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I have seen many times, usually when the hotel swimming pool is an outdoor one (maybe that has something to do with it) that you are not allowed to swim outside certain hours (e.g. 10am to 8pm), even if there's physical access to the swimming pool.

Why is that?

  • 1
    Actually, I have seen similar restrictions with indoor pools (perhaps a bit later like 10pm but rarely 24/7). – Relaxed Sep 10 '16 at 18:01
69

This reddit thread has some reasons, some of the primary ones being:

  • Noise. Especially with an outdoor pool, nobody wants other guests at the pool disturbing their sleep, and rooms often overlook the pool. This is especially a problem because of:
  • Drunk people. Some guests get drunk and stupid at night. They break things, bring glass into the pool area, get sick, and perform other activities nobody wants to see. A pool is an attractive nuisance for such behavior. Close the pool for everyone, and nobody has to worry about what's going on.
  • Pool maintenance. The filters and chemicals need time to work, and a period of non-use may be required by the manufacturer/installer/health rules. Outdoor pools may be covered when not in use, to reduce heating costs and keep them clean.
  • Less supervision. Even without lifeguards, fewer staff are on duty to keep an eye on the pool area.
  • Insurance. Because trouble is more likely at night (for all of the above reasons), insurance companies may require that the pool close or charge a higher premium if it keeps longer hours.
  • 4
    Entrapment deaths, especially with kids, have happened with pool drains, and there are a bunch of relatively recent US safety standards to try to prevent them. I'm imagining something like that was involved, especially if safety features were defeated while the pool was closed for maintenance. – Zach Lipton Sep 11 '16 at 23:12
  • They can be stuck and injured because of intensive suction. They can get stuck and get drowned. There may be higher concentrations of chemicals (chlorine, bromine) which clean the pool because thay are poisonous. The kid could have allergic reaction to such chemicals or the can be poisoned or etched/burned beyond survival level. – Crowley Sep 12 '16 at 9:28
10

The specific answers to this question can be different for every hotel property, there is no single 'rule'.

However, there are a number of common reasons that may apply:

  1. Liability insurance. It may be actuarially more risky to allow swimming in off-hours or in non-ideal conditions.
  2. Staff. The hotel may prefer or be required to have specifically trained staff on premises during pool hours.
  3. Lifeguard. They may only open the pool during Lifeguard hours.
  4. Alternate use. The restaurant may set tables poolside during dinner hours and having swimmers would be a distraction during dinner service.
  5. Noise. Noise from the pool may bother guests with pool view rooms.
  6. The owners just don't want people in the pool after hours.

If you want to know at a particular property, just ask the Manager or call ahead. They will most likely be glad to tell you. This would not be a secret.

  • 2
    What is the difference between 2 and 3? – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Sep 10 '16 at 18:17
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    The hotel may only require someone CPR trained on site to open the pool, but not necessarily stationed at the pool. A Lifeguard is just that, someone with lifeguard training posted at the pool. – Johns-305 Sep 10 '16 at 18:20
  • I would add (7) They don't want to pick up dead people floating in the pool in the morning. – gnasher729 Jul 29 at 22:44
6

Anecdotally, one hotelier told me it was to avoid noise disturbing other guests (many rooms had a window looking at the pool). Other considerations might include the need to cover the pool to keep the water warm or lack of staff for surveillance.

3

Basically, pools are harder to "monitor" after dark, and the danger level escalates.

First, it costs more to hire lifeguards to work in the dark, and even if some were on duty, it would require more effort (extra guards, extra lighting, etc.) to provide the same level of protection than during daylight hours. Which is to say it is more expensive. Insurance costs are also likely to be higher after dark.

Then there is the potential problem of noise. Putting aside the issue that people are likely to be more noisy after dark, what noise exists is more likely to disturb sleeping patrons during "dark," as opposed to daylight, hours.

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    @pnuts: Those "hidden" costs have to be balanced against the costs of providing pool access. Eventually, it may come down to a "vote." Do more people enjoy swimming at 10 p.m. than are disturbed by the resulting noise levels at that hour? At some level, the hotel has determined that more people want to swim at 6 p.m. and few people want to swim at 10 p.m, , compared to the number that want to sleep at that time. Note that "swimming" and "sleeping" are mutually exclusive. – Tom Au Sep 12 '16 at 4:31
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    @pnuts true - but that hotel may be okay with losing your custom in exchange for 2 or 3 other guests who appreciate, for example, not being woken at 08:00 while on vacation. I would personally choose the hotel where I get an undisturbed lie in: and if more people agree with me, they'll open the pool later. Another hotel will have a different approach, and between the two they can split the clientele neatly – Jon Story Sep 12 '16 at 12:55

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