If you’re lucky enough to go somewhere this summer, even if it’s just to an airport hotel, chances are there will be a pool in the picture.
Do you know what to do when you’re there? It seems like a lot of folks don’t.
That’s why my Well-Mannered Traveler column on MSNBC.com this week is titled: Don’t be the fool at the pool. You can read the full column on MSNBC.com (and vote on what you think is the most annoying pool behavior) but here’s an excerpt.
As they check into and out of hotels in the course of taking notes for their assigned site visits, staff members of the recently launched site, Oyster Hotel Reviews, take a lot of pictures. Some photos confirm that a hotel’s king-size beds are as plush and as large as advertised. Others, like the shot taken at the Sheraton Manhattan Hotel (below), might make guests think twice before taking a dip in the pool.
Ick, right? Do people really need to be told not to poo, pee, spit, or blow their nose in a hotel pool? Evidently they do. And, looking over the results of a recent TripAdvisor survey, it’s clear that there’s an ocean’s worth of other travelers out there who could use some tips on what sort of behavior is acceptable, or not, at the pool.
Travelers told TripAdvisor that loud music, hogging beach chairs, and urinating in the pool were some of the activities they found most annoying. Although 53 percent of the almost 4,000 people surveyed admitted they thought it was OK to pee in the ocean as long as other swimmers weren’t too close by. Other irritating behaviors high on the list included smoking, littering, not showering before entering a pool and letting kids take other kids’ beach or pool toys without asking.
Bad manners, right?
In some places, it’s PDA, public displays of affection. At the Vero Beach Hotel & Spa in Vero Beach, Fla., the pool concierge (yes, that’s a job) says he keeps an eye peeled for couples getting a little too cozy by the pool and, when necessary, steps-in and asks them to tone it down. “Usually it starts out subtle,” says Alex Serkadakis, “but then after a few drinks, they can get a little too frisky. Rubbing suntan lotion on their partner’s back can turn into a seductive massage and then next thing you know, they are rubbing oil all over each other.”
Serkadakis says kids love putting stuff like fish, turtles, etc. into pools, but sometimes people want stuff taken out of the water. Like all the water.
Erin Scheinost, the manager at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak’s River Ranch in Phoenix had one mom who demanded that the resort’s 4-acre water park be drained because her 12 year-old son had lost his retainer in the lazy river section of the park. Scheinost couldn’t do that. Nor could she call the woman if her son’s retainer popped up. “My staff finds a lot of retainers and we have no way of identifying the owners.”
To read more pool fool stories and get some tips from experts on proper poolside behavior, see my Well Mannered Traveler column on MSNBC.com: Don’t be the fool at the pool.