Outdoor hot tub in yard

Although a hot tub on its own can turn your backyard into a spa-like oasis, a gazebo or enclosure can enhance your soaking experience even more.

However, the number of options can seem overwhelming. If you’re wondering whether you should get a hot tub gazebo or a hot tub enclosure (and what the difference is between the two), you’ve come to the right place.

Here, we’ll explain everything you need to know about hot tub gazebos and enclosures.

What Is a Gazebo?

Gazebos are freestanding structures often placed in parks, gardens and backyards. They always have a solid, sloped roof that rises to a central point, which is often topped with a decorative cap or finial.

Here’s a great example of a typical gazebo:

Gazebo in backyard

Notice the shingled roof, octagonal shape, pointed finial, railings and lattice walls: All are common features of gazebos.

Gazebos weren’t popular in the U.S. until approximately the 19th century, and today are an unmistakable symbol of relaxation, good conversation and the beauty of nature.

What Is an Enclosure?

While gazebos are a very specific type of structure, “enclosure” is an umbrella term for a broad array of structures which can either partially or fully surround a hot tub.

For example, an enclosure can refer to a pergola, which unlike a gazebo features a slatted roof and has no walls. Pergolas’ roofs are typically open-air, though they can be covered as well. Here’s a typical example:

Hot Tub enclosure

An enclosure can also refer to one or more freestanding privacy screens, which offer no overhead cover but provide privacy from the side on which they’re erected. Many hot tub owners use trellises as privacy screens, which can double as an attractive display for climbing plants and hanging flowers, like this:

Freestanding hot tub enclosure

Pros and Cons of Hot Tub Gazebos

To help you narrow down your decision, let’s go over some of the pros and cons of hot tub gazebos.

Gazebo Pros

  • Offer an elegant and polished look right out of the box.
  • Provide complete overhead protection from sun, rain and snow.
  • If large enough, gazebos can also provide an outdoor seating area.

Gazebo Cons

  • Block overhead sunlight.
  • Depending on the height of its railings, gazebos offer minimal sideways privacy.
  • Typically cost multiple thousands of dollars to purchase prebuilt gazebos.

Pros and Cons of Hot Tub Enclosures

Now, let’s discuss the pros and cons of hot tub enclosures.

Enclosure Pros

  • Often significantly cheaper than gazebos.
  • Typically allow for plenty of sunlight.
  • In the case of privacy screens, hot tub enclosures offer plenty of sideways privacy.

Enclosure Cons

  • Little to no overhead protection from the elements.
  • In the case of pergolas, hot tub enclosures offer no sideways privacy.
  • Compared to gazebos, hot tub enclosures don’t create an elegant look right out of the box.

Which One Is Right for You?

Now that you know the difference between hot tub gazebos and hot tub enclosures as well as the major pros and cons of each, you’re probably wondering which one is right for you.

A hot tub gazebo is probably the right choice for you if:

  • You desire full overhead protection from sun, rain and snow.
  • You want to easily create a grand and stylish look.
  • You’re prepared to pay thousands of dollars for a premade model.

On the other hand, a hot tub enclosure is likely the right choice for you if:

  • You don’t place a high priority on overhead protection.
  • You want to be able to customize your level of privacy as well as your enclosure’s look.
  • You don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for a premade structure.

In the end, no matter which option you choose, you’re sure to enjoy the beautiful backyard haven you create.