Aug 062011
 

Beach Towel

I think you’ll agree that no one has come up with a satisfactory replacement for the traditional and comforting fluffy beach towel. Even with the ever-increasing popularity of beach lounge chairs and beach tents with canvas, plastic or rubberized flooring, beach towels in various sizes and colors are still in demand. For, they are still lightweight and easy to transport, even by bike or scooter. And if you live or are visiting at a location nearby a beach area, it’s easy enough to walk to the beach carrying a rolled-up towel under your arm or draped over your shoulder.

Or, just wear your favorite designer towel around your neck like an athlete, and you’re sure to be right in style. Then, of course, once you reach the warm, inviting expanses of white sand, you can spread out your towel and take a snooze under your beach umbrella. Later on, when the gang is ready for lunch, you can relax on your soft, comfy beach towels while you picnic and party. And if you’re at a seaside resort with the family on vacation, the kids always love having their own distinctive beach towel designs—from cartoon characters to turtles, sea dragons and giant starfish. And since attractive, durable beach towels come in a variety of sizes, you can easily find towels suitable for each and every member of the family, from babies to teens to young adults and grandparents.

Even with the added comfort of today’s lightweight, well-designed beach chairs with soft cushions and reclining backs, beach towels prevail. Somehow, there is nothing more relaxing and refreshing than stretching out on a luxurious, thick expanse of soft terry cloth. From the luxury of your treasured beach lounging spot, you can enjoy the warm coastal breezes as you take in the sunlit seascape around you. The design and colors of your beach towel—bright and bold, or subdued and subtle, depending on your taste—will complement and enhance the overall cheerful beach décor. And, after that last refreshing dip in the ocean, you can drift off to dreamland on your soft, comfy cotton towel for a few more minutes of bliss before heading back to home, hotel or seashore guest house.

May 092011
 

towels

I remember being on a family vacation at about the age of ten, and as we were packing up to leave the hotel room, my father started to pack the hotel towels into our suitcases. My mother looked at him with a puzzled expression and asked him what he was doing. He replied, without fanfare, that we were taking the towels home.

“No!” she immediately exclaimed. “That’s tacky.”

They argued about it for a minute or two, but my father finally acquiesced and returned the towels to his rack. His argument had been that the hotel simply expects patrons to take the towels with them, not unlike the mini-soap and the mini-shampoo. My mother had a very different view on the situation, and couldn’t imagine (a) that the hotel wanted us to take their towels or (b) what need we had of the scratchy, white, and oft-used hotel towels at home anyway.

Technology Bests Criminals Again

If that family vacation had been taken today, however, my father might not have been so quick to start packing the towels. These days, many of the fanciest hotels are incorporating radio frequency identification, or RFID-chips, into their towels and robes.

There’s nothing new about RFID-chips. They have long been used to prevent the theft of books, to track the movement of animals, and to prevent illegal logging, but up until now they were not part of a hotel’s security system.

As of April 2011, three upscale hotels have invested in the RFID technology. They’ve put tags on their towels, their bathrobes, and other linens. A hotel in Hawaii says that before they tagged their towels, they would lose an astonishing 4,000 per month to people like my Dad. Now that everything’s tagged, that number has fallen to 750. While there are still 750 towel thefts per month, it’s a heck of a lot better than 4,000. The hotels are said to save almost $16,000 per month. Remember this the next time you’re tempted to take a towel or a bathrobe home with you as a vacation memento!

 

Nov 042010
 

london

If you’re planning on spending time in a London budget hotel, you might want to bring your own towel. In the same spirit as budget airlines, where anything more than your little bag of eight peanuts will cost you at least five bucks, one particular London budget hotel now has a fee for everything – even your towel.

Tune Hotel Westminster is located just 30 feet from a Tube station. You can make your way to Buckingham Palace in 10 minutes; Oxford Circus is a mere five stops away. Rates start at $54, and peak at $99 – what a deal!

However, for $54, you get one of the rooms without any windows. The room is also incredibly small, with barely enough room to open up your suitcase on the floor.

The other catch is that you pay extra for everything. $2.40 per day. Feel like relaxing with an English soap opera at the end of a day of sightseeing? It will cost you almost $5 every day that you activate the television. Oh, and don’t worry about the housekeeper walking in at an awkward time; you have to pay $12 just to get a housekeeper to show up more often than once every three days. Forget a free continental breakfast; Tune Hotel offers great breakfast, but it’s $7.

Could this be the hotel trend of the future? Perhaps budget hotels, like budget airlines, will start expecting you to always bring your own towel, and that $2.40 per towel rate might even seem cheap in a few more years.