14 Decorating Ideas to Make Your Hot Tub Area Look Amazing
By Jennifer Rhodes · Updated
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You might think a hot tub is all you need for relaxation, right? Wrong!
If you haven't yet stocked up on accessories for the area around your spa, you're missing out.
'What should I put around my hot tub then,' you say? Don't worry, we've got you.
This article contains all of my best ideas—both aesthetic and practical—that I've picked up over several years of spa ownership.
I'll show you how to kit out the area around your spa so you can turn it into your own private oasis.
Plants are one of the easiest ways to instantly change the atmosphere of your hot tub.
They bring color and freshness to the space, and can help create whatever look you're going for.
However, not all plants will appreciate the outdoor environment of your hot tub year-round—especially if you have extreme hot summers or freezing winters. Still, many others will! Just be sure to stick with plants that can survive the conditions of where you live.
Does that mean you can't have a tropical theme to your hot tub if you live in the upper Midwest, though? Of course not! Modern artificial plants can look just as good these days, and many are designed for outdoor use so you don't need to worry about damage from the elements.
For a tropical feel, go for something like Areca palms or a Bird of Paradise:
Or add symmetrical elegance with a pair of spiral topiary trees:
And the best part? Zero maintenance. No need to trim or water. Ever.
Whatever your tastes—whether bushy potted plants, exotic flowers, or trailing vines—the right foliage always complements a hot tub.
Lighting can define the whole vibe of your spa, from warm and cozy, to romantic, to a vibrant party scene you can enjoy long after dark.
Add some colorful floating ball lights for a cool, futuristic look (kids will love these). Floating lights will also help to illuminate the interior of your tub.
For a more minimal, subtle uplighting effect, try placing solar ground pathway lights around your spa:
Or you can always hang classic outdoor string lights for a whimsical feel and a sense of coziness around your tub.
Is it safe to hang string lights over a hot tub? While hanging decorative lights around your hot tub creates a dreamy atmosphere, never hang string lights directly over the water. If a bulb breaks, you could get glass in your spa—plus electricity and water do not mix.
For a really unique look, surround your spa with decorative lights that create beautiful, ornate patterns on the ground like these ones:
Consider lighting the path leading up to your spa, as well as just the area around it—particularly if you like to hot tub at night.
This one might seem obvious, but if you don't already have steps, you'll want to get some.
A good set of steps is necessary to make sure your spa is safe to get into and out of.
For most people, you can't go wrong with a basic universal step with no-slip tread like this Puri Tech one:
That said, if you're okay to spend a little more, this Confer Plastics spa step comes with integrated storage (handy for storing your spa chemicals):
4. Storage box
Speaking from experience, it's a good idea to have some kind of storage in your hot tub area. You'd be surprised what you end up needing to store close by (chemicals, skimmers, spare towels...)
If you don't have a lot to store, this small Suncast box tucks away out of sight easily.
A larger option is the Rubbermaid outdoor storage cabinet. At 38" tall, this is the perfect height to double up as a drinks table next to many spas.
If you find yourself wanting get out of the spa and cool off regularly (but want to get back in later), storage boxes that are also an actual seat can be a very convenient option, like this one by Keter:
5. Side table
Many spas have integrated drinks holders, or a little surface you can put things on, but often it's not enough (definitely the case with my small spa!).
If you find yourself wishing you had more space to put things—drinks, phone, a book perhaps—consider a side table that's a similar height to your spa.
This modern Keter one has an integrated 7.5 gallon beer and wine cooler (though of course you don't have to use it for drinks—you could put your towels in it instead):
6. Ice bucket for drinks
This one is for the party tub owners. Who wants to have to leave the spa just to get another drink? Well when you have one of these, nobody has to:
You'll have a selection of beverages right there, keeping themselves ice cold until you're ready to grab another.
Your guests will thank you for it!
7. Free-standing outdoor towel/robe rack
Having somewhere to put your towels or robes is essential while you use the hot tub, especially in cold weather.
A free-standing rack you can place right next to your spa gives you easy access, so you can dry yourself immediately afterward—and cover up on your way back to the house.
Make sure you pick a rack designed for outdoor use if you're planning to leave it outside—although metal ones look nice, they often have problems with rusting after a few weeks.
You have a range of different styles to choose from (pick by size, based on how many people use your spa at once).
This Outdoor Spa and Pool Towel Rack is non-intrusive and works well around smaller spas:
This style will hold more towels so is a better pick for families or larger groups though:
8. Slippers for guests
This is something I never would have thought of before I had friends over to use my hot tub. But it has been SO USEFUL to be able to give people a pair of disposable spa slippers to wear out to the hot tub:
It stops dirt getting trekked into my spa, and prevents wet footprints on the way back into my house! Total win-win.
9. Privacy screen
If your hot tub feels more like an open fishbowl sometimes, consider adding some privacy.
A privacy screen will shield you from prying eyes and make you feel like you have the space to yourself—which is necessary for proper relaxation.
There's a whole range of options here:
- The Malibu Outdoor Wood Privacy Screen is made from acacia hardwood and has a very classic look.
- An Outdoor Retractable Side Screen will do the best job at shielding you from the wind.
- If you like greenery, try an artificial vine or something like this Faux Ivy Fencing Panel.
If you just need a little coverage, but want to add a personal touch with your own plants, this wooden screen comes with integrated planters:
I take a more detailed look at all of these and more in my other post on the best privacy screens for a hot tub.
10. Sun sail
Another option that can help with privacy, waterproof sun/shade sails are designed to provide overhead protection from the weather—especially in sunny areas.
Keep yourself cool and protected while using your spa on hot days.
You do need something to mount them on (be this your house, or some kind of fence or post), but they're easily removable, and have a great geometric look that will complement any contemporary style of hot tub.
11. Tiki torches
Tiki torches give off that tropical, island vibe that goes so well with idling in a hot tub. It'll be almost like your own mini backyard luau.
These classic ones are made from all-natural, renewable bamboo:
Why not find a tropical hot tub scent and sip on a piña colada to complete the experience?
12. Patio bar
Did someone say tiki drinks?
If you'd like to show off your cocktail-making skills while your guests enjoy the spa, a patio bar is a great investment.
Look for one around the same height as your hot tub so you can place it right next to it, and create a usable drinks surface.
36" is a common height for hot tubs, which makes this 36.4" Outdoor Wicker Bar a great choice:
13. Foot bath
Not really an accessory, but a practical must-have if you want to keep your spa clean, a foot bath is useful for bathers to rinse any debris off their feet before getting in.
Simply fill it with a little warm water from your spa, and place it right by the steps so everyone will remember to use it.
14. Bluetooth speaker
Do you really need music to enjoy a hot tub? Honestly, most of the time, you don't.
But imagine this: you come home after a long day at work, ease into the bubbling spa with warm lights twinkling overhead, a glass of champagne in your hand, while your favorite music plays right there in front of you.
Sounds pretty good, right?
My favorite portable speaker (for sound quality) is the JBL FLIP 5. It's totally waterproof so it's a perfect hot tub speaker. You don't need to worry about steam at all—you can even submerge it and it'll be fine.
That said, there are more fun options out there. This colorful floating speaker is surprisingly good quality for the price, and super pretty at night.
Or if you're all in on the tiki theme, the TikiTunes Portable Bluetooth 5.0 Indoor/Outdoor Wireless Speaker is an ambient LED light and speaker all in one:
Strategically place a couple of these around your spa and get the tropical tunes on!