Hot tubs are wonderful in the right climate; in a ski lodge, for example, tiptoeing out across the snow to plunge in the steaming water after a long day on the slopes is one of life's real pleasures. Or simply in a dry climate, such as parts of Southern Europe, having a hot tub is both relaxing and sociable.
But what if you live in a damp northern climate that often has grey skies such as the UK, Northern France or Germany? Those climates may not be nearly as cold as the snowy mountains but there is little appeal to sitting in a hot tub under grey skies. And yet the memory of how good that hot water feels has tempted a huge number of people in the UK, at least, to buy into the ideal of a hot tub in their own gardens; with almost 10% of households owning a hot tub, according to a 2013 poll. It seems that more and more people are viewing their outdoor space as a place for relaxation and socialising rather than just for growing plants.
But if you are still put off by the unpredictable British climate then take a look at the ultimate hot tub experience (perfect if you have the space).
The owner of this home near Windsor in Berkshire did not want to leave their enjoyment of their spa tub to the mercy of the British weather so had a summer house-style extension built purely to house the large tub. Wonderful views over their secluded garden and an impeccably finished space complete with underfloor heating beneath the over-sized porcelain tiles makes this a space to enjoy whatever the season.
A roof lantern offers visibility of the sky when it is blue and of the stars on a clear night, while dimmable lights overhead, floor level LEDs and an abundance of candles ensure the right atmosphere whatever the occasion. And when the weather permits the wide doors open back to let the fresh air in. This really is a hot tub to dream of.