Essentials to Creating an Outdoor Spa

What if you could spend a relaxing afternoon with your toes peeking out of a perfectly bubbling spa, glass in hand, ready to enjoy al fresco? Now, what if it could happen right in your backyard? An outdoor spa can become your everyday oasis, providing a hideaway to unwind from the constant activity of everyday life. To make it truly special, however, there are a few things you need to know. Use these essentials to create the outdoor spa experience of your dreams. Related: An outdoor spa project by Platinum.

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What type?

Outdoor spas come in a wide array of sizes, shapes, and styles. First things first, consider which type of spa your landscape requires: 


A portable spa is the simplest and cheapest option, needing little more than a flat, sturdy surface and access to a reliable power supply. Often, portable spas come with their own equipment, as well as proper skirting to conceal any unsightly machinery involved. Ideal for smaller spaces, a portable unit is easily packed up and moved from location to location. Moreover, because they are generally standardized, finding accessories to fit your portable spa’s exact specifications is a breeze. Although portable units are an economical choice, they do require more effort to integrate into your yard, as their tall walls are highly noticeable.


Go beyond standardization with an in-ground spa, which is highly customizable and can be seamlessly incorporated into your landscape. In-ground spas can include a variety of features, such as extra jets, waterfalls, or ambient lighting. Due to their expansive capacity for personalization, in-ground units can cost upwards of $15,000, depending on hardscaping, size, and additional features. Unlike portable spas, an in-ground unit must be installed by a professional and requires electrical and plumbing lines.


A true spa experience would not be complete without a sense of seclusion. Protect your privacy by placing a decorative screen or two just beside your outdoor spa, or conceal the area behind a lush frame of privacy plantings. A retaining wall also creates separation while integrating the space into your landscape. Be sure to include a variety of plants to both maintain secrecy and maintain a natural setting, which has been proven to evoke a sense of calm and tranquility.

Simple, Yet Essential Conveniences

While major details are important, creating an outdoor spa involves consideration of small conveniences that really make it feel authentic. Place low, decorative tables or spa benches adjacent to your unit for drinks, towels, and reading material. Water-resistant furniture or visually interesting seat walls provide places to relax when you want to take a break. Lounge in luxury with a plush, deep-set sofa and accompanying tropical cabana. A variety of plants, too, will offer shade, which is essential to maintaining a pleasant outdoor spa experience. Utilize the large, towering leaves of philodendrons or abundant branches of willow oak for plenty of shade.

Set the Mood

Finally, create the ambiance you desire by including water features, a built-in speaker system, or soft mood-lighting in the surrounding hardscape. Tiki torches or an outdoor fireplace provide pleasant warmth and a romantic glow, while deep green foliage and natural boulders enhance an organic setting. Nothing is too extravagant to be essential to your outdoor spa, so let your imagination run wild. 

Relax, unwind, and wash your worries away with a magnificent outdoor spa experience. With these essentials to creating an outdoor spa, you’ll never want to leave your yard!