5 Places to Sleep at Cape Town Airport Without Sleep Pods

Cape Town International Airport (Code: CPT), the second busiest airport in South Africa, handles significant international traffic but has yet to invest in innovative in-terminal sleep pod facilities.

Despite its modern infrastructure, with separate domestic and international terminals linked by a central check-in area, the extensive renovations leading up to the 2010 World Cup did not include provisions for sleeping pods or on-site hotels.

This Cape Town Airport Sleeping Guide provides key spots identified by passengers as ideal for layover sleep in the absence of sleep pods, designated rest zones and in-airport hotels.

Overview of Cape Town Airport and Sleep Situation:

This facility employs a typical split-level design, with arrivals on the lower floors and departures on the upper levels, offering various dining, retail, and service options both airside and landside. However, most restaurants close by 9:00 PM, so it’s advisable to grab food in advance.

While activities at the airport are limited, the availability of free WiFi offers some distraction. For travelers seeking rest, the airport provides several practical spots. The ground-level Woolworths grocery store is ideal for late-night snacks, and the Flybrary lounge in International Arrivals offers comfortable seating and a book exchange, though it closes after the last flight.

Cape Town aerial : Credit: airports.co.za

The viewing deck is another recommended area, featuring cushioned, armrest-free seats and power outlets. Although Cape Town Airport lacks specialized sleeping amenities, its diverse seating options and amenities provide a reasonable level of comfort for overnight stays.

What Fliers Recommend for Sleep at CPT:

Cape Town International Airport, while lacking dedicated sleeping pods, offers a variety of convenient spots for travelers seeking rest. Notable areas include the ground-level Woolworths grocery store, which provides essential snacks and free WiFi, making it a handy location for late-night arrivals. The Flybrary lounge in International Arrivals, with its comfortable chairs and book exchange system, offers a quiet retreat for reading enthusiasts, though it closes after the last flight.

The viewing deck, featuring cushioned, armrest-free seats and power outlets, is another prime spot, especially after the nearby Mugg & Bean closes for the night. Despite the absence of specialized sleeping facilities, the airport maintains a relatively quiet and well-lit environment, with a moderate temperature, making it feasible for passengers to find comfort while awaiting early morning check-ins and restaurant openings at 4:00 AM.

For families, the spacious seating in Terminal B is beneficial, though the cleanliness and availability of changing stations could be improved. Overall, Cape Town International Airport’s various seating options and amenities provide a reasonable level of comfort for overnight stays, compensating for the lack of sleeping pods.

Note that CPT Lacks Sleeping Pods:

Cape Town International Airport (CPT), despite its status as South Africa’s second busiest airport and a key hub for international travelers, lacks sleep pods—facilities that could significantly enhance the passenger experience and improve CPT’s sleep score rating.

Reviews highlight several sleep challenges, including limited late-night dining options, the need to secure comfortable seating early, and concerns over cleanliness and safety in family areas.

Sleep pods would provide a dedicated, secure, and comfortable solution for these issues, offering privacy, noise reduction, and convenience for travelers needing rest between flights or during overnight layovers.

The introduction of sleep pods could mitigate the discomfort of resting in common areas, improve security for personal belongings, and offer a more restful environment, addressing the gaps noted in passenger feedback and aligning CPT with global standards for traveler comfort.

5 Best Locations for Sleep in Cape Town Airport: Free Alternatives to Sleep Pods

Here’s a detailed list of the best locations for sleeping at Cape Town International Airport, with descriptions of amenities that make them suitable:

Woolworths Grocery Store Area:

  • Location: Ground level.
  • Amenities:
    • Full grocery store for late-night snacks and drinks.
    • Nearby seating areas with access to free WiFi.
  • Why Suitable: Provides essential supplies and a convenient place to rest and recharge electronic devices.

Flybrary Lounge:

  • Location: International Arrivals.
  • Amenities:
    • Comfortable chairs.
    • Shelves with books for reading and swapping.
  • Why Suitable: A quiet and cozy place to read and relax, ideal for those who enjoy reading or need a calm environment.

Viewing Deck:

  • Location: Restaurant/viewing deck level.
  • Amenities:
    • Cushioned seats without armrests.
    • Power outlet behind the children’s playground.
  • Why Suitable: Allows travelers to stretch out fully and charge devices, providing comfort and convenience.

Long Seats at International Departures/Arrivals:

  • Amenities: Long seats suitable for lying down.
  • Why Suitable: Offers ample space to lie down, making it a comfortable option for sleeping. Travelers are advised to keep their belongings close due to potential theft risks.

Terminal B Seating:

  • Amenities: Ample seating and open space.
  • Challenges: Limited and sometimes unclean changing stations for families with toddlers.
  • Why Suitable: Offers plenty of space and seating options, though families with toddlers may find the facilities lacking in cleanliness and convenience.

These locations offer various amenities that cater to different needs, ensuring a comfortable and restful experience for overnight travelers at Cape Town International Airport.

Review of Sleeping at Cape Town International Airport (CPT)

Pros:

  1. Comfortable Seating Areas:
    • Description: The airport offers various cushioned seating areas without armrests, such as the viewing deck, allowing travelers to stretch out fully.
    • Benefit: Provides a reasonable level of comfort for rest.
  2. Availability of Amenities:
    • Description: Facilities like the Woolworths grocery store and Flybrary lounge provide access to snacks, books, and comfortable seating.
    • Benefit: Enhances convenience and comfort, especially for overnight stays.
  3. Free WiFi:
    • Description: Free WiFi is available, particularly near the Woolworths store on the ground floor.
    • Benefit: Helps pass the time and stay connected while waiting.
  4. Quiet Environment:
    • Description: The airport is relatively quiet at night, with minimal announcements.
    • Benefit: Conducive to sleep and rest.
  5. Moderate Temperature:
    • Description: The temperature is generally not too cold, making it easier to sleep comfortably.
    • Benefit: Reduces the need for additional blankets or layers.

Cons:

  1. Lack of Dedicated Sleep Facilities:
    • Description: The airport does not have sleep pods or designated sleeping areas.
    • Drawback: Limits privacy and comfort, and may lead to competition for good spots.
  2. Limited Late-Night Dining Options:
    • Description: Most restaurants and kiosks close by 9:00 PM.
    • Drawback: Travelers must plan ahead to ensure they have food and drinks for the night.
  3. Safety Concerns:
    • Description: There are concerns about the security of personal belongings.
    • Drawback: Travelers need to be vigilant and keep their belongings close while sleeping.
  4. Inadequate Family Facilities:
    • Description: Changing stations for toddlers are often unclean or insufficient.
    • Drawback: Poses challenges for families with young children.
  5. Lighting:
    • Description: The lights remain on throughout the night.
    • Drawback: May disrupt sleep for some travelers sensitive to light.
  6. Limited Staff Assistance:
    • Description: Reports of minimal assistance from airport staff, especially for families with toddlers.
    • Drawback: Increases the burden on travelers to manage their needs independently.

Overall, while Cape Town International Airport provides several practical amenities for overnight stays, the absence of dedicated sleeping facilities and some service limitations pose challenges for travelers seeking a restful experience.

13 Closest Hotels to Cape Town Airport + Free Shuttles

Despite Cape Town International Airport (CPT) lacking in-terminal accommodations such as transit hotels or compact sleep pod facilities, travelers have access to several nearby hotels that provide convenient lodging options. Many of these hotels offer complimentary shuttle services to and from the airport, enhancing ease of access for passengers.

Notably, Hotel Verde Cape Town Airport is situated less than a mile from the terminal and provides a free shuttle, making it an excellent choice for those seeking proximity and convenience. This array of nearby accommodations ensures that travelers can find comfortable and accessible lodging close to the airport.

Here’s a list of the 13 closest hotels to Cape Town International Airport (CPT), including their distance from the airport and average rating:

Hotel NameDistance from AirportAverage RatingRates
Hotel Verde Cape Town Airport0.9 miles4.5Check Rates
City Lodge Hotel Grandwest4.4 miles4.0Check Rates
Town Lodge Bellville5.9 miles4.0Check Rates
City Lodge Hotel Pinelands6.5 miles4.0Check Rates
Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers7.3 miles4.5Check Rates
Colosseum Luxury Hotel7.4 miles4.5Check Rates
Century City Hotel Urban Square7.4 miles4.5Check Rates
StayEasy Century City7.2 miles4.0Check Rates
Protea Hotel by Marriott Cape Town Mowbray7.2 miles4.0Check Rates
Hotels Near CPT with Free Shuttle
Hyatt Regency Cape Town11.1 Miles4.5Check Rates
The Rockefeller Hotel By Newmark10.1 miles3.5Check Rates
Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel & Spa11.5 miles4.5Check Rates
Holiday Inn Express Cape Town City Centre, an IHG Hotel10.8 miles4Check Rates
This list provides travelers with convenient nearby accommodation options, ensuring easy access to the airport. You can also check out all hotels close to CPT on Tripadvisor here.
Image of Nathan Kip Rotich

Nathan helps travelers find the most comfortable sleep setups during layovers, from cozy airport hotels to futuristic sleep pods. His insights aim to transform layovers into rejuvenating sleepcations, offering travelers an alternative to costly hotels and uncomfortable benches.