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Swim Spas vs. Swimming Pools - What is best for you? | HotSpring Spas

Swim Spas vs. Swimming Pools - What is best for you?

Wouldn’t it be great to have a swimming pool at home? No more driving to the beach or to the local swim centre on a hot day – just pop out the back and jump in the pool. A swimming pool is also great for socialising, and a handy distraction for the kids when you’ve got friends around.

But pools have downsides too. They can be very expensive; it’s not just the price of the pool you have to consider, it’s also the installation, construction and landscaping. You might find a swimming pool is actually too large and won’t fit in your yard. Pools are also time-consuming to maintain, and some people find them a hazard to children and pets.

Thankfully there’s a more affordable and easier alternative – Endless Pools® swim spas from Hot Spring Spas.



A streamlined design, a small footprint and straightforward installation makes these swim systems well worth considering as a more practical and affordable alternative to a traditional swimming pool.

But in what ways is an Endless Pools swim spa better than a traditional swimming pool? As it turns out, quite a few! Here are 15 of the most compelling reasons why swim spas represent a better investment than swimming pools.

1. Cost

Pool installations invariably cost a lot more than the quoted price of the pool. A pool itself may seem like a bargain at first glance, but you need to consider the additional costs of engineering reports, stabilisation, council consents, excavation, removal of landfill, large water quality and heating systems, covers, landscaping, planting, pool fencing; and these are only the obvious and expected costs. Unexpected hurdles are common, like excavation difficulties in volcanic regions, high water tables in coastal regions, and restricted site access in established properties.

As a self-contained unit that can be installed right on top of concrete, strong decking or any number of other suitable foundations, the (surprisingly low) sticker price of an Endless Pools swim spa is far more reflective of its actual cost. Installation is quick, easy, and a fraction of the price of a traditional pool!

2. Legal requirements

In-ground pool installations require resource consent and a building consent for your pool fence.  You will need to contact your local council for information specific to your region, and we recommend you speak to at least two different advisors to ensure you have been given the correct information. Children under five cannot go near your pool unless they are supervised by a responsible adult, and certified fences, gates and doors must be installed.

Wonderful for peace of mind, sure, but not great for your wallet, backyard aesthetics or adult accessibility.

The safety requirements for an Endless Pools swim spa? Simply pull the cover over! The small footprint makes swim spas easy to cover, and the plentiful handles and relatively low water level (never deeper than 1.5m) means children are far less likely to find themselves in trouble.

3. Installation timeframes

Traditional pool installations are disruptive. Your property will be turned upside down and covered in mud and machinery for months. Weather is a big factor – pool building is restricted to fine days and perfect soil conditions, which can be rare in parts of New Zealand, so the process inevitably drags on longer than anticipated.

Coordinating your tradesmen is another challenge. Your checklist includes engineers, architects, pool builders, the excavation crew, the crane company, drain layers, electricians, pavers, deck builders, pool fence installers, heat pump installers, water quality installers, landscape designers and gardeners. Sprinkle in a few other tradies and you have quite the management challenge on your hands!

The installation process for an Endless Pools swim spa is a relative cinch. You may need a structural engineer to check the foundations, a team to put the swim spa in place (perhaps with a crane depending on the site), and a licenced plumber and electrician to hook it up. That’s it. In most cases you’ll be swimming on the day it arrives!

4. Space

Traditional pools are big, particularly when you take the safety fencing into account. A small yard will present serious limitations on the size of a new pool, and often won’t be able to house one at all.

With footprints measuring just 8m²–14m² depending on the model, and no external safety barriers required, Endless Pools swim spas can fit into incredibly small spaces, whether courtyards, decks or even on balconies. And thanks to their ability to generate a current, you can swim all day without needing to do a tumble turn, making them true to their Endless name! A perfect lap pool where size and space is limited.

5. Seasonal use

Unless you’re happy to pay huge heating bills for year-round use, chances are you’ll only utilise your backyard pool for four or five months a year in New Zealand’s climate. Sure, some of us learned to swim in cold pools and can enjoy a brisk dip, but most people like the warmth.

With a far smaller volume of water to heat, and our patented Tri-Thermic™ Barrier System keeping the temperature constant, an Endless Pools swim spa is incredibly energy efficient, and can therefore be enjoyed all year round. Just pop the cover on in winter to keep the heat in!

6. Functionality

Why exactly do you want a swimming pool? Perhaps it’s to have fun with family and friends, or to relax and cool down. They’re good reasons. But if your pool is underutilised there’s a danger it’ll end up being nothing more than a costly and hard-to-maintain landscape feature. After all, a backyard pool is far from ideal for fitness swimming, with the need to tumble turn after just two or three strokes.

No matter your reason for wanting a pool, it’s more than likely that an Endless Pools swim spa will meet it. Purpose-built for fitness, clever current generation delivers an incredible swim-in-place experience and is perfect for a number of other water-based exercises. Massage jets and hydrotherapy seating give our swim spas healing and destressing powers, while our X2000 and E2000 models come with their own separate spa tub, making them great for socialising too.

Almost anything that a traditional pool can do, an Endless Pools swim spa can do better!

7. Time

Do you really have time to clean your pool every weekend? Unless your pool is installed with a cover that completely encloses its edges, you’ll be faced with the constant removal of debris – whether leaves, sand, dirt or air-borne pollutants. There are many automated cleaners available on the market, but these come at a cost, are never as effective as human hands, and don’t exactly add to the look or ambiance of your beautiful pool as they crawl around.

The perks of a smaller volume of water and a secure cover become immediately apparent with an Endless Pools swim spa. Maintenance is super quick and easy.

8. Maintenance costs

At the risk of stating the obvious, the larger the pool, the more it costs to maintain. More water means more chemicals and more energy consumption. Your pool valet company may charge a lot for their services, as do your electricity provider. Some pool surfaces require maintenance over time and if your pool valet service person is not an expert with water chemistry, poor water quality could affect your pool surface and componentry, including the pumps, filter and heater.

Just as large pools are expensive to maintain, small pools are comparatively cost-effective. Provided you follow the advice of your local Endless Pools dealer, you can be confident that the ongoing maintenance costs of your Endless Pools swim spa will be far below those of a traditional pool.

9. Earthquake resistance

Another obvious fact is that large in-ground pools do not respond well to moving earth. Concrete and fibreglass pools are subject to distortion and cracking. While these issues may well be repairable and covered by insurance, the more common problem is the inconvenience – ask an earthquake victim how long it took to have their pool repaired, and you probably won’t like the answer.

As an above-ground Endless Pools swim spa isn’t trapped within the earth, it has the wiggle room necessary to comfortably survive seismic activity. What’s more, having an operational pool to relieve stress and trauma in the wake of a natural disaster can prove to be a godsend.

10. Transportability

What happens if you need to relocate? Many people put the lid on their pool plans when they evaluate the longevity of their present location. Who knows what the future holds? A change of job, upsizing, downsizing – there are so many variables.

An in-ground pool generally presents over-capitalisation on a property. An Endless Pools swim spa, meanwhile, can be taken with you. As a self-contained unit, moving a swim spa is a simple matter of disconnecting it and popping it on a truck!

11. Return on investment

Just how much benefit will you gain from your pool in dollar terms? There are several ways to look at this, but a common way is to consider the number of months’ use you will have in your large pool (around 4 to 5 months), divided by your total investment.

Ask yourself: will the benefits obtained by a larger pool be significantly more than those gained by a smaller Endless Pools swim spa? Do those benefits match the increase in investment required? There is a lot of emotion involved in a pool purchase decision, just as there is with buying a car. But like a car, it’s wisest to choose a model by its functionality and value, i.e. with the brain more than the heart.

12. Hydrotherapy

The healing power of warm water has long been known, and a wealth of rehabilitation and relaxation benefits have been scientifically proven over the years. But unless you’re willing to spend an incredible amount of money on a heating system capable of hitting 30C+, and the electricity that will be spent doing it, a traditional pool doesn’t offer the necessary heat to reap the health rewards.

And Endless Pools swim spa, however, has been designed to efficiently generate these sorts of hydrotherapy spa temperatures. Add in the hydromassage seating available with many of our models, and you’ve got a veritable clinic in your own backyard!


13. Cleanliness

You should never swim in a Las Vegas pool, writes this biological warfare expert. The reason? Water, even when chlorinated, can hold all sorts of nasties. And the more water there is, the longer it takes to filter. On average a traditional pool will completely filter its water over the course of 12-18 hours.

The lower volume of an Endless Pools swim spa allows water to be rapidly cleaned. Swim spas take just 15-30 minutes to completely filter their water, making for a fresher and far safer swimming experience!

14. Environmental footprint

More water, more chemicals, more energy, most wastefulness. A traditional backyard pool can blow your carbon footprint out dramatically, as it will take an incredible amount of resources to install and maintain.

An Endless Pools swim spa, meanwhile, features a smaller volume of water that requires less chemicals and less electricity to heat, while the insulation offered by our Tri-Thermic™ Barrier System ensures that every morsel of necessary energy is well used.

15. Indoor installation

It’s not that you can’t install a traditional pool indoors. It’s just that it makes an already expensive exercise far more so. You’ll need a large, custom-designed space with a foundation capable of holding tonnes of weight, and with the appropriate connections and drainage installed.

Indoor installation is comparatively simple for an Endless Pools swim spa. As a standalone portable spa unit, it can be installed almost anywhere (provided openings are large enough and there’s a suitable power supply available). A small footprint means that a wealth of unused spaces are potential homes for your swim spa, and an indoor spa can add value and a real sense of luxury to your property.

In summary

For the reasons above and more, forgoing the traditional pool for an Endless Pools alternative is becoming an ever more popular decision in New Zealand. Above ground or in-ground, the Endless Pools range provides cost effective installation, year-round use, easy and affordable maintenance, and an all-in-one home fitness system.

It makes sense really – Endless Pools swim spas are the practical, affordable and very attractive option.

Call 0800 468 777 for more information, or book your test swim in an Endless Pool today.

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