I'm a proud hotel sunbed hogger & have clever tricks to nab all the best spots – people call me selfish but I don't care | The Sun

MOST of us relish the opportunity to ditch the early morning alarm and enjoy a lie-in on holiday.

But for Mel Selton, going abroad means dragging herself out of bed at 5:30am – so that she can dash down to the pool and reserve the best sunbeds.

The 28-year-old hairdresser from Warrington, Cheshire, says she and her pals make sure they bag the top spots to maximise their tanning time – and don’t care if people call them selfish.

They take it in turns to make the early morning pilgrimage, plonking down their towels before returning to bed for a few extra hours’ kip.

Mel tells The Sun: “Often we miss breakfast and are not up until 10.30am or 11am. 

“I can’t stand the stress and the feeling of instant worry when you wake up thinking you are too late for a sunbed.


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“I ensure I don’t suffer anxiety and nab the spots early. Holidays are precious and I won’t have them ruined over a sun lounger.

“Everyone does it. I get annoyed when people say they don’t!”

Recently videos of sunbed hoggers have gone viral on TikTok with reservists branded “selfish”. 

In one now-viral video, a hotel worker declared he was doing “God’s work” by removing beach towels slung over loungers. 

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Mel insists she isn't selfish and urges other people to do it tooCredit: Mel Selton

But Mel – who recently enjoyed a break in Spain – has no time for the so-called “towel police” and claims it’s survival of the fittest. 

She says: “I’ve never had anyone move my towels or take them off the loungers.

"I think people just like to complain and troll because they can’t be bothered to get up early to get the best sunbed sites.

“It’s a sunbed war and in my case the early bird catches the choice of lounger positions. Everyone does it and anyone who says they don't is fibbing.”

She adds that unless there's a hotel policy against it, she will gladly join the other guests who run down to nab the best seats in the early hours.

“Resort staff know sunbed nabbing is a ‘right of passage’ for tourists and see it happening daily,” Mel argues.

“If the hotel or resort doesn’t want it happening they should put up signs. 

“I’ve stayed at some resorts where they have a dedicated ‘sunbed staffer’ who takes bookings to coordinate sunbed allocation.

“Other resorts run a partial reserving system where you can pay extra to get the best sun loungers, or the choice locations, and they are roped off like a VIP area at a nightclub.”

Clever tricks

Mel has a strategy to make sure she and her friends have not one but two lots of sunbeds to use throughout the day.

She ensures she stays in a hotel with two or three pools for a bit of variety and even packs extra towels.

“We pick resorts with multiple pools; they have more lounges and more choices,” she says.

“I tell people to always take a couple of extra beach towels, books and poolside bags with you on holiday to use purely for sunbed stake-out purposes.

“If we arrive late in the afternoon then we wander around and work out which are the best locations and pools for tanning.”

I tell people to always take a couple of extra beach towels, books and poolside bags with you on holiday to use purely for sunbed stake-out purposes

Mel explains she and her travel mates work out a holiday roster to ensure someone is always up at 5.30am to nab the beds.

She argues it “takes the pressure off” and you can “sleep-in knowing your sun lounger selection is waiting”.

“It’s definitely worth the effort and we won’t be criticised for it,” she says. 

“I have arrived at some hotels and seen people nabbing the sunbeds at midnight so a 5.30am start is late.”

Mel says the prime location spots are the double beds and those closest to the bar. 

She and her friends also take note of the best location for optimum sunshine at various times throughout the day. 

Whoever is reserving the sunbeds takes down bags, bottles and magazines to make sure the towels don’t blow away. 

She explains: “We always chat at dinner about which sunbeds to grab.

“Whoever is on sun-lounger duty the next day then knows which ones to lay a towel on.

“It means we can come down and choose the pool and sun lounger that gives us the best sun.

“As the sun moves we can always move to our second sunbed location.

“There are the ‘must have’ or ‘VIP sun loungers’ – these are sunbeds or deck chairs which are like a double bed, or two connected sun loungers with a single huge sunbed mattress.

We come down and choose the pool and sun lounger that gives us the best sun… as the sun moves we can always move to our second sunbed location

“I love those because I can spread my stuff out and if someone wants to stop and chat there is always space. 

“Plus they’re always at the best positions around the pools.

“It’s not selfish. I paid for a great holiday and a great tan and so did my friends. 

“I want  to enjoy the holiday and come back super tanned.”

Mel, who has holidayed in Ibiza, Thailand, the USA and Thailand, says unless you hire a private villa, the dash and grab for a sunbed is “all part of the holiday fun”.

“Since lockdown and Covid people are even more aware of their surrounding space,” she says.  

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“I won’t be criticised for wanting choice, a nice tan and to get my money’s worth from my holiday.

“I get sick of people moaning about people grabbing the best loungers. If you want a nice choice of sunbeds, do what we do. Our tips work.”

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