This article was first published online at Calderaspas.com
What’s the secret to elevating your hot tub experience from good to great? At The Waterworks, we believe it starts with immersing yourself fully – not just in warm bubbling water, but in a mindful experience that engages all five senses! Read on to discover how to create your ultimate hot tub haven.
Compare these two examples:
You grab a towel and jump in your hot tub. While you lean back against the massaging jets, you glance at your phone and start planning the next item on your to-do list. After a few minutes you climb out, dry off, and get on with your day. A nice break, for sure, but not exactly transformative.
Now imagine stepping into your hot tub and lowering yourself into the warm, silky water. You move around the tub, positioning your body to allow the different jet groups to work their magic on your tired muscles. You gaze up at the clouds or stars and breathe deeply – the steam intensifies the heady scent of flowers planted nearby. The only sound you hear is the soft chirping of birds, the gurgling of the jets, and your own slow breathing. The water washes over you, coaxing your body and mind to release the stress of the day. A soft towel and robe hang on a spa-side rack, ready and waiting as you emerge – refreshed and rejuvenated. You look forward to enjoying your mindful spa ritual again tomorrow.
We don’t think it’s possible to have a “bad” time in a hot tub, but we’d like you to have the best experience possible. With a few simple touches, you can create a backyard haven where you and your family can enjoy the wellness benefits of hot tub therapy, and at the same time, delight each of the five senses.
Looking for inspiration? We’ve gathered some ideas that work equally well in small backyards and large ones – with options to fit any budget. Now it’s up to you to decide which of your five senses to focus on first!
To enhance the view from inside your spa, here are a few suggestions:
Create a visual tapestry of flowers and plants. Consider colors, leaf size and shape, and plant height, to put together a pleasing, contrasting mix. When planting flowers, no matter what your color scheme, adding a few yellow blossoms makes all the colors pop.
Outdoor furniture and cushions can fade and discolor when exposed to the elements. Protect your investment by painting, staining, or having chipped and faded metal surfaces powder-coated, and cushions replaced and recovered. Add a few new throw pillows and accessories for a pop of color. Your outdoor seating will look and feel like new again.
Consider the view beyond your backyard. Is your hot tub situated so you can gaze at the stars, clouds, or a mountain vista? Make sure trees and vines are trimmed, and your hot tub is positioned so you always have something beautiful to look at.
Scents have a powerful effect on your mind, body, and mood. Lavender aids relaxation, citrus energizes, pine and jasmine help ease stress and depression, and the smell of freshly mowed grass can trigger joyful feelings. Many spas come equipped with a saltwater system that keeps your water clean and fresh, while reducing harsh chlorine odors – allowing you to enjoy the beautiful scents of your surroundings.
You can also:
Experience aromatherapy – whatever the season, by lighting scented candles or setting up fragrance misters near your spa. Our owners often ask, “Can you add essential oils to your hot tub?” Yes and no. While adding oils not specifically designed for your spa can damage filters and equipment, your local dealer can show you some spa friendly options.
Many hot tub models include a water feature that provides ear-pleasing ambiance from inside or outside your spa. Most spas come with built-in speakers – just add a wireless entertainment system to enjoy your favorite music.
Here are some other ear-pleasing suggestions:
Screen out unwanted sounds like barking dogs or street noise with a fountain or shrubbery. You’ll be able to enjoy the subtle sounds of nature without distraction.
Music can shift your mood effortlessly. Play something upbeat to energize, or select quiet sounds to calm your soul.
For a subtle soothing, hang some tinkling wind chimes, or put up a feeder and enjoy the gentle chirping of the birds.
Your hot tub ritual is all about feeling good. Most hot tubs offer sleek contoured seating that molds to your body and a variety of jets to provide a soothing massage.
Outside the spa itself, you can get more “good feels” by adding:
Smooth rocks, moss, or pavers leading to your spa that feel wonderful underfoot.
Soft misters for a cooling spray during hot days.
A spa-side towel rack with soft towels and cushy monogrammed robes for the whole family
Your spa has a wide ledge to hold your water bottle or favorite beverage – making it easy to stay hydrated. Healthy, family-pleasing snacks are a delicious way to enhance your after-spa ritual.
Whether you install a full outdoor kitchen, basic grilling area, mini fridge, or a simple rolling cooler or drink cart for beverages, setting up an area for cooking and serving food and drink makes dining outdoors with friends and family easy and convenient.
Tasty, healthy drinks like fresh lemonade, iced team, or sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon – served in plastic glasses – enhance your warm water soak.
When your backyard haven is set up to appeal to all five senses, it makes it easy to immerse yourself in the full experience. Enjoy the ultimate hot tub haven you’ve created! If you still have days when, whatever you do, your mind is still racing and you can’t calm your thoughts, here’s a trick to bring you back to the present moment. We suggest you do this while you soak!
Take a few long, slow breaths in and out – holding each inhale and exhale for 8 counts. Now focus on each of the senses in turn. Become aware of what you can see and make a list in your mind.
“I can see the sun shining through the leaves, and the green grass. I see the clear water of my hot tub, and the sparkling waterfall feature…”
Keep going, slowly making note of the beautiful sights around you.
Work your way, in the same fashion, through sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. You’ll notice your thoughts slowing and calming as you become mindful of your surroundings.
Making enhancements to your outdoor space is an investment that the whole family will enjoy. We encourage you to dive into your next project – with all five senses!