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Tuesday, 20 October 2015 01:08

Hot To Trot

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Hot To Trot

You don’t need a time machine to experience an authentic wooden hot tub. Alex Radwill from Ukko Saunas and Hot Tubs has seen a rise in the demand for traditional hot tubs, and here he speaks to Grace Dobell about why going back to basics with wooden hot tubs is becoming more popular in Australia.

The origins of hot tubs date back to the ancient Romans and have since had a long and steamy history. From the first Japanese onsens that eventually went on to inspire modern-day hot tubs, to the cleansing Turkish hamams, people have been reaping the benefits of hydrotherapy for years.

“Hot tubs have been used all over Europe for centuries. They [first] spread around Europe, and now, we actually integrate the original hot tub into modern technology, [using] new equipment for heating and filtration,” Radwill says.

Modernised versions of hot tubs began to appear in the 1940s mainly in California, and were made out of used oak barrels, wine tanks and olive vats. The Jacuzzi brothers revolutionised hot tubs in 1956, creating a portable hydrotherapy pump version.

Nowadays, hot tubs come in all shapes and sizes, with wooden versions able to fit up to ten people.


A far cry from the hot tub craze of the ‘70s, these days wooden hot tubs are being installed as a luxury item in high-rise apartments, where flat-packed designs can be easily transported and installed.

“It is a growing trend – for the last three years we’ve seen an increase in hot tubs,” Radwill says.

“In fact, high-rise properties in cities like Sydney are becoming smaller, and because of the delivery service, this is the only choice [clients] look at.”

The growing trend in people investing in hot tubs is due to their sustainable nature, longevity and attractive design.

“I believe it is a personal preference. Most people who try hot tubs, [especially] the timber ones, never want to go back to plastic,” Radwill explains.


Timber hot tubs are ecologically-friendly, long- lasting and tend to fit better with the natural environment of the backyard. Using sustainable materials such as replanted Western Red Cedar from Canada further decreases the eco-footprint of a hot tub’s design.

“[Timber] is a natural product which lasts longer than any plastic on the market,” Radwill says.

“Now, a plastic lifespan is about 15 years ... spruce timber is about 20 years and cedar is up to 50 years.

“And the other benefit ... is it blends more with the natural environment ... with the cedar tub you have the smell and the aroma coming out [of the timber] as well,” Radwill describes.


The therapeutic benefits of hot tub use have been touted for years, such as their ability to soothe sore muscles and bones.

“Hot tubs and hot water aids the body, [and] helps [people] to relax,” Radwill says.

There is a long list of benefits associated with regular hot tub use, from helping to reduce chronic stress and relieving the symptoms of circulatory disorders, to alleviating muscle pains and improving sleep quality.

For many though, a hot tub is purely a pursuit of pleasure that is to be used for social gatherings. The opportunities for social events and hot tub parties abound with your own personal crowd-pleaser.

“People are different, some people use [hot tubs] for social means, for parties and things like that, but some prefer it for their own personal time, like for meditation. Realistically, it’s more of a personal preference,” Radwill explains.

“Everybody has their own [private] moments, but then they have friends over [for] social engagements ... once you have a tub you can do both. You can invite friends over ... [as well as] use it in your own time.”


With new developments in hot tub technology such as in-built Wi-Fi stereo systems available at an additional cost, hot tubs are becoming more advanced.

“There is another development to Wi-Fi technology [used in hot tubs]. We have developed a high-definition stereo system that can be integrated into the tub [so] people can listen to music wirelessly via their mobile device,” Radwill says.

“There is a special membrane that attaches to the wall [containing the device], and that’s why even with water you still have high-definition quality audio.”

The opportunities for customisation are endless, with new technologies popping-up every year. Ukko Saunas and Hot Tubs recently introduced a feature that allows users to control and set the temperature of the water remotely.

“There has been a new development where people are able to control their tub from anywhere in the world. With a remote controller, [similar to] a mobile app, users are able to set up all the settings before they get home.

“For example, with a holiday house, visitors don’t want to spend an hour [waiting], so they switch on the heating and when they want to use it, it’s ready.

“It’s a brand new development and from now on it’s an optional feature [for installation],” Radwill says.

With everyday stressors being a major problem in our society, taking some time to soak in your own hot tub has multiple health and social benefits. So, for the ultimate in relaxation, jump into a hot tub and enjoy.

Read 159272 times Last modified on Tuesday, 20 October 2015 01:09