Backyard Swim Spa Ideas & Garden Inspiration for 2023

Posted by Alex Clamp in Installing a swim spa on 17th July 2023

If you’re searching for ways to transform your backyard into an amazing space to relax and enjoy some quality time with your family, a swim spa could be precisely what you need.

With the increasing popularity of swim spas in 2023, homeowners are beginning to see the potential of transforming their outdoor spaces into luxurious retreats, with swim spas offering the perfect way to unwind, entertain, exercise and boost your overall health and well-being.

So, whether you’re a potential swim spa buyer or simply looking for ways to upgrade your existing setup, read on for some inspirational swim spa backyard ideas.

But, if you are looking for a more detailed guide on all the considerations you need to prepare your garden for a swim spa installation, be sure to check out our other knowledge bank guides or order your completely FREE WhatSwimSpa? Magazine today!

Backyard Swim Spa Ideas

Add a Stone, Brick, or Concrete Deck Around the Swim Spa

backyard swim spa
Photo © Hot Tub Barn

One of the best ways to make your swim spa stand out is by adding a beautiful custom deck around it. Choose materials like natural stone, brick, or concrete slab to create a sophisticated and appealing look.

Not only will it give you a place to step in and out of the swim spa, but also add an elegant and luxurious look to your backyard space.

You can also choose to add lounge chairs and patio furniture on top of the concrete pad to create a relaxing environment around it for you and your family when the sun is shining!

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Enhance Your Space with Landscaping Features

backyard swim spa deck ideas
Photo © All Weather Leisure

Reaching new heights in comfort and relaxation with your swim spa requires enhancing it with complete backyard complement landscaping.

You can add water features like fountains and ponds that blend in with the natural environment, or include some potted plants, flowering bushes, and colourful flowers to add a vibrant look to the overall space.

Let some of those plants grow over the deck and landscape walls and you will soon have created an eye-catching jungle or forest setting, the perfect backdrop to enjoy some invigorating morning or evening exercise.

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Go Semi-Sunken / Partially Recessed

swim spa deck
Photo © Aquavia

Opting for a semi-sunken swim spa can provide easier access and a sleek, integrated look when compared with the spas installed above ground. By partially recessing the swim spa, you can seamlessly blend it with your backyard landscape.

This design also offers a safer and more convenient way to enter and exit the spa, making it a great option for families with children or elderly members too.

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Sink It All The Way

backyard swim spa ideas
Photo © Award Leisure
swim spa deck ideas
Photo © Award Leisure

Fully sinking your swim spa into the ground can create a stunning in-ground pool effect. This design not only looks luxurious but also offers easy access and seamless integration with your garden, with many new owners now opting for a fully recessed landscape.

Consider adding decking or paving around the edge for a finished look and to provide a place for lounging and drying off. Just remember that you will need to factor in access for routine maintenance every few years should anything go wrong, however, this is something that swim spa and hot tub landscapers will more than likely be more aware of.

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Create Staggered Multi-Level Decking

swim spa backyard ideas
Photo © Aqua Warehouse
swim spa ideas
Photo © Hot Tub Barn

When handling any swim spa installation, choosing the right levels at which you’d like each landscaping element to sit is a critical consideration.

In-ground installation is a common solution for many new swim spa owners these days as discussed, but this does require both a concrete pit and drainage system to be custom-built to prevent groundwater accumulation, something that can be very timely and expensive.

A multi-level design approach can achieve a similar or even superior look. Build a deck around the spa, leaving it half exposed, and place it near flower beds, a stone wall, a wooden trellis, or taller trees and plants, creating a garden with two levels in the process.

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Go Completely Indoors

swim spa landscaping ideas
Photo © Jacuzzi Swimlife

If you have the space inside but maybe a small backyard, consider installing your swim spa indoors. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of the spa 52 weeks a year, providing all-year-round enjoyment regardless of the weather.

You can create a dedicated relaxation area with comfortable seating, ambient lighting, and perhaps even a sound system for music while you exercise.

An indoor swim spa can be a great addition to a home gym, especially with all the swim spa exercise accessories available to help enhance your fitness journey, such as rowing attachments, underwater treadmills and aqua bikes.

An indoor installation also gives you the added benefit of privacy from surrounding neighbours, meaning you won’t have to worry about further investing in a privacy screen to go swimming in peace.

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Compliment Your Outdoor Housing/Building

backyard swim spas
Photo © Aqua Warehouse

Incorporating your swim spa into the existing design of your outdoor housing or building can create a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing environment.

Consider the architectural style, materials, and colours of your home and try to reflect these in your swim spa area. For instance, if your home features a lot of wood, a wooden deck around the swim spa could tie the two areas together.

Additionally, think about the planting around your home that will play a big role in trying to complement the landscaping. Try to use similar or complementary plants around your swim spa to create a sense of continuity.

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Add some Outdoor Seating

backyard landscaping backyard swim spa
Photo © Hydropool Surrey

Enhance the functionality and comfort of your swim spa area by adding multiple seating areas. This could be in the form of sun loungers, rattan furniture sets, patio sets, or even built-in wooden or stone-landscaped seating.

Outdoor seating provides a place for relaxation, socialising, or simply drying off after a swim, just be sure to do some shopping to choose weather-resistant materials and consider adding some extra cushions or blankets for extra comfort and colour!

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Incorporate Some Lighting Elements

swim spa landscaping
Photo © Aquavia

To extend your swim spa enjoyment to the evening, adding some lighting elements is a fantastic idea. When the sun goes down, you can instantly create a beautiful and romantic atmosphere with some strategic lighting.

Highlight some features of your backyard, such as trees, fountains, and walkways, with the help of outdoor lights, which will set the mood and help you achieve the perfect ambience when the sun goes down.

If you consider your lighting requirements prior to the delivery day you can benefit from having a licensed electrician to fit the outdoor lights during swim spa installation, the whole process from start to finish should take less than a day!

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Enhance Your Space with Landscaping Features

swim spa patio ideas
Photo © All Weather Leisure

Reaching new heights in comfort and relaxation with your swim spa requires enhancing it with complete backyard complement landscaping.

You can add water features like fountains and ponds that blend in with the natural environment, or include some potted plants, flowering bushes, and colourful flowers to add a vibrant look to the overall space.

Let some of those plants grow over the deck and landscape walls and you will soon have created an eye-catching jungle or forest setting, the perfect backdrop to enjoy some invigorating morning or evening exercise.

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Make It All About You

swim spa design ideas
Photo © Marquis

The most crucial aspect of creating an inviting outdoor living space is to make it all about you. So, make it a place that you love and want to spend time in, make it your own. You can go above-ground or recessed, whatever you feel will fulfil your and your family’s requirements.

How you decorate around your swim spa is just as important as the swim spa installation itself. You can include all your favourite items and swim spa accessories to show your personal style. It could be a spot dedicated to reading, or zen garden, or a little corner where you can play games with the family.

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Complete your Fitness Retreat

swim spa installation ideas
Photo © Aquavia

Make your swim spa the focal point of your fitness retreat by adding exercise equipment, a yoga mat, or even a small weights area around your spa.

This can create a versatile space where you can swim, work out, and then relax your muscles in the warm swirling water.

Add some storage for towels and workout gear and you’ll have the best low-impact exercise hub a family could wish for.

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Get the Parasoles Out

swim spa built in deck
Photo © Award Leisure

Parasols can be a great addition to your swim spa area, providing shade on hot sunny days and adding a pop of colour to your backyard.

Choose a large, sturdy parasol that can withstand wind, and consider a cantilever design that can be adjusted as the sun moves.

A parasol can make your swim spa area more comfortable and inviting, encouraging you to make the most of your swim spa.

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Decorate with an Outdoor Firepit

above ground spa ideas
Photo © The Hot Tub Superstore

An outdoor firepit in your swim spa area can create a warm and inviting atmosphere for evening gatherings or relaxing after a swim. The gentle glow of the fire contrasts with the sparkling water, creating a mesmerising visual effect.

Choose a design that complements your swim spa and backyard aesthetic. Just remember, safety is a priority when installing a firepit, so ensure it is placed safely away from the swim spa and flammable materials.

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Can’t decide between a Hot Tub or a Swim Spa? Do both!

swim spa backyard designs
Photo © The Hot Tub Superstore

If you love the idea of enjoying the health benefits of your swim spa but also fancy a new hot tub, why not put both in your backyard? One solution exists in that some swim spa models now have hot tubs built right in, named dual-chamber models, giving you the best of both worlds.

This allows you to benefit from low-impact swimming while also getting the muscle relaxation and recovery benefits of warm water therapy from the hot tub. If you have both a swim spa and a hot tub in your garden, you can use the space for different things depending on your mood or needs.

Whether you want to start your day with a refreshing swim or end it with a warm relaxing soak, having both options available can make your outdoor living experience better.

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Can’t get enough bubbles? Get quirky with it!

swim spa designs
Photo © The Hot Tub Superstore

Add a see-through bubble structure next to your swim spa to add whimsy and originality to your backyard. This area can be used for lounging, reading, or dining, protecting you from the elements throughout the whole year.

The bubble building creates a stunning visual contrast with the swim spa, making your backyard stand out. Remember that your backyard should reflect your personality and style, so be creative and incorporate elements that bring pleasure and help you unwind.

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Put it Under a Pergola

Placing your swim spa under a pergola can provide shade, privacy, and a touch of elegance, and there are some fantastic electric motorised pergolas on the market today.

A pergola can protect you from the sun’s harsh rays during the day and can also be adorned with fairy lights or lanterns for a magical atmosphere in the evening. Climbing plants like ivy or roses can add a natural touch and enhance the sense of tranquillity while you swim and unwind.

A Few Important Considerations…

Remember, all swim spas should feel like an extension of your home, and if placed in the perfect location you can create a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor living. This not only enhances the visual appeal of your property but also creates a cohesive and relaxing space where you can unwind and entertain.

As long as you ensure the construction of a solid and level surface base for your portable swim spa that can handle the weight of the frame while full of water (estimated at roughly 20,000lb by Master Spas Swim Spa), you are good to go with all of the creative freedom in the world.

Remember to consider the materials for your deck carefully. Some materials may be more resistant to water and humidity, which would be beneficial around a swim spa. Be sure to work with a qualified professional to ensure that your deck is safe and properly constructed.

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The Final Word

Creating a luxurious backyard retreat is all about integrating unique ideas and letting them bloom into an extraordinary backyard landscape. Of course, these ideas are just a start, and your imagination determines how to create your oasis.

Nonetheless, the ideas presented here will get you moving in the right direction and that much closer to getting started on that backyard makeover of your dreams. Start opting for the ideas that make you the happiest, and make a beautiful backyard oasis of relaxation and comfort your reality!

Just remember, the key to creating a perfect swim spa or hot tub environment is to consider your personal preferences and your location planning considerations on how you plan to use the space. Whether it’s for relaxation, exercise, or socialising, we hope these ideas can help you create a swim spa garden area that you’ll love.

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About the author

Alex Clamp

I am the Content Writer and Marketing Officer at WhatSwimSpa? Magazine. I recently graduated with Distinction from Northumbria University with a Master's degree in Occupational and Organizational Psychology. My role at WhatSwimSpa? is to ensure that all swim spa and hot tub lovers can easily access the highest quality and most up-to-date content, news and information from within the UK wet leisure industry. In my spare time, I love to produce music and DJ across the country, possessing a significant passion for all underground dance and electronic music genres.

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