We Rented Someone’s Backyard Pool And It Was Less Weird Than It Sounds

We Rented Someone’s Backyard Pool And It Was Less Weird Than It Sounds

Back in February, we wrote about how Swimply, the Airbnb of pools, had dropped in Australia, offering folks the option to rent out backyard pools when the mood strikes.

The service sounds like an interesting concept, but we had some questions about how it all works, so when team Lifehacker Australia was offered a chance to review a pool day with Swimply, we jumped at the chance.

Here’s how it all went.

Real Life Reviews: Swimply pool rental

pools rental swimply
Image credit: Lifehacker Australia/Stephanie Nuzzo

To start, here’s a quick look at how the Swimply rental service works.

Those looking to rent out a backyard pool can check out options on the website, searching by distance from you and preferred date. From here, you can review the available pools and compare price points, the number of guests you can bring and the features included in the booking (like WiFi, chlorine or salt water, and bathrooms).

Once you’ve found a pool that’s to your liking, you can either use an instant book option (not all pools offer this) or select your preferred date. When making a booking with Swimply, you’ll be asked to add in some basic details, as well as write a simple profile for yourself – like you would with Airbnb.

There’s also a review option available so you can check out the opinions of past guests.

Prices range from around $15 per hour to around $150 per hour, with group sizes varying from about four guests to as many as 50.

The verdict

Image credit: Lifehacker Australia/Stephanie Nuzzo

Three Lifehacker team members spent four hours at a Swimply-listed pool. This is what we thought of the experience.

“I’m a big fan of pools, and have always wished my friends had one so that I could just use them for it. So, it’s cool that Swimply is giving me the ability to use other people’s pools without the guilt. It was nice to break up my work day by changing the scenery (in someone else’s backyard) and working by a pool. I will say, however, it can be a little awkward because it’s not your house and you’re kind of just chilling outside, but if you look past that, having access to a pool for a few hours is pretty sweet.”

– Ky Stewart

“It may seem a little strange to visit someone else’s house to use their pool for a few hours, but Swimply honestly made it all really easy. The pool we visited was well maintained and very private with a great outdoor entertaining area. Speaking as someone who does not have a pool nor the means to afford one, it was like living a life of luxury for a few hours.”

– Lauren Rouse

“I was a little unsure about how this whole rent-a-pool experience was going to go. Would the owners be home? They were. Would it be tricky to access the pool? It wasn’t. Was I going to feel uncomfortable? Not really.

“The process of booking the rental was really easy. And working by the pool was a refreshing way to spend the afternoon. While the owner of the pool was home (we discovered this when we ordered Uber Eats which was delivered to their front door), it mostly felt super private. Shutters were drawn so no one could stare into or out of the house, which was comforting.

“We were provided with WiFi, which was great – though it did abruptly cut out towards the end of the stay – and there was loads of comfortable seating to relax in. There were a couple of elements I didn’t love, though. The booking said we would get access to a speaker, but there weren’t any directions for how to use said speaker, and the listing didn’t include a bathroom, which I imagine would be pretty inconvenient for people renting the pool area for extended periods of time. While we were told we could ask the owner for access to the bathroom, that felt kind of awkward – so I would recommend ensuring you check bathroom facilities are included if you book a pool.

“The only other negative is that there are not loads of properties available just yet, so we couldn’t find a place to visit that was closer than a 30 minute drive away. That is likely to change once Swimply becomes more established and more pool-owners sign up, however.

“All in all though, it was a fun, seamless experience that we all really enjoyed.”

– Stephanie Nuzzo

You can read more about Swimply on the website here. If you’re after more random lifestyle reviews, check out this write-up on an inflatable hot tub next.

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