LOOK: Mzansi’s best-rated hotels, perfect for poolside chilling this summer

A hotel guest chilling poolside reading a magazine with their cold beverage in sight. Picture: Unsplash

A hotel guest chilling poolside reading a magazine with their cold beverage in sight. Picture: Unsplash

Published Nov 29, 2023


Temperatures are soaring this summer and Mzansi is looking for classy places to relax and cool off.

No matter where you’re travelling to this summer, you want to have access to a pool where you can cool off from the heat. Swimming at a pool instead of the beach or in rivers or dams is generally safer.

The beauty in hotel pools is that they are more controlled environments and they offer security and comfort.

When it comes to summer living, chilling poolside at a hotel also comes with the added perk of having beverages and nibbles to enjoy while you relax. If that hotel has an Instagrammable pool, you also get a photo-op and you don’t have to carry towels since they are provided by the hotel.

So if you’re up for making a splash this summer, here are Mzansi’s best rated hotels where you can do so.

Akademie Street Boutique Hotel

Enjoy the beauty and serenity of Akademie Street Boutique Hotel’s pool. Picture: Website

In the heart of the Cape Winelands, you can and enjoy the beauty and serenity of Akademie Street Boutique Hotel in Franschhoek.

The hotel offers luxury 5-star accommodation in five unique buildings all on the same beautiful property in a quiet area of the village.

There’s enough swim time allocated for everyone as the hotel has four swimming pools and four gardens. This hotel is within easy walking distance to the gourmet restaurants and wine tasting experiences.

A stay at the luxury hotel starts from R11 908 a night for 2.

Schoone Oordt Country House

Schoone Oordt Country House has a well-manicured garden and pool to dip into. Picture: Website

Schoone Oordt Country House is one of the top boutique hotels in Swellendam with a heartfelt passion for people, for food, for wine and for the environment.

The luxury hotel offers romantic and intimate as well as family friendly accommodation in Swellendam.

It places an emphasis on warmth, care, elegance, quality and love and aspires to make this evident in every aspect of your stay.

You can enjoy the hotel’s pool in it its cool well-manicured garden. A stay at the hotel starts from R 4 133 for 2.

Kapama Buffalo Camp

Chill poolside and enjoy views of the African bush at Kapama Buffalo Camp. Picture: Website

Kapama Buffalo Camp is reminiscent of a traditional African safari camp and offers a unique and intimate experience in the African bush in the Kruger National Park.

It is ideal for discovering big game in true safari tented style without compromising on comfort. The camp has 10 luxury canvas en-suite tents, each sleeping two which are set on wooden decks built on stilts over a steep-sided riverbank.

Wooden walkways connect the rooms, which are all in the upper reaches of tall riverine trees.

Just a stones throw away, is the thick African bush inhabited by animals like lion, hyena and jackal whose calls can be heard in the dead of night making Kapama Buffalo Camp a truly authentic way to experience the African bush.

A stay at the hotel starts from R 14 977 a night.

Mont Rochelle

Soak up the sun and enjoy views of the mountains and vineyards at Mont Rochelle. Picture: Website

Owned by Sir Richard Branson, Mont Rochelle is a stunning hotel and vineyard just under an hour's drive from Cape Town in Franschhoek.

Guests can enjoy views of the winelands and Mont Rochelle boasts a unique hilltop setting with views over the Klein Dassenberg mountain range.

The hotel comprises of 26 rooms and suites including a stunning Manor House; a private four-bedroom villa available for exclusive use year-round. It also has two restaurants Miko and the Country Kitchen.

Hotel guests and day visitors can enjoy wine tastings in a variety of locations and Mont Rochelle wines are available to purchase.

When you're not enjoying the wine, you can take a dip in the main outdoor heated swimming pool or relax at the Mont Rochelle Spa with a spa treatment or a hammam.

A stay at the hotel starts from R 16 200 a night for 2.

POD Camps Bay Boutique Hotel

Enjoy views of Camps Bay whilst relaxing on the deck at POD Camps Bay. Picture: Website

POD Camps Bay is a true African original realised in a stunning set of decor elements both raw yet polished in Cape Town.

The hotel has 17 modern suites and rooms with idyllic mountain or ocean views. POD Camps Bay is a mere 50 meters from the silky sands of the famous Camps Bay beachfront with its trendy restaurants and bars.

The hotel offers a luxurious 5-star boutique hotel experience.

It appears on the Condé Nast Hot List 2011, and finds its place among Tatler's 101 Best Hotels in the World. A stay here starts from R 10 800 a night for 2.

Thebloem Guest Suites

Once done taking a dip in the pool at Thebloem, you can also rinse off in the shower. Picture: Website

In the heart of the Garden Route, Thebloem is suspended high above the town of Knysna, on a hill fittingly called Paradise overlooking the world acclaimed Knysna Heads and lagoon.

It is an exemplary of the new trends in hospitality design and comfort and truly is a special place, both visually and physically.

The hotel has 5 suites specifically designed for panoramic views of the Knysna Lagoon.

You can also enjoy the boutique hotel’s pool as a you relax in the sun. A stay at the hotel starts from R3510 a night for 2.

Kariega Game Reserve - Settlers Drift

A sapphire blue pool and stunning green views will cool you down at Kariega Game Reserve. Picture: Website

Settlers Drift is a 5-star luxury tented lodge in the Big 5 malaria-free Kariega Game Reserve.

The lodge consists of 9 spacious tented suites, each with stunning views and secluded viewing decks.

The experience includes all meals, drinks, twice daily safari drives, river trips and guided walks.

The modern and luxurious lodge has spacious decks, a pool, boma, shop, library and spa. A stay at the lodge starts from R27 000 a night.

Teremok Lodge & Spa

Privacy is the order of the day when taking a swim at Teremok Lodge & Spa. Picture: Website

In the heart of uMhlanga, and within walking distance from the beach, lies Teremok Lodge & Spa, an award-winning 5-star boutique hotel.

All eight suites are uniquely designed and boast extra-length beds, air-conditioning, private balconies, showers, baths, double basins and separate toilets with bidets. Extras include home entertainment systems, wireless charging pads, and wifi throughout.

Teremok also has a spa facility, gym and pool where you can relax. A stay at the lodge starts from R5 302 a night for 2.

Nambiti Plains Private Game Lodge

You can also enjoy views of the wildlife while taking a swim at Nambiti Plains. Picture: Website

Nambiti Plains is an exclusive, intimate 5-star lodge in the heart of the malaria free, big 5 Nambiti Game Reserve.

The lodge is a 3-hour drive from Durban and 4 hours from Johannesburg. It offers guests a private bush experience where Africa meets absolute luxury in an earthy environment.

You can indulge in an unforgettable get-away experience of fine dining, exquisite rooms, attentive staff and magical game drives. A stay at the lodge starts from R4 200 a person sharing a night.

The list was sourced from TripAdvisor