Thursday, 30 July 2015 10:19

Holiday Towel Wars: You Won't Believe What People Will Do To Bag A Poolside Lounger

There's two over there, run: Lounger wars are a hotel's worst nightmare There's two over there, run: Lounger wars are a hotel's worst nightmare

You know the drill; You wake up at a civilised time, head down to breakfast, then wander out to the pool only to find that every sun lounger is reserved with towels. Check out the hotel video below for a classic 08.00 lounger dash in Gran Canaria. 

It's one of the great frustrations of hotel holidays in Gran Canaria and indeed, all over Spain and the Mediterranean. So far nobody has come up with a decent solution (other than having enough loungers for everyone: You pay the money, you get a lounger). 

Do you throw them in the pool, take them off and subtly move the loungers, or ask the hotel staff to move them for you?

Towel wars aren't just an irritation; There are plenty of full blown arguments, even fist fights recorded on video and posted on YouTube. 

Stop blaming the Germans

From the videos we've seen, German tourists get a bad rep. Most lounger dashes we've seen involve mostly British tourists (although maybe that's because the Germans get up even earlier to reserve their beds). The Scandinavians largely avoid the problem by booking apartments or rooms in smaller hotels where lounger pressure is lower. Even when there's a shortage, they work out their own fair system without acting like angry children. 

What's a hotel to do?

Spare a thought for the hotels, and especially their poolside staff. There is no simple solution to the problem. 

Hotels are there to make their guests happier and nothing makes a guest less happy than getting up early to reserve a lounger only to find that the staff have removed it. It makes them crazy, and far more likely to go postal on Tripadvisor. Lounger-less guests, of course, are in just as much of a foul mood. The hotel can't win.

Some hotels provide identical towels to guests and forbid lounger reservation before a set time. That just triggers a lounger reservation queue and a mad dash (see video below). 

Others allow guests to remove towels from unused loungers after a set period of time. But who monitors this, and who deals with the irate towel owner when they come back and find a stranger on 'their lounger'.

It's really not the lifeguard or pool attendant's job to deal with towel rage; Getting between an angry tourist and their lounger just isn't in the job description

On Gran Canaria's beaches, the problem is solved by charging for the loungers and parasols. Maybe hotels need to assign lounger space along with their rooms. They could charge extra for poolside legroom and great views of the volleyball court. It's a thought, but we can't see it working out.

The Gran Canaria Info solution

If you wake up early and there are lots of free sun loungers, then by all means reserve one. With your bottom. Otherwise go and have breakfast and take your chances later on like a grown up. Otherwise, hotels will have to start treating their guests like little children and nobody wants that. 

If you arrive at the pool late and there are no loungers left, then we have a perfect solution: Just go to the beach. The sand is far comfier than a plastic lounger and there's always plenty of room in the sea. 

In Gran Canaria, you're spoilt for choice as we have 80 beaches to choose from.



Zwembadbedjes race 2015

Nederlanders op vakantie: Vanaf 8.00 uur mag je een bedje reserveren. Man man man...

Posted by on Wednesday, 29 July 2015
The daily scramble for a spot by the pool
Published in Guide

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Tip of the day

  • Exchange Money In Gran Canaria Or At Home?
    Exchange Money In Gran Canaria Or At Home?

    Visitors to Gran Canaria often ask whether it is better to exchange their local currency for euros at home or in Gran Canaria. 

    The answer is that it is almost always better to buy your euros at home than it is to bring pounds to Gran Canaria and use local banks or currency exchanges. This rule of thumb applies all over the world. A currency is almost always cheaper the further away you are from the place you can spend it (because demand for it is lower). 

    Exchange rates are almost always better at home than in Gran Canaria

    You are very likely to get a better exchange rate using a British currency exchange specialist or local bank. Many of these companies will deliver your euros to your home.

    One of the best rates in the UK is often from the post office, especially if you do it well in advance.

    The only way you'll get a better rate in Gran Canaria than at home is if the exchange rate changes while you are travelling and this is rare. 

    You also have to bear in mind that currency exchanges in Gran Canaria are getting rarer and some local banks don't exchange money for non-clients. 

    To Transfer large amouynts of money to Gran Canaria, or to make regular transfers, always use a reputable currency broker such as Currencies Direct. This will save you money on exchange rates and bank charges and is highky secure. 

    The risk of bringing cash to Gran Canaria

    Another important factor to consider is the risk of bringing cash to Gran Canaria: If it is lost or stolen, there is no way of getting it back. 

    It is much safer to bring a debit or credit card and use local bank ATMs to take out money. These days, a good option is a pre-charged debit card. 

    Cards may be slightly more expensive that carrying cash, unless you seek out a bank card with low commissions, but it is much more secure. 

    Bank ATMs like Bankia, Santander and BBVA often charge lower rates than the ATMs in shopping centres and busy tourist areas.

    Alex Says: Always select the Euro option at ATMs in Gran Canaria because the exchange rate is much better than if you opt for the Local Currency option. The same applies when you pay by card in shops and restaurants.

    See our Gran Canaria Tips section for more nuggets of useful local information.

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