Best Hot Tub

LaurenPSJune 22, 2011

Hi, I am going to purchase a hot tub this year. I live in Massachusetts and I am looking for the most dependable and energy efficient spa that has therapeutic jets. I have been looking at Sundance, Hot Spring, and the Limelight. We are looking for one to hold 5-6 people. Does anyone out there have any suggestions from previous experiences. Also, wondering about pricing, and what time of year one could get the best deal on one. Thanks!

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golfgeek

LaurenPS,
I was a Hot Springs dealer from 1984 thru 2009. It's a great product and I always got great response from the factory in CA for my customers. Good luck.
Anecdotal story:
A friend of mine moved his Hot Spring Spa from Northern Ca. He asked me to look at a crack at the step. I took pictures of problem area and sent them in. The spa was 4 years 11 months old on a 5 year warranty. Hot Springs Spa sent a new spa to replace it with no hassle.
As a dealer, that is the kind of response I want.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 11:44AM
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banana_fanna

I have a love/hate relationship with my Hot Springs Grandee.

It's a 2005 or 6 and I think we paid upwards of $12K for it. The touch pad on the inside kept breaking so they kept sending someone out to repair it. Finally the newer model came with an altogether different touch pad which they finally put on mine and since then, no problem. But it was about 3 years of calling, waiting for the part, waiting for install, etc.

The cover....grrrr. We've replaced it twice in 5 years. No one told us that when the foam gets waterlogged that you can just buy the foam inserts for about $190 instead of replacing the whole thing for $550. We smart now. :-)

Customer service in my area was so-so. There were a couple minor snafus after the warranty expired (like 2 weeks after) and they weren't cutting a deal on the service charge, no way no how.

The love part? Everything else. It's easy to maintain. Family members have other makes and they're always complaining about something. Nobody's water quality is like mine. No matter which brand you buy, make sure you aren't buying a model that is being upgraded the next year, like we did. When I saw the newer Grandee's I swooned. Gorgeous.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 4:42PM
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stewart7795

I owned a 2008 Hot Springs Grandee before I put my pool in this year. Never had any problems with it whatsoever. I paid like $11k for it new- there are cheaper alternatives out there, but I'm guessing you get what you pay for...

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 5:06PM
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banana_fanna

The chaise lounge chair option sure looks nice and feels good when you try it out dry in a spa showroom.

But I've been in 2 tubs that have them and the problem is, that when filled with water and you try to recline, you float. They weren't comfortable at all. Both owners of those tubs say they wish they'd've just got benches or captain seats instead - that the long stretch of chaise was wasted space.

See if you can wet test one.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 5:39PM
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LaurenPS

Thanks for all your postings. I am going to try some out soon in the showrooms. I definitely will steer clear of the lounging option. Also, haven't even thought about a cover giving me a problem, but appreciate the advice about only having to replace the foam if it becomes a problem. Love the Hot Spring Grandee, but would like to go a little cheaper say between 8-9K and I don't need seating for 7, 5-6 would be fine. One in college and another to go....must stick to some sort of budget. Thanks for all your help and suggestions. If anyone else out there has any more advice let me know. Anyone have the Limelight made by Hot Springs. Also, how did the hot tub affect your electric bill??

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 8:40PM
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golfgeek

LaurenPS,
Whatever brand spa you decide on could be enhanced by having an Ozonator and most manufacturers make some kind of easy lift cover system. Check both these items out!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 1:20PM
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LaurenPS

Oh Golfgeek thanks for that advice. I will add that to my list of must haves.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 9:01PM
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banana_fanna

I second golf geeks recommendation on the cover cradle. Worth it's weight in gold. We primarily use our spa in the dead of Michigan winters and if I had to struggle to manually take off and put on a cover, I wouldn't use it as often.

One other thing...we "sunk" our tub into the patio so exterior steps weren't necessary. It's low enough so you can just step over, onto a bench and you're in. Or my 12 yo son can sit on the edge and swing his legs over. Same for grandma.

My point is to think about installation options. I know grandma couldn't use our tub if she had to climb, even a small stair, to get in.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 4:48PM
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LaurenPS

Okay, so my husband and I finally settled on a hot tub. We just got a fantastic deal from Sundance on their Optima. We were trying to stay between $8-9K but went a little over when Sundance Spa had this great deal going on. Fully loaded Optima with stereo, cover, lifter, stairs, ozonator, and all the chemicals for a year along with delivery and set up for $10,100. We felt like we hit the jackpot. The only thing was we had to take it in the dark mahogony with the light interior as that was the special. I love those colors so I was ecstatic about it. We will take delivery in 5 weeks. Loved the Hot Springs but didn't love it better than the Optima and the price was a couple thousand more. So anyone looking to buy a tub now go to your Sundance dealer for this excellent deal!! I stayed away from the Limelight because after researching it was a basic tub that was overpriced and made in Mexico. If you are going to go Hot Springs stay with their Hot Spring line and not the cheap Mexican made tub. Thanks to everyone for their insight and knowledge!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 7:04PM
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thebeaud

Nice choice, LaurenPS. We took delivery of a Sundance Optima last week....and it's been amazing! I wet tested the Cameo, so I wasn't sure about the foot well, but we love it. I looked at HS as well, but the Grandee was too big and the Vanguard had 1/2 as many corner seats. I also value the water-to-air ratio in the jets and ease of maintenance. Although, I couldn't believe it.....after 4 days of use, the circuit board fried and they had to come replace it!! Of course, they've "never seen that on a new tub", but it happened to me. Oh well....it's back online now. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 1:13AM
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LaurenPS

Still waiting for our Sundance Optima. My husband has to get the area prepped this weekend. To thebeaud, glad to hear you love the Optima and I am sorry you had trouble with the circuit board. One nice thing about the Optima is the great warranty. Looking forward to using it on cool New England nights this fall

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 8:56PM
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forits7846

I have used both the hotsprings and sundance cameo-800 series. Its the second one I love the most. It has the most powerful jets than the other I think. But actually the interest varies with persons. For example, my wife is all about the Moto-Massage DX jet that Hot Spring has in the lounge seat of that Aria model. For her, no hot tub is good enough unless it has that particular jet. It's what works for her. Sundance doesn't have a jet that does the same thing the Moto-Massage does. Also make sure taht you are purchasing a good cover along with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: spa cover

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 7:01AM
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pprioroh

We recently looked and wet-trialed a number of major brands including jacuzzi. Ended up ordering a bullfrog spa. Expecting 15-20$/month operating expenses for our area. Time will tell, but at least based on our rather extensive research and sitting in them it was best for us.

There is a LOT of personal preference in these however, other brands including jacuzzi I liked a lot, but my wife didn't find them comfortable so it's body shape/preference a lot. The modularity of the bullfrog was a hit for her.

Best of luck.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2015 at 9:11PM
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