In the last ten, fifteen years we’ve seen a huge increase in what used to be referred to as the ‘sharing economy’. And now this is extended to those of us who would love to rent a swimming pool by the hour for fun, exercise, parties, entertaining and more. Good idea?
Of course, ever since the service started in the summer of 2018 the media have referred to it as the ‘Airbnb of pools’ – roll eyes and shrug. But never mind.
The service is simple. In an admittedly Airbnb-like way, homeowners can list their pools on the site along with photographs and details of the amenities available. Along comes the public, people who are looking to rent a pool for whatever reason, and the site takes care of the introductions, payments and so on. The service even vets every pool for safety and suitability.
Why might you want to rent a pool by the hour? People who use the service include those who:
- Are staying in the area but are renting a place without a pool at it is cheaper, knowing that they’d only use a pool for a limited time
- Want to use a pool for a small birthday party or other celebration
- Are local and want to enjoy some non-quarantine time as an afternoon ‘staycation’ to break the monotony of lockdown during COVID
- Need to use a pool regularly for exercise
- Are local and don’t have a pool themselves
- Are teaching their children to swim
- Prefer a private pool because of health or disability
- Want to entertain alfresco
The amenities available differ widely as do the ‘house rules’ laid down by the owner. One of the first things I wanted to know, typically of me, was whether the pools had loos available. (Or ‘restrooms’ as the site calls them. The answer is, it depends, every location is different. Some pools have cabanas that include bathrooms and kitchens, others have no loo facilities at all. Swimply works with their pool hosts to provide portable facilities if required.
The lowest per-hour rate I found on the site was just $15. The host permitted a maximum of five guests. Amenities are basic (changing room, outdoor shower, parking and wifi) but bear in mind that five people can enjoy this private pool for as long as they wish for a mere $3 per person.
At the other end of the scale, there are luxury pools with hot tubs, outdoor kitchens, pool toys, waterfalls, night lighting and more. And as most hosts will accept large-ish groups, even the more expensive pools are great value when guests are splitting the costs.
It’s important to check the listing properly before booking as some don’t allow parties, others won’t accept pets, there are those that are adult-only and so on.
And of course, if you have a pool, you might be interested in listing your own place. (See insurance page)
Find out more at the Swimply website.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.