Vegas Hotels Are Now Charging Guests Up to $200 for Poolside Chairs

The Bellagio, Excalibur and Caesar’s are all in on the chaise lounge racket, and it remains to be seen if the wicked trend is coming to Los Angeles

Nabbing a poolside chaise so you can recline in the desert’s rays and show off your smokin’ body is the God-given American right of anyone who has ever booked a room at a hotel with a pool. In Las Vegas, however, poolside real estate just went ka-ching, with some hotels charging an exorbitant amount for guests to reserve a chair by the cool water, according to the Wall Street Journal.

At the Bellagio, one poolside chaise will set you back $200 a person. Perks include “a side table, umbrella, and towels.” At the Excalibur Hotel and Casino, it’s $125 for a pair of chairs. At Caesar’s Palace recently, it was $200 for one “Neptune Deluxe Chair.” And at the Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu, reserving a chaise in the “front row of the hotel’s infinity pool” will cost you $125.

This way, hotels say, you can make a reservation without rising at dawn to stalk the pool area and “reserve” a chaise with your scraggly towel.

“It’s exclusive and it’s reserved in advance and you can come down at your leisure,” James Anderson, director of sales and marketing for JW Marriott Desert Ridge, a resort in Arizona that also charges for chairs, told WSJ. Some customers would “happily pay” for a chair, Anderson said, especially during crowded holiday weekends and travel times like spring break. Their chair solution has been so popular at the Marriott that reservations which started at $25 in 2019 have risen to $75 today.

So why would even a handful of hotels and resorts nickel-and-dime its customers to pop a squat during a summer where they are charging some of their highest room rates ever? One reason is a pent-up demand for travel. Guests, many of whom haven’t been able to go anywhere during two years of COVID, have money to spend on amenities.

However, resorts are not charging for all of their recliners. At the JW Marriott, which has 1,400 chairs, fewer than 10 percent of its seats are for rent. Hotels in Vegas don’t charge for all of their chairs, either. Location is everything: when you pay for a chair, you’re paying for real estate—those prime spots up front, or in the shade.

“For those who might be more lax about where they sit by the pool, the won’t likely have to pay for these chairs,” Sarah Dandashy, Los Angeles-based travel expert and author of Hospitality From Within, tells LAMag “I do suspect as travel demands level out and crowds aren’t as chaotic, these fees might go away. Or if they do stay, hotels will offer some additional features with it, be it a premium bed, or that the fee goes towards a food and beverage spend.”

Most importantly, Los Angelenos can feel mostly safe from this fad, says Dandashy.

“The thing about these hotel ‘trends,’ is that they don’t always apply to every market. What works in Las Vegas or in Hawaii or even at a resort in Arizona doesn’t make sense for places in L.A., NYC, or elsewhere.”

Charging for chaises at L.A. hotels and resorts is a scenario Dandashy foresees only in specific situations, such as “at hotel pools that struggle with overcrowding, or offer a pool-party sort of experience.” Otherwise, she said, such a fee “cheapens” the experience.

“Yes, the hotel pools get busy in Los Angeles, but it’s not quite the same vibe, volume, or demand that you see in resort towns.”

Still, anything is possible, especially during the high season of summer travel. Says Dandashy, “I would say to Los Angelenos, or those traveling here, [don’t] be surprised if you see it.”

As for everybody else, make sure to set your alarm and get up early to call dibs on a chaise with your towel and flip-flops—free of charge.

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign for our newsletters today