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Hotel Swimming Pools and Suits Needed

Came as quite the shock to me that I read pools in France prohibit certain types of suits worn in a pool.
I will try and hold back my opinions on this rule/law since I am a visitor.
Does the rule/law differ for hotel owned pools on the property vs. public pools?

Since I am leaving soon for a trip to France and 2 of the locations we will be staying at will have pools on the property and I planned on using the pool I need to figure this out before we leave and buy new suit(s) if required.
My wife and I are taking our 5 year old daughter with us, which is why I sought out pools for these locations so the pool is quite important to us.

One place I would describe as a luxury hotel in the Cote D'Azur. They have at least 1 pool plus a indoor spa area, 80 something rooms. Would a hotel risk upsetting a paying guest by telling they cannot swim cause their shorts are too baggy? Seems odd to me but maybe if others are using the pool at the same time they would have to?

The other place is an Airbnb booking in Provence that seems to function as a small B&B ; very small place between 2-4 rooms/apartments for rent that has a pool on the property to be shared for those renting at the time.
Would such a small place care, good chance no one else would be using the pool at the time we would?

Are these type of places likely to have rules on what clothing can be worn in the pool?
If both places will definitely have the requirement I would probably need 2 new suits. If one might and another one likely not I would bring 1 new and 1 old.
Ideally I could not worry and bring 2 of my typical suits I already own.
I have never in my life worn other than surfing type shorts in a pool or ocean. If those won't be acceptable I need to buy a new bathing suit for the trip. My preferred suits do look just like shorts that could be worn most anywhere without looking like swimming gear which from what I can tell is the main thing the law prohibits.
Funny, I seek out these type and often pay a premium for them vs. the traditional more casual swimming suit shorts.
Not sure exactly what is acceptable, if it has to be speedo type Olympic divers and swimmers wear or you can get anyway with something more?
Also not sure if I need to alert my wife to this and any female swimming suits are of concern for wife?

Posted by
6788 posts

I've never heard of this. Where are you seeing that?

Posted by
776 posts

Would your best sources of information regarding rules on bathing attire be the hotel and airbnb you mention above? Usually referral to "rules" means public swimming pools. To feel comfortable, an email to the locations you mention asking for their pool dress requirements might answer your questions.

The information provided in the link also goes for Paris public pools.

Posted by
1829 posts

It definitely would.
To be honest I did not want to seem like one of those annoying guests emailing frivolous questions prior to my stay so thought I would post here first to get some feedback and if that only results in more uncertainty I would go the route you advise of reaching out to each place.

Posted by
776 posts

I understand your point. However, since most rules are for public spaces, you might not be able to get a valid answer for specific spots unless you contact them.

The rules mentioned in the link you found do generally apply to public pools in France.

Posted by
1025 posts

I think this is the type of question the hotel would be happy to answer. They don't want guests to be surprised by a dress code problem, so I would imagine that they would be prompt in answering your questions in this regard.

I can confirm that in public pools, the rules are enforced, even for children. It is a sanitary concern and necessitated my purchase of a speedo for my 11 year old son.

Of course, your daughter's suit is likely a lycra one piece, and she probably would not be affected. The rules seem to apply to men because we are the ones who wear the shorts instead of Speedos.

Posted by
2577 posts

Loose fitting swim trunks are strictly forbidden to be worn in any public swimming pool, generally an issue for males only. Private pools, and the ocean/sea are a different matter. The only way to know how this might affect you is to write to or contact wherever you are staying and ask.

Posted by
2461 posts

We were in southern France a few years ago. Two of the hotels we stayed in had swimming pools. My husband wears a baggy swimsuit and no one bothered him. There was no one at the pools other than guests and certainly no one policing male swim attire. Perhaps at public pools they do.

Posted by
10298 posts

Since swimming is part of the French school cuuriculum, most children in France would already have the stretchy little suits and be used to wearing a swim cap. On the beaches, the baggy shorts are as popular there as they are here. The strapped-for-money municipal government just doesn’t want something you could wear walking around town dunking in the municipal pool afterwards. It would be surprising if private pools stuck to elementary-school standards, but your lodgings can tell you and may appreciate you asking.

Posted by
3773 posts

I spent a summer in Provence/Languedoc Roussillon a few years ago and saw lots of men in board shorts at beaches and pools. All of the pools were in hotels/clubs. My husband would never (and I mean never) wear a Speedo-type suit and he never had a problem at a pool or beach. I'd say that a significant number of the men that we saw at beaches and pools were not wearing Speedo-type suits. That being said, the Speedo rule is one of the reasons that we have never been swimming at a public pool in France. We have stayed at hotels in Paris and elsewhere with pools and there was no issue with non-Speedo swim suits. I totally get why a lot of French men would have Speedo suits because they need them for public pools. I think the practical choice is to get the type of suit that they can wear anywhere they choose to swim and it is not on their mind whether or not some Americans think it is appropriate for them to wear a Speedo because they are not slim.

Posted by
5697 posts

I ran into the cap-required (may have been for women only) rule in China -- so I throw the $5 cap I was required to buy into my bag every time there's a pool. There was nothing posted about suits or caps at the pool in the apartment/resort complex in St Remy last month.

Posted by
620 posts

My experience:
Public pool in Dinan, needed a speedo
Aqualand water park, did not need a Speedo
Small b&b in Provence with a pool*, did not need a Speedo
Small b&b in Foix with a pool, did not need a Speedo
All rivers, lakes, and the sea, did not need a Speedo

Speedo type swimsuits are available for 15 euros at supermarkets and public pools. I bought one at the intermarche and it was fine. I should also note that the Dinan pool offered loaner spoedos to anyone who needed one. I opted to pass on this opportunity.

*This pool did prohibit sunscreen though, which was annoying

Matt

Posted by
2577 posts

Aqualand water park, did not need a Speedo

Aquaboulevard has a slightly adjusted policy from strict Speedo usage. Men may use trunks as long as they are very tight fitting. Baggy trunks are not OK.

The head cap requirement is for limiting the spread of head lice which is a persistent problem in French public schools (and pools). Lice float on the water surface and easily spread by attaching themselves to the hair of anyone swimming near them. Wearing a cap significantly reduces the exposure to and spread of head lice.

Posted by
370 posts

Brad - actually, Germany does has that rule for public pools. My son and daughter-in-law live in the Black Forest area of southern Germany and told my husband he needed “jammers” to swim when we visited.

Posted by
1221 posts

Also for pools with older filtration systems- baggy clothing and loose hair introduces more particulate matter that needs to be filtered out, even with the usual somewhat token pre-swim shower, and the mechanicals of older pools can have trouble handling such things. In the 90s, I used to work at a pool built by the WPA that still had the original mechanicals and we had to be picky by American standards about what kind of swimwear could be allowed in the pool.

Posted by
12172 posts

The requirements are for public swimming pools. The letter of the law is it has to be a suit that is suitable only for swimming. The rule applies to both sexes, which is why there is now a "swimming burka" specifically for Muslim women to wear at public pools. For women, virtually any swim suit will be okay unless it looks like it could be worn for non-swimming activities.

I bought a pair of swim trunks, at a pool. They are kind of square shaped boy shorts - a little bigger than the small speedos. Board shorts aren't allowed because they are considered capable of being worn for activities other than swimming. You could wear the knee length speedos because they are obviously only for swimming. I just returned from camping in SW France in June. Most men and boys were wearing board shorts at the campground pools.

Hotels and other private pools can set their own rules and most, if not all, allow board shorts.