While having a pool is more than enough to enjoy a relaxing weekend at home, it’s never complete without a poolside cabana.
It adds the chance to enjoy some shade and offers a place to locate your belongings. And if you’re hosting a party, it can transform a boring pool into an oasis.
The term cabana, however, is broad. That’s why we’re going to show you everything from small poolside houses and cabins to pergolas, gazebos, and huts. You’ll have the best pool cabana ideas regardless of what you’re looking for exactly.
Check them all below!
Types of Pool Cabanas
Because almost everyone thinks of a different thing when they read the word cabana, we want to explain how to tell them apart. Below, we describe the 6 most common things people know as cabanas:
1. Classic Cabana
A small area with 4 posts and 3 walls plus an open space that faces the pool. This is the classical cabana. It often involves curtains instead of walls. The roof can be anything from planks to wood fibers and even tiles.
2. Pool House
If the place has all 4 walls and a sliding or glass door instead of an opened face, then that’s a pool house. People also know it as a lounge or a pool bar. Either way, this one tends to have extra appliances and furniture.
Some cabanas are entirely made of wood and boast a traditional cabin structure. Suffice to say, that’s precisely their name. These are often closed yet may also work as an extra space for the pool area.
When the structure has 4 posts and parallel beams as the ceiling, that’s a pergola. This one is wholly uncovered, often working as a mostly decorative area. It may offer a bit of shade.
Typically confused with cabanas, gazebos have no walls at all. But these are often used for backyards and gardens instead of pool areas. Their design is a bit more traditional, boasting tile or wooden ceilings.
Also known as bungalows, pool huts are similar to pool houses and cabins. But these hold a more tropical style, often made entirely of wood and boasting furniture for extra convenience.
15 Pool Cabana Ideas for Backyards
While there were hundreds of different ideas we could bring, we focused on the most attractive ones. Those that will catch anyone’s attention at first sight. Here’s more about each:
1. Mini Cabana with Curtains
As a start, you can make it simple. A straightforward cabana, four columns, a fiber roof, and some curtains. That should be more than enough to get your backyard equipped and your pool well-accompanied.
If you can place it alongside your backyard flowers and other vegetation, this type of cabana looks fantastic, to say the least.
To make it even better, you can add some waterproof chairs and a rug or carpet. It will be ready for any situation.
2. Elegant Wooden Cabanas
Have a grass backyard? Like elegant decorations? Then a classy cabana with stylish curtains and a gorgeous oak structure will feel like the perfect choice.
We recommend using tiles or concrete for the floor to match the wood’s appeal more effectively. If you prefer, a wooden deck could also get the job done.
Paired up with some pool chairs and a small table will make the cabanas a beautiful addition to any backyard.
3. Mini Poolside House
A cabana-styled house could also change your pool feel complete. While slightly more challenging to build than a simple cabana, it is way more useful.
For example, you could install some furniture, an air conditioner, and a fridge. Then it will not feel exactly like a cabana, but more like a second house you won’t be able to get out of.
Don’t forget to add a tropical style, using wood fibers for the roof and a stylish wooden deck for the ultimate touch. Functional works, but beautiful is always the way to go.
4. Japanese-Style Gazebo
The Japanese are not popular for their pools. But they’re popular for their architecture. If you can absorb the best of their architecture and put it to work in your poolside gazebo, you’ll make a beautiful structure.
This cabana stands out for the addition of the bridge. While not possible in most scenarios, it can always make for a unique addition that adds to the place’s beauty.
Either way, this Asian-style gazebo will boost your backyard’s appeal by a lot, especially if your house already has an Asian touch.
5. The Windmill Poolside Cabin
For those who want to take their poolside cabana to another level, few options will stand out as much as a windmill cabin.
This isn’t precisely a cabana but gets the job done. If you can build it up with a shaded area and some chairs, it will set your poolside to the next level of loveliness.
Building this type of cabin won’t be easy, though. It may take a lot of money as well. But the beauty it adds to the place is unbeatable – not to say it can also become a garden shed.
6. Garage-Style Cabana
Simple but still attention-grabbing, a garage-style cabana is never a bad idea. Alongside a large lounging area with chairs and a coffee table, some furniture inside, and maybe even some appliances to relax – this one can be a perfect choice.
You can build it with standard glass doors that match with the pool or with a garage door if you want to take the decoration a step further. Either way, the cabana will be practical and cozy, especially for those who like to host parties and friend reunions consistently.
7. Poolside Living Room Cabana
Large backyards with wooden decks can be ideal for a sunken living room, making any poolside area beautiful.
Sure, the cabana would come with a pergola or gazebo style. You can add chairs if needed. But the focus should be the sunken sofas, paired up with waterproof furniture.
You could make this one by merely replacing the hot tub area of a pool with underfloor furniture. Don’t forget about making the shaded area practical enough.
8. The Underwater Bar
You will mostly find this type of cabana on resorts and clubs. But that doesn’t mean you can’t build one of these at home. In fact, if it feels like the right choice – make it happen.
The whole purpose is to build a hut inside the pool. But just under the columns and ceiling, you can add a place to sit dry at the same level as the water.
This could take a lot of money and time to build, of course. But it still makes for a fabulous addition to any pool area, primarily huge ones.
9. Classic Cabana Style
The term “cabana” comes from the Spanish “cabin.” As you may guess, nothing would fit the term better than a classic tropical cabin on the side of a pool.
While these are mostly used in hotels and pool clubs, they can also become an excellent addition to residential backyards.
We recommend following the traditional wooden structure, fiber roof, and open front. That would set your cabanas apart from everyone else’s.
10. Tall Gazebo Style with Ceramic
Ceramic tiles, steel structure, a few chairs, and a landscape of plants around. Why make it so hard when something as simple as this gazebo can make the pool area work?
If you can make the huts tall enough for the sun to go in in the afternoon and morning but also small enough to block the scorching sun from midday, the place will be more than ideal.
Tall-enough cabanas can also work as an excellent place for barbecues and pinatas. So you’ll have double the benefits with one of these.
11. Mini Island Cabana
For those who have a big pool with a small island – why not use that portion for the cabana?
It doesn’t have to be a sizeable multi-purpose structure to work. As long as it is wide enough to block the sun in the hottest hours of the day, it should get the job done.
If you can, make the island greener with some grass and flowers. This should increase the appeal of the pool while making it feel like part of the backyard.
12. Inside Pool Cabin Style
Going for an ambitious pool project? Then you’ll love building a cabin inside a pool. Seems completely counterintuitive, but it works. And more importantly, it gives your pool a facy touch of style that’s impossible to dismiss.
This could be extremely expensive and laborious, though. We recommend it for those who have the money and time. If you do, then nothing will come close.
You can use the cabin as a place to relax, set up some appliances and get away from everyday life, build a man cave, and whatever comes to your mind. Opportunities are endless.
13. Simple Indoors Pergola Style
In case you want to go affordable and straightforward, pick a pergola-style cabana. Nothing fancy, but stylish enough to boost your pool appeal.
Pergolas don’t have to be separated from the pool to be useful. And they can still be part of the backyard without overdoing it.
The main advantage of pergolas is their ability to provide a bit of shade without stopping the natural wind from going in. This is a considerable advantage almost no other type of cabana offers.
14. Classic Bar Style Inside Pool Cabana
Some types of cabanas never get old. The bar in the pool is one of them. While it is mostly found in resorts and clubs, it still works well on backyard pools.
You can make it small and straightforward while still boasting the attractive wood fiber roof that stands out. And to set it apart, you can build it using a complete wooden frame. This should boost its style even more.
The exciting part is how well it works to stay close to the pool without getting wet and vice versa.
15. Mini Pergola Style Cabana
The cabana doesn’t have to be the center of the attention. As long as it provides a bit of shade and protects against environmental factors, it will be more than enough.
That’s why we recommend building a small pergola alongside the pool. A bit elevated to make it stand out will be an excellent idea. To add even more style to the place, you can build it over ceramic tiles.
Don’t forget to bring the pool chairs and outdoor furniture to the mix. That would make it an irresistible place to relax.
16. Hurricane-proof Cabana
Is your home location prone to frequent hurricanes and storms? Let that not keep you from entertaining your guests in a cabana of your choice. The hurricane-proof cabana is typically built to withstand the destruction of powerful hurricanes. The cabana structure itself must be engineered to the highest quality. The joints and internal structural engineering should be up to the task, and they can be fabricated from powder coated aluminum.
17. Harbor View
The cabana is typically positioned to overlook a harbor. It is ideal if your house lies by the coast. Instead of a pool, you can use the coastline naturally for your harbor view cabana. It should resemble a shack by the sea because it may be constructed like a boat house. You can use it to house boating equipment and also other swimming material.
18. Swim up Bar Cabana
Bar stools are placed within the pool area. These allow the guests to swim up to them and enjoy a drink or snacks while in the water. If you wish to keep them useful both day and night, provide lighting in the space around the cabana. The barstool concept can also be used for other purposes, such as playing water games. The cabana can include additional special features such as a grill or a dining table.
19. Rustic Pool Cabana
The cabana should be made out of polished wood, and soft tones should be used for the paint. The wooden construct may be used as a writing retreat on a lazy Sunday. A bench may be placed along with the shelf.
20. Fire Place Cabana
Consider constructing a fireplace in the cabana for a stimulating effect. The warmth of the fire would balance out the fluidity of the pool. You can place some rugs on the cabana floor where you may snuggle on a cold wintery evening.
21. Outdoor Sports Bar
The cabana must feature a television and bean bags to resemble a typical gaming lounge.
22. English garden Cabana
The cabana should be surrounded by bountiful grass on its sides which is reminiscent of a typical English garden. You may also add some traditional architecture to go with the gardening. For instance, you may include some Roman or Greek-style architecture. The pathway to the cabana should be paved, and the gravel should be elaborately carved. Flowers may be grown in the garden in an appropriate setting. A bench may be added with a bird table beside it, which may be supplied with seed.
23. Tropical Shack
You can enjoy the holiday mood from the comforts of your home itself. The objective is to create a colorful vibe reminiscent of a tropical beach. You can try surrounding the cabana with beach sand and placing shells intermittently. A beach entrance can be placed in front of the cabana. The cabana can also be constructed as a shack to give off the Caribbean vibe. In case you decide to add a grill and use seafood or fish, it would be the icing on the cake. Place relaxing sofas, and use bright colors for the cushions.
24. Yoga and Meditation
A multi-purpose cabana can be designed where the users can not only relax but also practice yoga by the poolside. Curtains will have to be placed to provide privacy, as well as for protection against wind blowing across. The cabana should have sufficient open space so that there is room for stretching. Custom-made equipment may be placed, which will help in exercising. Also, the floor needs to be carefully polished and made slip-resistant so that no mishaps occur during the yoga exercises. Some aromatic scents may be placed on the shelves to aid the meditation process.
25. Waterfall Cabana
A special effect may be added to the open side of the cabana, where a waterfall cascades into the spa. The gushing sound of the waterfall adds to the tranquility, and it can be a beautiful visual sight.
After seeing all the different alternatives – why would you leave your poolside without a cabana?
Every single one of our pool cabana ideas is entirely doable, regardless of your budget and experience. Sure, some of them will need some shrinking to be possible – but most of them will be a no-brainer.
Either way, we hope you finished the article inspired, ready to put your hands to work and build the cabana of your dreams. What are you waiting for then? That cabana won’t build itself!
A poolside cabana and a pool house are not the same things. A cabana is a roofed structure used for shelter near a pool. On the other hand, a pool house is more like a conventional house. It will have the usual amenities such as a kitchen, a bathroom, bedrooms, and so on.
A poolside cabana is a sheltered construction usually comprising three sides, with the fourth opening onto the pool area. It provides a private space for guests or residents to change or relax after enjoying the pool. It can also be used for storing poolside equipment or toys. They can vary from simple to extravagant in design. A simple poolside cabana with thatched roofs will be made of wood. A much more elaborate cabana will consist of electric appliances, cabins, and so on.
The pool cabana can be anywhere between 10 to 12 feet high, depending on the owners’ preferences.
A cabana is primarily used as a convenient cabin near the pool. After having a bath in the pool, you can use it for a quick nap. Or you could also use it for relaxing while having some drinks. In case there are some indoor games available, you could also use them to entertain your party guests.
It depends on the budget and activities of the homeowner. If the resident regularly entertains visitors, family, and friends at their home, it might be a valuable addition. On the other hand, there are also building and maintenance costs to be considered. If the owner plans to sell the property off eventually, it can be seen as a good investment since it would add to the value of the property. Ultimately, the decision has to be taken on the utility that it holds for the homeowner and how frequently he decides to use it.
Theoretically, there is no issue with installing a bathroom in your luxury cabana. However, it would require an elaborate process, where you might need to get building permits and check with the building contractor. Plumbing also needs to be taken care of, and the drainage may have to be adjusted.
The defining feature of a gazebo is the covered roof on the top. However, the gazebo is open on all sides. This is in contrast to the cabana, which is covered on three sides with fabric or other lightweight material which are used as screening walls.
A floating cabana is usually an inflatable deck that is covered on the top, and it provides seating for a couple of people. In a water park, it can be found floating on the water’s surface, and it can be used for enjoying the water landscape. It might also contain a mini table for convenience.