Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bed Linen – Do Your Guests Really Know the Difference?

I’ve just returned from a quick trip to San Francisco, during which I had occasion to stay at a couple of different hotels, in different price categories, in order to be close to the conference that I was attending on leadership.

Both hotels were clean and comfortable, and both had similar amenities and services, both within my room, and, as it relates to the additional services and facilities to be found within the hotel properties themselves, but, as you may have guessed, there was a substantial difference in the room rate.

(As an aside, ironically, as I find more and more often, it was in fact the 3.5 star hotel that included free internet access, although I was paying a significantly lower rate than at the other property, and at the 4.5 star hotel there was a significant daily charge for access to the internet).

There was one notable difference between the two hotels – one featured Egyptian cotton sheets from a major supplier of high quality linens, and the other did not.

Now, I am as you know a hotelier that has been in the business for more than 25 years, during which time I have purchased my share of linens, as well as having participated in and facilitated blind comparisons of linens, so I recognize certain names and identifying marks when I see them, and, I’d like to think that I can also tell the difference between Egyptian cotton linens, and those of a slightly lesser caliber, but can your guests?

Before you get all excited and think to yourself; “of course my guests can tell the difference,” I’d like to reiterate that I am not talking about comparing Egyptian cotton linens to those paper thin, see-through, thread bare sheets that we’ve all run into at one time or another in our career, but rather, as I said, Egyptian cotton sheets compared to those of a slightly lesser caliber.

The answer is no, so stop wasting your money.

Only the most discerning of guests can tell the difference, and even then, it is a very small percentage of those guests that can tell, and I would argue further that their recognition would largely be influenced by whether or not you are openly promoting that your hotel features Egyptian cotton linens in the first place.  If you didn’t give them a hint, they wouldn’t know the difference.

There are so many top quality linens available right now, that are not nearly as expensive as Egyptian cotton, that it is simply not necessary to spend the extra money, money that could be spent on other things – things that your guests do notice, such as higher quality towels and bath robes.  That, they do notice and can appreciate.

So spend your money where it will have the greatest impact, where your guests will both recognize and appreciate the investment that has been made on their behalf and in the interest of providing them with the highest level of comfort.

Need an experienced hospitality professional to help your property reach its full potential?  Contact me.

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  1. I always use a dark colored bed sheet for a dark colored mattress because a light colored bed sheet will spoil the look of the bedding.

  2. The white bed sheets are among the most desirable choices in market ! We might try to work a reference to this one into a blog post about australian bed linen later next week.
    Australian Sheets

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