Grottos: A Unique Addition to Your Swimming Pool

Written by Michael Dean
October 26, 2023

pool grottos

If you are looking to spice up your pool space, water features are the way to go! A grotto is a unique design feature that combines a waterfall with a small cave. Grottos not only look great, but they also add a soothing touch to your pool space. There are several ways to incorporate a grotto into your pool and tons of different designs to choose from. In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about grottos in your swimming pool.

Main Takeaways

  • A grotto in a pool is a small cave with a waterfall entrance.
  • Pool grottos can include poolside bars, a seating area, a spa, an additional small pool, and more!
  • Pool grottos generally cost around $5,000 on the low end, but depending on the design you choose and your region, that can cost over $50,000.

What Is a Grotto?

A grotto in a pool is a small cave with a waterfall entrance. They are usually an entrance to a larger opening with other pool features, such as a seat or a hot tub.

There are generally two main parts of a grotto: the waterfall itself and the space behind it. The waterfall can be customized in height and width, but it is typically high enough to allow swimmers to enter it. It may also be high enough in some pools to accommodate people wading under it.

The exterior of a grotto is usually made from artificial rock and is designed to match the theme of the pool. If you have a higher budget, you can invest in a grotto made from real rock. But keep in mind that this is much more expensive.

Types of Grottos

The world is your oyster in terms of the types of grottos you can install. You (with the help of your pool contractor) can get creative with the design.

The area behind your grotto can simply be a small room, a swim-up bar, a hot tub, and more! Sometimes, these grottos have dry entrances as well as access from the pool. I’ve even seen grottos that lead to another smaller pool.

The exterior design of your grotto is also customizable. You can choose to make a tall and narrow grotto or a broader and shorter one. Talk with your pool builder to get an idea of what type of grotto will fit your pool. Some pool owners even choose to install a waterslide to their grottos!

How Much Does a Pool Grotto Cost?

Pool grottos are not a cheap add-on to a pool, but can be a reasonable addition to any mid-priced pool. Depending on what labor and materials costs are like in your area, pool grottos typically start at around $5,000 to $10,000. Of course, this is in addition to the cost of the pool itself.

A waterfall grotto with a simple space behind it is usually the cheapest option. A staircase, slide, waterfall, and hidden nook might cost $15,000 to $50,000, depending on the size, design, and building materials used. There really is no upper limit to how much a grotto will cost for your pool, as there is a TON of customization that can go into the design.

Pool Grotto Design Ideas

There are a seemingly infinite number of pool grotto designs! Here are a few of the most popular ways to customize a grotto:

  • Loveseat behind a waterfall
  • Group seating in the water
  • Group seating out of the water
  • A hidden room, such as a spa
  • Swim-up bar with or without seating
  • Hidden entertainment center
  • Hot tub behind a waterfall

A small waterfall concealing a modest loveseat in the water can be a great place to hide away with a special someone. Or, for people who enjoy bigger gatherings, a grotto with multiple benches or a round bench design can accommodate larger groups. Some designs feature places for people to get out of the water within the grotto, while others are contained entirely within the pool.

Lighting is another way to make a pool grotto special. Some people choose exterior lighting, while others stick with interior lighting. Anything from colored lights that lend ambiance to complete light displays can enhance the grotto’s appearance.

Examples of Some Awesome Pool Grottos

Budget will dictate what is possible for many people, but there are still options, even for those with a more modest budget. People have come up with awesome pool grotto ideas for adults and kids, as well as various features for people who like to relax versus those who want to bring the party to the pool.

Water slide over partially-submerged cave for the kids to play in
Hidden loveseat behind a modest waterfall
Complete spa room accessed by a water-level hole in the ground
Hot tub/spa hidden behind a waterfall
The swim-up bar is accessed by passing under a waterfall

Need Help Building Your Pool?

I offer design consulting services to help you build your ideal pool. I'll work with your contractor, create build-ready designs and specs, and much more.

Grottos: The Ultimate Water Feature

A grotto is an excellent way to bring your pool to the next level! Before you start building your new pool, consider how you want your grotto to look, how much space you have, your budget, and what the purpose of your grotto is. Once you have sorted that out, you can contact a pool builder and get started turning your pool into an epic luxury paradise!

Have more questions on pool grottos? Feel free to reach out to me; I am happy to discuss!

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