Creating your own outdoor spa retreat

The therapeutic benefits of spas are well known, and adding an outdoor spa to your home has never been easier.

With so many designs to choose from, there’s bound to be one to suit your style and budget. Whether it’s under cover as part of a home extension with seating and dining areas, or poolside with a cabana for protection from the elements, a spa can become the focal point of an outdoor entertaining area.

Glass mosaic tiles in a range of colours, feature seating, inventive lighting and other options mean a spa can be designed to fit any vision for relaxed outdoor living.

spa retreat

The first thing to decide is the type of outdoor spa you want. Most people choose to have a spa as a standalone feature, but they can also be attached to a pool.

You can choose from portable above-ground spas or in-ground models. Many above-ground spas can be filled with a hose, while permanent in-ground units require plumbing and are likely to be more costly. However, the latter will offer more opportunities for customisation, including shape and colour.

Size is also a key decision. How much room do you have in your outdoor space, and how many people will be using the spa?

How many seats and jets do you want? The type and placement of the jets might be more important if you are installing a spa solely for remedial use, in which case you might opt for moving massage jets placed to focus on specific areas of the body.

Some retailers have demonstration models you can test to get a better idea of what size and features you like.

They can also provide advice on the safety regulations and building permit requirements in your area.

The design of your spa will be limited only by your imagination and budget. Some spas even come with built-in sound and video entertainment systems. In addition to purchase and installation costs (including whether safety fencing is required), you should consider running costs. This means comparing energy use and efficiency – how long will the spa take to heat up, how long will it stay warm and how much water will the spa use?


Privacy is usually a consideration, as is protection from the weather. If it’s easily accessed a spa will probably be used more often, and being close to the house means you won’t have far to go in cold weather.

You should invest in a cover to keep dirt and debris out and retain heat. There are also lockable covers which can prevent small children or pets from gaining access.

The level of technology you want is another consideration. Control systems look after heating, filtration, lights and other settings. Some home devices can be turned on remotely so you can jump in as soon as you get home.

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