Big, fluffy hotel towels are more important to guest satisfaction than you might expect. Here’s what some chains offer that makes the term “hotel towel” a luxury rather than a basic amenity.
While some hotels are going pretty far afield these days to wow guests with cool amenities — think flamingo yoga at the Baha Mar in the Bahamas or your very own soap concierge at the Viceroy Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen, Mexico — big, soft, luxurious towels consistently land at the top of most hotel guest lists. In fact, high-quality towels that are big enough actually to cover a post-shower body come in second only to plush pillows and breathable bed linens in most guests’ hotel amenity wish lists.
That may be why, in today’s service- and amenity-cutting environment at most hotels, some hotels may cut daily housekeeping but give guests such a satisfyingly big pile of super-luxe towels in a range of sizes that they don’t mind their trash cans staying full for a few days. Yes, those little positives do add up, and more hotels — not just the ultra-high-end properties, are doing away with lower-quality bath towels and ushering in a new era of après-bath experiences.
Hotel Chains Upgrade Towels to Luxe Amenities
One example is Hilton, which in addition to adding more bedside power outlets and nightlights, is upgrading its towel inventory as one way to increase guest satisfaction without spending outside the property-owners’ margins. According to a report on thestreet.com, “The new program uses innovative technology so that towels grow plusher through washing, providing the feel of a heavier, more luxurious product.” As an added bonus, the new towels actually lower costs because they have a longer lifespan.
Of course, luxury towels have long been a part of the luxury experience at high-end hotels, but now the trend is growing such that the global hotel towels market is projected to reach $14,948.92 million by 2028, up from $11,718.65 million in 2022, according to barchart.com. That’s a lot of towels.
So much so, in fact, that several top-end chains now offer people a chance to have that luxury hotel experience at home by making their towels available for retail purchase. There’s even an entire retail category for aficionados.
Not surprisingly, hotel chains are among the largest manufacturers in this hotel towel category, including Marriott, Mandarin Oriental and Four Seasons.
Among the hotel towels that get rave reviews — and are available for purchase without adding a room night or two to your credit card bill — is the Towel Set from Marriott Hotels, which an article in Forbes rated as the “best classic choice” for crisp white towels. The Westin’s Towel Set, like Hilton’s new towels, are designed only to get softer and cushier the more they’re washed.
For a fantasy level of fluffiness, check out another Marriott staple, The Luxury Collection, or W Hotels’ Angle Towels. And The Ritz-Carlton chain’s bath towels are, like the hotels themselves, elegant, classic and stylish. Of course, towels are used outside of the bathroom, and Four Seasons Hotels’ Pool Towel Set, combed cotton towels embossed with the prestigious chain’s logo, are de rigueur for lounging poolside.
So on your next site inspection, don’t forget to check out the stash in the guest rooms to make sure your clients will get the comfort, cushiness and cozy dry-off that used just to be the hallmark of an ultra-luxe hotel stay—but that they now also may be getting at home, too.
This article first appeared in Recommend’s sister publication, prevuemeetings.com.