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Tranquil new city rooftop space opens in Cape Town

by Kim Maxwell 26 Mar 2024
Light House Wellness

Step inside a green wellness clubhouse in Cape Town’s Bree Street where you’ll be able to experience yoga, grabbable food and a relaxing reset.

Robyn Schaffner is the co-owner of Light House Holistic (LHH), a light-and-plant-filled studio and wellness space six floors up, with aerial views of the inner city and Table Mountain.

Seated on an outdoor wooden deck, she’s sipping a hot beverage called mesquit with frothed oat milk and explaining why she’s quit caffeine. “If I don’t have coffee, I get bad headaches the next day. But I feel more awake when I don’t have it. So now I’ve just quit again.”

Schaffner smiles, her warm yet quiet personality putting others at ease.

As she outlines what’s on offer, she’s quick to qualify that she is not an extremist, just somebody after wholesome lifestyle alternatives, whether that applies to drinks, diet, or exercise. A similar approach led to her switching careers.

“I was a graphic designer for many years. Mostly in magazine layout, and freelancing in branding and layout, more digital. There’s a zing of ‘you’re doing something beautiful, the client is happy, and that’s great’. But I guess, there just wasn’t a deeper layer of satisfaction.”

Robyn Schaffner
Robyn Schaffner.


Schaffner found her next project while advancing her interest in yoga. It led to her establishing wellness venue LHH in late 2023, with her partner Jay Margolis.

Margolis owns a high-end kitchen business that oversees luxury residential interiors. “I came across this rooftop sanctuary while negotiating for the apartment fit outs in The Barracks building below,” he explains, ordering a Cortado.

“They wanted to put a spa and rooftop pool here. I came out of that meeting, called Robyn, and said: ‘We’ve found our spot. We’d wanted to open a wellness clubhouse, to offer more than just yoga.

“We signed the lease in August 2021, when finalising the fit outs for the interior apartments. We fitted out The Barracks residential apartments (my other business) in early 2023 and opened LHH in December 2023.

“This has always been Robyn’s baby. But we are partners. My participation was from a ‘newly curious about yoga’ point of view. My angle has always been about yoga being approachable to everybody. So this is a wellness clubhouse. It’s also an environment that’s not prescriptive about how to do things,” says Margolis.

Light House Wellness
One of the many tranquil green spaces with Table Mountain as a backdrop.


The 475 m² LHH studio and adjacent refreshment areas are used for meditation workshops, yoga classes and mindfulness events. For members, a key consideration is fitting these in practically around working and personal lives. Private wellbeing functions can also be arranged.

“We take you as you are here. If you’re coming to our clubhouse, you can stay to work, swim … and have breakfast or lunch. We’ve made everything grabbable,” says Schaffner. “Nourish’d is supplying our food. It happens to be plant-based, but we’re not prescribing this as the way to live.”

“I’m not vegan, just holistic and looking at the whole picture of being human. I enjoy a glass of wine, and something nourishing in my bowl.” Everybody has a good day, and a day when flaws may get in the way … in other words, we’re all human.”

Various experienced yoga practitioners have the freedom to practice their art, and LHH isn’t prescriptive about dress codes or special gear; participants should just feel comfortable. Says Schaffner: “We’re talking to the yoga market, but also want to welcome people who haven’t tried yoga.”

As a relative yoga newcomer, Margolis is especially keen on this aspect.

“We want it to break down barriers. If you haven’t tried yoga before, we want it to be a good experience while you’re learning the process,” Schaffner says.

Margolis adds: “… and we’re seeing people coming back.”

Light House Wellness
Lighthouse is a contemporary space, with a heavy feature on plants.


The raised rooftop saltwater pool section and umbrellas add to the ever-summer, clubhouse feel, creating “an environment to linger longer, to connect”.

Being social has its place, but Schaffner says yoga can be a very personal, internal journey. “A lot of people come in and say, ‘Well, I can’t touch my toes’. I came to yoga after going through a really difficult time. For me it’s about the breath and the movement: It’s like a meditation, so you become very focused on this one thing, instead of about the future.”

Margolis’s company fitted light wood joinery in the bathrooms, barista station and café spaces. Outdoor tables in sustainable hardwood are from a supplier in KwaZulu-Natal, with studio and exterior floors in compacted bamboo.

How does LHH work? Schaffner suggests a drop-in day, weekly or monthly pass. In buying the yoga class or mindful event, users also get access to the pool and lounge.

“Sometimes people come three hours before a class, have their coffee meeting, and then join a class,” says Schaffner. “Our space is neutral and welcoming for all,” says Margolis.

It’s also light-filled and calming, with outdoor plants creating a wrap-around sanctuary of green, and a mini conservatory inside. Outdoor shower cubicles trail jasmine tendrils up their wooden walls. Says Schaffner: “It’s contemporary, with a heavy feature on plants for a symbiotic relationship with where we are: for somebody to walk in and feel like they’re in nature, not just surrounded by the city.

Light House Holistic, Sixth floor, The Barracks, 50 Bree Street. Contact

IMAGES: Carmen Lorraine and Kim Maxwell