That Tune At Your Hotel Pool Now Has a Name: Poolevator Music

by Flaunt Editorial Staff

Poolevator Music

[pool-uh-vey-ter myoo-zik]: noun

Downtempo electronic music with generic rhythm section, often accompanied by dulcet, French-accented singing. Typically played poolside at hotels, often involving swan floaties.


2017; <From pool + elevator music. Named by Mrs. Taylor Cathcart Pollecutt, poolside at the Andaz Mayokoba, Mexico.

My brand new wife and I had just started our honeymoon in a spectacular hotel just north of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. As we lay by the pool, I noticed a familiar song being piped through the omnipresent sound system. It was the Nouvelle Vague electro-jazz cover of New Order’s Blue Monday. Four days earlier, during the week of our wedding, I would visit friends staying at various hotels in Palm Springs. This song kept popping up on hotel poolside playlists.

I looked around. No one else was paying any attention to the song. Guests romped in water, played backgammon, some slept. It dawned on me. This was the new elevator music! This once brilliant track was now a small part of one never-ending background loop, tracks curated for a) seeming coolness and b) capacity to be indistinguishable from one another. I told my wife as much and concurring, she christened it POOLEVATOR music.

Poolevator music has its roots in the '90s, when a bar in Ibiza began releasing CDs under the eponymous compilation, Café Del Mar. Chill Out was born-- downtempo tracks designed to help you come down from the ecstasy trip the night before. At the time it was considered tres cool and a spate of copycat compilations like Buddha Bar and Hotel Costes soon followed.

20 years later, Café Del Mar is to a pool what Burt Bacharach is to an elevator.  We are just one Spotify year away from the entire genre turning into a puddle of Hawaiian Tropic.

Heating up? Dip your toe in this Poolevator Playlist.

Written by Brendan Pollecutt