The heat and humidity during the dog days of summer can be dreadful, and there’s no better way to cool off than spending time in a refreshing pool.
For people who don’t have a pool at home, hotel pools can look extremely inviting.
But can you use a hotel’s pool if you’re not staying in one of their rooms?
While it is illegal to sneak onto hotel property and use their facilities, there are some hotels that will allow you to enjoy their pool without having to book a room. Many resorts and hotels offer day passes that enable you to enjoy a day at the pool on their property for a much lower price than if you had booked a room.
Hotel and Resort Pool Policies
Most hotels and resorts allow only guests staying on the property to use their facilities, including the pool, gym, breakfast bar, and whatever else they may offer.
Sneaking onto any hotel property and using their pool, as tempting as it may be, will cost you.
The total fines and penalties depend on where you are, but you run the risk of being charged with trespassing, which usually comes with a hefty fine and up to 90 days in jail.
What can you do if you want to gain access to a hotel pool and their other amenities without staying overnight at the hotel?
Fortunately, many hotels and resorts offer day passes and membership programs that give you access to their pool, gym, spa, and other services.
The fee for a day pass is typically much cheaper than the cost of a room for the night. You’ll need to pay for each day you use the facilities, but it will keep you out of trouble.
Some hotels also offer membership programs, which are typically used by locals who don’t intend to stay at the hotel overnight.
The amenities covered by membership will vary from hotel to hotel, but they generally include things like the pool, spa, and gym.
Other hotels may have special allowances that let people use their facilities without requiring the purchase of a day pass, membership, or a booking at the hotel.
Sometimes, a hotel’s pool and other facilities may be open to the public during the offseason (like the winter), or after a certain time of day.
Policies are determined by each hotel, its brand, and local ordinances. The best way to find out what a hotel can offer non-guests is to call the front desk and ask.
Some hotels may offer day passes and memberships, and others may even offer times when their facilities are completely free to the public.
When in doubt, it’s always best to call to find out what options are available to you, instead of trying to sneak in. Paying a small fee is much better than facing criminal charges.
And in some cases, you may even end up not needing to pay at all.
What About Other Hotel Facilities?
Increasingly, hotels are adding additional amenities to the services they offer to try to attract guests.
For example, pool gyms, spas, pools, hot tubs, and food bars are all very common.
Just as we discussed regarding hotel pools, these other services are usually reserved for guests who are staying at the hotel.
Non-guests can sometimes purchase day passes or membership programs to gain access to these types of services legally.
What Is “Pool-Hopping”?
Pool-hopping is a vacation trend where people go from one hotel’s pool to the next, usually visiting multiple resorts or hotels.
It can involve sneaking into hotel pools during off-hours, while they’re closed, or sneaking into pools you shouldn’t be in.
Some hotels actually allow pool-hopping, while others allow only registered guests access to their pool.
The close proximity of Disney World Resorts makes it a popular place to pool-hop, but is it allowed?
At Disney World, pool-hopping is not permitted.
These hotels generally reserve their resort pools for guests who are staying at that particular resort, and registered guests need a wristband or key to access the pool.
If there’s a pool you want to visit, sometimes you can rent a cabana or get a day pass.
Down the road from Disney World, the Universal Orlando resort has a different set of rules.
Guests can hop between pools as much as they like, as long as they’re staying at one of the resort hotels.
Pool-hopping, when it isn’t allowed, is considered trespassing. In such cases, you will be asked to leave the resort, you may not be allowed back, and you could even face criminal charges.
Can You Still Use the Hotel Pool After Checking Out?
In most hotels, you’re still allowed to use the pool after you’ve checked out of the hotel for the day.
Make sure you talk to the front desk when you check to find the rules about using any of the facilities before doing so.
This ensures that the staff is aware of your plans and that you have permission so you won’t get into any trouble for using the pool after check-out.
Typically, upon checking out, you give your room key back to the front desk, and most hotel pools require a room key for access.
But if you discuss your intention to use the pool after check-out with the front desk staff, you’ll make sure you can still access the pool if desired.
Guests who have already checked out can usually have the hotel hold their baggage and use the hotel facilities, even after checking out.
This can be a great way to kill time if you have a late flight but were required to to check out early in the day.
Read More >> Can You Use Hotel Pool After Checkout?
Many hotels sell day passes and offer membership programs.
Others may also allow non-guests to use pools and other facilities during off-times.
You should never try to sneak onto any hotel property, as will risk facing fines and possibly criminal trespassing charges.
It’s always best to call the hotel and ask if they have any offers available for you, instead of being sneaky and suffering the consequences.