If you're looking for a way take your swimming pool from ordinary to fabulous, adding a rock grotto could be exactly the answer you seek. But first, what is a rock grotto and how can you use it to enhance your pool? 

A rock grotto is a solid structure, usually made from artificial rocks placed along an edge of the pool that mimics the look of a natural cave. The grotto can be as large or as small as you want. Small grottos may only be large enough for a waterfall or to swim under, but larger ones can feature many more amenities.

If you're wondering what a pool grotto can do for your pool, here are six great ways it can improve the whole outdoor experience of your home.

Mask Unwanted Views

If your backyard features a less-than-ideal view—like an unsightly wall, the neighbor's yard or your backyard shed—installing a tall group of faux rocks can conceal many eyesores. If your budget doesn't allow for an oversized group of boulders, you could opt for a type of rock wall with a waterfall or sluice as its centerpiece. 

Integrate a Spa

Large, cave-like grottos serve as excellent places to put in a spa and make it feel like it's a true part of the pool. The cave acts as a naturally relaxing environment for your hot tub, and you can position it behind the waterfall if you want to be able to see outside. 

Add a Natural Look

Some homeowners don't relish the idea of a swimming pool taking over their yard or the large amount of artificial-looking hardscape that usually accompanies it. A pile of rocks—whether real or fake—arranged in a way that mimics a natural grouping can save your landscape design. Using the grotto boulders as a base, you can add greenery like bushes and trees, flowers and lush ground covers.  

Create a Man (or Woman) Cave

A deluxe rock grotto can be hollowed out to be as large as you want. This means that it's only limited by your budget and imagination. How about a swim-in entrance and steps that lead to a covered entertainment room? It could be wired for a big screen television or integrated speaker system, hold a mini bar or feature arcades or game tables. Add a walk-in entrance to keep things dry and clean—then your backyard retreat is complete. 

Provide a Swim-Up Bar

If your favorite high-end resort boasts a swim-up bar, you can recreate the feeling right in your yard. A grotto with a waterfall entrance provides the perfect location to carve out a spot for your bar without interfering with the swimmers.

You may want to dig down so that a bartender can sit or stand at a comfortable level and serve swimmers who are still in the water. Also add some underwater stools or a bench along the edge so guests can relax and admire the view from behind the waterfall. 

Create Art

The swimming pool is often a big hit during the day, but it may be less of a draw at night. Combine a rock grotto and waterfall with great lighting, and you could turn it into a nighttime work of art.

LED lighting comes in a variety of colors, from ethereal and natural to colorful and vibrant. The sound of the bubbling water and a creative lighting scheme can make your outdoor entertainment space really pop or even make the pool a beautiful new backdrop from the house. 

It's clear that a rock grotto can be the solution to many pool challenges and add new life to the entire area. So, talk with a pool specialist about your backyard dreams today. The experts at Artisan Pools & Outdoor Living can help you create a truly incredible outdoor space.