Get out of my sun lounger

Have you ever been on vacation and struggled to find a sun lounger around the pool?  Isn’t it annoying?  You get down there quite early and find all these sun loungers occupied by towels, books, suntan lotion bottles – but not a body in sight.  Yep – it’s those chair hoggers again. Many resorts have tried to cut down on this by confiscating belongings laid out to hold the chairs.  Others are imposing fines but nothing – absolutely nothing – beats this resort in Spain.

Watch the video – go on – it doesn’t take long to watch.  Do it while your boss is in a meeting.  You will see the holidaymakers lined up with towels and books while the pool staff sweep and clean.  Then at a signal from the Pool Staff Captain (or whatever) there is this massive rush.  Much grabbing of sun loungers, spreading of towels – and then everyone disappears leaving the pool surrounded by empty sun loungers.


This sort of resort behaviour is sure to get everyone up in arms.

It doesn’t just happen at resorts by the way.  Last year at the Calgary Folk Fest I was amazed to see the same behaviour with tarps.  People would arrive early in the morning and peg out their tarp in a prime position in front of the main stage and would then disappear to go off and watch other concerts – all the while taking up a space that they weren’t using.  No fair!

And honestly – they are no better than those people at the Flamingo Oasis – just look at this tarp dash at the opening

I guess it is just something about the human condition.  Here’s a definition :

“The human instinct to survive is our most powerful drive. Since animals climbed out of the primordial muck and as our early ancestors rose from all fours to walk upright, evolution has been guided by its ability to help us survive.”

So I guess that need for the best spot at the Folk Festival or the best position for your sun lounger next to the pool is all just down to our ancestors…. Thanks guys!

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. Look at the picture of the folk fest! There is no performance happening on the main stage (except in the evening), so naturally people go to the other stages during the day. There is nothing wrong with these actions at the folk festival.


    1. Hi Hugh, thanks for reading my blog. When I was at the folk fest there were quite a few performances where there were tarps without people. Just a couple of bags on top of the tarp. So there were indeed performances where space was held but not used. At the final performance of Buffy St Marie there were several tarps lining the front “rows” of the area in front of the stage. After the act had been in progress for a while a few of us tentatively moved forward into those spaces as it seemed that no-one was coming and this was the headline act. We were respectful of their space – they were not respectful of ours. Just my humble opinion.


  2. It drive me nuts when I see the towels, books etc on chairs and no one shows up until the end of the day to reclaim their stuff. If I need a chair I will move the towels and other belongings to the side, if they show I will move but most times I have the chair for the full day


  3. As one who gets up early to claim a lounger and especially to locate 2 in the shade under a palapa at Las Brisas, Huatulco, before we go for breakfast, I see nothing wrong with this. We use ours almost all day, moving it around to stay in the shade to avoid too much sun. Las Brisas seems to have enough loungers. Possibly you should include the number of loungers as part of your evaluation of resorts?
    We also go as early as we can to the Folk Festival to spread our tarp and my only concern is the number of volunteers that spread oversized tarps early and we don’t see many that are vacant for the evening performances at the main stage.


    1. Hi Hugh – you have a good point and if you use the loungers all day and the hotel has been sensible enough to provide an adequate number of loungers to facilitate the number of their guests then that all makes sense. It would be interesting if hotels did offer that sort of information as to number of rooms and number of loungers available. This would be important for people such as yourselves who do enjoy this amenity. Sadly I haven’t come across that information myself but the hotel in the video clearly didn’t have enough sun loungers to satisfy their guests which is a shame. What’s the point of a fly and flop if you have nowhere to flop? As for the Folk Fest – That’s a shame about the oversized tarps being spread. I realise that the volunteers do a great job so maybe this is some sort of “reward”. Maybe they should standardise the size of tarp allowed – but that all seems to be going in the wrong direction and not in the spirit of the folk fest. Ah well – people – we are complex animals!


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s