Luxury Real Estate

The Evolution of Luxury: Freestanding Soaking Tubs as Wellness Sanctuaries

Craig Hogan | March 21, 2024

“Freestanding bathtubs epitomize elegance and relaxation, boasting designs and materials that range from sleek to rustic,” the Best of the Best guide declared. “These statement fixtures often serve as an artistic focal point for the room, not to mention offering an indulgent soaking experience.”

In the realm of luxury living, freestanding bathtubs have long been revered for their elegance and ability to evoke relaxation. From sleek modern designs to rustic charm, these statement fixtures have graced opulent bathrooms, serving as artistic focal points and offering indulgent soaking experiences. However, despite their allure, traditional freestanding tubs have lacked the integrated wellness features often associated with at-home spa experiences—until now

Leading the charge in revolutionizing the concept of freestanding tubs is Hydro Systems, an American manufacturer committed to enhancing the luxury bathing experience. Ashley Steinhardt, a representative in sales and marketing at Hydro Systems, explains, "We've always aimed to cater to our customers' needs through customization, and integrating wellness systems into freestanding tubs felt like a natural progression for us."

In a groundbreaking move, Hydro Systems introduced the Cold Plunge system to their freestanding tub line in 2023. This innovative feature reduces water temperature to 37°F, offering cold water therapy known to improve sleep, reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and regulate hormones. Steinhardt notes, "Cold Plunge has been a game-changer, with a surge in demand for these models."

Next followed the addition of two other hydrotherapies to their freestanding tub collection. Hydro Fusion enables longer, more comfortable soaks by keeping water heated at a constant temperature. Hydro Indulge infuses the bathwater with millions of “microbubbles” (oxygen-rich air molecules) that more deeply penetrate pores, helping to exfoliate, cleanse, heal and restore skin. “I hear from people who have been in car accidents or have skin ailments, and water therapy can be very healing for them,” Steinhardt adds.

This isn't the first foray into wellness for Hydro Systems, which pioneered thermal air technology in freestanding tubs over two decades ago. With the growing trend of homeowners transforming their baths into personal spa retreats, the demand for freestanding tubs with integrated wellness features is on the rise. Steinhardt anticipates further innovation in this niche, envisioning personalized wellness options becoming standard in freestanding tubs of the future. 

Highlighting the fusion of luxury and wellness are three standout freestanding tubs from Hydro Systems: the Marquis Tub, Niantic Bathtub, and Alamo Tub. Each double as a vessel of wellness, embodying the perfect marriage of style and functionality.

Spa-Like Soaks. Three splashy freestanding tubs from Hydro Systems that double as vessels of wellness.

Marquis Tub

Photo by Shelby Bourne Photography | Design by Anne Marie Barton

Niantic Bathtub

Photo by Erika Bierman Photography | Design by Holly Viane Interiors

Alamo Tub

Photo by Kyle Santee | Design by Loyd Builders

Local Chicago Standouts. Two that boldly took center stage.

In Chicago's local luxury real estate scene, two notable properties have embraced the trend of immersive bathing experiences. A pre-war cooperative at 229 East Lake Shore Drive underwent a dramatic renovation, centering the space around a luxurious tub. 

Just blocks away the primary bath space at 77 East Cedar Street in Chicago is in it's own class. The entire space in this new construction opportunity hidden behind the 1890's facade is like a jewel box. It's just stunning.

As homeowners seek refuge from the stresses of daily life, the allure of freestanding tubs with integrated wellness features continues to grow. With Hydro Systems at the forefront of innovation, the future of luxury bathing promises to be both opulent and revitalizing.

* This story originated and appeared in Curated by Coldwell Banker Global Luxury in the 

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