Today, hot tubs come in lots of different shapes and sizes with varied features depending on how much you want to spend and what your priorities are (i.e. is this hot tub just for you and your spouse or do you have a large family and/or plan to do a lot of entertaining?). If you love having people over, then you'll probably want to get a hot tub that is suitable for entertaining friends and family. Here are a few things you should look for when shopping for a hot tub for entertaining:
Look for a hot tub with a lot of seating. Keep in mind, even though a hot tub technically may have seats for six or eight, you want to make sure there is enough legroom for that many people. Bench seating can accommodate several people without taking up a lot of space. However, you may also want some lounger seats that conform to the body. These can face each other and some even come with cupholders to make relaxing with friends easy.
The best way to find a hot tub that is big enough and comfortable enough for you is to grab your family or some friends when you go shopping. Spa dealers typically have lots of hot tubs in their showrooms with a few full of water and heated to the right temperature. They don't mind you hopping in, so try to get everyone to bring their swimming suits. When you and your friends are inside, is there enough legroom? Does it feel spacious enough or are you squished together bumping arms? Actually getting inside and trying the different models out well help you make sure you get a hot tub you like. Even if you don't feel like peeling off your clothes in the middle of the display room, at least take off your shoes and climb in the models that aren't full of water.
If your future hot tub is primarily going to be a romantic getaway for you and your loved one, the pop up flat screen TV (with DVD player of course) may not be a necessity, but if you're looking to do some entertaining, this may be one feature you absolutely need.
Aside from TVs, hot tub stereo systems are a great way to make your hot tub the center of the party. You can get speaker systems that are designed to carry to the whole backyard (your neighbors might not be such a big fan of these) or surround sound systems that are designed to be felt and heard within the spa (since there aren't external speakers, the sound is mostly contained to the hot tub area).
Other Hot Tub Accessories
After you've selected a hot tub that is perfect for entertaining, you may also want to check out some accessories. You can get standing privacy panels to add an element of privacy, but if you're thinking of partying, you may be more interested in side-mounted hot tub bars which can come with all the required necessities such as barstools and mini refrigerators.
Source: "What Is Your Hot Tub Personality?" from the May 2005 issue of Pool & Spa Living