Best Spa Pools in New Zealand – Top 5 Spa Brands Reviewed

If you've been shopping for spas, you've probably been told by each salesperson that theirs are the best. The fact is, there are a number of great options for spas in New Zealand and fortunately, very few duds. However, there are some spa brands that are simply a cut above the rest – as we explain below.

As I usually do, I will start this article with a disclosure. I'm Andrew Pullen, CEO of Spa World™ – which retails a range of spas and swim spas; and Vortex Leisure – which manufactures Vortex™ Spas and Fisher Spas.

I've 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've listed (in no particular order) what I think are the five best spa brands in New Zealand and why their spas are worth considering over others, along with a bit of history about each of them.

This article mentions 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.

HotSpring® Spas Reviewed

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

HotSpring® Spas are 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. Read this detailed review of HotSpring Spas.

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. Learn more about spa running costs.

On the down side, they are expensive – particularly the HighLife® range, without offering a commensurate increase in the above factors to fully justify the extra dollars. But if you have the 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 today, around 65 years ago.

They had a business producing agricultural pumps when one of their sons developed juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. They adapted a pump to be used in a bathtub and spa pools were born! Learn more about the Jacuzzi brothers.

To this day, the business remains at the forefront of innovation, constantly searching for new ways to make people’s lives better through hydrotherapy.

Jacuzzi® now has more than 250 global patents, and is the world’s largest manufacturer of acrylic spas.

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™ Spas hit the New Zealand spa market by storm in 2015, with good value pricing and a big marketing budget.

The owners previously owned Number.1 Fitness™ before selling to Torpedo 7® and getting into the spa business. Read this detailed review of Alpine™ Spas to learn more about their prices, pros, cons and more.

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

Alpine™ currently only exists in New Zealand and buys their product from the same factory in China that supplies the Canadian Spa Company®, who have been around for a long time. Learn more about spas made in China and if Chinese made spas are any good.

Whilst the quality and performance of Alpine™ Spas' spas 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, learn why in this article: "How much does a spa cost?" (Prices, considerations and more).

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. They are imported into New Zealand and sold by 4 Seasons Home and Leisure Ltd, who have been importing spas 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. Learn more about spas made in China.

I’m struggling with any downsides with this product. They offer good value for the price and sits (with Vortex™ Spas below) between the prices, quality and performance of Alpine™ and the US brands such as Jacuzzi® Spas 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 owns Spa World™ and are the largest selling spa brand in Australasia.

Vortex®, like Galaxy® and Alpine™ (and many other spa 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® Spas 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're looking at the value end of the market, consider Alpine™ or Fisher™ Spas at Spa World™.

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

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

I would certainly recommend if you are looking at this level of investment however, you take the opportunity to test each before you decide. You can also read this in-depth comparison of HotSpring® vs Jacuzzi to see how they stack up.

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 helpful spa consultants.

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:

Alpine Spas™ trademark is owned by Alpine Spas Limited Galaxy® Spas trademark is owned by Retail Links Ltd. HotSpring® Spas and HotSpring® Dream Maker®, HotSpring® HighLife®, HotSpring® Limelight®, Freshwater® Salt System and A.C.E® system trademark is owned by Watkins Manufacturing Corporation (Watkins). No.1 Fitness® and Torpedo 7® trademarks are owned by The Warehouse Limited Oasis Spas®, Oasis Classic, Oasis Platinum trademark is owned by Oasis Leisure Products Pty Ltd. Sapphire Spas®. Signature® Spas trademark is owned by Spa Industries Pty Ltd (SCS). Spachoice® trademark is owned by Spachoice. The Canadian Spa Company® trademark is owned by Canadian Spa Company 4 Seasons™ is owned by 4 Seasons™ Home and Leisure Ltd

Affiliations: Vortex® Spas, Fisher™ Spas and Spa World® are trademarks owned by Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd. The Jacuzzi® brand is owned by Jacuzzi Inc. and exclusively licensed for use to Spa World™ in Australia and New Zealand.

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