Hot Tub or “Not” Tub?

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many people to rethink their lifestyles and entertainment choices. Years of social distancing and the high cost of gas and travel have led consumers to flood the market with stay-at-home options. And nothing says peaceful living on the St. Lawrence River like a relaxing soak in a riverside hot tub.

If you are thinking about purchasing a hot tub, there are many aspects to consider. Spa dealers will try to make you think that all you have to do is have it delivered and just plug it in. This is not always the case. I recommend thoroughly researching all things hot tub-related before taking the plunge.

What You Should Know Before Buying a Hot Tub

Size and Shape

We chose a five-person round tub, which is much larger than we need, because we like to move around freely. It is a model that we previously owned, so we knew we would love it.

The open layout allows us to do range-of-motion exercises after a long walk or jog. The rectangular molded-seat models are too confining for us.

If this is your first hot tub, I strongly recommend going to a dealer who allows you to test out the different styles, shapes and sizes to see what feels like the best fit.

So Many Options! 🧐

Most tubs have standard lighting, but you can choose upgrades. Lighting and music options vary, each company trying to outdo the others. We opted for Nordic Mood Lighting Package, enhancing the ambiance our nighttime usage.

Color options for shell and tub components were important for me. I wanted a white tub. I am skittish around bugs of any kind and if there is one swimming around, I want to easily see it. I also want to see any dirt or stains anywhere so I can clean them up immediately.

The outer shell needs to compliment the color of your house. I recommend going with a neutral color. We went with natural cedar, for a traditional look.

Our winters are brutally cold, so we chose the Nordic Wrap option, which offers extra insulation in subzero weather.

Choosing the Best Site

To be honest, picking a site was the hardest part for me. I knew it had to be close to the house, especially since we would be walking through snow and ice during the winter months.

We chose our front yard, facing the St. Lawrence River and Canada. Years ago, my husband (Steve) planted a fortress of trees around our property, giving us lots of privacy.

It turned out to be the perfect sight for viewing some amazing sunsets!

Site Preparation and Installation

Frozen Tundra? No Problem!

Especially in the winter, we are in our own private resort. Here, in the North Country region of northern New York State, we get snow from November to April.

Hot tubbing this time of year is an adventure, for sure! Plus, I feel like we are cheating Mother Nature.

Got snow? Don’t care!

It’s always fun to have a Yule-tide soak, just because we can! Then Steve drains it and performs the wintering over maintenance needed to keep it protected from the bitter cold months ahead.

Weigh the Advantages and Disadvantages

Pros 👍🏼

Heath therapy for sore muscles


Improves general well-being

Opens skin pores

Getting outside in nature



Cons 👎🏻

Maintenance and upkeep

Cost – several thousand dollars

In addition to initial cost, there are hidden costs like an increased electricity bill and daily chemical additives to maintain water purity

Wintering over

Long-term commitment

Space required, especially if you have a small yard

For me, it was a no-brainer to get a hot tub. It fits well with my “peaceful living” retirement manifesto. I plan to be soaking in it and enjoying the therapeutic and healthful benefits for years to come.

Thank you for reading! – Barb, the River Blogger (Btrb)

Feel free to reblog or share anything I post. I welcome all comments and discussion.


  1. Love our hot tub! We did choose to inclose our room and have a sliding glass door looking out!
    We enjoy year round🤗

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