I did a LOT of research on the different types of spas that were available. I learned that it’s very easy to get confused when comparing spas based on technical things – everybody says their spas are the best, and they all have lots of differing evidence to back it up. But throughout the forum, two criteria stood out: how good I felt wet testing the spa, and brand/store reliability.
Fundamental Criteria: Brand/Store Reliability
I found that the top spa brands were: Hot Springs, Dimension One, Marquis, and Sundance. I also found one other that I thought I was going to wet test, but then I looked up their local store in BBB, and quickly decided not to. I also decided against Sundance because I wanted a dealer that specialized in their spas – not a plumbing store.
Fundamental Criteria: WET TEST IS ESSENTIAL!
My wife and I wet tested La Spas, Coleman, Hot Springs, Caldera, Marquis, and Dimension 1. The Marquis Epic was the only one that both my wife and I were happy with. I believe this is primarily due to the Epic’s ability to have 40gpm jets in specific areas. Smaller jets made our skin feel itchy, and when all jets were on us at the same time, we felt like we were getting pounded and blown out of our seats. The Epic solved both these problems with Tri-zone 40gpm jets. The larger gpm jets really got into our muscles, and the tri-zone didn’t blow us out of our seats. One other thing that became an absolute necessity for me after trying the Epic: Hamstring Jets! That narrowed down our choice list fast – not many spas have those jets.
After wet testing, I also found that I liked a shallower tub. The Epic is one of the shallowest tubs we tried, and I found I really liked it. I get overheated quickly, and having the water come up to my neck isn’t good for me. It also fit through our narrow gate!
My experience at Marquis:
Both my wife and I liked our salesman. He was informative and friendly, but most importantly, he was NOT: pushy, condescending, secretive, or clearly blowing smoke. I don’t feel that I got taken, and we love the spa we chose! Van was also very helpful in our quest to prepare for the spa. He told us all the options we could use for a spa pad, and when we decided on crushed rock, he was very helpful in helping me design it. I feel very good about my purchase. I know my dealer and Marquis will stand behind us with any problems we have, and I know we got the right spa. That feeling alone is worth a lot.