We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

What is the Right Thing to Do? (Towel Game)

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Which Playa del Carmen hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Medford, Oregon
Level Contributor
761 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
What is the Right Thing to Do? (Towel Game)

Most hotel have policies that state guests cannot reserve loungers or sun beds. As we know that does not stop people from getting up early in the morning and placing towels, magazines or a single flip flop on loungers and sun beds.

You get to the pool or beach at 10:00 AM, see 6 chairs that have all been reserved for possible future use. You only need 2 of them. You verify with the server or possible other guest sitting close by that the lounger or sunbed has not been used.

What is the proper etiquette in this situation? What do you do with their stuff?

Fold it and place it on another lounger or place it on the ground next to the lounger that you claimed?

I just recently stayed at the Tequila and they had no pool waiters to give the items to, so it was always a dilemma what to do with the items left to reserve the lounger or sun bed.

Hampshire, United...
Level Contributor
764 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: What is the Right Thing to Do? (Towel Game)

I naturally wake up early, so when on holiday, I don't want to wait in the room for my hubby to wake up, so I quietly leave the room and go get our sun beds. I will lay on the bed, reading my kindle and when my hubby wakes up, he knows to head to the pool. He will usually get to me about 8.30am (I've been there since 7am). One he arrives, he will stroll over for breakfast and then go back to the pool. I would be so annoyed if someone moved my stuff before 10am when I was at breakfast, especially if I had been at the pool for a couple of hours before hand. However, by 10am every has had breakfast so I think if no one is there by 10.15am, just move it and put it on the floor. I've see people reserve beds, go back to bed and then turn up at about 12 pm, and even then some only stay for an hour!

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
1,959 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: What is the Right Thing to Do? (Towel Game)

That's a tough one Scube. I don't play the towel game but that's because I'm not one for staying in one place too long. We have always managed to find loungers but yes, not always in prime spots due to towel game. I have never moved anyone's things. Not sure that I would. You never know who you'll be dealing with. All different kinds of people out there. I have heard of people moving belongings over, using the chairs and then offering the chairs back if the "offenders" show up. I have a feeling that there's going to be a lot of interesting viewpoints on this topic!

......if the resorts would only enforce their policy it would make this issue a non issue pretty fast.

Hampshire, United...
Level Contributor
764 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: What is the Right Thing to Do? (Towel Game)

I personally have never removed anyone things from a lounger, I would prefer to find a different one.

Ontario's Near...
Level Contributor
409 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: What is the Right Thing to Do? (Towel Game)

If there has not been anyone around the empty loungers for an hour, I would get a beach attendant or a security person to watch/assist in removing the belongings, that way you have a witness in case there is a dispute when the owners come back.

Barnsley, England
Level Contributor
781 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: What is the Right Thing to Do? (Towel Game)

Sugarlips - I agree - last year the Tequila did have the pool guy going round and folding towels up and placing them on the little table next to the lounger if no-one had turned up.....however one morning we had got up about 7.45 took our things to the pool but mainly because we were staying right at the back of the resort so its a fair trek from the room to the restaurant, it was easier to drop our things off, go for breakfast and then come straight back to the pool, but when we got back he had folded our towels up and put them on the table....but because it was still early no-one else had claimed our beds (they weren't right next to the pool either as I don't like to be in full sun all day and prefer the shady areas), so although I totally get the point of moving things if they haven't been used for ages, I did think it wasn't really necessary when we had only gone for breakfast.

Pennsylvania
Destination Expert
for Playa Paraiso
Level Contributor
8,178 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: What is the Right Thing to Do? (Towel Game)

I had someone move things off my chair while I was in the ocean!! I had been gone from my chair for 20 minutes to enjoy a swim. You can't really assume no one is using the chair. People go for walks on the beach...go for a swim...visit the ladies room, etc.

Medford, Oregon
Level Contributor
761 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: What is the Right Thing to Do? (Towel Game)

hagler, that is what I do at the Iberostar, call the waitress over and have her remove the items.

At the Tequila, you are on your own, no waiters. This of course brings up the question.

What is the right thing to do? After all people that do this are cheating, similar to cutting in line.

Hampshire, United...
Level Contributor
764 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: What is the Right Thing to Do? (Towel Game)

It's only cheating if your get your lounger early and the just disappear for hours on end. There is nothing wrong with getting up early, getting a lounger and then heading off for breakfast for an hour and then returning to your lounger and then having a dip in the pool or sea. For that reason, it's wrong to assume they are not about and just having their items removed. If you have been there for hours and can clearly confirm that no one has seen them and its been hours that their stuff has been on the loungers, then it would be fair to as the pool guy to remove the items.

Northern US
Destination Expert
for Playa Paraiso
Level Contributor
4,026 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: What is the Right Thing to Do? (Towel Game)

>>After all people that do this are cheating, similar to cutting in line.<<

No, the people who cheat similar to cutting in line are those that remove another persons belongings. Unless you stood there watching the loungers for an hour plus you have no clue as to how long they have been vacant. If you have the time to stand there and do that, you could have easily found someplace to lounge.

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
5,420 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: What is the Right Thing to Do? (Towel Game)

It depends. Does the resort have a 'no chair saving' policy in place? If yes, than the answer is very simple. (Our resort does have a policy in place, in writing).

If all chairs are occupied, I wait about 20 minutes. If no one has claimed their cheap sunglasses and trashy novel, I'll simply move their belongings and take the chair. When the inconsiderate returns, typically several hours later, I direct them to their crap, and inform them this resort has a 'no chair saving' policy in place. If they have any problem, they can take it up with the management.

Anyone that is obnoxious, inconsiderate, selfish and downright simple minded enough to attempt to "reserve" property that doesn't belong to them, certainly doesn't have a legitimate argument when it gets moved. Simple as that.

However, experience has shown that the simple minded part precludes their comprehension of simple logic, so they generally will never get it.