Staking a claim with a beach towel will no longer be necessary
The early morning ritual of draping a beach towel over a coveted sun lounger to reserve it may soon be a thing of the past for some German tourists.
The travel firm Thomas Cook is giving Germans the option of pre-booking their loungers when they choose their next Mediterranean holiday package.
So far, the offer only applies to winter holidays booked in Germany.
Nine hotels have joined the scheme to stop "beach towel wars", which see many Germans accused of hogging loungers.
Reserving a lounger and beach umbrella in advance will cost about three euros (£2.60) a day, on top of the holiday package.
Thomas Cook is offering the option at nine hotels in Turkey, Egypt and the Canary Islands.
For a weekly rate of 49 euros per room a family can reserve one lounger for each person, along with a beach umbrella and their own dining table at six Egyptian hotels.
The offer has only just come out, so it is too early to say how popular it will be, a Thomas Cook statement said.
One of the firm's managers, Peter Fankhauser, said that "with this we're relieving our clients of early morning stress".
He said he too found it "really tiresome" on holiday to be sent out by his wife early in the morning to place beach towels on the desired poolside loungers, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.
I must say I have found the Brits to be equally adept at paying early morning visits to claim sun loungers. Perhaps a case of "if you can't beat 'em" although on the last occasion the site was 100% British and all the loungers were "reserved" by 8am.
Ian, Edinburgh, UK
I experienced "Beach Towel Wars" last year in Italy. Each morning I was kicked out of bed earlier and earlier each day in order to try and secure a poolside lounger for my wife and kids. On the first day I confidently walked up to the pool just after breakfast. As I approached there was a strange silence.
As I walked into what could be described as a pool complex the size of a small country, I was shocked - as far as the eye could see were beach towel-draped loungers. Not a single unclaimed bed existed. Anyway, by the end of the week I was up to the pool and back to bed before anyone else even opened an eye. The last day of the holidays we all spent a great day by pool. I was a little tired as I'd been up at 6.30am.
Nik Daughtry, Sheffield, UK
This is so true! I remember a holiday in the Canaries a few years ago and you could never get a lounger because the German guests had put their towels all over them, even though they weren't actually using them. So annoying!
Kyle, Bootle, UK
Excellent idea. There's nothing more irritating on holiday than having to get up at the crack of dawn to get somewhere to relax in the sun. Not only should this ensure a good night's sleep, but it will also deter those selfish individuals who place towels on beds they may or may not use depending on when they get back from the beach, and others who reserve six beds for mum, dad and the four kids who only use them as they're having more suncream applied. Bring it on.
C Garth, Warrington, UK
Why is Thomas Cook offering this to Germans only at this time? Surely they could have implemented this at the same time for all customers. This I feel will only cause more problems, resentment and stress (for those who are not able to pre-book) at a time when people should be relaxing and enjoying a well-earned break. I am going to Egypt for my holiday next week and I will not be happy if I am treated any different at my hotel.
Robert Ashley, Derby, UK
The easy way to resolve this is to have a sun lounger for each holidaymaker. Indulging in these inconsiderate reservations can be broken by having a pool attendant or lifeguard who has the authority to remove towels from unattended loungers.
Fiona Macintyre, Edinburgh, Scotland
The best way to deal with this is to pick up the towel and carefully place it in the pool where it belongs. Loungers should be on a first come first served basis and people should not have the right to claim them as their own so long as they are not lying on them, within reason of course, for e.g. going to the pool.
Peter Hickling, Salisbury, England
I think hotels should provide enough poolside loungers and shade for 98% of the total number of guests their hotel can accommodate. Then there would be no need to pay extra or have to get up early to reserve them. I stayed at one hotel where some Germans were even reserving the loungers the night before. So, revenge time! For some days after, many found their beds gone when they finally drifted down late in the morning and had to get their towels fished out of the pool!
Martin Wise, Ruislip, Middlesex, UK
Speaking as an ex-holiday rep, I will say that the Brits are every bit as bad as our German friends in reserving the sun beds, umbrellas, plastic stools and ashtrays. The Germans may indeed get up at 5am to reserve their sun beds and then go back to bed, but in their defence at least they have breakfast early and are sunbathing their tanned bods on their reserved sun bed by 8.30am at the latest.
The Brits tend to get up at 5am, put their towel down, go back to bed, get up, have breakfast, pop to the local market on the bus, haggle for 40 minutes to buy a three- euro bracelet and then come back to the hotel. By this time it's 11.45am and their sun bed has sat empty since then with only their Millwall towel and copy of Take A Break (the summer bumper edition) on top to give a clue as to their nationality.
Jimmy McLean, London, UK
I was recently in Cyprus and let me tell you, the British are just as bad as the Germans if not worse. You had to be up at 7.30am to get a lounger as people crawl out of their rooms, throw their towels down and crawl back to their rooms.
Kris Hood, Durham, England
On holiday in Tenerife some years ago, a pool attendant collected any towels left on loungers that had been unoccupied for one hour. They had to be collected from the hotel's poolside office. Seems fair to me.
A Davies, North Wales
If ever I needed a reminder why this type of holiday holds no attraction for me whatsoever it is reading an article like this with the associated comments. Off to Scotland again for some stunning scenery, peace and quiet and - hopefully - some nice weather as we sit outside our holiday cottage.
Ray Peel, Liverpool, UK