I grew up in a hotel in semi-rural South Africa approximately thirty years ago, and, looking back at that time, I often wonder what life would have been like if I had had access then to the resources for bath mats, towels and bathrobes that I have now.
As I recall, the towel sets at the hotel consisted of hard, scratchy lengths of material that, now, wouldn’t be welcome in a prison, and, when I compare them to today’s pure cotton bath towels that are silky and soft but still durable, I often wonder how hotel guests dried off from their baths and managed to keep their skins intact. The hotel towels were all one color too – a non-committal off-white – and simply can’t compare to the beautiful Smoke Blue, Terracota, Garnet Red and TeaRose shades that high quality bath and hand towels come in today.
Complimentary luxury guest bath robes were also not an option in the South Africa of 30 years ago, and today’s travelers should realize how lucky they are when their hotels present them with decadent Terry Kimono bathrobes made out of 100% Turkish cotton or beautiful Bamboo bathrobes made out of a sultry mixture of Bamboo rayon and Egyptian cotton. Guests may also be confronted with a complimentary Waffle bathrobe when they open their bathroom door – and these look stylish in either white or beige – or, perhaps, with a Supima robe, which comes in such intriguing sounding colors as bisque and chestnut.
Concepts like “organic” and “eco friendly” were also totally foreign to the hotels of yesteryear because towels, tubmats and hand towels were made to last and not to add value to the environment. Times sure have changed: now guests can wander down to the hotel’s spa dressed in the finest Turkish bathrobes – even kids’ robes are available – and wallow in luxurious hydrotherapy tubs instead of sharing the austere communal bathroom at the end of the passage.
Given how today’s hotels differ from those of years long past, I can hardly wait to see the hotels of the future.