We had been thinking about getting a spa for a few years. We had seen many different spas at home centers, spa outlets, and home shows. Overall, the Hotsprings Spa looked to be one of nicest ones. Also, in our area, they seemed to be around longer. The local dealer has been there for a number of years, they have their own service people. We felt that we would be able rely on the dealer should any problems arise. I feel that this should be the main concern of any spa buyer. So far we have been very impressed with the dealer.
He had a number of spas set up that we could wet test and they were helpful in making sure that we got the spa that was the best fit for us.
Even though its just my wife and me, we felt that we wanted one of the larger models. It filled the space better on the patio, and would be good for entertaining. Also, we found that there really wasn't much of a cost difference between the Vista and the smaller models. We are happy with this decision, after about a month of use, it seems to be about the right size and does not seem too large.
After wet testing both the Grandee and the Vista we decided on the Vista mainly because we wanted a lounger and the Vista seemed to have more room even though it is the same size overall as the Grandee. The dealer told us that when most people buy their second spa, they buy it WITHOUT the lounger. We went with the lounger anyway and so far we like it.
We were also happy with the seating in the spa. Even though there is no dedicated cool down seat, there are places to sit to cool down. Also, my wife is not a real tall person, but there are a few seats in the spa that seem just right for her height.
We bought the spa WITHOUT the stereo. The side of a spa doesn't seem like the right place for a stereo. If you want music, I suggest one of the jobsite radios offered by the power tool companies. They are available at any home center. These radios are battery powered, semi water resistant. They sound great and are a fraction of the cost of a built in system.
Overall, we are more than impressed with the actual Spa performance, quality and features. The Spa performs as promised with the exception of a small glitch in the auxilary control panel. The dealer is aware of this problem and is awaiting parts.
One other observation, we bought a spa with dark brown side panels. The manufacturer calls it 'expresso'. The spa steps that were supplied with the spa are not exactly what I want, but I am finding it difficult to locate different steps that will match the color of the spa side panels. Most other steps are offered in the more popular spa side panel colors. This may be a concern to people who think they may want to add spa accessories in the future.