Lounge at an Awesome Pool
by Dave

Couple swimming at a nice hotel pool
Did you know there's a luxurious pool waiting for you nearby with free towels, recliners, umbrellas, and waiters who are happy to serve you drinks? It's true. Just think of the more expensive hotels in your area and I guarantee they'll have all the ingredients for a fun day pool-side. If you have the wits and will to get in that is.

The game you're going to play on this date is 'Outwit the Hotel', and the rewards...well, they're pretty nice at most of these places. If you listen to nothing else I say, remember this: it's all about attitude. Hotel staffers aren't in the habit of hassling customers, it's bad for business and all, but if they get a whiff of something amiss, look out! You see, hotel employees are a lot like wild animals, they'll attack if you show the slightest hint of fear but are generally as afraid of you as you are of them. A bad encounter with them will get you the boot, but a messy one with a real guest may cost them their job. Be confident!

There's no standard plan for these outings, you'll have to take each hotel as it comes, although the general rule is the more luxury you want, the more risk you'll face. Anybody and their brother can crash a 2-star hotel, but you might as well head over to a public pool if all you want is to get wet. No, our goal is to relax pool-side in luxury. We want the soft, fluffy towels and immaculate changing rooms, right? So how do you do it?

First off think up a few possible hotels and check out their websites to see if they're acceptable. If you aren’t up on the local hotel scene, search hotels.com or hotelrooms.com for the 3, 4, and 5-star hotels nearby. You may want to start out with a 3-star hotel or two until you get the hang of it - there's no need to blow it at the best hotels before you're ready. Start off by doing a walk-through with your date to check out the situation. Dress in presentable clothes and casually walk through the lobby on your way to the inner bowels of the hotel. Their web site should have a map, but if you don’t know how to find the pool ahead of time, wait until you’re well inside before asking. And even then always frame the question as if you're just a little lost like "Pardon me, how do we get to the pool from here?"

As you approach the pool area, notice whether the door requires a cardkey and if there's an attendant nearby. If it looks like you won't be able to just stroll in, casually walk on by and look for other entrances. You’re thinking "How do I get in if there's an attendant and I need a cardkey?" For the adventurous this is only a minor inconvenience. Think about it, can you position yourself out of sight from the attendant and follow other guests in? Of course you can, just be confident while you do it!

When you return for the actual date, dress like you belong. Remember, towels will be waiting. Don't walk directly to the pool, instead take a leisurely, roundabout way to get there. Upon entering the pool area, head directly for the changing rooms and if any attendants give you a look walk right up to them and ask where to get towels or find the changing rooms. They expect dodgy types to skulk around, so look them straight in the eye and be confident. This goes for all contacts with employees. If they ever try to feel you out with the standard "May I help you?" just say "No, thank you" and ignore them while you go about your business. They're used to this response from real guests and won't skip a beat as they retreat from potential trouble. One other thing to remember is that you're always being watched. These places, especially the more expensive ones, have cameras everywhere, so you'll need to keep your act up and be on your best behavior the entire time. And don’t ever look at the cameras.

The food will be over-priced but it won't kill you to buy lunch, appetizers, or a drink anyway. Consider it the cost of lounging in luxury, and really, it's only fair. Some hotels will also have poolside fire pits and other nice features, feel free to call ahead and ask. It may be a good idea to head over a few hours before sunset and watch it from the pool or a poolside Jacuzzi. Good luck!

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