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The Poolside Cabana Has Become the Hottest—and Priciest—Amenity at Luxury Hotels

Some accommodations are selling for up to $2,500 a day.

Triton Villa in Turks & Caicos Cabanas The Agency Turks & Caicos

If you’re gearing up to head out on vacation, get ready to put down some money poolside.

Cabanas are hotter than ever, and their prices indicate as much, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Some luxury properties are charging more than $1,000 a day for access to the secluded waterside getaways (along with their extra-comfy lounge chairs, TVs and even air-conditioning).

Hoteliers say that people are willing to cough up the money because they’re still splurging on travel after years of not being able to go much anywhere. That pent-up demand has led to increased prices across the board: The hospitality tech company SevenRooms says cabana prices rose 5 to 50 percent in 2022, depending on location and season.

At Loews Miami Beach, for example, cabanas are 15 to 20 percent more expensive than they were a year ago. There, you’ll be spending $1,200 a day for a two-story cabana with air-conditioning, showers and an ocean-view deck. (Prices can reach $2,500 during the peak year-end holiday season.) That’s without factoring in the extra money you’ll have to throw down for food, drinks and tips. Yet Mutluhan Kucuk, the managing director at Loews, said guests in cabanas spend 35 to 40 percent more on food and drinks than other pool visitors. “I wish I had more cabanas,” he told the WSJ.

Elsewhere, at Arizona’s Phoenician resort, a cabana could set you back up to $600 a day. That includes access to a TV, a couch, bathrobes, a mini-fridge and other amenities. Vacationers are happy to pay the price: The pool complex brings in nearly as much revenue as the Phoenician’s signature restaurant, Michelle Wrobel, the assistant director of food and beverage, told The Wall Street Journal. (At Loews, the pool and beach operations actually bring in more revenue than the restaurants, Kucuk said.)

For some, the cabana premium might seem like a bit much on top of flights and hotel accommodations. But that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy a little slice of luxury, too: Many hotels offer day passes, allowing you poolside access without the full resort experience. Those day-trippers are even inclined to spend more on food and drinks than overnight hotel guests, ResortPass CEO Michael Wolf told the Journal.

Whichever route you choose, make sure to book early: Some guests reserve cabanas a whole year in advance, and same-day options are rare. The extra effort ahead of time hopefully makes for a relaxing experience once you arrive to your poolside retreat.

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