Hot tub design hasn’t changed much since the 1970s and it shows. Most hot tubs are little more than ugly plastic boxes, including the ones installed at high-end hotels and resorts. They tend to be shades of brown or gray, perhaps disguised on the outside with custom wood enclosures. Bavarian company ASB GlassFloor, which typically manufactures flooring systems for sports arenas, saw this hole in the market and decided to fill it with something a lot sexier and more stylish.
The result is the ASB Nautilus, which the company calls “the world’s first whirlpool made entirely out of glass.” The design is as simple as can be: just four sides made of transparent glass and a solid floor. That allows it to virtually disappear during the day, so you barely even notice it’s there. But at night, it “becomes the protagonist at the touch of a button,” as built-in lighting turns it into a visual focal point even when it’s not in use.
That means instead of tucking it away in a corner or sinking it into the ground so it’s less of an eyesore, you can put it on full display. Measuring about six by six feet wide and three feet tall, it offers a minimalist silhouette framed with stainless steel and features an array of lighting schemes that start simple in the MK I model and get more complex with the MK II and MK III versions. The MK I has an RGB LED strip running around the perimeter of the tub, the MK II can be illuminated across the whole surface of the floor, and the MK III has a full LED screen with video content to offer “an incredibly immersive spa experience.”
All three models can be programmed to light up in your preferred colors, but the MK III gives you the most options. You can even livestream to the screen if you want, watching programming through the water. The company imagines this feature being particularly valuable for logos and other brand content. It’s kind of weird to imagine trying to watch anything more than some ambient visuals, but it could be cool to project custom creations for parties and events, too.
The Nautilus hot tub also comes with a heating system that can be placed as far as 15 feet away from the tub and three easy-fix pipes that supply water and air. The connections are hidden beneath steps providing access to the tub on all sides. The standard tub heats up by one to two degrees Celsius per hour, taking up to eight hours to be ready to enjoy, while the premium version heats up in half the time. The premium versions also include a high-end UV cleaning system, and every tub comes with an insulated cover in your choice of color.
Some users might miss the molded plastic seating that makes standard hot tubs comfortable to sit in. The Nautilus doesn’t have jets, either. “We believe that the concept of limiting the user to present seating configurations takes away from the experience the Nautilus is designed to provide,” the company explains. “An experience much closer to the Japanese Onsen culture where one floats in hot water admiring the view or relaxing the weary body along the way. It is a ritual of indulgence and immersive-ness. For this reason we believe the lighting aspects of the Nautilus are of superior nature over the gimmicky massage jets and plastic benches.”
The ASB Nautilus is currently custom-made to order, so you have to contact the company if you want to purchase one.