Resort Guest's Revenge On 'Towel Seat Reservations' Prompts Debate About Vacation Etiquette

'Towel seat reservations' unofficially mark someone's territory.

couple at pool Reddit / Kaspars Grinvalds via Canva

When on vacation, there are often limited chairs around the pool area with far fewer chairs than actual guests. In order to ensure they guarantee themselves a spot, it's become common to 'reserve' seats with towels which signal the seat is taken.

However, this unofficial 'towel reservation' practice can sometimes get out of hand, with one Reddit user explaining how he got revenge on those taking advantage of the situation. 


In a post this Redditor submitted in the subreddit r/pettyrevenge, where users share their experiences of getting their revenge served cold, they discuss what exactly is vacation etiquette and how they taught one resort a lesson.

Reddit user @konijn12 noticed most seats 'reserved' with towels never actually got used.

In his post, @konijn12 explains how, during a stay at an all-inclusive resort, they found it difficult to find lounge chairs by the beach as "most of the spots were 'taken' by towels." Eventually, after finding a seat, "to our surprise - many of the chairs stay reserved almost the whole day or never get used."


Instead of wasting time finding a place to sit every day, the next day they took towels off of two chairs and sat at the pool for four hours before a couple got there, making a scene about Konijn being in their spot. The Redditor was so enraged by this, that they decided to get their revenge.

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towel seat reservations hotel etiquettePhoto: Reddit


The next day after breakfast, they went to the pool and removed all of the ‘towel reservations.'

The revenge plot was ultimately successful.

"Many many people complained and by the end of the week there was a sign that unattended towels would be removed,' @konijn12 wrote. "Success!"

This sparked a debate in the comments regarding proper vacation etiquette.

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Most of the comments were on Konijn12’s side, but there were differing opinions about smaller details.

One commenter stated that after 15 minutes if the chair is unoccupied it should be up for grabs. Another commenter said that this should happen after 30 minutes. Both comments were backed up by policies that were put in place by resorts they have stayed at in the past. Strangely, the resort that OP stayed at did not have a policy in place for this until they did something about it. 


“Petty revenge leading to petty complaints leading to a policy change against the complainers is just awesome,” someone commented.

Other policies were discussed in the comments regarding what the resorts do with the towels that were left unattended.

Several comments stated that resorts they have been to in the past would put the towels in the lost and found. Others stated that the managers would throw them in the pool. This would be highly entertaining for the guests but it is pretty excessive. Some hotels have begun charging for pool use to cut down on wasted chairs.

One commenter described their experience about how taking space by a couple resulted in a debate over ‘reservations’. They said “totally got into a p-ssing match with an old couple because we moved vacant loungers into an open space next to them. ‘They were going to use it for later.’ They weren’t even saving chairs. They were trying to save open space. We didn’t move.”

According to an article by The Hampton Inn and Suites hotel chain, proper chair use at a resort pool includes "utilizing the pool chairs when you need them and never using more than one chair per person in your party." The also explicitly advise guests not to "go down to the pool earlier in the day and 'save' chairs by putting towels or other belongings on them."


While proper vacation etiquette varies from resort to resort, it's always wise to be considerate of others. Let’s all stop being selfish and learn to share.

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Tarah Hickel is a Washington-based writer who focuses on entertainment and news.