One night in one of LondonThe most recently opened five-star hotels cost from £1,400. This may be beyond most people’s budget.
But it is possible to recreate an element of this pampered experience for much less: a tenth of the sum, in fact.
Thick, fluffy towels are the vital accessory of a prestigious hotel’s bathroom, and purchasing a set for your home will add ease and comfort to your daily routine.
The Soho House group even sells the towels used in its hotels. A pack of four (two bath towels and two hand towels) costs £110 (sohohome.com).
British towel company Christy says the desire to make a bath even more relaxing yet glamorous began during the pandemic.
Lucy Ackroyd, head of design at the firm, says customers still want towels with “fluffiness and hotel quality” to enhance the feeling of escape.
If you’ve never put much thought into the piece of cloth you use to dry yourself, you may think that a towel is just a towel.
But this item, invented in the 17th century in the northern Turkish city of Bursa, is now at the center of complex manufacturing processes.
Bathrooms began to be installed in homes in the mid-19th century following advances in plumbing that allowed hot water to be pumped into homes.
When Queen Victoria Discovered and endorsed the towel in 1851, it became a status symbol among the upper classes.
Subsequently, a hierarchy has evolved in towels, which are classified by their weight, in the same way that sheets are compared by their thread count. GSM (grams per square meter) is the key metric for towels and shows weight per square meter.
Thinner towels have a GSM of less than 400. Higher quality towels, which are more likely to stand the test of time and feel more luxurious and plush (two of the towel industry’s favorite words), have a GSM of more than 450. It is irritating that this crucial information rarely appears on the labeling.
But companies that supply the hospitality sector recognize the importance to their customers and specify the details on their websites, as do some of the companies that serve domestic customers.
Scoms, the online retailer, sells a bath towel with 1,000 GSM. This is part of a £102.60 pack that also contains two bath and two hand towels with 702 GSM (scoms.com).
Absorbency levels and dry times are another obsession. Turkish cotton is said to dry faster, while Egyptian cotton is more absorbent since its threads are longer.
Marks & Spencer is confident enough in its 690 GSM offering to call it Autograph Hotel Ultimate Retreat Towel. This range costs between £6 and £23.50 for a bath towel (marksandspencer.com).
Like similar ranges, these towels not only come in white, but also charcoal grey, duck egg blue, navy blue, soft pink and taupe.
In a hotel, only white can be acceptable since it can be bleached and also conveys cleanliness and purity. But in homes, people want to match the overall color scheme of their interiors.
They also often seek to wrap themselves in the type of bathrobes that five-star hotels offer.
Some will splurge on the £350 Unito bathrobe from Italian luxury bedding group Frette.
But Soak&Sleep’s £45 robe is a more modestly priced addition to the bathroom with a five-star feel.