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Spa pools vs hot pools | HotSpring Spas

Spa pools vs hot pools

Living on an island blessed with geothermal activity, Kiwis have long known the soothing effects that a soak in a naturally occurring hot pool can bring. From world famous Rotorua in the Taupō volcanic zone, to Coromandel’s Hot Water Beach where you can dig your own pool in the sand, Mother Nature delivers a succession of therapeutic waters up and down the country.

But why drive hours in search of a hot pool when you could install your own at home?

Man-made spa pools bring the natural hot pool experience to within a few steps of your own back door. And while they may not be as mineral-rich as some of their naturally occurring cousins, portable spa pools are more convenient, comfortable, controllable, pleasurable and fun.

Let’s take a moment to compare hot pools and spa pools, to understand the similarities, the differences, and what each can bring to your life.


Hot pools: a healing Kiwi institution

While geothermal pools have been bubbling away in New Zealand for millennia, their human history began with the Māori, who used the springs for cooking, bathing and washing, as well as for treating ailments.

Recognising a tourism opportunity, the New Zealand government began building public spas around the natural springs in Rotorua, Te Aroha and Hanmer in the late-1800s. As the health benefits of the pools became more widely known, hospitals were connected to the spas. Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Rotorua uses the healing waters to treat rheumatic diseases to this day.

New Zealand’s natural thermal springs remain more a tourist attraction than anything else, bringing in millions of visitors every year. While this proves how alluring the waters can be, it also makes life difficult for locals looking for a soak, as you’re forced to squeeze through the crowds to get to that healing H2O.

The health benefits of hot pools

The Greeks, the Romans, the Maori; there are a number of good reasons these ancient civilisations turned to baths and geothermal springs to treat what ailed them, a fact that modern science is beginning to reveal.

  • Minerals in sulphur springs have been shown to help treat and soothe persistent skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and acne.
  • This study found a connection between bathing in naturally occurring hot springs and general health and happiness.
  • According to this review, bathing in warm water can improve circulation, regulate blood pressure, increase cardiac output and even improve your metabolism.
  • As the staff at Rotorua’s spa-side Queen Elizabeth Hospital would be happy to tell you, soaking in a hot pool can ease pain and promote movement in people with chronic pain and limited mobility, such as arthritis sufferers.

Spa pools: a thermal pool in your backyard

There is another way to enjoy all the incredible health and wellness benefits offered by a hot pool, without needing to travel or to fight the crowds – in fact, you can enjoy the experience right in your own backyard.

Install a spa pool.

Hot Spring spa pools are designed not just to replicate the experience of sitting in a geothermal pool, but to exceed it in a number of ways.


The first and perhaps most obvious perk enjoyed by spa pool owners is that a sumptuous soak is only ever a few steps away. No driving for hours only to battle the crowds – you have your own personal pool, ready whenever you might want or need it. And if you choose a spa that is as energy efficient as a Hot Spring, which can be powered for as little as $1 a day, you can keep your machine warm and inviting all day every day!


Unlike a geothermal pool, a Hot Spring spa pool can be set to whatever temperature you want, down to a fraction of a degree. It also features carefully contoured seating that is designed for the human body – some models even have full-length lounges and built-in pillows!


Even the most active thermal pools don’t have much pressure behind their bubbles. More often they gently float to the surface, grazing your body along the way. Hot Spring spa pools, meanwhile, deliver high-end hydromassage via powerful (though fully customisable) jets, designed to knead and soothe key muscle groups.



A soak in a Hot Spring spa pool is about so much more than the water. The glow of the interior and exterior lighting systems. The sights and sounds of the fountains and water features. The fun of the optional Bluetooth sound systems or complete audio-visual systems. It’s a truly immersive sensory experience.


Ultimately a Hot Spring spa pool is like a geothermal pool that you have complete control over. You can feel like Mother Nature as you adjust the temperature, the jet pressure, the entertainment, and even the quality of the water.

Spa pools and hot pools: the same, but different

In some ways spa pools and hot pools are apples and oranges: in the same category, but not a perfect comparison.

Hot pools are often rich in naturally occurring minerals, like the sulphur that can help ease skin conditions. Spa pools, in comparison, are designed to be kept safe and clean with the help of chlorine, bromine and other sanitisers. Hot pools are set amongst beautiful nature, which can be far removed from the curated suburban backyards that spa pools more commonly call home.

On the other side of the coin, Hot Spring spa pools are expertly engineered to offer the finest soak possible. They are designed for pleasure, entertainment, comfort, control and convenience, and can play the roles of master masseuse and party host equally as comfortably. A hot pool, meanwhile, is what it is.

The defining difference? Spa pools can be bought. Thermal pools cannot. If you’re ready to become the proud owner of a Hot Spring spa pool, and gain access to the health and lifestyle enhancements that a regular soak can bring, contact your local dealer or book a test soak today.

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