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Soak it In

10/30/2009 07:37AM ● Published by Wendy Sipple

Flashback to the ‘70s and I remember the buzz surrounding the new wood hot tub my dad installed in our backyard.

Not having a swimming pool at that time, my brother and I thought this was about the best thing since Slip ‘n Slide. While I’m sure my parents also privately took full advantage of this new novelty, I remember the hot tub as a family experience, the four of us gathered inside for conversation and relaxation. As an adult, I still appreciate the benefits of a spa, though mostly to soothe the aches and pains of getting older! Spas have evolved dramatically since the days of our groovy little wooden number, some even sporting their own built-in entertainment systems. Swanky! Here are a few local options for you to soak in, just in time for the cooler months ahead.

1. ACRYLIC

Perhaps the most popular spa on the market, the acrylic tub earns high marks for durability and comfort. Jacuzzi (it’s actually a brand, not another name for a spa) offers a few beautiful options in its J-400 Designer Collection. Energy efficient with a ProStream™ Circulation System, the J-460 saves dollars while providing superior hydrotherapy by way of powerful jets and elevated WaterColour™ waterfall. A New optional J-1000™ Audio System with iPod® Docking Station, a Jacuzzi exclusive powered by JBL, provides the perfect spa soundtrack. Find Jacuzzi models at SpaScapes in Rocklin. spascapesinc.com.

2. CUSTOM COMBINATIONS

Looking for the perfect fit? Go custom. Many dealers offer portable acrylic spas that can be designed with cabinets that fit your backyard décor and style. Take the Aria™ from Hot Spring Portable Spa. In celebration of the company’s 30th anniversary, they introduce this new acrylic model with Moto-Massage® jets, Tri-X® filters and Precision® jets in the calf area for enhanced hydromassage. In addition to the traditional wood cabinet, the Aria also can be encased in the new SpaStone Surround, a design option that gives your spa the appearance of being built-in. Available at the Hot Tub Stores in Roseville, Folsom and West Sacramento. hottubstore.com.

3. BUILT-IN

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Those seeking a permanent spa addition to their backyard will want to contact a qualified contractor. While more expensive than the portable models there’s a lot more flexibility in the design department. Stone, wood, tiles, black bottom, blue bottom, waterfalls, sound systems, lighting, swim up bar…you name it, they can likely build it. If you’re looking to create a complete outdoor experience, a completely customized, built-in spa may be the way to go when you’re ready to take your tub to a new level. With designers on staff, Premier Pools & Spas in Ranch Cordova has a showroom you can visit and see the myriad of options. Visit them at premierpoolsandspas.com.

4. SOFT SPA

On a budget and want to test the waters before committing to a substantial hot tub investment? The soft spa might be your best bet. Vinyl, inflatable and easy to maintain and store, it’s a good starter spa for someone who wants the perks but not the permanence. There are only a few downsides to consider. As most are configured like a kiddie pool, occupants need to sit on the floor. Also, since it’s vinyl, one little puncture could spell disaster. On the plus side, it’s convenient, totally portable and, best of all, a great deal. Check out the Spa-2-Go Portable Spas at retailers like Walmart and Home Depot.

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