LIFEGUARDS AND SAFETY: We spent 2 hours at the pool at Avila Hot Springs Resort, and while we were there a child almost drowned. The grandfather started shouting to a boy to help his brother. Finally another customer realized what was going on and helped the boy to the side. There were 5 lifeguards on duty, all standing in a group near the restrooms. None stepped forward to check on the situation or speak to the boy or father or thank the customer. One lifeguard was watching the slides while this happened, but the others 1) talked in a cluster of 3-4 guards, 2) did not set foot on the lifeguard stand even though there were ~30 children in the shallow end over 100 ft from where the lifeguards were sitting poolside, by the bathrooms (near the deep end). (The situation above where a child needs help to the side is hard to see from eye level but would have been clear from up on the stand.) At one point 3 of them got up to put an umbrella on the guard stand (which involved ALL OF THEM disappearing into the equipment room for several minutes), and 1 went to the bathroom LEAVING NO ONE SCANNING THE POOL, even though a rescue had been made (by a customer) less than 20 minutes ago. I spoke with them at that point (while they were filing out of the equipment room) and asked who was scanning the pool: they pointed to the girl coming out of the bathroom. I was a lifeguard for 6 years and would never have let that happen. They did not follow any formal rotation at the side of the pool (though they did relieve the guard at the slide). Once I spoke to them, they began a formal rotation: one guard took the stand and another moved to the shallow end.
MANAGER: I spoke to the lifeguard manager who said he would speak with them - and in fact has spoken with them in the past but they just won't listen. (?!?) He seemed overall unconcerned about the situation and - even worse - acted as if it were unfortunate but normal. I suggested to him lifeguards aren't that difficult to replace if they don't follow the procedures, but after speaking with him the real problem is obviously the manager. If he knows they tend not to follow policies, why not check on them from time to time? In the time we were there I never saw him on the deck. (When I spoke with him, he was behind the check-in counter eating a popsicle.) If you go, watch your own children carefully - or hope another customer is paying attention! The lifeguards certainly won't be. (Or if you do go, check and see if things have changed. If they haven't, please complain to the manager again! And: Speak directly to the lifeguards, since it's not clear he has any influence on their actions.) We live here and would like to be able to go back.
FACILITIES: When we arrived (at noon), there was no bathroom for women working - including the two indoor individual stalls. I think they were fixed during the time we were there. That meant that no women were able to shower before swimming. The swimming pool is advertised at 84 degrees, but it was nowhere near that warm. (For comparison, the therapy pool at the pool at Sinsheimer is 84 degrees - and actually is.) But the hot tub was nice and the pool was clean.
- Also Known As:
- Avila Hot Springs Hotel Avila Beach