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3 Important Hotel Pool Etiquette Tips

One of the great things about staying in a luxury or resort hotel is access to the swimming pool. Hotels and resorts often have large, beautiful pools that you just wouldn't be able to enjoy anywhere else. However, when you're traveling out of your comfort zone and surrounded by other travelers from other locations, it can be tough to know just what the right etiquette is when it comes to dealing with an unfamiliar situation. Here are a few hotel pool etiquette tips that can help you be a polite fellow traveler to others who are enjoying the amenities with you and a gracious guest to the hotel staff.

Don't Hog The Pool Chairs

Do you want to know what the hands-down most annoying pool behavior is? According to a survey conducted by a popular travel site, hogging the pool chairs is the top most annoying breach of etiquette at the hotel pool. Hogging pool chairs usually involves staking out chairs – often in prime locations – by placing towels or other belongings on them, even when you don't intend to use those chairs for a long time. More than 80% of those surveyed reported agitation caused by people reserving beach chairs, and 37% think pool goers should not be able to reserve an unused seat for more than half an hour.

Hotel owners know that pool chairs are often a point of contention for guests, and many specifically advertise that they provide adequate chairs for everyone. If you're staying in a place that provides plenty of chairs, it's best to avoid reserving chairs at all. If you have special needs that dictate that you have a spot in the shade or near the restrooms, you're better off informing the hotel staff and letting them handle it – they'll make sure you're taken care of. Otherwise, take the chairs on a first come, first serve basis.

If you must reserve chairs – for instance, if seating is very limited and there is no possibility of getting a chair otherwise – be considerate. Don't take up space if you're not sure that you're going to use it, and don't stake out chairs at 7am if you won't be at the pool until 5pm. Also, check your hotel's rules – some are beginning to disallow any chair reservations.

Be Considerate With Children

You're on vacation to have a good time, and so are your kids. No one expects them to sit quietly at the pool – some noise and commotion are to be expected. However, you still need to be sure to be considerate of the other guests. Talk to your children about not splashing guests that are trying to relax, for example.  Make sure that they know not to run around the pool area – not only can this be rude behavior, it can also be dangerous for your kids! Don't expect the lifeguards on duty to babysit – watching unattended children could distract them when someone is in danger of drowning. Find out if your hotel has a babysitting program instead.

Childless guests should also be considerate of the children and families in the area. A pool deck is similar to a restaurant – if you wouldn't curse loudly or smoke in undesignated areas of a restaurant, you shouldn't do it at the pool either. If you're not in an adults-only resort, remember to be mindful of the families around you.

Tip When Appropriate

Tipping in a resort hotel can be a confusing matter. There are so many staff members, and different tipping rules apply to each. Not every hotel has pool attendants, either, so you may be at a loss as to whether or not to tip them when you do encounter them.

For basic service – handing you a dry towel in exchange for your wet towel, for example – no tip is needed or expected. However, if the pool attendant is performing some special service for you, like inflating floatable pool toys, fetching bottled water, or holding chairs, then a tip of up to $5 is appropriate.

Relaxing by a hotel pool is a great way to spend your vacation time. You'll have a much nicer time when you go in knowing that you're observing the proper etiquette for your location.