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6 Tips for Creating a Natural Stone Spa

For the majority of the year, Arizonans enjoy a mild, agreeable climate that’s perfect for spending time outdoors. A natural stone spa is the perfect way to create a backyard destination to escape, relax, and unwind from the pressures of day-to-day life. Of course, navigating the design world and narrowing down the details of your perfect natural stone spa can be easier said than done. Here are six tips to make the process as smooth as possible.

1. Choose your stone with care

You can’t have a natural stone spa without natural stone—so it’s important to choose the right one. Not every stone is ideal for a natural stone spa, particularly stones that are soft or prone to moisture damage. As a general rule, you should look for non-porous, durable stones that are able to stand up to the outdoor elements.


Travertine is ideal for the deck surrounding your spa because it absorbs water instantly, resulting in a smooth slip-free surface. Travertine also remains cool to the touch, no matter what the temperature, so you won’t worry about burning your hands or feet when you walk around in the summer.


Flagstone consists of various natural stone pavers. The pavers are arranged in a unique design, with a variety of colors, sizes, and textures. The final design can be laid in a variety of patterns and directions, depending on your individual tastes. Flagstone is a dense stone, making it exceptionally good at holding heat. While this can be a downside in the summer, in the cooler months walking in around your outdoor spa will be pleasant as you won’t have to deal with cold feet.


When it comes to natural stones, granite is unrivaled in its hardness and durability. The inherent strength of granite makes it ideal to stand up to all sorts of outdoor conditions with ease. Granite is the perfect choice if you’re going with a natural motif for your spa, as well as for a more refined and elegant look due to its natural shine.

2. Create an enclosure

It’s reasonable to expect a certain level of privacy in your backyard, and a higher level of privacy for your natural stone spa. To accomplish this, you can get creative with several options. For a natural angle, consider planning a privacy hedge or incorporating vines on a trellis to surround your spa. You can also take advantage of large, leafy plants and trees to provide shade and seclusion. For ultimate seclusion, you can build a structure such as a gazebo or a pergola to house your spa.

This spa is enclosed in a limestone gazebo, providing shade and separation from the surrounding yard.

This beachy outdoor spa has a thatched half-wall behind it for privacy. The wall also supports the adjoining bench, which provides an additional place for guests in the spa to relax.

This tropical spa features a dense enclosure made from palm trees and other greenery. In addition to reinforcing the tropical theme, the plants provide a natural layer of privacy and seclusion.

3. Coordinate with pool design

The majority of homeowners who have an outdoor spa also have a pool to go along with it. If your backyard already has a pool, the design of your natural stone spa should coordinate with it as much as possible, in order to keep the backyard looking cohesive. If you’re building a pool at the same time as your spa, it’s even easier to streamline the design between the two. The great thing about natural stone is that it can fit into a variety of designs and aesthetics with ease. For example, slate can contribute to a sleek and modern feel, while dense flagstone can convey rustic elegance.

This stone spa has a seamless transition to the pool it’s connected to by incorporating the same large stone exterior. The neutral tones and rough, unpolished finish of the stones creates a rustic and earthy aesthetic that is reinforced by the surrounding plant life and vast open space.

4. Add a touch of greenery

Plants can be used to create privacy or to add to the design of your spa. If you feel that something is “missing” from the area surrounding your spa, planting a few trees or bushes can add a finishing touch. Additionally, you can use especially fragrant blooms to fill your outdoor spa with delightful aromas. Flowering plants such as jasmine, angel’s trumpet, plumeria, and honeysuckle are just few of the many options you can choose from if you’re looking for light and pleasant scents.

This spa, featuring a square-cut flagstone deck, is surrounded by lush greenery. Rather than making the spa feel closed in, the greenery adds a cozy feeling—making the spa a true escape from its surroundings.

5. Experiment with hardscaping

You’ve probably heard of landscaping—but hardscaping is an emerging trend in outdoor design that you might not be aware of. Hardscaping refers to the practice of using non-living elements such as brick, stone, metal, or wood in the design of outdoor spaces. In the area surrounding your outdoor spa, you can incorporate hardscaping with natural stone in a variety of ways.


You can lay the perfect path to your outdoor spa with the help of a hardscaped walkway. Not only does this serve a functional purpose-to direct people to your spa-but it also provides another opportunity to add unique design touches to your yard.

This flagstone walkway uses the surrounding pebbles and vegetation to reinforce a natural, untouched theme.


Walls are another popular hardscaping choice. Half or full walls can be used to provide privacy, structure, or architectural details to your outdoor spa. Natural stone is a great choice for building walls due to its inherent strength.

This spa and pool area utilizes half walls throughout the space for creative design accents. The walls also serve as a way to showcase various natural stones.

6.  Just add water

Water is an essential element of an outdoor spa—not only will it fill the spa itself, but it can be used to create luxurious and eye-catching water features such as fountains, waterfalls, and more. Natural stone can be used to form the base of a fountain, or to create a cascading waterfall. With so many options, it’s easy to create the perfect water feature for your spa.

This rustic stone spa includes a large rock waterfall. The waterfall adds to the overall theme of the spa and helps evoke a feeling of rustic elegance.

This sleek and modern slate spa features three deluxe waterfalls flowing over the adjoining pool, as well as three small fountains flowing in the distance.

Get more tips and ideas from the experts

Our Imperial Elite service is your go-to for everything you need to build the natural stone spa of your dreams. Our specialists are constantly on the hunt for new, uniquely sourced materials from every corner of the world. Whether you’re in the beginning of the design process, or looking for a specific type of stone, we’re here to help. Contact us to get started.