30 Exotic Pool Cabana Ideas

July 7, 2021

No pool is complete without a luxurious cabana to complement your beautiful poolside paradise. Here are some great examples of exotic pool cabana ideas to inspire you to create an elegant poolside experience.

1 - CC Houzz.com

What is a pool cabana?

A cabana is a covered structure beside a pool, providing shelter from the sun and adding a great outdoor living area for those dreamy midsummer nights.

These can take the shape of a hut or a cabin and differ from a pool house by only three sides. This allows cabanas to be open, allowing you to look out over your pools and absorb the fresh air. Cabanas can be much more compact than pool houses without feeling claustrophobic, thanks to their openness.

What are pool cabanas made out of?

There are few different materials you can choose from when building your very own cabana. The basic is there will need to be a roof to provide shelter from the sun, and this will need to be held up by beams.

If you want to include more privacy in your structure, you can add solid walls. However, if this will block too much light and make it feel too claustrophobic, you can replace walls with fences or even glass windows.

How about a thatched cabana?

2 - CC Houzz.com

If your poolside leans into tropical or Caribbean themes, a thatched roof would be a great idea to add some traditional flair to your cabana.

Using synthetic straw instead of natural vegetation for the roof and pair that with wooden fencing or straw walls will create a unique look for your cabana while adding some much-needed structural rigidity.

A Tiki Hut is truly an exotic pool cabana idea!

The taco tiki hut is where we're all gonna meet
3 - CC Houzz.com

Tiki huts originate from the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes of Florida, and they provide a relaxed tropical feel to your poolside experience. These compose of thatched straw roofs on tall wooden beams.

These are open and airy and provide an exotic contender for a pool cabana. They will keep you safe from the sun while turning your backyard into a tropical paradise.

Get that rustic pool cabana look!

4 - CC BY 2.0 Wicker Paradise

Using exposed beams and natural woods introduces some great style and character to your pool cabana. You can use exciting shapes, like the modernist sloping roof of the image above.

Alternatively, you can use natural wood patterns and a pitched roof style to add a traditional countryside aesthetic to your poolside cabana.

How much does a pool cabana cost to build?

The price of erecting a cabana for your pool can vary depending on the size and materials you choose for construction.

A basic cabana can cost anywhere between $2,000 to $5,000 to build – although if you’re adding amenities like power sockets and designer furniture, the cost can quickly escalate.

What’s the difference between a Gazebo and a Cabana?

A gazebo and cabana are very similar, as they both provide shelter from the sun and rain. The main difference is that gazebos are open structures with no walls, whilst cabanas tend to have 2 or 3 walls, with one opening.

Then, what’s the difference between a pool Cabana and a Pool House?

A pool house usually has four walls and a door. Pool houses are usually used more for storage or long-term use. Cabanas are much more open and can in fact be temporary structures. Pool houses are much more expensive to build and have to be permanent.

Cabana on a Raised Platform

You can try raising your cabana on a platform, allowing you to see your entire garden in comfort under the shade.

If your backyard has some fantastic views, raising your cabana’s foundations would allow guests to sit and gaze at your wonderful area

What can pool Cabanas be used for?

There are loads of different uses for cabanas, and the structure's simplicity opens up a world of possibilities.

You can use it as a changing room by putting in curtains. It can double up as a lounge. It could be a place to store belongings safe from the sun and rain during a trip in the pool.

Here are some exciting ideas for uses and entertainment for a pool cabana:

Pool Cabana Idea: Sofas in the Shade

Private Pool Cabanas
5 - CC Houzz.com

For our first idea, we have the classic sofas in the shade. Placing tough fabric sofas under your cabana roof allows for a luxurious seating area placed just beside the pool. This is great for a socializing space, allowing guests to rest from the water, safe from the sun. If you're worried about the seat getting wet, swap them out for wooden chairs or use a waterproof cover to save the fabric from pool water.

Add a little spice to the sofas in your pool cabana

To decorate your beautiful sofas, try adding some patterned cushions or pillows to lighten up the look. If you're feeling adventurous, pair these pillows with matching curtains or drapes to add some exciting color to your décor.

Make it a Changing Room

As touched on before, your cabana can be used to provide some privacy for people wanting to change into their swimwear.

This means party guests won’t need to enter your house and find a private room to get changed! Once everyone’s changed, you can open the curtains and add a few chairs to transform the cabana’s purpose once again.

Pool Cabana Idea: Sunbathing in the Shade? Still relaxing, though

Infinity Pool Cabana
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If a sofa is too communal for you, a couple of poolside deck chairs would be a relaxing addition to your cabana. While you probably won't tan under a roof, it would undoubtedly create a great lounge area to read a book or sip on a Martini in peace.

Add a drinks or snacks table to your pool cabana

Dotting a table under your cabana is a positive no-brainer. Use these for your poolside drinks or for placing down your stone-baked pizza while you go for a swim.

Under the roof of a cabana is a perfect place to place belongings you want to keep protected in case of spells of rain or harsh UV rays.

Drinks, anyone?

7 - CC Houzz.com

A poolside bar is a sure sign of luxury. There's nothing better than dipping your toes in the water whilst sipping on a Pina Colada.

A cabana drinks bar will become the centerpiece of your backyard during parties and gatherings. Guests will love sitting on bar stalls, watching you (or your very own bartender) mix up exotic cocktails in the sun.

What’s on Draught?

To appease the beer and cider drinkers in your circle, consider installing your very own draught taps.

An ice-cold pint of lager won’t go unappreciated by any European. Whilst beer isn’t usually considered a traditional poolside drink, it’s certainly a relaxing respite from a hot summer’s day.

Additional Seating in the Water

If your bar is close enough to your pool, why not try adding some extra seating in the water itself!

Use floating chairs or fix some stools to the pool floor and watch as guests sip on their Margaritas with their tops dipped in the water.

Pool cabana Idea: Add a stage for a band or DJ

If you’re famous for your parties, a poolside DJ stage would be an absolute killer of an addition. There’s nothing that excites pool-goers more than live music and banging tunes.

8 - Public Domain - Jason Boyd

A stage doesn’t have to take up too much space, but under a cabana is a great place to put it, keeping instruments and equipment safe from the elements.

Yoga, anyone?

Plus, a raised platform or a hard floor can make for an excellent place to do some yoga. Place down some yoga mats and have a relaxing stretch by your pool.

Add some disco and strobe lights to your pool cabana

To complete the pool party experience, you've got to have an incredible light show. Placing a disco ball and expensive lights systems under a cabana is a great idea to keep the equipment safe from rain or dust.

Pair these lights with a killer DJ set, and you'll be set for the best poolside raves in town.

9 - Pool Party – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Tambako the Jaguar

How tall should a Cabana be?

Whilst there’s no set height for a cabana, it shouldn’t be too short as to let tall people bump their heads. A good size would be to allow at least 7 feet so that everyone gets an acceptable level of headroom.

If your cabana is larger, it should also be taller. Adding a sloped roof is a great way to add headroom without making your cabana look comically tall.

Pool by the Pool? Don’t mind if I do.

10 - CC BY 2.0 Stig Nygaard

If you’re stuck on poolside entertainment, adding a pool or snooker table is a great way to add a competitive game to your cabana experience.

Pool and snooker are great games to play and watch! If your friends are particularly good at the sport, it can make for a good spectator activity for everyone during a pool party.

IT’S COMING HOME! Add a TV for Sports Games

If your friends or guests are sports fans, why not add a TV to watch the game? It makes for a great pool party on match day, attracting all your sports fan buddies. Pair this with a poolside bar and create the ultimate footy-watching experience.

Not a Sports Fan? How about an outdoor cinema?

The shade from a cabana roof provides an excellent area for a large TV. To create the ultimate outdoor cinema, pair some comfortable sofas or chairs with a large and bright TV. A home cinema speaker system can double up as a music speaker for when it’s time to stop the film and start the party. 

Add a hammock to your pool cabana design

Perhaps you're not a party person, and maybe you'd prefer to relax by the side of your tropical pool.

River Kwai Hammock
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Fit a hammock under the shade of your cabana to create a comforting place for you to doze off in the heat. Not only are hammocks more exotics than sunbeds, but they also improve the aesthetics of your cabana and can be really comfortable for long naps.

Pool Cabana Idea: Poolside Chef?

This next idea is a potentially expensive one, but it's a worthy investment for those dedicated to poolside parties and gatherings.

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Cook up some mean burgers on the grill, or perhaps prepare a lovely salad for your pool party guests.

Put it on the BBQ

If you don’t want to install a permanent kitchen under your cabana, try swapping it out for a portable grill or a barbeque. It’s a much more affordable way to cook up a meal by the pool in style. 

Dinner by the Pool

A pool cabana could make for a perfect outdoor dining space. Add a dining table and some comfy outdoor chairs, and you've got yourself a luxurious venue for your next meal.

Breakfast by the Water

If you’re looking at installing an outdoor kitchen, adding some barstools next to a large tabletop would make for a great poolside breakfast bar.

Pool Cabana Idea: Use a Cabana to Cover a Hot Tub

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A hot tub is a staple of a luxury poolside home, and a cabana can provide some much-needed great privacy when you’re relaxing with bubbles.

Cabanas can provide an extra layer of cover protection when the hot tub is not in use, preventing rain and bugs from running your jacuzzi water.

So, what are you waiting for?

There you go; 30 great ideas and designs for your next pool cabana. If you've got an outdoor pool that needs jazzing up, an accompanying cabana is an exotic way to spice your poolside experience up.

They have some excellent uses for pool parties and can give you extra privacy when relaxing by yourself at home. Be creative with your choices for materials and décor, and you can create a truly unique structure for your backyard.

Image Attribution:

  • 1 - CC Houzz.com
  • 2 - CC Houzz.com
  • 3 - CC Houzz.com
  • 4 - CC BY 2.0 Wicker Paradise
  • 5 - CC Houzz.com
  • 6 - CC Houzz.com
  • 7 - CC Houzz.com
  • 8 - Public Domain - Jason Boyd
  • 9 - Pool Party – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Tambako the Jaguar
  • 10 - CC BY 2.0 Stig Nygaard
  • 11 - CC Houzz.com
  • 12 - CC Houzz.com
  • 13 - CC Houzz.com

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