If purchasing towels for your vacation rental has been a last-minute decision till now, it’s time to make it a priority. It might seem like an insignificant detail, but good quality towels help to set the atmosphere and play a key role in the guests’ first impressions of your rental property. Not only that, but luxury towels can also elevate the whole guest experience.
From color to size to quantity, here are the most important factors to consider when choosing towels. Your favorite towels that you use at your own home might not be the best pick and you’ll need ones that combine luxury with practicality.
The short answer is yes. According to Airbnb’s help center, along with toilet paper, soap, bed linens, and pillows, towels are also considered to be an essential amenity.
Airbnb describes essential amenities as those items that guests expect in order to enjoy a comfy stay. As such, the vacation rental platform strongly encourages hosts to include towels along with these other essentials.
The next big question is how many towels should you provide. While Airbnb’s minimal requirement is one towel per guest, the platform acknowledges that the length of stay should also be kept in mind. If the guests booked a longer stay, ensure that they have enough towels for the duration of their stay.
If your property has a washing machine and dryer, you might be able to provide fewer towels. Then again, do you really want to expect your guests to do washing while they’re on holiday?
You’ll also want to offer more than one towel type per guest like hand towels. Not only are hand towels convenient, but they also encourage cleanliness. Sure, you can opt for paper towels, but the modest hand towel is also a way to add color or simply round off a look.
As such, ensure that each bathroom sink has one hand towel. Then, for extra measure, keep an additional hand towel in the bathroom cabinet or linen cupboard. Some hosts suggest that it’s a good idea to keep as many as five backup hand towels in an easily accessible storage space.
As for bath towels, rather provide two per guest instead of Airbnb’s recommended one. Just like with hand towels, it’s also a good idea to keep an extra one or two in a closet.
Hand towels and bath towels are crucial and should be considered the bare minimum. Depending on your style, you can also offer washcloths. This is up to you. If you do decide to include these as well, offer one per guest and keep three in storage that can be used as backups.
If your vacation rental is located close to the beach, adding beach towels is a good idea. Not only can it help to create that beach house look and feel, but it also prevents your guests from taking your expensive towels along on their day in the sun and sand.
Even if you’re not close to the beach but you have a pool, it can be a nice touch to offer beach towels. Alternatively, you can dedicate a specific set of towels that you don’t mind being used next to the pool. Just make sure to indicate clearly which ones are pool towels. Also, these should still be in good condition.
A common complaint among vacation rental owners is makeup stains on their luxury towels. To try to prevent this, many supply separate makeup towels. If you want to go this route, make sure that it’s clearly marked as makeup towels. Also, in this case, black is the best color.
Alternatively, you can also provide makeup remover wipes. Sure, it’s an extra expense, but it can save a lot of frustration and increase the lifespan of your best Airbnb towels.
If you’ll be using a cleaning company, be sure to include them in this decision-making process. Many cleaners prefer white towels (and linen). It might sound counterintuitive, but it just makes it much easier to bleach safely, if they should get a nasty stain.
Not only will your cleaning company prefer a towel that’s easier to clean, but also a material that dries quickly. Once again, they’ll be able to guide you as to what’s the ideal thickness that offers optimal quality and drying time.
There was an accident. A guest spilled a glass of red wine and the first thing that he could find was one of your white towels. The bad news is that the towel is beyond repair. The good news is that the damage was contained and at least your other white towels were spared.
This is a common scenario. It’s also not uncommon for guests to pack in one of your towels by mistake or forget a beach towel at the beach.
When this happens, you’ll be only too happy if you can find the same towel (or one that looks very similar) easily. As such, stick to brands that are readily available and leave that unique print or color for your own personal collection.
You can’t expect guests to use wash cloths as hand towels and a hand towel can’t double up as a bath towel. Towels should be used for the purpose that they’ve been designed for.
Also, in the case of bath towels that can come in different sizes, it’s better to buy larger towels. Your guests should be able to wrap their bodies fully. For this, a 30-inch by 54-inch will work well.
While your cleaning company might prefer white, colored towels also have benefits to offer.
Choosing color towels can help with inventory management. If you have a one-bedroom apartment, you might not have an issue. However, for larger properties, keeping track of your towels can become tricky. In this case, you can choose a specific color for each room, making it much easier to identify which bedroom or bathroom has a towel missing.
Another benefit of color towels is that they’re easier to keep clean compared to white towels. You’ll most likely find that you also don’t have to replace them as often. That said, keep in mind that the color can fade after a while. While they might still perform the function flawlessly, a faded color is not a good look for towels.
On the other hand, if you can manage to keep your white bath towels looking their best, they can offer a luxury hotel experience. This is more difficult to create when you use dark-colored towels. White towels are also easier to check for stains, another reason why many guests prefer them.
At the end of the day, there’s no clear correct answer. Let your cleaning crew and interior style guide you. The only thing that matters is that you provide clean towels. That’s nonnegotiable.
You’ve decided on the size and color, now you’ll still need to weigh up the different material options. Popular options among Airbnb hosts are Turkish cotton and Egyptian cotton. Both these materials are very absorbent without taking too long to dry.
You’ve used the above-mentioned factors to narrow your towel search down to the potential one. Before you buy enough towels to kit out your Airbnb rental, it’s a good idea first to buy only one.
This way, you can first test at home how easy they are to wash. You can also do a type of “dry run” quite in the literal sense of the word. You’ll want to find a towel that’s highly absorbent but at the same time doesn’t take forever to dry. You see, your vacation rental property might have a dryer, but guests won’t be popping the towel into the dryer after every shower (at least, you hope not).
As your guest will reuse the bath towel between showers, the towel should be able to dry relatively quickly without the intervention of a dryer. For this reason, plush towels aren’t the wisest or most environmentally friendly choice.
Most guests will want to take a shower in the morning and the evening. So, aim to find a towel that you can hang up in the bathroom to dry on its own in about 12 hours.
Only after you’ve tested a towel and it ticks these requirements should you buy towels in bulk. Airbnb hosts in America can check out Amazon, Wayfair, and Home Depot. These three marketplaces generally have good bulk specials on towels. If you’re going to buy on Amazon, you can try the Luzia Towel Set. It’s a popular towel brand among hosts.
If you won’t be using a cleaning company for your linen and towels, here are three top tips for taking care of your new towels:
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