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  • Our Latest Photoshoot

    On Thursday 3rd August we carried out a new photoshoot with four hot tubs, one from each range, and four models, two girls and two boys. We wanted to show off our new products in context, although it is great for you all to see the technical parts of the spas and seeing how many seats there are, we want you to be able to see what it will look like when you and your partner or friends sit in it to have a drink and a catch up or just relax under the stars. We want you to be able to imagine yourself in their place.

    We worked with recent graduate photographer Rebecca Chivers (who happens to be writing this post to explain the process) to create the shoot. There were many meetings with Huw to discuss the type of models, the look of the photos and also how we wanted to position the hot tubs in the garden.

    To find the models I (Rebecca, the photographer) put together some mood boards of how I planned the photos to look and the style of model that we were interested in working with. I used two model sites, one being a lot more successful than the other. Purple port is a great way of networking and finding models, MUA's, stylists and photographers, so if you are one of the above looking for someone to work with then head on over there and have a look.

    As we were looking for both male and female models there was some fun in head office when choosing the male models. I would be looking through the different applications and if there was a model that I thought would be good, (I was looking for muscly/toned but not too much and someone who had lovely eyes and a nice smile) so whenever I found someone that I thought would work for the shoot all three ladies from accounts and one from service would crowd around my laptop and let me know their comments (I think we both know they just wanted to see some pretty faces).

    After searching and chatting to different models I ended up choosing Cody, Amelia, Sam and Aaron. We also arranged to have a make-up artist come down and work with the models, we worked along side the lovely Kerri.

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    On the day we set up early preparing the lovely spread of food ready for lunch, got the kettle brewing ready for the caffeine to set the shoot off. Whilst Cody and Amelia had Kerri do their make up Huw and I set up the garden making sure the greenery around the spas looked good and made sure that the ladder I would be standing on top of wasn't too wobbly (spoiler alert, it got very wobbly throughout the day).

    The models were very happy when they realised what they were going to actually be doing all day, a little bit of smiling, a little bit of pretending to be asleep, a little bit of cuddling next to their 'partner' and well being paid and getting free food. Kerri, Huw and I got the short end of the stick, standing out in the wind all day whilst they relaxed in the warm water.

    Here are some of the behind the scenes photos that the models took throughout the day

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    I then spent the next few days editing the photos, after taking over 1,500 photos the editing process took a little longer than planned. I also bought a graphics tablet to help with the editing process and if you are a creative and do a lot of detail work on your computer I highly highly recommend!!

    Anyway, enough of my babbling. Here are a selection of some of the photos from the shoot for you to browse through. There are also some photos spread amongst the products on the website so have a little look. Also if you want to check out some more of my photography work then head over too www.rebeccachiversmedia.co.uk.

    (click on them to bring up a larger photo)

  • Let Urban Lite Warm Up Your Winter

    January and February are normally so dull in the hot tub industry, the Christmas festivities just a distant memory, 'Dry January', the cold weather, dark nights and that impending credit card bill, then it’s not surprising that for many they are months to endure not enjoy.

    Not so at the Hot Tub Barn! Boy were busy, we have been working for over six months on an exclusive range of low energy spas by Riptide called the Urban Lite Collection. We have 5 models including a neat corner 2 person spa, a 3 seater, a 4 seater and 2 six person spas including a round model and they all run from a standard UK 13amp plug.

    They all arrived in store after the New Year and sales of the new Urban Lite range have been brisk and the feedback from our first customers really positive. They are all fitted as standard with colour changing water edge and bar top lights, great hydro massage jet variety and crystal clear water filtration. There is a must have upgrade to Bluetooth music system with transducer speakers and subwoofer for just £500 all the range come with excellent insulation, thermal cover, cover lifter, matching double steps, full delivery and spa care kit and instruction.

    Prices start at just £4995- £6599 and currently there is a choice of easy ways to pay including No Deposit, Nothing to Pay Until 2018 (Finance subject to full terms and conditions and acceptance).

    No need to make an appointment just come along to the showroom, we have an in-house coffee bar and espresso machine and there is no high pressure selling please just read our trust pilot reviews to know that we really are as friendly as we say we are.

    So don’t let the early months of 2017 get you down - order your Urban Lite Hot tub today and start enjoying those clear starry nights in your own personal paradise and chase the  blues away.

  • Down Side O'Mill

    It was 1997 and we had just moved our hot tub Showroom to its present location in Robjohns Road , Chelmsford.

    I was working the sales desk one afternoon in late Summer when the phone rang, I picked it up as you do and started a conversation which ended up with us selling a big hot tub to an address in Yorkshire for a quick delivery.

    I ran the guy’s credit card details and all went through just fine, we had the spa in stock and I agreed to deliver it in 8 days’ time.

    Several things that should have bothered me and would certainly bother me now just went uncommented on during our phone call, firstly the delivery was he said “down side of mill lad” and then he went on to say “I’ll ‘af half a dozen of my lads there to ‘elp lad”. To me it sounded like a nice easy drive up the A1 and back a bit of a doddle really!

    Eight days flew past and with the spa on the trailer correctly attached to my Grand Jeep Cherokee I drove up the A1 to the address he had given me.  I arrived through narrow winding lanes through breath-taking scenery to an impressive Victorian looking mill amid trees with the distant sounds of water crashing over rocks which made a most beautiful setting.

    Once out of the car I climbed the steps up to what I took as the front door and used the lions paw to knock. Presently the door opened and a very enthusiastic man in tweed took me inside and sat me down at his antique scrubbed pine kitchen table, drinking tea until his lads turned up. After we had all had a chat and more tea and there appeared to be no hurry to get the spa off the trailer I suggested they show me where the spa was going to be installed.

    With lots of back slapping and cheery comments we all walked back through the front door down the steps, past my car and trailer towards the sound of the water crashing over rocks and stopped at the top of 45 degree slope which was made of loose earth and small rocks with some immature trees thrown in here and there.

    I asked what I was meant to be looking at and which point the new owner smiled and pointed down to a flat wharf like area about 60ft below on the banks of the River “there lad that’s where I want it - down side of mill”. I think I must have looked a little ill as the group all stated deliberating how best to get it down there and carrying it down one man on each corner seemed to be getting more votes than the crazy stuff like jump in a toboggan down hee hee hee!!!

    At this I pointed out the spa was almost 600kg and not that robust. So we all stood looking at the problem until the new owner said with some authority “OK lads this is what we’re going to do”.

    The plan was quite simple and under the circumstances as good as any that I could have suggested, first we would get the spa off the trailer and stood up in a metal dolly, the spa was going to be secured into the dolly with a racket strap and then pushed to the edge of the slope. I was then asked to unhitch my trailer and reverse my car up to within a few meters of the slope edge and the idea was that a long length of rope would be attached to the dolly and then twice around my tow ball and with the new owner and his lads managing the spas descent by holding it up as it slowly made its way down to the wharf at the bottom I was to slowly release the rope which was taking all the weight.

    Well it sounded like a plan - so in to action we went getting the spa on to the dolly was easy and positioning at the edge of the slope was all straight forward, unhitch the car from the trailer and reverse up to the spa and dolly, attach the rope to the dolly and then twice round my tow bar and there we were ready for the ascent.

    The last thing the Owner and his lads said to me as they went over the top was “just shout lad if there’s a problem” and then over they went.

    Initially with the lads keeping the spa steady and me feeding the rope out a bit at a time everything went swimmingly, however from my position kneeling by my cars tow bar I could not see the spa or the lads and with the sounds of the river in the background nether could I hear them or them hear me! The first I realised that we might be in trouble was when I noticed the end of the rope was not that far away, no one had thought to measure the rope and by my estimate there was only 6 meters left.

    The spa was a good way down the slope I would guess, but I had no way of knowing because I could not see and I had no way of warning them that the rope was fast disappearing. I would like to have wound the rope around a few more times to stop the spa in its tracks but the rope was nylon and slipping through my hands and there was now not enough rope for me to be able to do that.

    As the last few inches tore past my grip and burnt my palms the 600kg spa went rogue. I lept up and ran to the slope edge as my ears picked up distant screams, but it was too late to save them the 600 kg spa had left them all scattered over the slope, bodies both lying flat and prone were scattered in it’s wake, the sounds of groaning met my ears as I slide and scampered down to the group.

    No one was looking at me, but all eyes were looking in the direction that the spa had gone towards the river edge and to a man there was now silence because, 15ft below, the spa had settled more or less exactly where it was meant to be.

  • Reflections on Our Early Years

    We have been thinking about our early years and the following story is one which happened in our first year and still makes Huw break out in a bit of a cold sweat (and a smile) ...........

    “The Run Away Spa”

    It was a Wednesday morning in early June, it was going to be sunny the weather man had said, so I was lightly dressed in shorts and a polo shirt. My delivery vehicle back then was a 4 litre Jeep Grand Cherokee and I pulled a 12ft twin axle Ifor Williams trailer behind me for my hot tub deliveries. I kept the trailer in the showroom so that morning I reversed up to the roller shutter, opened the door and loaded the large hot tub on to the trailer, securely strapping it on with 2 straps. I hitched the trailer to the car and put all the accessories into the boot along with my tools, consulted my maps (yes remember maps) and then started my 120 mile journey to deliver this monster 6 seater hot tub. I had only driven 20ft when my problems started, I stopped at the edge of the car park and once the road was clear I gently accelerated away when there was a sudden and loud thud from behind me. Upon looking in my rear view mirror I could clearly see that the hot tub and trailer were no longer attached to my car! Rather stupidly, and without thought, I stood on the brakes and started to stop the car which, not surprisingly when you think about it, caused the trailer with the hot tub, weighing about 500kg and with its large metal hitch aiming directly at me, to punch a sizable hole in the boot of the Jeep :( Well naturally I stood on the accelerator and speeded up whilst pulling over to the left as I did not want to be hit again. As soon as I stopped I realised my mistake as my driver’s door wing mirror exploded into pieces as the twin axle Ifor Williams trailer with its expensive cargo lumbered past me at quite a good lick. This was starting to look a bit of a shambles, so I jumped smartly out of the Jeep and ran after the trailer, to be honest I was never that fit and the trailer was still going quite fast, but I was doing quite well if I say so myself, almost up to the back of it I was when I realised to my horror that the road was turning sharply to the left and directly in front of where the trailer was heading was a set of smoked glass double doors leading into a very expensive looking office block. I took a deep breath and redoubled my efforts to reach the front of the trailer where I hoped to pull up the trailers hand brake, 10m 8m 6m 4m my sweaty hands almost on the brake lever when BANG the trailer wheels hit a raised kerb and the tow bar hitch which had punched that nasty hole in the back of my car sat quivering just 6” from the glass doors. I slumped to the ground next to the trailer sweat running down my face as the smoked glass doors opened and two smart executives looked down on me and the office windows filled with inquisitive faces. However, before I could apologies there was another loud noise and lots of hooting could be heard from the direction that I had just come from.  I had to squint as my salty sweat was running into my eyes, but yes, my Jeep was rolling backwards and directly in its path was a Gold Mercedes S500 who’s driver was trapped between my Jeep and a couple of cars behind him and was tooting their horn like crazy. So up I leapt without so much as a sorry to the executives glaring at me from their door and I ran as fast as I could after my slowly reversing Jeep. Of course, in hindsight, I knew the Jeep was automatic and when I had jumped out to chase the runaway trailer I thought that I had put the car into park, however in my haste I had in fact selected reverse and now the car engine had been idle a short while it had now increased its engine revs and was making good progress back towards the immobile S500 Mercedes. I could almost hear the chariots of fire anthem playing in my head as I raced back after my driverless Jeep, by now the drivers behind the S500 were standing outside their cars watching me and some 20 people had come out of the office building to see what was going on. With only a few feet to spare I dived into through my open Jeep window and with my legs sticking out of the opening heaved on the handbrake and brought my runaway car to a stop. For a short while the world went a bit fuzzy as my breakfast considered making a new home on my car seat, but slowly things came back into focus and I slid down the driver’s door and rested on my bare knees on the road giving my audience the impression I was praying. The lesson that I learnt that day was yes to attached the trailer properly obviously, but actually that I needed to grow the business so I could employ a team of experts to do the deliveries as I could not go through another situation like that.

    Huw (Owner of Hot Tub Barn)

  • We celebrate our 20th Anniversary

    Where it all started …. In 1996 after a 3 month motorcycle tour of America Huw and Sarah Chivers returned to Chelmsford to open one of the UK’s very first Hot Tub shops. The first address was in Rivermead Industrial Estate, just behind the Anglia Ruskin university.

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    The business soon flourished and in September 1997 moved to its current location in Robjohns Road, Chelmsford.  Initially the business was called American Dream Spas, but with the invention of the internet it soon became apparent that a search for ‘spas’ took you to a hotel or resort and that what we should be known for is ‘Hot Tubs’, so we changed our name then to “Hotspring  Hot Tubs” and in 2008 to position our business better for internet searches  to ”Hot Tub Barn”. Since 1996 we have sold over 14’000 hot tubs and swim spas and our colourful delivery trucks are an everyday sight throughout Essex.

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    In March 2000, during the Ideal Home Show we were approached by a company called Endamol to supply a hot tub to a film set in Bow London, it all sounded barmy to us that they were going to fill the house with everyday people and we could all watch them on TV, well that was not going to work was it!  Well every morning at 4.30 am I had to travel down to Bow to be escorted into the famous Big Brother house to sanitize the hot tub before the house guests woke up, I was glad after a month of early mornings for the show to end, but WOW our business took off and we went from selling 150 hot tubs a year to 900 units in 2000 alone.

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    In 2002 I was asked by a BBC producer to supply a hot tub to Blue Peter, it was a dream come true to put the hot tub in the famous Blue Peter garden from where they presented the whole episode in the spa and for me to be on set at watch from behind the cameras.

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    Today hot tubs are an important part of people’s lives, for many they are a way to relax and socialise, for others they are a release from pain or a way to reduce cholesterol and even reduce weight. We have customers we sold to 20 years ago who still come in for a chat and to buy their chemicals and their hot tubs are still performing  well.

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    Continue reading
  • New Oceana Delivered in Kent 

    Our customers are very happy with the delivery of their new Oceana into their barn in Sittingbourne, very pleased with how the cover lifters work. Well done Wayne, great job. 

  • Bye Bye Atlantis -Hello Oceana

    Our display Riptide Atlantis has been sold to a customer in Kent so is on its way to our warehouse for a full check and clean.  In its place is a brand new Riptide Oceana which by Thursday will be full and ready to test swim.  Come down and have a look  

  • Another Great Service From Hot Tub Barn 

    Mr Hance was very pleased and very happy. He said "Shaun did a fantastic job on the service and repairs can't wait to dive in.. "

  • Hot Tub Barn's New Delivery Vehicle

    On 1st April 2016 Hot Tub Barn Ltd took delivery of their new delivery vehicle

    At Hot Tub Barn we have been so busy delivering new Hotspring spas and Riptide pools that we invested in a new hybrid electric Mercedes 40ft Hiab equipped truck.

    Dave and Will our delivery team can now deliver and install up to 8 hot tubs a day, which reduces our fuel usage and helps the environment.

    This will mean even more savings on new hot tubs and pools with even better part-exchange prices.

    For a quote call today: Ashford Showroom 01233 898440, Chelmsford Showroom 01245 265036, Sevenoaks Showroom 01959 581185.

  • Hot Tub Barn Secures Deal For Transatlantic Hot Tubs

    Virgin Atlantic Plane Tail LogoAfter many years providing HotSpring hot tubs to consumers at our UK showrooms, Hot Tub Barn and our staff are going transatlantic thanks to a landmark deal to create a pioneering first in wet leisure. This exciting venture is the icing on the cake for us following our recent Dealer Of The Year award. Continue reading

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