Marquis: Round About

The Monaco series hot tubs from Marquis Spas keep the round hot tub shape of yesteryear alive

While square and rectangular hot tubs continue to be best sellers for Marquis Spas, Jim Johnston, the company’s vice president of marketing, says it has had steady demand for other shapes as well. In the past, the company manufactured the oval Rocky spa and the triangular Rendezvous Discovery. Johnston says a round spa has been included in the product line for at least the last decade, but the newest Monaco series, another round tub, launched in October 2018.

Development on the Monaco began in June 2017, and Johnston says a key motivator was raising the bar on what a traditional round hot tub can be. “It was important for us to strike a good balance between familiarity and diversity,” he says. 

That began with increasing the size from a classic 72 inches to 80 inches in diameter, which Johnston says provides extra space without alienating the average round hot tub buyer.

“Some manufacturers have put out 90-inch round hot tubs, but, in our opinion, buyers looking for a classic hot tub are likely to perceive that as too big,” Johnston says. “The same goes for customers motivated by budget or space constraints. If they have 90 inches to spare, a customer might as well buy a square hot tub with its extra volume, which defeats the purpose of offering a round design.”

Aesthetically, the goal with the Monaco Celebrity series and Monaco Elite series is to reflect the design language of their square and rectangular siblings, Johnston says. This includes a scalloped edge around the lip of the hot tub. The Elite series cabinetry is punctuated by four black scalloped panels that, when equipped with the optional Twilight LED lighting system, feature integrated multicolor lights.

“You might say the Monaco looks more traditional, while the Monaco Elite looks more eye-catching,” Johnston says. “The clear distinction makes it easy for retailers to justify the upsell, especially given the additional options and amenities of the Elite.”

The most prominent feature in a Monaco spa is the full-body lounge seat, where 11 of the hot tub’s 23 massage jets are located. The entire system — which also includes four bucket seats — utilizes Marquis High-Flow Therapy, which balances the pump, jets and plumbing systems with a goal of optimal water flow toward each targeted muscle group.

Susan O’Con, co-owner of Cedar Works Spa & Sauna in Eugene, Oregon, says they’ve had the Monaco in the showroom, displayed “front and center” since late 2018. “Most round spas are what I would call ‘monochromatic’ in the sense that it’s all the same,” O’Con says. “Maybe a step, but otherwise just a round bench. The Monaco changes everything by incorporating both deep seats as well as high seats for cooling down, and even a lounge for full-body therapy. Add to that the ease of a built-in sanitation system, and I have found no other round spa that can compare.”

“The most common statement I hear from customers looking at the Monaco is ‘A round spa with a lounge? I’ve never seen that before,’ ” says Donny Stiver, outdoor living sales manager at Idler’s Home in Paso Robles, California. He ordered the company’s first Monaco to display at the 2019 California Mid-State Fair in July and a second unit for the showroom shortly thereafter. 

The Monaco Elite is displayed dry at Idler’s on a 45-degree wedge in front of a life-size full wall mural of a local vineyard, with the contoured Monaco bench, Environments POP display, hanging lights and the Twilight LEDs lit to cap the environment. The intent is catching the customer’s eye from across the showroom, Stiver says. So far it’s working; Idler’s has sold three.

“It’s a very unique tub in regards to the seating arrangement, and the detailing of the aesthetics, both interior and exterior, is very attractive,” Stiver says. In the past, he’s found round hot tubs to be uncomfortable, but he’s pleased with the lounge seat of the Monaco. “I am 6-foot-3, and I slip into that seat perfectly.”

With the Monaco design, Marquis received exactly the response it was hoping for. “Our goal with the Monaco [series] was to raise the bar, blending classic design with modern conveniences, innovative seating ergonomics and a robust hydrotherapy system,” Johnston says. “We feel like we’ve achieved that goal, and the marketplace is confirming that as well.”

When the O’Cons bought Cedar Works 15 years ago, the original owner advised them to always hang on to Marquis. “That has proven to be good advice,” O’Con says. “Technology is advancing quickly, so it’s very important to align ourselves with a manufacturer that is always working to advance forward. Marquis has proven to be a consistent, stable company to work with.”

North American Marquis customers can choose from the standard 120V plug-n-play version of the Monaco series with a 120 GPM/454 LPM pump, or the optional 240V upgrade with a 160 GPM/606 LPM pump. Only a 230V/606 LPM configuration is available outside North America.

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