Nowadays, few swimming pools are just plain blue rectangles with a couple of steps and a deck; indeed, most now are “dressed up” with waterspouts, cascades, or spas like these in this gallery from Phoenix, Arizona’s Cameo Pools. Who doesn’t relish the relaxation that a spa can provide? Even if you’re not in the mood for quick laps back and forth — or maybe especially if you’re not — a spa such as one of these can be just what the doctor ordered. And their arrangements can be as imaginative as the pools themselves: have a square spa turned to a diamond at one corner of your deck; border it with native stone or a wide seating “bench”; or have the optical sleight-of-hand “invisible edge” on your spa that makes it seem like one with the bigger swimming area.
A combination of waterspouts, stone decking, and an elevated spa with pool “steps” is fun — or just have the waterfall flow from the spa itself, no spouts necessary. Separate the spa entirely from the pool and edge it with boulders for a “pond” feel, or give it its own set of multiple water cascades into the cooler water. Accompanied by a larger water feature such as multiple cascades, lavish landscaping, or hardscaping such as stone caves, pool houses, or bridges, the spa becomes a key element in a total “water park” feel for your yard; light that spa from below at night and it becomes a magical place. So when you’re planning a pool installation, consider a spa as well; the added options it provides for solitary relaxation — and fun entertainment space — are worth the investment.