The Ultimate Hotel Towels Buying Guide

Your hotel can give guests a real sense of indulgence when they wrap themselves in a plush hotel towel after a rejuvenating bath, shower, spa experience or dip in the pool.

At Star Linen UK, we understand that the right towel can elevate a simple hotel bathroom to a sensory experience. 

Whether you're a hotelier aiming to provide guests with the pinnacle of comfort or an individual seeking that hotel-like luxury in your own home, choosing the right towel is paramount. 

Dive into our guide as we unravel the secrets behind hotel towels, the essence of hotel quality towels, and what makes hotel towels UK stand out in the world of linens.

Towels on a wooden stool

How to identify a good quality towel

What fabric are hotel towels? Selecting the perfect towel isn't just about its aesthetic appeal; it's about understanding the towel materials. Below, we’ll look at how to identify a towel that promises both luxury and longevity.

Decide between cotton vs. synthetic

With towel materials, the debate often revolves around Cotton vs. Synthetic materials. 

Why choose synthetic?

Synthetic towels, often made from materials like polyester, come with their own set of advantages. 

  • Durable: Standing up to wear and tear with grace. Their resilience makes synthetic towels a practical choice for settings where they’ll face frequent use and require consistent performance.
  • Quick-drying: Their ability to shed water rapidly ensures that they're ready for use quickly, making them suitable for hotel gyms or poolside lounges where swift drying is essential.
  • Cost-effective: Offering good quality at a more accessible price point, they present an economical solution for bulk requirements without compromising too much on comfort.

While they might not offer the plush opulence of our 100% cotton ranges, synthetic towels have carved their niche, proving that every material brings its own charm and utility to the table.

Why choose cotton?

Cotton towels, with their softness, offer guests a material that’s both warm and comforting.

  • Highly absorbent: Ensuring that you're cocooned in dry comfort swiftly after your bath.
  • Breathable: This means they naturally allow moisture to evaporate, preventing any dampness or odour, ensuring a fresh feeling with every use.
  • Durable: With proper care, cotton towels often become softer and more plush with time to save your hotel money. 
  • Hypoallergenic: Kind to even the most sensitive of skins, ensuring that comfort doesn't come at the cost of your guests’ skin health.
A cotton towel: The Orion 

Orion towel available from Star Linen UK

Star Linen UK’s Orion hotel bath towel is the ideal choice for hotels looking for a durable and plush cotton towel for their guests.

The fabric, pure cotton, ensures softness, while the pristine white colour adds a touch of timeless elegance. 

Consider the stitching and feel

The stitching and the tactile feel a towel offers play a role in the experience your hotel gives its guests.

Look for twin stitching

When selecting a high-quality towel, you should look for ones that have twin stitching. 

Twin stitching is a technique where two parallel stitches run side-by-side on the towel’s edges. It not only enhances a towel's aesthetic appeal but also toughens the edges, ensuring longevity and resistance to wear. 

This double line of stitching is both a mark of quality and a promise of durability.

Go beyond your first touch

While the initial touch of a towel might be deceivingly soft, thanks to temporary finishes manufacturers might use, the real testament lies in its lasting feel. 

When choosing a towel for your guests, you want them to feel comfortable for the duration of the time they use the towel, especially if your accommodation has a gym, spa or pool.

Test the towel you’re considering purchasing for longer than a simple touch. Only those that give you lasting comfort will also give your guests the same experience.

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Understand towel technical terms

With luxury linens, understanding the fabric terms can be the key to finding the perfect towel for your hotel. Let's delve into these terms and their significance in the world of premium towels.

Yarn types
  • Twist: ‘Twist' refers to the number of turns given to the yarn used in the towel. A high twist indicates a more durable, yet slightly rougher towel, ideal for environments demanding longevity. On the other hand, a low or zero-twist yarn, with its wider surface area, offers a plusher, more absorbent feel.
  • Combed Cotton: This is the art of refining cotton by brushing it to remove short fibres, leaving behind only the longest and strongest ones. The result? A fabric that's not only softer to the touch but also remarkably durable. Combed cotton towels promise a luxurious feel without compromising on strength.
  • Ring Spun Cotton: A meticulous process where both long and short cotton fibres are tightly twisted together. The outcome is a smoother, stronger yarn that translates into a towel with a soft touch and enhanced durability. Ring spun cotton towels are synonymous with quality, offering a balance of comfort and longevity.
Cotton types: Turkish & Egyptian

Turkish and Egyptian cotton are often associated with the crème de la crème of towels. But what makes these cotton types so special, and what makes towels feel like hotel towels? Let's unravel the mystery.

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  • Turkish Cotton: Grown in the Aegean region of Turkey, this cotton is renowned for its long fibres and fewer joins. The result is a smoother, more lustrous finish. Turkish cotton offers a balance between absorbance and quick drying, making it a favourite for luxury hotel towels.
  • Egyptian Cotton: Often hailed as the gold standard in the world of cotton, Egyptian cotton boasts extra-long fibres, giving it its signature plushness and high absorbency. Grown in the rich Nile River Valley, its fibres are hand-picked, ensuring the utmost quality. Towels made from Egyptian cotton are incredibly soft, durable, and highly absorbent, making them a top choice for luxury hotels and spas.

Think about your towel’s weight

In the world of luxury towels, one term frequently surfaces: GSM. But what does it signify, and what kind of bath towels do hotels use to ensure their guests experience unparalleled comfort? 

Understanding GSM

GSM stands for 'grams per square metre' and is a measure of the towel's density. 

In simpler terms, it indicates the amount of cotton or fabric used per square metre of the towel. 

A higher GSM translates to more yarn, making the towel thicker and, consequently, more absorbent.

Thickness and Absorbency

Towels with a higher GSM, often ranging from 500 GSM to 1000 GSM, are plush, dense, and highly absorbent. 

They offer a spa-like experience, wrapping the user in a cocoon of luxury. 

On the other hand, towels with a lower GSM, typically between 300-400, are lighter and dry faster, making them ideal for gym use or travel.

Considerations for Hotel Use

For hotels, striking the right balance is crucial. 

While plush, high GSM towels exude luxury, they take longer to dry, which can be a consideration for housekeeping. 

Moreover, they occupy more space in laundry loads, potentially increasing washing costs. 

Many premium hotels opt for towels in the 500-700 GSM range, offering a blend of luxury and practicality. 

These towels provide guests with a lavish feel while ensuring operational efficiency.

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Think about the towel’s visual appeal and colour choices

Hotels need towels that strike a balance between aesthetics and functionality. 

While a plush, beautifully embroidered towel might look stunning, it should also be durable enough to withstand daily use and frequent washing. 

How are hotel towels always white? While white is the typical colour, this isn’t always the case. Your towel colour choice should resonate with your hotel's theme and branding, creating a cohesive look.

The Aesthetic Appeal

A towel isn't just a functional item; the way it's displayed, folded, or draped can elevate the ambiance of a bathroom. Hotels should invest in towels that not only feel good but also look impeccable, enhancing the overall guest experience.

Colour Choices

While white remains a classic choice for its neutral appeal and sense of purity, hotels are increasingly experimenting with colours to align with their branding or interior aesthetics.

However, it's essential to ensure that the dyes used are of high quality, ensuring the towel retains its vibrant hue even after multiple washes.

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Caring for your towels

While many hotels will use contract cleaners, if yours cleans its towels in-house, you’ll need to know how to keep your towels looking their best wash after wash. 

So why are hotel towels so nice? Here are some expert tips to ensure your luxury hotel towels remain as plush as the day they were bought.

Washing Tips
  • Pre-wash Ritual: Before their first use, always wash your towels. This not only enhances their absorbency but also ensures any residual dye or manufacturing chemicals are washed away.
  • Avoid Overloading: Give your towels ample space in the washing machine. Overloading can cause friction, leading to wear and tear.
  • Use Gentle Detergents: Harsh chemicals can damage the towel's fibres. Opt for mild detergents and avoid bleach, especially for coloured towels.
Drying Tips
  • Shake Before Drying: A gentle shake before tumble drying can fluff up the fibres, ensuring your towels remain soft.
  • Avoid Over-drying: While tumble drying is convenient, ensure you don't over-dry your towels. This can make them stiff and may lead to a faded appearance.
  • Natural Drying: Whenever possible, let your towels dry naturally. The sun's UV rays have natural antibacterial properties, keeping your towels fresh.
Maintenance Tips
  • Regular Rotation: If you're using the same set of towels repeatedly, they're bound to wear out faster. Ensure you have multiple sets and rotate them regularly.
  • Avoid Fabric Softeners: While they might seem like a good idea, fabric softeners can reduce a towel's absorbency over time. Instead, use white vinegar occasionally to maintain softness.
  • Trim Loose Threads: If you notice any loose threads, trim them immediately to prevent further unravelling.

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What towels should your hotel use?

Consider Star Linen UK's Range of Hotel Towels

At Star Linen UK, we understand the significance of a perfect towel. Our collection is curated to cater to the diverse needs of the hospitality industry. 

Most of our collections contain the full range of towelling options, including: face cloths, hand towels, bath sheets, bath mats and hotel shower mats.

Orion Towels

Orion towel range from Star Linen UK

A symbol of luxury, the Orion range offers an indulgent experience with its plush feel and superior absorbency. It's a lavish treat for your guests without compromising on affordability.

Aurora Towelling Range

Aurora towel range from Star Linen UK

The Aurora range is a blend of softness and durability. Its unique weave ensures it remains soft wash after wash, making it a favourite among our hotel clientele.

Eclipse White Towelling Range

Eclipse towel range from Star Linen UK

The Eclipse White range is the epitome of classic elegance. Its pristine white hue and soft texture make it a timeless choice for any hotel setting.

Gym Towel

Gym towel from Star Linen UK

Specifically designed for the active guest, our Gym Towel is both absorbent and quick-drying, ensuring a refreshing post-workout experience.

Poolside Towels

Poolside towel from Star Linen UK

Our Poolside Towels are made from 100% cotton, ensuring they keep your guests comfortable during their relaxation time by the pool.

Orion and Aurora Towel Sets

For hotels looking to offer a cohesive bathing experience, our Orion and Aurora towel sets provide a complete package of luxury. These sets not only offer value but also ensure that your guests are wrapped in consistent comfort from head to toe.

Explore Our Hotel Towel Collection Now

If you’re looking for new luxurious towels for your hotel, then consider the Star Linen UK range. 

Our towel collection has options for every hotel, BnB, guest house or glamping accommodation, with plush, durable towels that will keep your guests comfortable during their stay.

See the hotel towel range now