Skip to Content

Can You Use Hotel Pools After Checkout?

A pool of a resort and coconuts.

There aren’t many things I am willing to get up early for, outside of emergencies. However, rooftop hot tubs and pools are on the list. Once I was staying in a hotel located in the heart of downtown Dallas, Texas. I was too busy taking on the town with a friend the night before to get to the pool at a decent hour. By the time we got there, the pool was overrun with people. So much so, there was not even that much room to get in comfortably.

That’s when I devised a plan. If I couldn’t get to the pool at night, maybe I’d have better luck in the morning. Unfortunately, I’d be checking out the next day and didn’t think I’d have enough time to indulge in the hot tub and take a swim before leaving.

What I did instead was pack everything and go to the pool in my swimsuit. This was a rather nice hotel with lockers and a special entrance. I knew once I checked out, that I couldn’t use my card to access the door that leads to the pool. So, I went to the pool before checking out and stayed until after 11 am, the designated check-out time.

Nobody’s Gonna Know

A family enjoying swimming on the pool.

The beauty of that scenario is that the hotel staff don’t really mind you being there after check out. They are too busy with their duties to keep tabs on who is and is not an active guest when they come to take a dip. That really goes for all hotels, whether luxury or budget.

See also  Why Do Hotels Use White Sheets? How Do They Keep Them So White?

The trick is getting to the pool before your check-out time, if the pool requires a keycard. Those cards get deactivated once your stay is up.

If you happen to be running behind and don’t quite make it before your card is turned off, that doesn’t necessarily mean your chance has passed. A lot of favors you get in hospitality have to do with how you treat the staff of the establishment you’re in.

If you, a reasonable traveler who wants to swim a little while, ask the front desk to be let into the pool, the likelihood is high that they will accommodate you.

To be fair, many hotels consider you still a guest until midnight on the day you check out. That means you shouldn’t have pushback for wanting to use the amenities. That includes a fireside pit, restaurants, bars, a business center, and a gym.

In addition, if you paid for parking throughout your stay, you can leave your car in the parking lot and walk around the town on the day after you have checked out. I would know, that’s how I toured San Antonio without having to pay for parking everywhere I went.

Pool So Nice, Use It Twice

A woman soaking on the pool eating fresh fruits.

In the event that the hotel staff has a reason not to let you use the pool, or if you’re still in town the day after check out and the pool is still on your mind, you might still be in luck. There are some hotels that offer a Day Pass that you can use to access the pool, and hopefully a hot tub, for a particular amount of time.

See also  What’s a Luxury Hotel Profit Margin on a Room Per Night?

This deal is not just for those on vacation. If there’s a grand hotel with a beautiful aquatic feature that you’d like to pretend is yours, there’s an option for that as well. Some hotel pools are so popular that they offer monthly memberships. You don’t have to travel in luxury to take advantage of it.

What About Before Check-in?

A woman soaking her foot on the pool.

What happens when you arrive at your hotel hours before check-in but don’t really have anywhere to go or anything to do? Why, get in the pool, of course! According to Hotels and Discounts, “The resort pool, as well as other resort amenities, are available to guests arriving before their rooms are ready or waiting for their flights.”

Just like taking advantage of hotel amenities after you’ve checked out, you can do the same before check-in. On most trips, I go to the business center first to print something out or go over to the cafe and have a beverage of sorts.

That’s especially handy when there’s a long line at check-in or the front desk is really busy. You’re already on vacation time. You might as well start partaking in the festivities when you get there.

When it gets down to it, it’s good business to let you get out and have fun a little early or a little late. It doesn’t get in anyone’s way or cause any disruptions. Of course, you have to hold up your end of the bargain and be respectful and non-problematic.

Hotel Pool Ettiquette

Children jumping over the pool.

This may seem like common sense to many, but you’d be surprised by how many people forget to be normal humans when they are on vacation. Here are a few tips that might make your time in the sun more tolerable for you and everyone around you. It should be noted that if you have the pool to yourself, these suggestions are more flexible.

  • Avoid Major Splashes. We all know people whose claim to fame is a canon ball with the goal of getting everyone in and out of the pool drenched. This isn’t home, don’t do that. Many people go to hotel pools to relax and even get some reading done.
  • Be Mindful of Space. You’re not the only ones out, so don’t take up all the chairs. Purposely dropping clothes or towels across an entire row of seats is not fair to everyone else. Even if you have enough in your group to account for that much seating, read the room.
  • Use Towels Conservatively. The pool is part of your stay, but all the work that goes along with your swimming is something to consider. You may not be home, but that shouldn’t mean everything is a free-for-all. “In the same way you wouldn’t have the hotel change your sheets daily, try to make the towels last,” The Points Guy explained.
  • Be Extra Careful. If you have children or people who can’t swim on the trip, be sure the whole group knows where is and is not safe in the water. If you’re a parent, do not leave the pool at any time. There are no lifeguards and all it takes is a handful of seconds for anything to go wrong.
  • Noise. Some noise is fine, but when you’re blasting music or allowing kids to scream and run around the pool, that’s not being respectful. At any time at a hotel, there are people sleeping, working, or watching TV in their room. While you can’t be mindful of every person, you can keep things at a dull roar.
See also  How Long Will a Hotel Hold Your Room?

At the end of the day, everyone just wants to have fun. Don’t let your good time step on someone else’s.

Types of Hotel Pools

Outdoor hotel pool of a resort with coconuts.

For some, when a hotel pool comes with a hot tub, that is enough to make them book at that particular place. For others, a rooftop pool is too enchanting to pass up. There is a wide variety of amenities and pool situations that motivate travelers to give a hotel a second look. Here are some of our favorite ways to pool on vacation:

  • Rooftop
  • Infinity pool
  • Swim-up bar
  • By the ocean
  • Glass wall or floor
  • Indoor
  • Surrounded by lush vegetation
  • Private room pool
  • Safari pool
  • Generous scenic or city views