Aside from bad weather, delayed flights and "unforseen" building works, there's one thing guaranteed to put a dampener on a holiday - and it's been a tribulation for travellers since time immemorial.

From setting alarms at 6am, to claiming territory with big, fluffy monogrammed towels, grown adults have resorted to all sorts of devious ploys to try and secure their sunloungers.

But one savvy, ray-craving tourist has discovered a solution to the age-old conundrum, ensuring his preferred tanning territory is guaranteed every time.

Justin Fenton and his young family have been visiting the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town for four years, and one of the property's main attractions is the option to book sun loungers... even up to six months in advance.


"You don't have to get up at the crack of dawn, oh no!" says Fenton, who would be horrified at the idea of having to set up camp poolside in the early hours.

"Everyone has their own lounger with their name and booking date printed on the back - so there are no arguments about who sits where."

According to Mount Nelson's pool manager, Kyle Lewin, who's been making guests' sunbathing dreams come true for the past two-and-a-half years, up to two loungers per room can be booked ahead of stays.

"But we know where our regulars like to sit, so we automatically reserve their spaces," he assures. "I know the exact piece of grass where Mr Fenton likes to be."

With nearly 300 loungers to choose from, a lot of thought and effort goes into selecting the best position. Guests can request a diagram of the poolside configuration, marking an X on the spot they'd ideally like.

Fenton says he studied the movement of the sun to find his favourite location - "at the shallow end of the family pool, next to the spa".

The famous pink exterior of the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo / Supplied
The famous pink exterior of the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo / Supplied

"The area Mr Fenton has chosen is one of the most popular," confirms Lewin. "There's sunshine until 6pm every day, but you do have to shuffle the lounger around a little."

Of course, a whole team is on hand to do that for you - along with cleaning your sunglasses, serving fruit kebabs and applying an ice cold spritz.


Aside from the vitamin D injection, Fenton claims to enjoy the best view of Table Mountain, Lion's Head and the hotel's spectacular, well-manicured gardens.

"It's like an oasis," he says, praising the hotel. "There's a constant program of activities for children and the hotel management really work wonders - even from the sunlounger, by getting reservations at restaurants with waiting lists, while you relax in the warm South African heat."

And Fenton isn't alone. It's rumoured Lily Allen, Gary Lineker and Ruby Wax have all made good use of Mount Nelson's sunloungers, ensuring their holidays are as sun-splashed and stress-free as possible.