Best Spa Pools In New Zealand - Top 5 Spa Brands Reviewed

As I usually do, I will start this article with a disclosure. I am the CEO of Spa World which retails spas, and Vortex Leisure which manufactures Vortex and Fisher Spas.

I have also been involved with other spa pool retailers and manufacturers over the years and so have developed a pretty good eye for what constitutes not only a good spa, but a good spa retailer.

In this article, I use brand names not affiliated with Spa World™ or Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd. You can see the list of the brand owners at the bottom of this article.

If you have been shopping for spas, you have probably been told by each salesperson that theirs are the best. The fact is that there are a number of great options for spas in New Zealand and fortunately, very few duds.

I am going to attempt in this article to give you an objective view of the top 5 spa brands by volume, along with a bit of history about each of them.

HotSpring® Spas Review

I know HotSpring® Spas well as our Spa World™ business sold them for a number of years in Australia.

HotSpring® Spas are, without doubt, the largest spa manufacturer in the world and they make a very good product. They have been making spas for more than 50 years and for many years, actually had an assembly operation in Auckland - the only one outside of the US until they opened a plant in Mexico.

HotSpring® Spas are sold through both HotSpring® owned and operated stores, plus some third party retailers.

HotSpring® offer various ranges of spas from Dream Maker® plastic rotomold spas, through to their mid market HotSpot® and Limelight® ranges, to their premium HighLife® range. The HotSpot® and Limelight® are made in their Mexico plant whilst HighLife® range is still made in the US. Don’t read anything into this with regard to quality, as where a spa is made, has little to do with the quality of the product and you can read more about that here.

There is no doubt that HotSpring® make a great product. They are reliable, very good quality, offer great hydrotherapy - particularly in the HighLife® range, and have very low running costs.

On the down side, they are very expensive - particularly the HighLife® range, without offering a commensurate increase in the above factors to fully justify the extra dollars. But if you have to budget, you will not be disappointed.

Something to be aware of is that they do make a lot of claims about their Freshwater® salt water sanitising system. It is definitely an improvement over their previous A.C.E® system, but if you are looking for a chlorine free system, this is not for you. The system simply turns salt into chlorine. To avoid chlorine, there are other chlorine free options available to you.

Pros of HotSpring® Spas:

  • Quality
  • Low running costs
  • Great hydrotherapy

Cons of HotSpring® Spas:

  • Higher prices
  • High consumable costs

HotSpring® portable spa prices range from $15000 to $40,000. (Highlife® and Limelight®)

Jacuzzi® Spas Reviewed

Spa World™ has recently started selling Jacuzzi® Spas and so I will attempt to remain unbiased.

Jacuzzi®, or rather the Jacuzzi brothers, invented hydromassage and spas as we know them some 65 years ago.

They had a business producing agricultural pumps when one of their sons was born with severe arthritis. They adapted a pump to be used in a bathtub and spa pools were born!

Jacuzzi® is the second largest spa manufacturer in the world (after HotSpring®), and is based in California, again, with a factory in Mexico.

They offer several ranges of spas from their entry level J-200™ series to their premium J-500™ series. As you move up through the ranges, the quality remains high but you get more features and improved hydrotherapy.

Apples for apples, Jacuzzi® Spas are slightly cheaper than HotSpring® Spas and claim the same quality, features and hydrotherapy. Certainly, from our experience, the two brands are very closely matched in terms of quality, running costs and hydrotherapy.

On the down side, Jacuzzi® still use treated timber frames which most premium manufacturers have moved away from, but they claim to have no problems with them. We have seen no evidence of failure.

One thing we have learned to love about Jacuzzi® is their patented SmartTub™ remote app control system. Other available apps available on the market rely on WiFi connections that often have inconsistent connections and can be hard to set up. The SmartTub™ system uses cellular connectivity which is much more stable and very easy to set up.

If you are looking for the best, you won't go wrong with either HotSpring® or Jacuzzi®.

Pros of Jacuzzi® Spas:

  • Quality
  • Low running costs
  • Great hydrotherapy
  • Cellular app connection

Cons of Jacuzzi® Spas:

  • Higher prices
  • Timber frame

Jacuzzi portable spa prices range from $11000 to $30,000.

Alpine™ Spas Reviewed

Alpine™ hit the NZ spa market by storm in 2015 with good value pricing and a big marketing budget. The owners previously owned Number One Fitness™ before selling to Torpedo 7® and getting into the spa business.

Alpine™ Spas have showrooms in Auckland and Christchurch, but sell nationwide.

Alpine™ only exists in New Zealand currently and buys their product from the same factory in China that supplies the Canadian Spa Company®, who have been around for a long time.

Whilst the quality and performance of the product would be considered average, they are well priced and by all accounts, the quality of their back up support is good.

Alpine™ also carries the Artesian® Spas brand of spa which is produced in Las Vegas, USA. This is a good quality brand that carries many of the advantages of other large US brands without being as well known or regarded as Jacuzzi® or Hot Spring®.

On the downside, Alpine™ use timber frames which seem to be on the light side, unlike Jacuzzi®. Also, Alpine™ Spas warranties are longer than the company has been in existence. This is something that I have always been wary about, as I discuss in my blog about how much spa pools cost. You can read this blog by clicking here.

Pros of Alpine™ Spas:

  • Good Support
  • Quality features on Platinum range

Cons of Alpine™ Spas:

  • Timber frame
  • Warranty exceeds time in market

Galaxy® Spas Reviewed

The Galaxy® Spa Brand is owned by Retail Links Ltd and are imported into New Zealand and sold by 4 Seasons Home and Leisure Ltd, who have been importing spa since 1996. In fact, I was personally the General Manager of 4 Seasons from 1998 to 2003 and oversaw their early spa program.

Galaxy® spas are sold in Australia under the Oasis® brand and are manufactured by Crystal Island Spa® in China. Crystal Island® is a very good manufacturer making a product that is of good quality, with good features and average levels of hydrotherapy.

I’m struggling with any downsides with this product. They offer good value for the price and sits (with Vortex below) between the prices, quality and performance of Alpine™ and the US brands such as Jacuzzi® and HotSpring®.

Pros of Galaxy® Spas:

  • Good quality
  • Reasonable value

Cons of Galaxy® Spas:

  • Slightly higher priced than some other mid-market brands
  • Higher running costs than some premium brands

Galaxy® portable spa prices range from $6000 to $20,000.

Vortex® Spas Reviewed

Vortex® Spas has been sold in Australia for a little over 10 years and in New Zealand since 2011. Vortex® Spas are owned by the same company which own Spa World™ and are the largest selling spa brand in Australasia.

Vortex®, like Galaxy® and Alpine™ (and many other brands) are made in China. One differentiating factor however is that rather than buying from a third party manufacturer, there is cross ownership between the manufacturer and the importer/retailer - being Spa World™. This does offer more control over quality and design decisions.

Vortex® Spas are sold in over 20 countries worldwide and are possibly best known in the industry for the Vortex® IKON™ spa which has won a number of international design awards.

Vortex® strives to match the quality of the US brands but at lower prices. Vortex is recognised in the industry as being a very innovative company and was the first to pioneer the use of UV sterilisation in spas and swim spas.

All Vortex® portable spas feature injection molded Permaframe™ framing along with a raft of other premium features.

On the downside, Vortex® Spas do not have the same level of hydrotherapy performance as Jacuzzi® and HotSpring® spas, and, like Galaxy® and Alpine™ spas, would be more expensive to heat than the US brands, unless you upgrade to Vortex® Arctic Pack™ insulation system.

Pros of Vortex® Spas:

  • High quality
  • Australian/New Zealand owned
  • Very highly featured

Cons of Vortex® Spas:

  • Slightly higher priced than some other mid-market brands
  • Higher running costs than some premium brands

Vortex® portable spa prices range from $6000 to $20,000.

In summary:

If you are looking at the value end of the market, consider Alpine™ or Fisher™ Spas at Spa World™ (discussed in a future article).

For a mid level spa, consider Vortex® or Galaxy®.

If you are the sort of person who demands the best, look at Jacuzzi® and HotSpring®.

I would certainly recommend if you are looking at this level of investment however, you take the opportunity to test each before you decide.

I hope this article has helped answer any question that you might have had and if you still have any questions, please chat with one of our spa consultants.

You can read more of my articles by clicking here.

If you want more information on what to look for when buying a spa or swim spa, download a copy of our Spa Buyers Guide:

Download The Buyers Guide


DISCLAIMER

The following registered trademarks are owned by companies not affiliated in any way with Spa World™ or Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd, the parent company of Spa World Ltd:

HotSpring® Spas trademark is owned by Watkins Manufacturing Corporation (Watkins).

Oasis® Spas trademark is owned by Oasis Leisure Products Pty Ltd.

Galaxy® Spas trademark is owned by Retail Links Ltd.

Alpine™ Spas trademark is owned by Alpine Spas Limited

Affiliations:

Vortex® Spas, Fisher™ Spas and Spa World® are trademarks owned by Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd.

The Jacuuzzi® brand is owned by Jacuzzi Inc. and exclusively licensed for use to Spa World™ in Australia and New Zealand.

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