What's the Best Hot Tub

Author Topic: Which one should I go for?  (Read 930 times)

7empest

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Which one should I go for?
« on: February 19, 2021, 03:04:08 pm »
Visited my local Artesian dealer today to put a deposit down on a tub. He pointed me to the South Seas 748 B or the Island Captiva. About a $2000 difference between the two. He felt I'd be very happy with the less expensive 748. Any thoughts from those in the know?
Btw, delivery is guestimated at Sept/Oct:(

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Which one should I go for?
« on: February 19, 2021, 03:04:08 pm »

A.O.

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Re: Which one should I go for?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2021, 06:24:48 pm »
I had an Island Captiva, ALL seating positions super cramped I thought! We got lucky and were able to send it back. Were you able to sit in either one of these?

7empest

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Re: Which one should I go for?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2021, 10:10:19 am »
I haven't. A really good idea though. Both are on the showroom floor. Both are the lounge models which I don't want. Of course there is no wet testing going on but I could certainly climb in and have a dry sit. I'll update later today.

Red MC

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Re: Which one should I go for?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2021, 08:45:45 pm »
The 748B and Captiva don't have lounge seats.

They are 84" square and supposedly fit seven.  Seven people in a 7 foot tub is going to be tight.  If you can afford to spend a little more, you won't regret going with an 8 foot tub.

Our last hot tub was a 2004 Artesian Emerald, which was the precursor to the Grand Cayman/Grand Cayman Elite.  Likewise similar to the South Seas 850B and 860B.  We didn't find it cramped at all.  We also tried the 7 foot tubs when we were wet testing, and even though the Emerald was only 7" bigger in both dimensions, the difference in size felt bigger than that.  Compared to what we had, the current mold is a little more constraining around the hips & thighs in a few of the seats, but it's still going to be noticeably roomier than the 7 foot models.

A.O.

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Re: Which one should I go for?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2021, 08:06:28 am »
And what Red said above, the Captiva has no lounge seat, and yes also to going to the bigger tub. We went with a 93x93 Cal spa, no loungers, and love it!

Did you go back and do a climb in?

Red MC

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Re: Which one should I go for?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2021, 09:40:09 am »
Some differences between the South Seas and Island series:

- Full foam is optional in the South Seas.  This is a must-have if you live somewhere with cold weather in the winter.  Make sure this is factored into the South Seas price if you need it.
- Circulation pump???  The web site isn't clear about circ pump availability on the South Seas.  A circ pump is not required, but I highly recommend it.
- Two filters vs. one filter.
- More jetting options with the Island.  The biggest difference is the foot blasters are an option with the Island.  Personally, I prefer the foot dome but YMMV.
- More lighting options, if you care.  And more stereo options, which I suggest you avoid anyway.
- Fancier controls with optional wi-fi in the Island.  I'd skip that.
- Microsilk option with the Island.

So if you can get full foam and circ pump with the South Seas, the remaining differences are pretty minor IMHO unless you really want the foot blasters.

Regarding the size again, I don't think you'll regret going with the larger model unless you're hard up against your budget limit.  You're going to live with this choice for 15-20 years unless you plan to move.  A year into ownership, the price you paid won't be on your mind, if you even remember it.

7empest

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Re: Which one should I go for?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2021, 08:07:17 pm »
Finally made it back to the dealer today. Thanks for the advice on things to look for.
I did find the seating to be a bit tight in the two chairs near the filter but not uncomfortable. I think what I noticed most was the lack of room for feet.
I was just imagining a smorgasbord of feet tangled up down there. I checked in on the 850B and they had that one coming in with the exact Silver Marble and Grey cabinet that I was hoping for. They didn't have one on site for me to sit in but I decided to switch my deposit to the 850B for now.
They have another location in town that has the 850L on their showroom floor. Going to head over there this weekend to check it out.
Anyone familiar with the 850? Seems to be identical in features with the 748, just slightly larger.

7empest

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Re: Which one should I go for?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2021, 10:51:21 am »
Quick update.
I was able to get over to a new showroom yesterday that is selling Bullfrog and Cal Spas.
Really liked the group there, very reputable that sells and services their tubs.
They had the R6L and R7L on the floor and also the Cal Spa Cancun 867L.
Both looked great but actually the more expensive Bullfrogs were not as comforable to sit in. This seems tricky to get a good feel since there is no water in them.
I really liked the 867. Very comfortable. Taller (which is of no significance to me). Seemed loaded with the models that they had coming in.
Even had the stereo system which I had planned to stay away from as that seems unnecessary these days.
Out the door with steps, cover, lifter, 6 months chemicals and set up is $8999. The Bullfrogs started about $2000 more.
The best thing is that I could get one in about 3 months in the exact color combination I would ask for.
I really liked our Artesian dealer but no matter which model I was looking at the soonest I could get a tub is October and if I was hoping for my color combo it would be January.
The Artesian options did seem a bit cheaper.
The 748B with steps, cover, lifter, 3 months chemicals and a huge umbrella cover was $7143.
The 850B with all of the above included was $8143.
I think I would be super happy with the 850B but it sucks to have to wait 10 months to get a tub.
Any thought on whether to jump on the Cal Spa or should I suck it up and wait on the Artesian?
Thanks folks
B

7empest

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Re: Which one should I go for?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2021, 08:26:32 pm »
One last comment.
Received a call from my Artesian dealer stating he was able to locate a 860B in the colors that I was wanting and it can be here by July. Big news.

So I guess I am down to two choices:

Artesian South Seas 860B, stairs, bubble cover, hard cover, lifter, chemicals, huge umbrella, delivery = $8940
Cal Spa 867B, stairs, bubble cover, hard cover, lifter, chemicals, delivery = $9300

Any thoughts!!!

A.O.

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Re: Which one should I go for?
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2021, 10:16:34 pm »
All I can say is I love our new Cal Spas 867B Cancun!! Had it about a month and a half now and I'm in it every day!
The only down thing I can think of is the neck jets are not real powerful, but I'm not a big fan of the neck jets.
Oh, and the cool off seat is wonderful! Get to hot and you can sit up there, still get your hips and feet massaged and cool off a bit!
I like the settings on the filter times and clean up mode as well... nice for them to be adjustable!

« Last Edit: February 28, 2021, 10:23:48 pm by A.O. »

cranbiz

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Re: Which one should I go for?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2021, 09:52:09 am »
I have an Artesian Island Nevis coming in April. When we looked, I was most impressed by the Artesians. I have a space issue and in the models that would fit, the Nevis was the most comfortable for us, had a lounge, which we wanted and we were able to wet test them, which was exactly what we needed to make the decision. The Artesian dealer in my area has a better reputation for both sales and service support over the other dealers. The Bullfrog/Vita/American Whirlpool dealer really didn't have his act together, was working from 2017 printed worksheets and was saying the tub I was looking at had features that didn't match the new documentation. The PDC dealer had no tubs on the floor, the Hot Springs dealer blew off my appointment and Cal Spa didn't have a tub that fit my size requirements. The Aqua Living dealer was extremely pushy, wouldn't show me any of the internals and the reputation of Aqua Living is not good at all. I mostly went there to see if the things everyone says they are lacking was true and seeing that the dealer wouldn't let me look at the internals, they probably are.

The footwell was a bit cramped on the Nevis but that is also a function of needing a tub that was less than 79" in one direction.

You are also choosing a dealer as well as a tub so buy the tub that fits from a dealer that you have a good feeling about and has good reviews. In my case, the only dealer I felt 100% comfortable with was the Artesian dealer.

Artesian as well as Cal Spa have been around for a long time. The Atresian reputation is a bit better than Cal Spa but both are good manufacturers.

A.O.

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Re: Which one should I go for?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2021, 03:21:57 pm »
I have an Artesian Island Nevis coming in April. When we looked, I was most impressed by the Artesians. I have a space issue and in the models that would fit, the Nevis was the most comfortable for us, had a lounge, which we wanted and we were able to wet test them, which was exactly what we needed to make the decision. The Artesian dealer in my area has a better reputation for both sales and service support over the other dealers. The Bullfrog/Vita/American Whirlpool dealer really didn't have his act together, was working from 2017 printed worksheets and was saying the tub I was looking at had features that didn't match the new documentation. The PDC dealer had no tubs on the floor, the Hot Springs dealer blew off my appointment and Cal Spa didn't have a tub that fit my size requirements. The Aqua Living dealer was extremely pushy, wouldn't show me any of the internals and the reputation of Aqua Living is not good at all. I mostly went there to see if the things everyone says they are lacking was true and seeing that the dealer wouldn't let me look at the internals, they probably are.

The footwell was a bit cramped on the Nevis but that is also a function of needing a tub that was less than 79" in one direction.

You are also choosing a dealer as well as a tub so buy the tub that fits from a dealer that you have a good feeling about and has good reviews. In my case, the only dealer I felt 100% comfortable with was the Artesian dealer.

Artesian as well as Cal Spa have been around for a long time. The Atresian reputation is a bit better than Cal Spa but both are good manufacturers.

And I feel the exact opposite And I have owned both the Artesian and Cal spas spa.. Cal Spa seems much better all the way around.

cranbiz

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Re: Which one should I go for?
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2021, 03:41:02 pm »
I know, A.O.

It happens, every manufacturer can have a lemon. With the issues you had, I don't blame you.

Cal Spa went thru a period of time where their quality went south for many years. They have gotten their act back together on the quality front. Hopefully, the customer service has improved as well as there was also a period of time where Cal Spa would deny warranty claims.

I have a friend that had a 20 year old Cal Spa and loved it. He had one issue with a fitting that he couldn't get because it was a metric fitting and Cal Spa had discontinued that particular heater a few years before he needed it. It was a good tub.

I have had others that I know that have Artesian's. They also have never had any issues and those are between 3 and 15 years old. Heck, my first tub was a low end Leisure Bay (a brand known for cheap and shoddy tubs) 110V 4 person that other than a fitting on the heater corroding thru, which I was able to fix with a fitting from Ace Hardware, worked for 9 years and may still be working as it went with my house when I sold it.

castletonia

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Re: Which one should I go for?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2021, 05:57:09 pm »
Look at it this way.  You are going to own the hot tub longer than you are going to wait for it to arrive.  For a product you could be owning for 10-15 years, I wouldn't let waiting a couple months sway my decision especially when I wouldn't consider it an apples to apples comparison.  I don't currently sell either Artesian or Cal Spas but based on the brand and company reputation, I would be suggesting Artesian all day every day.  Maybe things have changed but in my experience with Cal Spas (I sold them for 5 years), I would never as a dealer go back to them.  If you do decide on a Cal Spa, make sure you have an awesome dealer who will be there to take care of you after the sale.

Sam

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Re: Which one should I go for?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2021, 06:59:14 pm »
This is the problem with anecdotal evidence.  It's a person's individual experience, but not necessarily indicative of overall experiences.  The people in this industry who see thousands and thousands of hot tubs know that overall, Cal Spas are not the best quality and their support is terrible.  They have they have their reputation because they earned it.  They paid consumer affairs a lot of money to help turn around their reputation. Consumer affairs itself is a shady company that plays on the good name of consumer reports who is actually reputable.

https://www.truthinadvertising.org/consumer-affairs-com/

On the flip side, people in the industry generally believe Artesian to be a good company that builds a good product.  Again, they have earned this reputation through years of doing this.  There will be a few people out there whose experience would contradict this, but overall they make a fantastic hot tub.

Hot Tub Forum

Re: Which one should I go for?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2021, 06:59:14 pm »

 

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