Demand for hot tubs has gone “off the scale” in Ireland since the pandemic hit, according to a Cork garden centre.
On Lunchtime Live this afternoon Kieran Daly from Douglas Forest & Garden said there has been a huge increase in demand over the last year.
“They are amazing,” he said. “They have taken us by surprise.
“It is something we started doing in 2018 but when the shutdown came, initially we had a lot of enquiries from people who had children with autistic needs and because the children couldn’t get out and play, they needed to entertain them and help to calm them.
“So that kind of took off and at the same time we had a new website which opened us up to the four corners of Ireland and then it just went off the scale.
“People who were concerned about not going away; about being stuck in the home with nothing to do … they had heard about them; they didn’t know much about them and it was a bit of novelty to some people. Since then, it has actually become an important piece of the back garden now.”
"Nothing like it"
He said he bought one himself last year and used it right through the winter.
“I never was in one until a year ago,” he said. “We got it in the winter and put it up and for example, just since Christmas gone, I think myself and my wife have been in it at least 40-plus times.
“There is nothing like it when it is cold and there is really nothing like it when it is cold, wet and windy.
“You are sitting outside in 40 degrees of heat, you have your table on the side - I quite like to listen to Off the Ball in it - and you might have a nice brew on the table and you could be in there for two hours bubbling away with the hydrojets.”
He said people of all ages are interested.
“It is people who are fearful of going anywhere and sure you can’t go to the beach because if you try and get into the water you come out of it blue,” he said.
“Whereas this way you can entertain and another thing it does is you end up talking. Whoever you are with you just end up talking about this that and everything – so it helps to sort out the problems.”
He said the tubs also offer some health benefits.
“I suffered from a bulging disk and I was in dreadful pain and I have to say it certainly helped to get rid of it and I am here today with no pain,” he said.
“I have heard from lots of people that they find it relaxing. They find it helps to get rid of stress especially if you are stuck at home and can’t move very far and you might think you wouldn’t sit in a pool of hot water for up to hours – but you would. It is very enjoyable.”