Bringing the Hotel Experience Home
You return from a great hotel stay and are happy to be home, but a feeling lingers that is something akin to disappointment. While most of us feel that it’s nice to sleep in our own beds again, it would also be nice if that bed felt more like that hotel bed and if our towels felt as great as those hotel towels did. So what do they have that we don’t? Quite a few things, actually, but you’ll be happy to learn that some of them are within reach.
Simmons is one of the most popular makers of hotel beds. Yes, the same Simmons you’ve seen in the mattress department of Debenhams – just not the same models. Hotel beds are fitted with special padding that is not available outside of the trade, but if you’re willing to shop toward the higher end of the mattress price range (ie, at least £2,000), you’ll be approaching the quality you experience on vacation.
The mattress is just the start, though. The sheets, padding, and duvets are what envelop you in that “Aaah” feeling. You might assume that quality hotel sheets are 100-percent fine cotton, but in fact they are often a cotton-polyester blend because it’s easier to care for and less prone to wrinkles. Hotels do buy quality, however, and thanks to frequent washing, drying, and industrial ironing, the sheets soften faster than those you buy for your home. You don’t have to go for the very highest thread count, but do look for long-staple cottons (even in the blends), as they produce a smoother fabric from the start. Egyptian and Turkish cottons are safe bets for good quality when you’re shopping.
Hotel towels, unlike mattresses, can be had if you know what to look for. Again, start by looking for Egyptian and Turkish cotton, but find out the GSM, or grams per square metre, which will tell you how dense the weave is. The luxury end for towels is up around 700gsm, but you can have excellent quality at 500gsm – that might be a better choice depending on where you live and your home, as the dense weaves don’t dry as quickly in high humidity.
Follow the hotel care regimen and your towels will be clean and soft, and they will remain in good condition. First, you need a detergent with a neutral pH, so a basic, unscented washing powder will do. Every few washes, add half a cup of white vinegar to the load to keep bacteria from developing and to work more matter out of the fibres. Strong detergents are too harsh; they will break down fibres and shorten the lifespan of everything you wash in them.
Hot water will do the same. Cold won’t get sheets and towels clean, but warm water is sufficient. Load your washing machine to about 80 percent capacity. Under that and the contents get too much agitation and water moving through them; more than that, and the water won’t move through everything to get it all clean.
With a little investment, care and attention, you can get close to the hotel experience. You might not be able to reproduce it exactly, but then that next stay wouldn’t be as special, would it?