I’m curious to hear how OMAAT readers feel about this…
Etiquette for reserving pool chairs at hotels
At many resorts around the world there has been a common practice whereby people essentially “reserve” pool chairs first thing in the morning (even before breakfast), and then don’t actually use them for several hours:
- If you actually intend to go to the pool at 10AM you may find that only 20% of the pool chairs are occupied, but 100% of pool chairs have a sock or shirt or mask or something on them, to indicate that they’ve been claimed by someone
- This seems extremely inefficient, because it often means a pool chair is just occupied by a single person throughout the day, even though they may only actually be at the chair for a small fraction of the day
- This seems to be an especially prevalent practice in some parts of the world — for example, I find that this is just how things work in Hawaii, and also find (at least historically) that this is something popular with many types of European tourists (especially Germans — I can attest to that firsthand)
- While most hotels technically have posted rules about how long chairs can be left unattended, based on my observations these policies are rarely enforced
- Coronavirus has only exacerbated this issue, since many resorts don’t have as many chairs as they used to
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em?
Historically I’ve not done the whole “reserving a spot” thing, because personally I think it’s inconsiderate towards other people. However, I’m starting to think that maybe I’m just doing it wrong:
- While this isn’t usually the logic with which I approach things, if everyone else is doing it, I feel like there’s no other option?
- I feel like this game was actually almost designed for me, since I’m a morning person and get up before everyone else at a resort; I could have my pick of pool chairs at 4AM!
- The Larry David in me would love to just remove someone’s stuff from a chair and claim it as my own after I see it’s not being used for the posted time limit, but the truth is that nowadays I do what I can to avoid confrontation, so it’s not something I’m going to do; I’m not going on vacation looking to pick fights or to talk to anyone’s manager
I can’t help but feel like maybe there should be some innovation from resorts when it comes to reserving chairs at the pool, designed to maximize the greatest good for the greatest number of guests. The way I view it:
- Personally I’d love to see hotels actually enforce policies on reserving pool seating, rather than using the honor system
- Maybe the logistics are too complicated, but I think there should be some higher level innovation for resorts where there are a lot more guests than pool chairs; perhaps each night should get you a guaranteed spot at the pool for a certain number of hours, and then you can reserve the times in advance based on availability
I get that this probably won’t happen because it’s not worth the hassle for hotels, but I still can’t help but suggest those things.
While no doubt a first world problem, for years I’ve been struggling with the correct way to approach getting pool chairs at resorts where they tend to fill up.
Logically I feel like I should just try to get a chair at the pool when I actually want to sit there (novel concept), but I seem to be the only person who feels that way. At many resorts virtually all chairs by the pool are “reserved” by 10AM, even though very few people are actually at the pool.
I’m a morning person, so perhaps I should just use that to my advantage and beat people at their game? I dunno…
Where do OMAAT readers stand on the practice of reserving pool chairs? Do you support the practice, do you do it because you feel like you have no option, or does it frustrate you?