Looking To Lounge by the Hotel Pool in a Nice Recliner? In Some Places, You’ll Pay a Hefty Fee

Rolled up orange towel on a sun lounger background of pool in resort or hotel.
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One of the joys of staying in a nice hotel is having access to things you don’t have at home, whether it’s spa treatments, fine dining or a swimming pool with comfortable lounge chairs. You expect to pay top dollar for the spa treatments and fine dining, but not the lounge chairs.

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Well, it might be time to change that last expectation. Some luxury hotels are charging to rent pool recliners in much the same way they charge to rent parking spaces. One such hotel is the upscale Bellagio resort in Las Vegas, where you’ll have to pay $200 each for a poolside seat on the Friday of Labor Day weekend, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The less expensive Excalibur Hotel & Casino — which, like Bellagio, is owned by MGM Resorts — charges $125 for two chairs at its Spring pool. In addition to the chairs, you get a shady spot as well as a bucket of ice and cold water.

Vegas isn’t the only place you’ll have to pony up to enjoy a poolside chair. On Labor Day weekend, guests at the Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu have to fork over $125 for a pair of reserved lounge chairs and an umbrella in the front row of the hotel’s infinity pool. Arizona’s largest resort, the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, charges as much as $150 for each plush lounge chair on weekends this summer.

Make Your Money Work for You

Charging to use pool chairs is being branded as just another luxury expense designed to provide convenience for guests willing to pay a little extra. The idea is to let guests avoid having to get up at the crack of down to lay claim to the best poolside seats.

“It’s exclusive and it’s reserved in advance and you can come down at your leisure,” James Anderson, director of sales and marketing for JW Marriott Desert Ridge, told the WSJ. 

Although some luxury hotels charge for pool chairs, it’s still nowhere close to being standard in the industry. For example, fewer than 10% of JW Marriott’s 1,400 pool chairs are for rent. Even the priciest Vegas hotels don’t charge for all of their chairs, but only primo spots in the shade or by the pool.

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Make Your Money Work for You

“For those who might be more lax about where they sit by the pool, the won’t likely have to pay for these chairs,” Sarah Dandashy, a Los Angeles-based travel expert and author of “Hospitality From Within,” told Los Angeles magazine. “I do suspect as travel demands level out and crowds aren’t as chaotic, these fees might go away. Or if they do stay, hotels will offer some additional features with it, be it a premium bed, or that the fee goes towards a food and beverage spend.”

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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