Shawnebaby - hi, the last house I was renting had a whirpool tub in it that I repaired for the landlord. It wasn't working when I moved in, and the place was quite rural so he was hesitant to try and get a repair person out to the house (75 miles from Richmond and Hampton, VA). The walls in the bathroom were tiled as you described. I gained access to the pump through the other side of the bathroom wall; he showed me where it was. (I ended up repairing the pump and adding a small water tank/lint basket to it...the old pump wouldn't keep its prime.)
So, what you can do is look and see what's on the other side of the walls around your tub and see where you may be able to install an access port that's not obtrusive or unpleasant to look at. You'll want the access port large enough to get the pump in and out, allow enough room to connect and disconnect the hoses to the pump, and also to unplug the pump from the electrical line you'll need to run to that location. I'm not an electrician (I do work on electronics though) and don't know the code on this, but my pump had a dedicated circuit for it.
The other thing I'd try and be sure of when installing the pump is to make sure that when the tub is filled with water, the water that enters the whirlpool tubing actually reaches the top of the pump. That's what will insure it's primed before you start the pump. The problem with my landlord's system was the water that did reach the top of the pump wasn't enough to keep the pump primed at startup...the hose had an upward "hump" in the middle of the line. Whoever had rented the house before me had burned out the impeller inside the pump. I fixed that and still had priming problems, so I switched out the front of the pump to add that water tank/lint basket. It would hold about 2-3 quarts of water which would be enough to keep the pump primed until its suction kicked in to circulate the water. If we went away or didn't use the whirlpool portion for more than a month, I'd quickly check that tank for water before I started the pump.
The sales person should be able to explain pump placement, priming, and all that to you so you'd be able to install it at the right location around your tub. I don't believe it matters if it's near the faucet end or the back end of the tub, as long as it gets water to it. Good luck - and Happy New Year! Jim D/West Point, VA