Swimming pools can be a popular amenity at hotels, providing guests with a way to relax and cool off during their stay. However, with the use of any pool comes the risk of injury. As a hotel owner, it’s important to understand the potential liability for accidents or injuries that occur in your swimming area. One way to mitigate this risk is through the use of a swimming pool liability waiver. But can these waivers actually be enforced?

Swimming Pool

In this blog post, we’ll explore the situations in which a swimming pool liability waiver may be considered enforceable, as well as best practices for hotels to follow in order to protect themselves from liability.

What Are Intentional Acts?

Intentional acts refer to behaviors carried out by a person with a specific aim or goal in mind and with a full understanding of the potential outcomes of their behaviors. These behaviors can range from minor infractions, such as deliberately disregarding a rule or agreement, to more severe offenses, such as physical harm or financial deceit.

What Are Ordinary Negligence and Gross Negligence?

Ordinary negligence is a legal term used to describe the failure of a person to exercise the level of care that a reasonably careful person would have exercised in a similar situation.

Gross negligence, on the other hand, is a higher level of fault that involves a severe lack of care or conscious disregard for the safety or well-being of others. Gross negligence is more than just a failure to exercise ordinary care, as it involves a conscious and reckless disregard for the safety of others.

The potential consequences for these two levels of fault differ significantly. Ordinary negligence typically results in damages that are limited to compensating the injured party for the harm suffered, while gross negligence can result in more severe damages and may even lead to criminal charges being filed. Gross negligence is considered a more serious form of fault because it involves a conscious and reckless disregard for the safety of others rather than simply a failure to exercise care.

Can Hotel Swimming Pool Liability Waivers Be Enforced?

Hotel swimming pool liability waivers can be enforced in certain circumstances. However, there are some limitations to the enforceability of these waivers.

One key factor that affects the enforceability of a hotel swimming pool liability waiver is the presence of intentional acts. If an injury or accident is caused by an intentional act, such as someone shoving another person into water, a waiver of liability may not be enforceable.

On the other hand, if an injury or accident is caused by simple negligence, such as a failure to properly maintain the pool area or a failure to post warning signs, a waiver of liability may be enforceable.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Hotel with a Swimming Pool? 

The main responsibilities of a hotel with a swimming pool are: 

  • Ensuring swimming zone safety for guests
  • Providing lifeguard services (if required)
  • Maintaining the pool and surrounding area
  • Providing pool rules and policies
  • Posting warning signs
  • Monitoring pool use
  • Providing poolside amenities

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, hotels with swimming pools have several responsibilities to ensure the safety of their guests. Hotel swimming pool liability waivers can be an important tool for protecting hotels from liability for injuries or accidents that occur at the pool. 

However, it’s important for hotels to be aware of the limitations of these waivers and to understand the situations in which they may not be enforceable. By following best practices and complying with applicable regulations, hotels can help ensure the safety of their guests and minimize their liability risk for swimming pool accidents.

Using a service like PandaDoc Waivers can help hotels easily create and manage their liability waivers online, ensuring that they are enforceable and can protect the hotel’s interests.


  • The person or entity responsible for a swimming pool accident will depend on the specific circumstances of the accident. Some possible parties that may be held responsible for a swimming pool accident include the hotel owner, the pool operator, the person who caused the accident, or the victim.

  • A hotel can potentially be held liable for the lack of a lifeguard if an injury or accident occurs at the pool, and the lack of a lifeguard is a contributing factor to the injury or accident.

  • Yes, swimming pools are regulated in many jurisdictions. The specific regulations that apply to swimming pools can vary depending on the location of the pool and its type.