On a perfect day in Cape Town, when the sky is a cloudless azure blue, and the temperature is on the upper side of 20 degrees, nothing comes close to spending your day poolside on a lounger sipping an ice-cold cocktail.
The Mother City is blessed with incredible white sandy beaches, near-perfect weather and breathtaking views all around. But when you crave a bit of relaxing exclusivity with your luxury holiday, or looking for an intimate Cape Town honeymoon, then staying poolside at your hotel is just what the doctor ordered. There are no crowds to contend with, no sand in your bikini and let’s face it the ocean temperature around Cape Town is typically icy most of the year, so the warm waters of a swimming pool on a glorious summer’s day are very inviting. On the plus side, you can enjoy wrap-around views of many iconic locations around Cape Town from the comfort of your sun lounger such as Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront, Signal Hill and the Atlantic Ocean.
I’ve put together a list of my favourite rooftop pools in Cape Town. There are many more fabulous ones dotted around this city and the peninsula, but these are some of the best, and at most of these you can enjoy some R&R poolside, even if you’re not a hotel guest.
1. Cape Royal VIP Skybar and Pool Deck
On one of Cape Town’s glorious sun-filled days, there are few places more fabulous than lounging poolside at the five-star Cape Royal VIP Skybar and Pool Deck. Located in Green Point, this rooftop pool features a glittering pool, sun loungers, a well-stocked bar with decadent cocktails, big daybeds and panoramic views over Signal Hill, the city and of course the Atlantic Ocean as far as the eye can see. Plus you can practically see into the iconic Cape Town Stadium from here!
This venue is unbeatable for sun-soaked days and cocktails next to the pool and is the perfect location for tourists and locals alike. Put your lips to a Long Island Iced Tea or a refreshing Mojito, breathe in the sea air whilst admiring the breathtaking surrounds, and you will literally feel your troubles melt away. The Skybar menu is also renowned for its sushi platters, and for a touch of glamour order the intoxicatingly delicious champagne pairing with oysters. Wait, it gets even better. The hotel also has its own Equinox spa, so you can book a massage whilst reclining in the sun. I can’t think of a more perfect combination for the ultimate poolside experience!
2. The One Above Penthouse
For a once-in-a-lifetime experience and possibly the most exclusive poolside affair, The One Above Penthouse really has no contenders. Originally the brainchild of well-known South African business magnate Sol Kerzner, the penthouse has the enviable position of being perched atop the One&Only Hotel, in the heart of the V&A Waterfront with 360 degree views over the city that are simply unsurpassable. This enviable penthouse is now managed by the Royal Portfolio and pairs perfectly with Africa House at Royal Malewane Private Game Reserve.
This incredible two-storey penthouse has a wrap-around terrace with two swimming pools and outdoor furniture perfect for chilling in the crystal blue waters with a glass of bubbly whilst taking in the breathtaking views of Cape Town, Table Mountain and the iconic Robben Island. The apartment’s interior is the epitome of luxury with no expense being spared. It features four sensational en-suite bedrooms, a dining room, several lounges, a fully kitted gym, large sauna and fabulous modern art.
There is a 24-hour butler service to pander to your every need, with the world famous restaurant Nobu and South Africa’s local talent Reuben’s downstairs. For utter exclusivity, location and with a whopping price tag, this rooftop pool has the best views over one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
3. Vos House
Located in the heart of the Mother City, in trendy de Waterkant, Vos House forms part of the African Elite Properties portfolio and can be found just above the buzzing Cape Quarter. This is an ideal option for anyone looking to book a fabulous villa close to the city centre and the perfect base from which to explore the city.
This classic Victorian house is three leveled, three bedroomed (all en-suite) with striking interiors, classical furniture and magnificent contemporary, Oriental and African art. For the ultimate trendy poolside location, head upstairs to the roof terrace, kick back with your travelling companions in this great little pool overlooking the city, Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront. There is a second pool located just a few steps from the master bedroom downstairs.
For those wanting to experience the heartbeat of the Mother City with all its gourmet restaurants and trendy shops, rooftop living at Vos House is a great option.
4. Ellerman House
When planning a holiday to Cape Town there are certain must-have criteria on most visitors’ wish lists: views of Lion’s Head and Table Mountain, 180 degree ocean views and easy access to the city and Waterfront. Ellerman House ticks all of these boxes, and so much more.
Perched on the slope of Lion’s Head in the heart of prestigious Bantry Bay, this graceful Cape Edwardian mansion has one of the most breathtaking views in Cape Town if not the world. In fact, I felt as if I’d been transported to the Cote d’Azur! The pool here is not strictly speaking a rooftop pool, but because of its elevated terraced position and spectacular views, it certainly feels as if you were sitting on the roof of the Atlantic Seaboard. Recline on one of the designer loungers with a good book whilst soaking up the panoramic views over the Atlantic coastline and the sandy beaches of Bantry Bay and Sea Point below. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Ellerman House features eleven exquisitely furnished rooms, two suites and two private villas, and you are surrounded by an incredible art collection wherever you go on the property. Breathe in the salty sea air, relax poolside, and you may find that you don’t have to go very far to experience the best that Cape Town has to offer.
5. Mandela Rhodes Place Hotel
For contemporary living at its best and a rooftop pool high above the Mother City, look no further than Mandela Rhodes Place.
Situated opposite the St Georges Cathedral and the Cape Town Company Gardens, it really doesn’t get more central than this. Chill out poolside on their expansive wooden sundeck next to the generously proportioned sparkling pool high above the city, face-to-face with Table Mountain, and you will never want to leave.
Whether in the city centre, Bantry Bay, De Waterkant, Green Point or at the Waterfront, when you relax poolside at any one of the above properties you will see why Cape Town is consistently voted one of the top destinations in the world.