspas.com/

Teresa
Guest
Teresa

HI Chris, Great site here, thanks for being so helpful. We are looking at the Coast Swim Spa model Wellness 1302 for around $17k, a negotiated discount. We like it better than the 14 foot Marquis swim spa for features. We want to buy it from Rich’s for the Home near Seattle. Is this dealer and this swim spa a good deal, and broker? Also, what issues do swim spas in general, and Coast swim spas usually have? We don’t know maintenance on swim spas yet at all and could use some unbiased guidance. Thanks!

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

Hi Chris –
Living in Vermont, 05482, and feeling we are limited to the large companies. Saratoga Spas is a more local option that I have not heard you speak of. Thoughts?
Also, have not heard your comments on the salt water systems. They sound tempting. What do you think?
Thanks

Steven
Guest
Steven

Chris, What do you think about an TS 8.2 at a snow ski rental condo? Is there any different buying decision when it will be used for short term rentals? I will have my cleaning company drain/refill after each rental, so any tips on quicker heating are helpful.

Rusty
Guest
Rusty

Hey Chris, any words of wisdom about Cal Spas? I don’t see a review of them

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Chris, I’m going to buy the twilight 7.2 but my concrete patio has about a 1.5 inch slope. I’ve tried to think of a way to level the spot for the tub and the only way I can figure out a way to do it, is have 1.5-2 inch steel tubing welded about an inch larger than the hot tub base and level pea gravel inside of it and then set the tub on it. The concrete can’t be grind level and it’s not recommended to pour more concrete on top of it. I’m am getting the optional ABS bottom… Read more »

Paul
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Paul

Can you comment on coast spas please. Was looking at their journey curve moddel

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Chris, what do you think about the Master Spas Twilight vs. the Master Spas Healthy Living spa? I’m torn about which one to choose. I’m looking at the Healthy Living HL 7 84 x 84 with molded shell with the arm rest and the Twilight 84 x 84 7.3 with the loungers. I really like the Healthy Living molded shell with the arm rest and contour seats that lock you in but I see you really liking the Master Blaster jets on the Twilight series. I do like massaging my feet and think that I could get the Healthy Living… Read more »

Deborah Lecce
Guest
Deborah Lecce

Hi, We have a baja spa #1044 that will only heat to 50 degrees.
The tub is 20 years old and our local dealer doesn’t think it’s work repairing since repair would be over
$2000. Any thoughts?
Don’t know how long a spa can last.

Paula
Guest
Paula

HELP!!! Hi Chris, I have been trying to research hot tubs all over the internet and your sight seems to be the only honest, very informative and reputable site I have come across. We live in upstate New York 13078 where the winters can be brutal. We are looking for a lower priced spa due to our limited budget and locally the options we have to consider within our price range are either the Bahama ocean breeze made by dynasty spa or the caldera spa vanto. We definitely prefer the looks and options that the dynasty model has to offer… Read more »

Pat
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Pat

We are in the Phoenix area. Is there a dealer here you would recommend for a refurbished spa? We can see how important the dealer is no matter what we buy–but for a refurbished spa, it seems like the dealer would be critical.

Isabelle
Guest
Isabelle

Hi Chris, i’m looking for a good swimspa, i need a four seasons spa for Quebec (Canada) weather. My heart balance between a endless pool E500 (or maybe E700) 58 ” deep or a masterspa 60″ deep. I’m 5’3″ so do you recommand me a 15′ or 17′ lenght? Dealers are really far from my home so i’m trying to get the most informations before to go.
Thank you

Bill
Guest
Bill

Hi Chris, love the site. The local dealer in Holland, MI sells Mira hot tubs and is suggesting the M800 NL spa. What do you think of the Mira brand? Thx

Edward
Guest
Edward

Chris, Thanks for the incredible resource in this site!

I’m in the market, without easy access to dealers, it seems. I’m in Millerton, NY, 12546. There’s a Master Spa dealer 90 minutes east, Lancing Spatech. 90 minutes west F&H Direct/The Spa Wholesaler reps Maquis.

I’m willing to hinge a purchase largely on the supplier’s reputation—any insight you might have on either of these dealers would be most appreciated.

Larry
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Larry

Hi Chris, are you aware of any Master Spa dealers in the Seattle area or are their spa expos the only option? Thanks for your help. Lars

stephen
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stephen

After reading enough of your site to almost make my head explode i put my money down on a MS Twilight 240 . I started off looking at entry level tubs mainly because it was only for 2 people and the selection of small tubs seems to be aimed at the entry or value market . The 240 gave me what i deemed to be good quality and options in a smaller overall package . The people at Niagara hot tubs ( Debbie) was very helpful and provided a very informative non pressure sales pitch . Thanks Chris for sharing… Read more »

SkyeHenley
Guest
SkyeHenley

Such a great site, but still have questions. I’m in Seattle and we have local dealers for Hot Springs, Marquis, Caldera, and Fantasy. I wrote off Hot Springs thanks to this site. I am looking seriously at the Marquis Signature series Epic. Sales tells me the Marquis has Balboa and all non-Chinese parts and full removable insulation. The Epic is $11k, 12,800 with Microsilk. Warranty is 5 years. Roving expos have not featured Masters, so I have no way of wet-testing. The wet test in the Marquis yielded satisfaction except in the shoulders (the jets are too low, and hit… Read more »

stuart
Guest
stuart

HI, great resource, thanks for all the info
I have been offered a brand new pinnicale spa hot tub discounted from 12.5k to 9 k is this a good deal.

cannot find much info on pinnicale spas?

thanks

James Zimmerman
Guest
James Zimmerman

Hey Chris, love the website. It is very informative. Based on your opinions and my research I’m sold on the Master… do you have a recommendation in charlotte NC?

Steve
Guest
Steve

I am ready to purchase my first spa. I am trying to find one between 6,000-7,000. I did see 2 brands that I like. What are your thoughts on Canidian and QCA spas? Also is there another brand you would recommend in the price range. Thank You

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

Hi Chris – Have been studying your site for awhile now. Can you tell me if there is a Master Spa dealer in the Columbus/Central Ohio area? Thanks, Stephanie

Mark
Guest
Mark

Hi Chris – this is a great site! It’s been very helpful to cut through a lot of the marketing noise! I have already sent it along to a couple of friends who are also researching hut tubs…. I’m in Whitby Ontario and am looking for a 5 to 7 person tub. I’ve been reading up on a lot of the brands out there and want to find a reliable local dealer – I haven’t locked down the brand/model yet, but I have decided to stay away from the web & big box store options. So my questions for you… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Hi Chris,

I am looking at the Marquis Celebrity ‘Hollywood’ and the Tropic Seas ‘Rio’. The Marquis is an entry level tub with minimal insulation, it only has a layer of thermal blanket (silver metallic wrap). While the Tropic Seas comes with a winterization package if I upgrade to add the circ pump. The price is about the same $6000. Any opinions about these tubs?

Also, what dealers would you visit in the Seattle area. I went to Kirkland Deck and Spa (tropic seas) and Seattle Hot tub (Marquis).

Thanks for your input.

Cheers,
Chris

Rob K
Guest
Rob K

Hi Chris – What size pumps come with the Master Spa TS 8.25? In your video you mention two 6hp pumps but I can’t find any specs on the MS website. Thanks!
Rob

Jerad
Guest
Jerad

Hi, I’m looking at a new hot tub, and your reviews of the Hydropool are scaring me off. I’ve been comparing the Hydropool 7000 serenity and the coast spa 7B. So my target is a 7 person, no bells and whistle tub, that is energy efficient and easily maintained (for the cabin) out close to Edmonton. Thanks

K
Guest
K

We really found your site so valuable to us when we decided to replace our 1994 Hot Springs Sovereign. We toyed with the idea of a Costco drop ship, a Hot Springs or a Garden Leisure. Knowing what we know now, because of your site, we decided on a Master Spa Balance 8. Hands down the best quality we have seen! We are so excited to get it. One question I have though is we did not choose to upgrade to the vac formed abs pan bottom. We put a call into our sales guy tonight and hope to hear… Read more »

Geoff
Guest

Hey Chris, my wife stopped by a hot tub expo in our area since we started the purchase conversation this weekend and unfortunately they are a buy now type of location so she is throwing a lot of questions that I can’t answer and hoping you can give us some direction .We are a family of 5 but more than likely with the older ones not around as often will be using it with 3 or 4 people at a time and we’re looking at the Twilight series 6.2 and the Bullfrog A6L. anything between the 2 that I should… Read more »

Mark from Ontario
Guest
Mark from Ontario

Very informative site Chris – kudos ! I have an opportunity to purchase a used spa due to a home reno. Here are the details; Calspa Avalon 6 to 8 person – 2007 model year Set-up has been under a covered shelter so out of the weather and also maintained by reputable pool company. It seems like it is as good as any 10 year old spa could be and was not visibly neglected. 2- 5 hp Motors (GE) runs on 240 V All new pumps installed last year 5K Heater If I buy it I will need to de-commission… Read more »

Greg
Guest
Greg

Love your website. Incredibly helpful information. I’m considering a Master Spas TS 8.2. I have been quoted an expo show price of $9,700 for this spa. Is that a fair expo show price? Thanks for your insight.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

This site is amazing. Thabk you for providing such great information.

We’re thinking about getting a Master Spa, but the Clarity line, particularly the Precision 7. We’re also looking at a Hot Spring Limelight Flash. Do you have a recommendation between the two? Just looking for a relaxation tub, not therapy.
The Hot Spring dealer is much closer to us than the Master Spas, but we found dealers for each.

Justin
Guest
Justin

Great job on this website. It has really made my research much easier! I’m looking at purchasing the Master Spa Phelps LSX 700. I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba and I’ve received a quote for CAD $15,585 including the bluetooth sound system, cover, cover lift, steps, and delivery. I have two questions for you. 1) Is this a good price? I’m having a really hard time finding prices posted online, and we only have one dealer that sells Master Spa in my area. 2) I was just going to get the base filtration system (ecopure charge). Would you recommend upgrading to… Read more »

Jason
Guest
Jason

Hi Chris,
I’m looking at purchasing the Master Spa 8.2 twilight series. They have the expo in my area this weekend, but none with the MasterPur Water Management System upgrade in them, I would have to order the spa and have it shipped at a later date to get that option.
Is this something you would recommend or not for long term care?

Steven
Guest
Steven

REMOTE TEMP CONTROL? Chris – based on your site, I bought a Twilight 8.2 & started it up yesterday. It’s at our cabin – 45 minutes from home. Left it at 102 deg, thinking we could go up tonight. Turns out we cannot go for couple days… which made me wonder – IS A WIFI remote control module available, as an add-on to the Balboa controls, for allowing me to change the temp remotely? (Thx for sharing your knowledge on hot tubs!)

Pam
Guest
Pam

Hi Chris, Thanks for all your time that you have put into this amazing and informative site! Here’s where I need your advise: We have decided on the Master Spa Twilight Series and we can purchase a 2017 floor model or a brand new 2018 model. 2017 TS 7.25 floor demo- $7700. (cover, steps, delivery, start up) 2018 TS 8.25 brand new- $8200. (cover, steps, delivery, start up) Both have a 3 year warranty. The dealer is saying that if we order the 2018 model we should add a circ pump due to the severe cold conditions we can experience… Read more »

Susan
Guest
Susan

Hi Chris,
We are in Toronto and looking to buy our first hot tub. Any recommendation on a good dealer in this area? For the cold winters, anything specific we should look for? Top priority for us is quality and comfort, not so much # of Jets.
We were at a trade show and almost got caught up in the sales pitch and almost committed to a $17k (all in) 8’ tub. Can you get a good tub for $10k? Remember, that’s Canadian $10k! 😉What do you recommend? Appreciate any advise! Thank you. Susan

Christopher
Guest
Christopher

I’m having trouble finding a dealer in the Los Angeles area that sells Master hot tubs. Any leads?

Jonathan Rogers
Guest
Jonathan Rogers

Help, am I missing a quality option near me? My wife and I just began the process of buying a hot tub and I’m so glad I found your videos and this forum. I have always loved the research phase of making any large purchase and this one has been no different. Unfortunately now that I have read these questions with your answers and watched your YouTube videos I’m having difficulty finding one of your recommended spas near me. (SD 57252) Now granted, where I live there isn’t a lot near me in the first place, but usually we can… Read more »

admin
Admin

Hi Jonathan,
It is a bit of a drive but I found a place near Aberdeen which carries Artesian Spas. I don’t know the dealer but the brand is one of the few I consider really good. Here is their website http://www.dakotaoutdoorliving.com/spaspools.html

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

What a great site! We are in the market for a hot tub, probably for 6-8 people. I am really interested in the cool zone hot tub cooling system that I’ve heard about. We live in the Raleigh/Durham, NC area and it gets really humid in the summer. I’d love to have something cool to sit in during the day w/o going to the expense and extensive yard use of a pool. But I also love sitting in the hot tub at night to wind down with a glass of wine! Do you have any experience with this system? Can… Read more »

Tim
Guest
Tim

Great Site! How do you feel about Coast Spas? I’m here in Austin, Tx. and visited Austin Spas and Pools and they carry this brand. Looking at the Zenith. Also, what is the best type of foundation/base to put a hot tub on? Thanks!

Tess
Guest
Tess

What a phenomenal site– thank you for providing such candid information. For a number of reasons, I’m not quite ready to invest 7-10K for hot tub I may find myself not using. I’m fortunate that I have the resources to service and maintain a hot tub– friends that are electricians and plumbing on the side! From what I can gather, your tier one category is Master and Marquis then Artesian. Thereafter, Cal and lower is Bullfrog. I’m in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and virtually all brands are available new, while I see more Hot Springs, Caldera, Sundance, Viking, and Jacuzzi… Read more »

Bill
Guest
Bill

Chris — I stumbled upon your site, I’m impressed! I was hoping you could help me out. I am clueless about hot tubs — and am simply looking for a brand/model recommendation. Here is what is important to me as well as what I don’t care about: Important: 1) Extremely reliable – I’d much much rather pay upfront for high quality and then not have to worry. 2) I have a family of 4 — capacity from 4 to 6 3) Most of the time, I would say the primary use is socializing but it would be nice if at… Read more »

Craig Harland
Guest
Craig Harland

i am confused about Tropic seas Spas, I was told by the dealer Spa World in Phoenix , that is is an Artesian Spa , one of the brands that you tout. On Artesian website there is no mention of Tropic seas. I feel that we were sold on the full foam and construction of a south seas spa and then sold a neighboring Tropic Seas Spa Kona which may not have the same build quality. I have to make a decision to cancel by Tue March 6 but am hoping to make it by Monday. We were handed a… Read more »

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

Hi Chris I live out in Oshawa Ontario. I have been looking at the Masters Healthy Living 8, the TS 7.2 and Marquis Epic. I’m leaning towards the Marquis. I would like to know more about their regular jets not the H. O. T ZONES. Not being Waterway are they still built with quality. How does this tub rate for therapy compare to the others. Thanks for this site cheers!

Patricia Weiser
Guest
Patricia Weiser

Found a dealer that carries Marquis, looking at the Vector 94L (44 jets – 2 – 2hp pumps) and all the other items you said to look for, which I really like or the signature series Euphoria. Also the Artesian island spa Captiva 46 jets or Grand Cayman. Which would you recommend and why. Thanks for all you help