Resort Guest Takes Revenge On Everyone ‘Saving’ Beach Chairs At 8 A.M.

I’m an introvert, and that doesn’t just mean that I’m shy. I find being around a lot of people draining. So business and first class is nice not just for a bigger seat, but to avoid being in a crowded sea of people. Similarly at a resort, I tend to like smaller properties or at least hotels with a lot of space per guest or where people tend to enjoy luxurious rooms rather than congregating in communal space.

“Resort factories” where you have to get up before 8 a.m. to place a book or beach towel on the chair if you don’t want to wind up four rows back from the ocean aren’t my idea of a relaxing vacation. But that excludes a lot of otherwise-great places, and often means staying someplace more expensive (either in dollars or points).

One guest, though, took a rogue approach to the reserved beach chair problem. They didn’t want to get up and play the reservation game, which is also unfair to other guests – it selfishly takes up a space that goes unused for hours at a time. So they literally removed all the towels from loungers.

I was on holidays in an all inclusive resort. First day, we couldn’t find any lounge chairs by the beach or by the sea, fair enough – we arrived in the afternoon. Next day, we go to find a spot.. but most of the spots were ‘taken’ by towels. We find an empty seat and to our surprise – many of the chairs stay reserved almost the whole day or never get used..

Third day, we decide to take some towels off two loungers, and enjoy our day. Four (!!) hours in, an older couple shows up that they had towels there, and kick us off with help from an attendant.

That pissed me off, so every following day I went to take the towels off of every unattended lounger after breakfast, and then went to watch the chaos from my balcony. Many many people complained and by the end of the week there was a sign that unattended towels would be removed. Success!

I took away all the ‘towel seat reservations’ at the resort
by u/konijn12 in pettyrevenge

Travelers flock to resorts where they get up at 6 a.m. just to reserve a pool or beach chairs and call that ‘relaxing’. I’ve seen this even at expensive resorts, like the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. So I have to applaud those who are fighting back. Why do great hotels even allow scenes like this dad sprinting from lounge chair to lounge chair, putting down towels to mark territory? He’s ‘doing what he has to do’ for his family, but it’s a shame he has to do it!

Or at this resort in Tenerife, Spain where people lined up at 6:30 a.m., 90 minutes before the pool even opened, in order to be first in line to reserve chairs. Then they storm this relaxation area like it’s Black Friday at Walmart.

@chloeturner_1 Another day another sunbed war 😂 #holiday #tenerife #playadelasamericas #sunbeds ♬ original sound – Chloe Turner

In Tenerife, Spain I suppose this would be called “the running of the guests.” Your resort fees probably include the pool chairs, too.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. We went to the Royal Hawaiian-but only to have breakfast. It seems like they had some kind of rules about the chairs. Since it didn’t apply to us I didn’t worry about it. That did look like Walmart on Black Friday! I hope there was no physical violence like on Black Friday.

  2. Imagine traveling to these nice tropical locations and then spending your time at the same swimming pool you can find in a zillion other places.
    And I sure wouldn’t ever stay somewhere that I have to play silly games to get a chair at the beach or wherever. Whatever floats someone’s boat, but I don’t get it.

  3. Seems like most of the hotels I have stayed at in Hawaii recently have had time limits that staff was decent at enforcing to knock off this behavior. They would come around with a placard they put on towels (a la chalking a tire) and if it is still there unmoved the next time they come around they pack up any belongings and throw the towels in the hamper.

  4. Villa rentals solve this problem.

    They’re the first class seating of the lodging world.

  5. That story is in the category of Things That Super Definitely Did Happen For Realz.

  6. You won’t ever catch me in one of those places. I got dragged to an all-inclusive near Cancun once and never again.

    I couldn’t even get Mexican food!

  7. In an age with easily managed reservations systems and methods to detect inordinate periods where a loungers has gone untouched none of this should be necessary unless there is a serious lack of loungers. This whole “lounger reserving” leads to unfortunate disuse of scarce resources.

    But this is hysterical – surely tens of people claimed loungers which had been “vacated” only to have the uncouth hogs try to reclaim them.

  8. If the resorts would just insist on a $20 deposit for all beach towels this will either stop or some entrepreneur will get an almost free vacation picking up abandoned towels and turning them in for deposit. It’s hard for staff to enforce the bad behavior as when the guests bitch they fire the pool staff. Guests are on equal footing as other guests so let’s make some money!

  9. This is nothing new to me. In the fifties our family would stay for a month on Balboa Island. For me this was great fun and the first couple of years finding a spot on the beach was easy. Then the area got crowded. Because I am a early riser and like to go down to the local pier to fish it became my youthful job to haul down the beach paraphernalia to reserve a spot for the rest of the family. Weekends were really rough. However we always had a good spot and above the high tide line.

  10. This is one of my favorite video of “lounge stealers” at Marriott Vacation Club’s BeachPlace Towers in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. This video is REAL, NOT enacted, the culprits have no remorse, and in my opinion, Marriott Vacation Club is as guilty as the “lounge stealers” for not managing this ever-frequent phenomenon at Marriott Vacation Club resorts.

  11. Terrible. Imagine those punks yelling for beer the whole day ….
    Proletariat’s grill holiday

  12. The Walmartification of travel continues. Every trip i’m shocked by behaviors that were non-existent 15 years ago. Unfortunately Hotels, Airlines and bars/restaurants need to proactively combat buffoonery like this because travel has become accessible to the neanderthal class. It is up to the establishments to ‘set the tone’, so I also blame them for allowing it. Unfortunately we are at a point where you must double down on spending to price yourself away from the fray, but even then the clever ones are wising up to points and pricing hacks thanks to tik-tok, youtube and the myriad of credit cards that make it easier for them to access the big boys table. As with almost everything these days, true vacations will become accessible only to those with excessive means or desire to travel FAR off the beaten path. Only then you’ll be constantly in the way of 21 yr old influencers taking their selfies.  You can’t win!

  13. If the seat looks unoccupied, I move the towel to a table & sit on the chaise. Only ONCE have I had anyone come to claim their seat (I don’t sit more than an hour or so in the sun generally). When he did, I merely said, “No one was here for hours, I figured you had left”.
    Sometimes you have to meet rude/gauche behavior with rude/gauche behavior. I have a friend who, when approached by panhandlers on the street, will stretch out his hand first & say, “Hey, can you spare a couple of bucks?”

  14. In Europe at beach’s you literally rent the chair for a fee(Italy years ago) but if you come at a slow period mid week they did not seem to care if you sat down where ever!

  15. If you’re not sitting in it, then I will. Don’t like it? Don’t care! Exactly what are you going to do about it?

  16. Same thing happens on cruise ships. The people who do this are known as chair hogs. If I see a lounger that has a towel and a book on it and no one has sat there for 30 minutes, I put the items on another chair or the floor and then sit in the lounger. If someone approaches me later and says “that’s my seat” I look at them and innocently say “there was nothing on it when I sat down. Someone must have moved your things.”

  17. Congrats to this dude that did this. He has every right to move someone’s “reserved” towel.

  18. I remember a place in Cuba where people were stumbling around in the dark before sunrise to reserve loungers on the beach. It was ridiculous. 1/2 of them also had a second set reserved by the pool ‘just in case’. I fully support the idea of removing towels if someone leave the area for more than, say 15-30 mins

  19. Hooray for the towel hacker! Meanwhile the lunacy at “resorts” is exactly why I don’t go to any of them. The behavior at such places is living proof the world has become overpopulated by pretentious, self-absorbed dumbasses. Certainly not the kind of company I’d keep.

  20. At resort on Red Sea, my umbrella covered seafront loungers were reserved as part of my package. Each was numbered to a villa and a cooler with our preferred drinks brought to us as we arrived.

    Anyone without a matching key was pointed to the “public” area.

    Within a day, we all knew each other by face and watched some guy with couple kids in tow try to appropriate one, arguing strongly with the attendants.

    Beach guards were all over him and made him pack up and do the walk of shame to the public area while we chuckled.

  21. Well it seems that common curtesy still requires a minor dad to endorse. Like children, these entitled people, behave as if they are the most important person on the planet. I’ve experienced this childish behavior at our local beach, leave a chair or towel at the fire pit or picnic table and return at your convenience. Too bad that “mom/dad” aka “the authorities” have to play that role!

  22. Try to be polite first, then let ’em have it. No reason to do this but the lowlifes always do it.! Rude!

  23. At an Ihg hotel in Orlando, all the seats were taken by the time we rolled out st noon. A few cabanas were left but were $100 for the day. When we told the attendant no chairs were available (many had people in them), she said she had been authorized to give anyone who complained a cabana for only $50. So we did it since it was our first day after a late plane arrival. We were at parks the next 3 days so did not need the pool. But if i’d arrived at 9 am and all the chairs had towels and nobody was in the pool, i would have just taken the towels off and sat down. If people arent there, they dont need a chair. I dont see the problem.

  24. Fighting for a chair around a crowded pool doesn’t sound like a vacation to me. I’d rather stay home and swim with no crowd.

  25. So sad, it’s why I’ll never vacation in places like this. Not relaxing at all. I’ll sit a remote lake near home with just the two of us thanks.

  26. The problem here ISN’T people getting up at 6am to reserve a chair at the pool/beach! The problem is the resort causing this issue by NOT having nearly enough chairs for the number of guests staying at the resort at that time! The resort knows damn well how many guests are at their resort at any given day. In order to keep this issue of guests reserving chairs from happening, they simply need to supply enough chairs for their guests! Problem solved! More than enough chairs for all guests at the resort, equals no one feeling the need to reserve chairs! I know this works because when I stayed at a number of different resorts during the COVID debacle. There were hardly any guests staying at these resorts and NO ONE felt the need to reserve a chair. You could come up to the pool or beach at any point on any day and there would be tons of chairs available! No one even considered reserving a chair then. It was pointless, because the supply far out weighed the demand! Rather than complaining about people taking the matter into their own hands! You should be complaining to the resorts for causing this issue by not providing enough chairs! This issue will only continue, until the resorts start to provide more than enough chairs! It’s simple! Put the problem on the resorts to solve! Simply placing a sign about “towels reserving chairs will be removed” is not enough! Provide more than enough chairs and there will be no need for a sign or to have a pool attendant remove towels and start to cause arguments!

  27. So stupid – Just take the towels off and sit down. Everyone has the same rights and just because someone leaves an unattended towel does not give them any additional rights to those who don’t.

  28. The same scenario occurred during my last cruise. We would go up after breakfast to spend sometime in the sun. Many chairs had towels clipped the backs of chairs. After the third day, I decided in was going to remove the towels. The first removal was supported by those close to the towelled chairs. The gentleman sitting close said the chairs had been empty for over two hours. My group of four settled in. An hour later a man and women arrived saying those were their chairs. I responded that the chairs were emptied. He proceeded to call us hags and said don’t ever do that again. When he left, the people around us clapped. Two days later,, two in my group had had enough sun and were leaving. The same man and his wife were looking for chairs, I called them over to say the chairs were free. He sheepishly took the chairs, moved the chairs a few feet away and sat. Each morning I did the same and continually received rude comments and dirty looks.

  29. I don’t get it. Why is laying on a lounge that’s jammed in a row of 100’s of other lounges in front of a pool so popular? Not a resort experience that seems to be worth $100’s per night. You can get the same lounge at your local Holiday Inn pool for a quarter of the cost, or a public pool/beach for free. My vision of a resort experience is a great hotel room, tasting local cuisines, walking the city, hiking the trails, snorkeling the coastal waters, and hunting for treasures in local shops. Need some solitude on the beach? Find a small hotel away from the resorts.

  30. You could not pay me enough money to stay at one of these type of places. With or without reserved spaces, that pool is clearly going to be swarmed with low class plebs who think standing shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of drunk people in a pool is a luxurious experience. Hard pass.

  31. “I was on holidays…”

    “Four (!!) hours in…”

    “That pissed me off, so every following day I went to take the towels off of every unattended lounger after breakfast, and then went to watch the chaos from my balcony…”

    The whining, snivelling crybaby that can’t use good English lowered himself to similarly nonsense antics as those they complain about.

    What a load of crap.

  32. Missed opportunity for the hotel to generate some revenue. Online reservation system for pool loungers $5 per chair per 4 hours for the prime seats. All others are complimentary. Loungers left empty for more than 2 hours will be “unreserved” and managed by the pool staff.

  33. Lol….you go on Groupon and book the cheapest “bucket list” vacation you can find, then you complain when you get mediocre service and accommodations. Only in America. You want posh, don’t shop for your vacation on Groupon. TANSTAAFL ….Look it up.

  34. I’ve found out it’s the price of the room or resort. Like my daddy always said, you got what you paid for so they only person you can really be mad at is yourselves.

  35. “So they literally removed all the towels from loungers.“

    As opposed to figuratively removing them? Can we just stop using “literally” when it is unnecessary?

  36. I just returned from a week at the Marriott Grand Vista in Orlando and the chair savers were in full force. One day I took one of the saved chairs. After about 2 hours a mom and daughter arrived to use 2 of her 4 saved chairs but was confused to see only 3 chairs there. She found another chair bought it over to her other chairs. We left about 1.5 hours later never did the third and forth guest ever show. There has to be a better way. I feel that in most cases the flow of people with chairs will solve itself out.

  37. So use one of the chairs that has a towel and when the person shows up, move to another empty chair with a towel that you say exists.

  38. Don’t forget that guest also tip the hotel employees to save the chairs for them. That’s what I have found lately…I had almost been kick out of the resort by security guard in a Mexico resort. Yes……keep the comments going so the resorts creates policy about this issue.
    Thank you

  39. Supply and Demand. Demand a larger supply of chairs before paying to stay there.

  40. This is response to the pretentious J Douglas’s comment (go through these comments and find his)
    I find it hilarious that you think that it’s the lower and middle class people who act this way. The amount of money in your bank account doesn’t reflect someone’s maturity, class, manners, or how you act. Money can’t buy manners or respect for others. I assume that you live comfortably based on your comment, so you probably have money which proves my point exactly. YOU have proven to us with your comment that you don’t possess any of the qualities I mentioned. Money is worthless when it comes to being a good person. You are born with these qualities or you aren’t. An a$$hole is an a$$hole. So you’re either a rich a$$hole, middle class a$$hole, or a poor a$$hole. Same with being a good person. I would suggest that you keep your better than you opinions to yourself because you are evidently talking about your people…the a$$holes. Not to mention that you are making a complete fool out of yourself with these types of comments. It makes you look like you never left high-school. Talking about the big boy tables. Those of us who have matured passed of the age of 17, don’t talk about being in different cliques or the popular tables. We left that kind of thinking when we left those school hallways. Evidently you peaked at 17. Grow up. You are not better than anyone else in this entire world. I would actually be very confident in saying that actually the majority of people are better than you. They understand that your worth isn’t based on what you can afford and anyone who thinks that it does are those who have zero self confidence and know they have nothing to offer others if they didn’t have money. That’s sad and I pity people like you. I live very comfortably and I am blessed enough to be able to vacation when and where I want, I don’t have to worry if I can afford something. But I also know that money doesn’t define me and I am no better or deserve to be treated any better than someone who can’t afford the things that I can. Because a person’s value is their heart and convictions. Too bad that there are people out there like you that has to rely on their bank account to feel like they have any worth. Because those people are the ones who are actually worthless

  41. @Tina Lowery. Yes. J Douglas seems to be blaming the ones with less finances. Only people with more money would be able and/or willing to stay at these outrageously priced resorts. I have heard of worse behavior by wealthy people than reserving chairs. Like trashing their hotel room.

  42. Herd mentality. If that is how to relax at a pool goes, I’ll pass. People stink anyways. Especially at pools. Then the cows walk around to eateries without showering first and share their stench with the rest of the herd. No thanks.

  43. Yeah I don’t care what’s on it. If your not on it, it’s not yours. Your book will be waiting for you on the floor when and if you ever arrive. It’s a vacation. Why should I have to wake up early to get a chair. Every hotel should ban this type of BS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *