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Find out the latest from the world of hot tubs and spas

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I am the MD here at WhatSpa Magazine and spend most of my time either working on the Magazine and website or travelling throughout the UK and abroad working with hot tub manufacturers, importers and showroom based retailers. I try to get onto the blog as often as possible so feel free to drop me a question or suggestion and I'll answer it as quickly as possible. Cheers Nick

Holiday cottage rental agencies are reporting that availability of hot tubs is now officially top of the list from holidaymakers. A survey of 5 rental agencies across England, Wales and Scotland has revealed that hot tubs are now top of their lists.
“Log cabins are a close second to hot tubs but I think people on holiday like the thought of having a little extra luxury when they rent somewhere and the hot tub seems to be top of their wish lists” said a spokesman for the research.

At this time of financial downturn, coupled with very poor tourist exchange rates against the Dollar and Euro, more and more people are forsaking foreign climes and turning to home for this kind of property for short breaks and holidays; so if you own, manage, or let such a property and you are not offering hot tubs in your facility, contact your local WhatSpa Approved supplier now and have a chat with them about ensuring your competitors are not stealing a march on you.

Holiday lodge hot tubs are easy to install and maintain and recent research shows that hot tubs not only attract premium rental rates but also help to ensure maximum occupancy rates, which is vital in today’s economic climate. For more information about the hot tubs that are currently available visit

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Trade Price Hot TubsBBC Stoke & Staffordshire have reported today that Trading Standards has allegedly started a criminal investigation into the sales practices of a Staffordshire hot tub supplier.

It said hundreds of customers had complained about Trade Price Group because of the quality of the products and delivery delays of up to 10 months.

A group of about 20 customers staged a protest outside the company’s offices in Rugeley on Thursday.

The firm denied wrongdoing and said it was being subjected to a hate campaign.

Two-year wait

Andrew Foulkes, from Sheffield, was at the protest on Thursday and said: “I’m here to try and get my money back.”

He ordered a product in March and said he had repeatedly been told since then that it was in stock but had still not received it.

“It’s still in China they tell me. Repeated phone calls, repeated promises, nothing ever materialises.”

Ricky Rigby, from Brownhills in Walsall, West Midlands, said: “It took me two-and-a-half years to get my money back. Two-and-a-half years of headache court costs. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with what they get away with.”

Staffordshire Trading Standards said it had received more than 400 complaints in the past two years about Trade Price Group, which also operates under the names of UK Hot Tubs For Sale and Spa Serve.

Trading standards said it had persuaded Trade Price Group to enter into a voluntary agreement in 2009 to change how it operates.

Brian Mycock, from Staffordshire Trading Standards, said: “When we monitored it in the following months we found that they hadn’t really changed their business practices.

“Because of that we decided to launch a criminal investigation into their sales methods [and] business activity.”

‘Vociferously denies’

Trade Price Group said it was taking legal action against a number of its customers.

A statement from the firm said: “Trade Price Group has been subject to a long standing hate campaign, comprising e-mail abuse, internet abuse, harassment, and illegal threats.”

The statement continued: “Trade Price Group acknowledges that some customers have expressed a preference to cancel their orders.

“Where that has happened, and it has determined that they are entitled to do so, Trade Price Group has made those refunds.

“Trade Price Group has never failed to deliver hot tubs to any of its customers that have not been subject to a refund or order cancellation.

“It refutes and vociferously denies any allegation that it has in the past, or currently, demonstrated any purposeful intent to mislead or defraud its customers out of their money.”

Full refund

The firm claimed a protest group had engaged in “Harassment, intimidation and threats to employees’ families.”

It said the campaign against it was led by a retail competitor.

One of the protesters, Kay Waterman, from Southampton, said: “With the greatest respect I would like to see some evidential proof against myself personally.

“I don’t know any members or friends with claims nationwide who have harassed in any way shape or form their children or members of their family.”

Ms Waterman received a full refund from the company and has since set up her own business importing hot tubs.

The trading standards investigation into Trade Price Group is continuing.

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Despite more straitened economic conditions, sales of hot tubs in the UK have been extremely buoyant in 2010, WhatSpa Magazine can reveal. This is proof positive that UK homeowners continue to be switched on to the array of health benefits that owning a good quality hot can deliver, not to mention being a great source of fun for the whole family.

We have all been bombarded with the latest on-trend phrases such as ‘staycation’ which is widely used to describe holidaying here in the UK rather than jetting off to exotic overseas resorts. But under the radar, many UK families have been forfeiting their expensive annual holiday in favour of investing in good quality hot tubs to facilitate all-year-round family fun and relaxation for the next 15-20 years.

The latest domestic hot tubs are stuffed with state-of-the-art equipment and jets that make conventional health club spas look plainly amateurish, and they deliver fantastic hydrotherapeutic massage along with all of the associated health benefits. Whether you are looking for stress relief, better sleep, relief from aches and pains or just plain fun, get down to your local hot tub retail showroom this weekend and check out the latest hot tubs. You won’t be disappointed!

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Despite a dire couple of years for the economy in general, growth in the hot tub market has continued to march on as positive word of mouth from the ever growing number of UK hot tubbers continues to drive demand. The number of hot tub dealers has declined slightly due to the lack of banking support for small businesses but this has not dampened the enthusiasm of families who are looking to create their very own “staycation” haven in their own homes.

With the addition of a hot tub adding thousands of pounds to the value of a homes, there is little wonder that homeowners are opting for this all-year-round investment in quality leisure time rather than splashing out on exotic holidays to far flung destinations. With the pound now weaker than a proverbial fluffy kitten, hot tubs continue to be an attractive alternative to expensive holidays abroad. 2010 has already seen a 25% increase in UK demand for hot tubs and there is no sign of a slow down with the promise of a summer of outdoor fun with the World Cup Finals on the horizon.

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Whilst many brands of hot tubs have struggled to hold unit sales volumes in 2008, Softub UK have seen a remarkable renaissance with double digit growth as the benefits of energy-efficient hot tubbing have hit home with hot tub buyers across the UK.

Softub have been the pioneer and undisputed industry leaders of heat recovery technology over the past 22 years, producing award winning hot tubs without a heater.

2008 has been has been a very important year for Softub with the introduction or the new ‘whisper technology’ heat recovery pump. Designed as a totally different type of hot tub pump, whisper offers the quietest motor Softub has ever produced, with a quicker heating up time and most importantly it’s more energy efficient with lower running costs.

With many hard-shell hot tubs looking and offering much the same, Softub has added a refreshing and appealing dimension to many hot tub showrooms around the UK. With the convenience of easy installation, a legal 13 amp supply, and tiny electrical consumption; it is little wonder that Softub UK are growing from strength to strength.

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