Design Ideas: Resort-Inspired Pool Features

An outdoor pool can simply be there for swimming laps and cooling off in the summer heat. But a resort-inspired pool is something else—it’s an elegant pool surrounded by luxurious outdoor features.

This type of poolscape offers the ultimate outdoor entertainment space in warmer months and adds beauty and interest to your home’s landscape year-round.

Here are some exciting design ideas for resort-inspired pool features.

Bringing the Inside Outdoors

Resort-style design for the pool area focuses on blurring the lines between a home’s interior and exterior.

In North Jersey’s climate, where there’s a hot summer, you can achieve resort-style design by including an elegant resort-inspired pool with surrounding amenities, some of which are usually only found indoors.

The entire resort-inspired pool should devote itself to the visitor’s luxury, relaxation, and convenience and should offer a vacation-like experience. Along with luxury water features, a resort-style pool should have features that include gorgeous landscaping and other superb amenities.

An outdoor kitchen in front of a pool lit at night

Resort-inspired pool area features can include:

  • Extensive pool deck and patio areas with separate spaces for dining and lounging
  • Outdoor kitchen, bar, and media areas
  • Lavish greenery
  • Luxury outdoor furniture
  • Attractive lighting
  • Waterfall

The addition of a resort-inspired pool area will not only add visual interest to your landscape—it will elevate your entire home’s status to the number one place friends and family most want to gather for fun and relaxation.  

There’s a lot to consider when adding a pool to your landscape design. But keep in mind that a pool and landscape installation can be a large project. It doesn’t all have to be done at the same time, although you want to start with a solid master plan.

Explore our top ten reasons to get poolside!

Following are some great resort-inspired features you can add to your pool and landscape.

Resort-Inspired Pool Features

A resort-inspired pool will have exciting water features you expect to enjoy at the most lavish resort but won’t necessarily find at home.

These features can include:

  • Swim-up bars
  • Waterfall grottos
  • Tanning and lounging ledges
  • Infinity edge/negative edge pool design

These details will bring your pool to the next level and offer family and friends experiences they would have only enjoyed previously on vacation.

Imagine the fun of visiting a waterfall grotto or simply lounging in the shallow area of a pool—right in your own backyard!

Your Pool Deck Sets the Scene

A swimming pool and expansive pool deck with gazebo and landscaping

A pool deck can be basic or complex. But it is the one element that will set the tone for your entire poolscape.

An experienced landscape architect can design the pool, deck, patio areas, and landscaping so they’re functional, attractive, and cohesive in design. And they can recommend the best hardscaping materials to use to make the deck and patio areas feel luxurious and complement the design of your home.

A landscape designer will also walk you through the many options of types, textures, and colors for your hardscaping materials.

For example, if you love the feeling of being at a rustic resort, use natural-colored, rough-cut stone to edge the pool, creating the feeling of a pond rather than a pool. You can even incorporate water plants along the edges of the stone for a relaxing, natural scene.

Design Winding Paths

Add some winding paths, lined with flower beds and night lighting, that lead to cozy seating or dining areas. This can add a touch of mystery and interest to your pool area.

Include Lavish Greenery

You don’t need tropical palm trees to create a resort-inspired pool landscape.

Gardens of perennials and annuals will add color, beauty, and fragrance to your poolscape. Some flowers that work well poolside include marigolds, lavender, and daylilies.

Plants which repel unwanted insects are a good choice, such as peppermint, marigolds, lemon basil and lemongrass.

If you use chlorine and you expect a lot of splashing, choose plants that are not severely affected by chlorine.

A patio area with a rock garden with ornamental grasses

Ornamental grasses can add texture and movement and soften the appearance of a larger area of hardscaping.

Low hedges can naturally define outdoor areas as they add relaxing green color to your poolscape.

Though you shouldn’t plant trees close to the pool, if you have plenty of space nearby, choose trees and shrubs with shallow root systems. The best choices would be those with spherical or vertical roots.

Attractive outdoor planters that work with your deck’s style and contain colorful blooms will contribute to a resort-like feel.

Add Lighting

Sophisticated lighting around the pool area—and inside the pool—will add drama and make it safer for people to walk along the pool at night.

Lights can be functional, decorative, ambient, or task lights.

Lighting will make your pool itself come alive at night and add a luxurious feeling to your poolscape.

Build Fountains and Waterfalls

Water features are always a wonderful addition to a resort-inspired poolscape. The sights and sounds of flowing water evoke visions of luxury resorts in faraway places.

Fountains should match the style of your home, pool deck, and patios. People love to see fountains, and it’s not surprising. Fountains have been found to reduce stress and depression and even lower blood pressure!

Waterfalls either within the pool, or included in nearby landscaping, add a sense of luxury, natural beauty, and also offer soothing sounds of cascading water.

Enjoy Fire Pits and Fireplaces

Family and friends love to linger outdoors even after the evening’s chill sets in. What better way to encourage continued conversations than with a fire landscaping element?

Patio with Firepit and Seating

Fire pits are fun to gather around. People of all ages enjoy gathering around fire pits because they invite conversations and stories.

An attractive fireplace located in a pavilion will let guests know that even if the weather turns gloomy, there’s still a comfortable place to relax outdoors.

Purchase Upscale Patio Furnishings

Elegant patio furnishings will further elevate the appearance of your pool area.

Decorate your pool deck with comfortable lounge chairs and possibly even an outdoor sofa. Add attractive cocktail tables for poolside drinks, books, and phones.

While style is important, also consider comfort and low maintenance outdoor furniture options.

For those with a shallow pool section for lounging, there are some wonderful in-pool and patio lounge chair options available.

Hide Your Pool Equipment

Pool equipment can often be unattractive and take away from a finished look to your outdoor spaces. Here’s how to camouflage your pool equipment with efficiency and style.

A swimming pool with a waterfall built with rocks and boulders

Incorporate Rocks and Boulders

Decorating with rocks adds a sense of natural beauty and permanence to your poolscape.

You can artfully add some rocks or boulders throughout the poolscape and plant colorful flowers and grasses nearby.

You can also use rocks in the construction of waterfalls or to create rock outcroppings for a natural and rustic look.

Here’s some do’s and don’ts for planning a swimming pool.

Contact us as Sponzilli Landscape Group for superior landscape design and installation services.

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