Berendsen research reveals hotel guest linen preferences

It’s long been known that hotel linen has a direct impact on the guest experience, but what exactly is it that your guests want? We now know the answer thanks to research conducted by leading textile services provider Berendsen. The research explains the linen preference of guests, identifying exactly what they want in towels and bed linen, from colour and pattern to size and weight.

BERENDSEN 1-1600x1600New research highlights ‘gold standard’ of hotel linen

Research* conducted among UK hotel guests has revealed how to achieve the ‘gold standard’ for towels and bed linen. The research, commissioned by Berendsen, the UK’s leading textiles services provider to hotels, explains the linen preferences of guests. These vary considerably in some cases from some of the commonly held industry beliefs on what guests want in a towel and bed linen.

Of the hotel guests interviewed, the vast majority ranked towel freshness, softness and scent as the most important indicators of quality. This may come as no surprise to hoteliers, but the research also surprisingly flagged up how the thickness and weight of towels are less important indicators, with less than one-quarter of respondents saying weight is important. In addition, the majority of guests prefer non-branded towels and have a preference for plain white towels and bed linen over patterned or coloured options.

This ‘gold standard’ of towels and bed linen greatly impacts on the guest experience. Remembering a recent positive experience in an independent hotel, one research respondent said the towels were “Big, fluffy and extremely clean”. A second respondent commented “Cleanliness and freshness made me feel valued as a customer”. Whereas a disappointed respondent, who described an experience many years ago that left a lasting impression, said on that occasion the “Linen was dirty and we left and went elsewhere”.

The research also brings to light: the attitude of guests to bath towel sizes, of which 60 percent of respondents prefer a large bath sheet over the ordinary size found in homes; the frequency with which towels are laundered, with 73 percent expecting their towels to be laundered at least on a daily basis; and the expectations of guests to be provided with a face cloth (almost half of respondents), especially among business guests (two-thirds of respondents).

Commenting on the research, Paul Swift, Business Development Manager at Berendsen UK, said: “The research findings have been surprising to an extent, but they have also further emphasised the importance of providing guests with the gold standard of bed linen and towels. It’s clear that for the ultimate experience, hotels should think about towel size, scent and fluffiness as well as the more traditional towel and bed linen considerations such as cleanliness.”

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* Conducted in May 2015, the research was commissioned by Berendsen UK, the UK’s leading provider of laundry and textile services to hotels, and saw over 1,000 UK hotel guests interviewed.