If you own a home or some property such as a hotel, you may want to spice it up by adding additional structures such as gazebos, cabanas, pergolas, and even patios. These structures have specific benefits, the universal one being that they serve as outdoor relaxation points shielding you from the sun. Narrowing down our focus, let us talk about gazebos and cabanas,

Is there a difference between a gazebo and a cabana? Ideally, both of these structures play the role of shelters, protecting you from the sun as you relax in the outdoors. Their main difference is how they are constructed. A gazebo has all sides open, while a cabana will have three walls closed and the fourth one open to face the pool area.

In this article, we will discuss the details about these two structures, their uses, differences, similarities and other related questions. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is a Cabana?

Colorful beach cabanas

At the mention of the word cabana, the mind will swiftly drift to some beach hotel or resort with perfect weather for relaxation under a certain structure-the cabana.

Well, that kind of thought is actually accurate. A cabana is a kind of structure, which historically has always been built in a strategic position facing some water body be it a natural one like the sea, or a man-made one like the pool.

Traditionally, the cabana was a simple primitive hut, and it hasn’t undergone any significant changes over the years over the years.

It is a portable structure with a triangular or sometimes angled roof. The roof could be made of metal, wood, thatch, or some outdoor fabric.

It has three lightweight enclosed walls for privacy, and one open wall usually facing the water body. However, the walls do not have to be lightweight, as some people may prefer to put up solid walls for their cabana.

For more privacy, you can still draw some curtains to close up the open side.

As already said, it is portable, but if you like, you can still construct a permanent one, especially if it is for your home swimming pool area and it will serve the same purpose.

Uses of a Cabana

  • Given the three enclosed walls, the cabana offers more privacy. If you are at some beach resort or hotel, it can serve as a quick changing room where you can change into your bikini with some privacy.
  • Forks that love the relaxation mood at the beach like sitting under cabanas compared to using umbrellas because of the privacy factor offered by a cabana.
  • Sometimes, if you have been partying the whole night, you can just draw the curtain on the open wall side and take a nap without people noticing or disturbing you. This is ideal, especially if you have kids that are tired and want to sleep for a while.
  • You can use a curtained cabana as an outdoor stage for children or even adults to perform impromptu plays or concerts.
  • If you have one in your backyard, you can make it your escape plan where you can relax the afternoon away or have a romantic dinner/retreat in it.
  • For those interested in holding a private party at the beach, the cabana would be your best bet.

What Is a Gazebo?


A gazebo would be described as some sort of a pavilion structure. The classic gazebo has an octagonal shape, but the temporary ones today can also have a round or square shape.

The permanent ones are mostly made of wood, though some are made of aluminum. The roof is covered to shield the user from the sun and rain. The walls are open all around, but they can also be covered to the middle using some poles or wood, leaving some space for entrance. Some may not have the walls at all, but such preferences are dependent on the home/property owner.

A gazebo can stand independently in the garden, or it can also be connected to the garden walls.

Common areas for a gazebo include gardens, parks, front lawns, and public areas.

Uses of a Gazebo

  • A gazebo is mainly used for relaxation in the outdoors, breaking the monotony of staying indoors.
  • A Gazebo will give you the perfect chance of enjoying nature given that its walls are open.
  • You can entertain your guests here. Additionally, if you want to discuss something privately but comfortably, you can excuse yourself from the house, go to the gazebo, and discuss your private matters there.

Similarities and Differences between Gazebos and Cabanas

Both structures serve the same function, a place to sit and relax being shielded from harsh weather conditions.

The major difference as already said is their construction whereby a cabana has three covered walls and one open one facing the beach. Gazebos are open on all sides.

See Also:
Palapa Vs. Gazebo – Here The Difference
Veranda VS Gazebo (Here’s The Difference)

Which Is Better Between Cabana and Gazebo?

When it comes to preference, it all boils down to function and venue. For a home, you may want a gazebo because it is permanent, but for beach hotels and resorts, a cabana would be ideal for the purpose of privacy.

Related Questions

What is the significance of a gazebo?

A gazebo provides shade and shelter for relaxation in the outdoors. Additionally, it can also serve as a rain shelter or bandstand in public areas such as parks.

Is there a private cabana?

Well, yes there is. If you are at the beach with some friends and you want to enjoy some time privately, you can rent a cabana for just a few people. This means that for as long as you have rented it, only you and your crew can sit in it. Also, if you have a cabana in your home, it can be considered as private because only you and your family members or your guests can use it.

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