Hot Tub Forum

General => Hot Tub Forum => Topic started by: dw886 on April 10, 2019, 02:52:35 pm

Title: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: dw886 on April 10, 2019, 02:52:35 pm
Looking for a first spa.  Saw Bullfrog at Costco a few times over the years (and as recently as about 3 weeks ago), and being from the cold states, I like the "efficiency" story.  Not sure if it's really true or not with all of the 90% less plumbing or not, but I also don't want to start a war. :-)

Anyway, looking for a 6+ seater to complement an outdoor pool.  My wife is really the driving force because she hates being cold, but she absolutely refuses to "wet test" anything.

Hot Springs:  There's a decent Hot Springs dealer in town.  They seem to have great looks for their tubs, but I'm not crazy about the corner layout with the filters in the corner.  Seems like if you had 4 people, it forces 1 person into the "awkward middle seat of the couch"...  I haven't been to the store to talk to anyone about Hot Springs, but I know of a number of friends that have them and love them.

Jacuzzi:  There's a Jacuzzi dealer in town, but my wife doesn't like the older style look of their cabinet with the vertical slats.  She likes the look of the new J485 that has the new cabinet, but I'm not sure if that's even shipping yet.

Bullfrog:  A8 is what we'd likely lean towards.  It fits the footprint of our location, and allows us the most room in the event that we have a decent number of people over in the pool that want to warm up.  Also seems to have most of the bells and whistles.

Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: Jacuzzi Jim on April 10, 2019, 08:44:14 pm
  Welcome to the forum!  Your looking at all good brands, try and wet test if you can.   As far as Bullfrog & Costco, the pricing (for us anyway) is anywhere from 12 to 1400 off retail.   That said you have to pay for the ozone and lift, unless the A series which EOS comes std on it through Costco. 
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: dw886 on April 11, 2019, 09:49:33 am
Thanks Jim - good to know that at least we may be starting in a decent spot with what we've looked at.  Are there any other brands that we should consider?

Here's what I'm currently talking in terms of price.  Not sure how competitive these are, but hopefully someone can chime in.
Hot Springs: Haven't been there yet - not sure what model compares the best - probably the Vanguard?
Bullfrog: $12,900 for an A8 out the door with cover/lifter, steps, premium cabinet, delivery, and tax included (no radio, I don't want it).
Jacuzzi: $12,000 for a J485 out the door with smartspa, cover/lifter, steps, delivery, and tax included (no radio here either).

Is there anywhere that shows actual energy consumption of these units?  I'd want a recirc pump on the bullfrog to even things out with the other two...
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: Hottubguy on April 11, 2019, 10:39:17 am
The three brands you are looking at are all great brands.  If you wanted to widen your search look at Marquis, Caldera, Sundance and artesian as well if you have dealers nearby.  If not the brands you are considering are great tubs.
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: dw886 on April 11, 2019, 12:01:21 pm
Thanks - it's interesting looking at all of these websites - many of them look really familiar, like they're almost the same company.  The Caldera website feels like Hot Springs website - closest dealer is 60 miles.  The Sundance website looks like Jacuzzi's, and there's no dealers in my area.  It feels like there was at one time a really large number of companies, and they've been bought-out or acquired leaving a few parents with a number of children.

Marquis looks interesting, but the closest dealer is 200+ miles away.
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: BullFrogSpasMN on April 11, 2019, 12:28:29 pm
Can't go wrong with an A8, if you can manage a wet test make sure you try out the: Wellness, Oscillator, Pulsator & Trio...those are a few of my favs, they also have some new upgraded colors available on the A Series this year, check out the 'Orchard' color, I just unwrapped one for the showroom a couple weeks ago and it's my new favorite color, very sharp....Good Luck!
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: Spatech_tuo on April 11, 2019, 02:29:10 pm
Thanks - it's interesting looking at all of these websites - many of them look really familiar, like they're almost the same company.  The Caldera website feels like Hot Springs website - closest dealer is 60 miles.  The Sundance website looks like Jacuzzi's, and there's no dealers in my area.  It feels like there was at one time a really large number of companies, and they've been bought-out or acquired leaving a few parents with a number of children.

Marquis looks interesting, but the closest dealer is 200+ miles away.

Your original 3 are all very good and certainly adding in Caldera, Sundance and Artesian makes sense (Marquis 200 miles away would disqualify them IMO).

You can only learn so much from looking at websites so I'd suggest you take your time to visit all of them and then look to wet test your top 2 or 3 choices based on models and your comfort level that the dealer will be there both before and after the purchase to see to your needs.
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: dw886 on April 11, 2019, 04:00:49 pm
Thanks - how competitive are the Bullfrog and Jacuzzi prices that I've been quoted?  Both stores seemed competent, but you can only judge so much by talking with the salesperson that greets you at the door.  They're generally nice, after all, they want you to spend money. :-)
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: castletonia on April 11, 2019, 05:31:31 pm
Hot Spring and Caldera are both owned by Watkins Wellness.  Sundance and Jacuzzi are owned by the same company, The Apollo Group I believe.  Marquis and Bullfrog are their own company's.

The Hot Spring Grandee and Pulse would be the two I would use as comparison.
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: Jacuzzi Jim on April 11, 2019, 10:04:41 pm
  Price on that A8 is pretty good.  1000 off from where we are. 
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: Jacuzzi Jim on April 11, 2019, 10:06:55 pm
Can't go wrong with an A8, if you can manage a wet test make sure you try out the: Wellness, Oscillator, Pulsator & Trio...those are a few of my favs, they also have some new upgraded colors available on the A Series this year, check out the 'Orchard' color, I just unwrapped one for the showroom a couple weeks ago and it's my new favorite color, very sharp....Good Luck!

   Hey Eric, hope all is well!    Yeah we just brought the orchard in as well, looks really good.   Torn on the granite shell though, looks a bit roto-moldish?   
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: BullFrogSpasMN on April 12, 2019, 11:27:27 am
Can't go wrong with an A8, if you can manage a wet test make sure you try out the: Wellness, Oscillator, Pulsator & Trio...those are a few of my favs, they also have some new upgraded colors available on the A Series this year, check out the 'Orchard' color, I just unwrapped one for the showroom a couple weeks ago and it's my new favorite color, very sharp....Good Luck!

   Hey Eric, hope all is well!    Yeah we just brought the orchard in as well, looks really good.   Torn on the granite shell though, looks a bit roto-moldish?

Hey Jim, hope you're doing well! I'm running a 'wet' A7 Snow/Orchard, it really looks amazing imo, also have a new A9L in platinum/timber which is another nice option especially here in MN with how it "looks"....as far as the Granite I've never been a fan of the textured stuff, I floor that color in the R5L which doesn't look bad, but if you put granite in an A8/R8 etc. it doesn't look nearly as good imo
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: Sam on April 12, 2019, 03:30:58 pm
We just opened an A8 in Midnight canyon and orchard and it's super sexy.  I usually don't like midnight canyon but it looks great in this configuration.

That's definitely a good price on the A8 and is well below the going rate around here where there are 5 Bullfrog dealers within a couple of hours of each other.
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: dw886 on April 13, 2019, 05:18:51 pm
Lots of Bullfrog fans - I like it.  :-)

Anyone have any thoughts on the Jacuzzi or the Jacuzzi price?  I know this is a new model - I believe that the 2019 J-485 is the replacement for the J-470.
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: Tman122 on April 14, 2019, 07:59:39 am
Lots of Bullfrog fans - I like it.  :-)

These are all BF sales people. They may be a bit bias. Just FYI
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: castletonia on April 14, 2019, 09:19:11 am
Lots of Bullfrog fans - I like it.  :-)

Anyone have any thoughts on the Jacuzzi or the Jacuzzi price?  I know this is a new model - I believe that the 2019 J-485 is the replacement for the J-470.

Not a Jacuzzi dealer, but I think that is a fair price on the J485.  I've seen my local Jacuzzi dealer quote out the 300 series for $10k plus so I would think a 400 series would be at least $2k-$3k more.
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: d00nut on April 14, 2019, 12:13:02 pm
I use to sell BF and Jacuzzi.  No longer on both.

The A8 price is a bit low based on my past sales experience.

The 400 series is really expensive... so based off years of not selling the Jacuzzi brand, I could tell you that 400 price is insanely low, especially if that is out the door...

I saw pictures of the new 400 cabinet, it looks really nice I agree. 
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: dw886 on April 16, 2019, 09:21:21 am
Thanks - this is helpful!  So does it seem that the Jacuzzi is a better value if the J485 and the A8 are equivalents in terms of features?
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: castletonia on April 16, 2019, 01:40:23 pm
The Jacuzzi is only a better value if it feels better than the Bullfrog.  Assuming there are no red flags with either dealer, I would wet test and let that be your decision maker. 
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: dw886 on April 25, 2019, 03:49:58 pm
So candidly asking after watching this forum for ~ 30 days, it seems that the most recommended brand is Hot Springs, or threads with a mention of Hot Springs get the most feedback.  Is that because most of the folks on here that are in the industry are Hot Springs fans, there's a few Bull Frog lurkers, and really a small presence that work with other brands, like Jacuzzi?

Sorry for being direct, I'm just trying to understand if I should be looking harder at Hot Springs, or if it's just a lot of Hot Springs sales folks.  I'm not huge on the layout with the corner being consumed by the filter housing, because I see us having 4 people in the tub, and the desired seating locations to be at the corners when there's 4 people akin to how when there's two people on a couch, they always sit on opposite ends vs choosing the middle.  Maybe I'm just overthinking it...
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: Hottubguy on April 25, 2019, 04:25:01 pm
Purchase what fits you best. Jacuzzi, Bullfrog and Hot Springs all make a good product. Really donít think you can go wrong with any of the above mentioned. Another key is to buy from
A reputable dealer. I sell none of the 3 mentioned. I sell Caldera and Marquis.
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: The Wizard of Spas on April 25, 2019, 04:27:05 pm
So candidly asking after watching this forum for ~ 30 days, it seems that the most recommended brand is Hot Springs, or threads with a mention of Hot Springs get the most feedback.  Is that because most of the folks on here that are in the industry are Hot Springs fans, there's a few Bull Frog lurkers, and really a small presence that work with other brands, like Jacuzzi?

Sorry for being direct, I'm just trying to understand if I should be looking harder at Hot Springs, or if it's just a lot of Hot Springs sales folks.  I'm not huge on the layout with the corner being consumed by the filter housing, because I see us having 4 people in the tub, and the desired seating locations to be at the corners when there's 4 people akin to how when there's two people on a couch, they always sit on opposite ends vs choosing the middle.  Maybe I'm just overthinking it...

Hot Springs has 23% of the market.  They also are the largest advertiser, by far.  That is why they are spoken of the most.  I'd wager most professionals would put them on the top half of the spectrum in terms of quality.  As to how great or not great they are, I'll leave that to more interested parties to discuss.

The decision should be based on:  What is most comfortable to *you*, and who's in it 90, 95% of the time.  If its only 2, who cares about seats 3, 4, 5.  If you feel you'll have some entertaining, then seats 3-5 are something to consider for sure.  In all my years, the overwhelming majority of 2nd hot tub purchasers downsize to a smaller tub.  Take it for what its worth. 

I hope this helps.  Good luck moving forward.
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: Tman122 on April 25, 2019, 05:41:16 pm
So candidly asking after watching this forum for ~ 30 days, it seems that the most recommended brand is Hot Springs, or threads with a mention of Hot Springs get the most feedback.  Is that because most of the folks on here that are in the industry are Hot Springs fans, there's a few Bull Frog lurkers, and really a small presence that work with other brands, like Jacuzzi?

Sorry for being direct, I'm just trying to understand if I should be looking harder at Hot Springs, or if it's just a lot of Hot Springs sales folks.  I'm not huge on the layout with the corner being consumed by the filter housing, because I see us having 4 people in the tub, and the desired seating locations to be at the corners when there's 4 people akin to how when there's two people on a couch, they always sit on opposite ends vs choosing the middle.  Maybe I'm just overthinking it...

Hot Springs has been around a long time and sells more hot tubs than any other company (is it Watkins still?) With that many units out a good data set on longevity is out there. They earned their reputation. But that does not tell you if their tub is more comfortable.
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: RubberDucky1337 on April 26, 2019, 01:30:56 pm
Long time lurker first time poster.

All three of those hot tubs are good (but there isn't really a bad hot tub is there?  ;D )

I will tell you that the price you were quoted for the J-475 is insanely low. Also, they began production on the new J-400 models earlier this month. (One of my customers had one of the first J-445 delivered with the new cabinets about three weeks ago). They look about 10,000 times better in person. [NOTE: I'm a hot tub salesman not a mathematician]. But really the new waterfall and new pillows are what really make those game changers for me. That waterfall is IMO the best neck jet in hot tubs.

As someone brand new to the hot tub industry I'd suggest trying out the models first. When I was hot tub shopping I tested Marquis, Caldera, HotSpring, Bullfrog, Jacuzzi, Sundance, Coast, & Dimension One. They all felt good because ... it is hot water. But really I liked the way Jacuzzi felt the best. Although, Marquis' microsilk felt real unique.
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: Sam on April 28, 2019, 04:48:10 pm
Agreed.  Hot Spring is a great one to look at but you should also look at Jacuzzi, Bullfrog, Marquis, Artesian, Sundance, Dimension One, and maybe a few others.  There is no "best" hot tub.  There are about 7-10 manufacturers that should all be considered in that discussion.
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: BullFrogSpasMN on April 28, 2019, 05:40:42 pm
So candidly asking after watching this forum for ~ 30 days, it seems that the most recommended brand is Hot Springs, or threads with a mention of Hot Springs get the most feedback.  Is that because most of the folks on here that are in the industry are Hot Springs fans, there's a few Bull Frog lurkers, and really a small presence that work with other brands, like Jacuzzi?

Sorry for being direct, I'm just trying to understand if I should be looking harder at Hot Springs, or if it's just a lot of Hot Springs sales folks.  I'm not huge on the layout with the corner being consumed by the filter housing, because I see us having 4 people in the tub, and the desired seating locations to be at the corners when there's 4 people akin to how when there's two people on a couch, they always sit on opposite ends vs choosing the middle.  Maybe I'm just overthinking it...

Hot Springs has been around a long time and sells more hot tubs than any other company (is it Watkins still?) With that many units out a good data set on longevity is out there. They earned their reputation. But that does not tell you if their tub is more comfortable.

Still the same Watkins, well they're pumping them out of Tijuana now but the leadership is still the same and assume all 'business decisions' still come out of Cali
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: kies1 on April 28, 2019, 06:16:40 pm
We have a Mexican built flash. Have had a couple minor issues but all dealt with right away. I think still a good quality product. Ask me on 5 years lol.
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: Snowba on April 29, 2019, 08:01:22 pm
We have a Bullfrog A8 and love it. Easy to get 6 people in if you don't mind a bit of knees/thighs touching - 8 if people are sitting in the cool down seats. Usually it's just my husband and I or me and 1-2 girlfriends. Haven't had a single issue since it was delivered a year ago.
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: dw886 on May 01, 2019, 05:25:30 pm
Has anyone seen the new J485 in person?  Curious as to how the fit / finish is on the new cabinet, and if it's on-par with the Hot Springs Vanguard and Bullfrog A8?
Title: Re: Decisions: Hot Springs, Jacuzzi, or Bullfrog, others?
Post by: hottubdan on May 08, 2019, 10:39:19 pm


Still the same Watkins, well they're pumping them out of Tijuana now but the leadership is still the same and assume all 'business decisions' still come out of Cali
[/quote]

Highlife collection (Grandee, Vanguard, etc. still built in Vista, CA, USA.