Affordable luxury: Day passes offer one-off visits to luxurious hotel pools

Dive in! Some of the fanciest hotel pools are now in reach
Dive in! Some of the fanciest hotel pools are now in reach Copyright Oveth Martinez via Unsplash
Copyright Oveth Martinez via Unsplash
By Saskia O'Donoghue
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Day pass apps, which offer access to hotel pools and facilities, are getting ever more popular as holidays rocket in price across Europe.


Do you spend your days scrolling social media, dreaming of the very best hotels and, specifically, their dreamy pools?

Many of us are guilty of exactly that, although a luxury escape seems miles out of reach.

There is a solution, though. Recently, a number of apps have popped up, offering day passes at affordable prices to some of the very best pools at fancy hotels in Europe and beyond.

Resort Pass, DayPass and Hotel Treats are just some of these apps offering a day’s access to some stunning facilities for around €30, meaning you can have a glamorous day out for an accessible price.

DayPass is one of the largest of these platforms, partnering with around 200 hotels and beach clubs across the globe.

Euronews Travel spoke to its founder, Alexandre Mayol, to see how easy it is to access luxurious hotel pools for a one off treat.

And relax... swimming can be hugely restorative
And relax... swimming can be hugely restorativeHaley Phelps via Unsplash

How do hotel day pass apps work?

DayPass was inspired by a personal need I identified while living in Miami in 2016,” French-born Alexandre tells Euronews Travel. “At that time, accessing hotel pools and beach clubs required cumbersome phone calls or emails. The idea came when I thought about the ease of booking a pool pass with just a tap on an app.”

Historically, many hotels did actually offer day passes but, for the most part, didn't actively promote them or know how to sell them to potential customers, who were usually clueless about their existence.

In 2016, Alexandre’s brother was living in Dubai - and recognised a similar demand on the other side of the globe.

“Over the years, our presence has expanded, primarily driven by the demand from both our hotel partners and users who crave flexible luxury experiences.”
Alexandre Mayol
Founder of DayPass

The pair got in touch with a number of hotels with pools and, as they say, the rest was history.

“We received overwhelmingly positive feedback for a technology tool for them to market, promote and sell their day pass experiences, which encouraged us to build a solution,” Alexandre explains.

Europe is very much lacking the United States tradition of country clubs, which offer daytime hubs offering luxurious, on-demand leisure experiences, accessible to everyone.

Alexandre and his fellow day pass app creators recognised this gap in the market and have been going strong with their idea - which is seeing these apps gain more popularity as prices for holidays shoot up across Europe and beyond.

How easy are the apps to use - and how do the hotels get involved?

Apps like DayPass are all available on iOS and Android for mobile as well as via verified websites, meaning booking through them is secure.

Users are then able to locate and book day pass experiences with just a couple of taps. Hotels can be browsed by preferred locations and price and date ranges as well as the exact facilities on offer.

Once you’ve chosen a hotel, you can then make an instant booking, ensuring a simple user experience from selection to the moment you plonk yourself on a lounger by the pool.

Many of the hotels involved in the scheme use a similar system to DayPass’ onboarding system.

“They join DayPass through a user-friendly back office extranet system, where they manage their offerings, calendars and transactions,” Alexandre explains.


Where are the best places to access hotel pools for a one-off visit in Europe?

While DayPass began in Dubai, European hotels soon followed, recognising the venture as one with legs.

Early on, it was backed by a partnership with Club Med who, Alexandre says, “showed immense trust in our vision early on.”

While his app is not the only available option in Europe, it currently offers access to 20 countries across the continent.

Naturally, it’s usually seasonal, due to the mixed European climates - but there are plenty of options.

Alexandre says popular venues open from the early spring are hotels in the Canary Islands, like Tenerife’s five star Hard Rock.


When the weather heats up, he recommends spots in Ibiza, Marbella, the Algarve and Sicily.

In Ibiza, the Mim hotel is an adults-only offering, similar to many day access pools in Marbella.

In Portugal and Sicily, though, the pools available for daily use tend to be more geared towards families, like the Muthu Clube in Praia Da Oura, which is an all-inclusive child-friendly resort.

What’s the future for day passes for hotel pools?

Alexandre speaks fondly of feedback he’s received on bookings through the app.

“One husband organised a surprise wedding anniversary at Fairmont The Palm Dubai, calling it a highlight of their married life,” he remembers.


“Another memorable piece of feedback came from a UK family who, after trying Club Med Marrakech for a day, became lifelong fans of Club Med, reflecting the success of our mission to redefine leisure experiences with our hotel partners,” he tells Euronews Travel.

But what’s next for the world of day pass apps?

For Alexandre and his fellow app founders, it’s a balancing act between getting hotels on board and letting potential customers know about their existence.

“We see growing demand for Greek islands, Costa Brava, the Croatia coast and we should be serving there soon,” he says.

The apps have been through many changes since they came to fruition almost a decade ago, especially with the temporary death knell to hotels during the pandemic.


However, there are trends emerging that show what users want from the service.

Recently, people have been less satisfied with purely paying for pool access with nothing else included. Increasingly, they’ve been searching out ‘all inclusive’ passes, which make everything - from the pool, to beach access to lunch and drinks - all part of the experience, all for a single, one-off cost.

Alexandre has also seen a trend for baby club services, “great for parents who want a break while ensuring their young children are cared for.”

A luxurious hotel pool can often be a highlight of a holiday
A luxurious hotel pool can often be a highlight of a holidayCory Bjork via Unsplash

Travellers appear to be using the apps to fill that often frustrating amount of time before hotel check out and a late flight, too.

Booking a day pass for a hotel pool is, in cases like that, a practical choice as well as a luxurious one.


If you’re concerned about what to do in this situation, a day pass could be the solution - leave your luggage, enjoy a relaxing day and even take a shower before your flight, extending the holiday feeling just that little bit longer before reality kicks in.

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