An idyllic Friday morning at a hotel on Spain’s sunny Costa del Sol turned unexpectedly tumultuous when an eager crowd of approximately 50 tourists stormed the poolside area in a frantic bid to claim the best spots for their sun loungers.
The rush on the terrain of Hotel Parasol Gardens in Torremolinos has been captured by the British paper Mirror in footage that shows the competitive holidaymakers, both young and old, competing fiercely for the coveted poolside spots. This incident is the latest in an ongoing series of “towel wars.” Moreover, it´s a struggle among British tourists and other European travellers to secure prime sunbathing spots. This has led to an unprecedented scramble with families queuing up from as early as 5.00 am to lay their towels on the sun loungers of their choice.
However, such competitiveness is not isolated to one hotel. It appears not just to be a trend across various holiday establishments along the Costa del Sol. Other popular Spanish coasts like Costa Blanca and Costa Brava are also experiencing the same. It showcases the varying degrees to which tourists are prepared to go in order to secure their spot under the sun. From shoving matches to early morning towel placements, the competition is intense. And it seems to be more intense than usual as these spots experience pre-pandemic levels of demand.
Stress during holidays
One observed strategy was securing multiple loungers before dawn using large pegs to fasten the towels. They would then return to their rooms to sleep before coming back later in the day. Some hotel guests expressed their dismay at the aggressive behaviour they were forced to adopt to secure a sunbed. They referred to their discomfort at setting such an example for their child. The scramble has even led to some holidaymakers declaring their vacation experiences as “the worst”. This was due to the added pressure and stress of securing a spot around the pool.
Many tourists choose to observe the chaotic spectacle from the sidelines, bemused by the frenzied rush for the sun loungers. As one observer noted, the loungers are often chained up both in the morning and at night, only to be released to a waiting crowd of competitive vacationers.
Also read: Battle for the best beach spots in Benidorm