Laundering Bed Linen for Hotel Use – What to consider When Buying Linen

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Perfectly laundered bed linen is not a consideration for hotels, it is a public demand and a hygiene requirement. If there is one reason a guest will choose to immediately leave a hotel room (and probably never return) it is because of poorly laundered bed linen.

This article briefly looks at what is to be considered when buying bed linen for hotel use: what fabric lasts the longest and which washes most effectively.

All bed linen has a life span. This is best described as to how many washes the linen can withstand whilst still retaining its quality. The easiest way to ensure that linen lasts longer is to choose Egyptian cotton. The purchasing will cost more, but this is offset by two factors: the longevity and the initial quality that the customer experiences. So why is Egyptian cotton better?

In cotton size does matter and it all has to do with the length of the cotton fibers. The conditions in Egypt produce the longest fibers (more than 1.5 inches) and this means they are stronger and finer, giving the feeling of softness.

Thread count is an important part of that feeling of comfort and luxury. Most popular cottons have a count of approximately 150, with good quality sheets starting at around 180. 200 is the point at which a thread count reaches into the luxury range.

Yet it is not just about the number of threads per square inch. Egyptian cotton fibers being longer allows for finer, thinner threads which means there are more to the inch. But it also has to do with the 'ply' of the threads – like the number of layers in toilet paper – twisted together and how these are woven tightly to form the fabric. Quality Egyptian cotton has two ply which means smoother, finer thread.

Longer threads mean there are less of them and so there are less ends to fray. They are also thinner and so they are more tightly packed which makes the sheets stronger. Finally this combination of thin, long threads makes for a more stable, tight weave which is unlikely to bobble and it can absorb more dye to give longer lasting colors.

'Percale' is also a term worth looking out for, because this refers to the type of weave used. Percale gives a fabric strength and this means it will last longer in multiple washes. Percale is generally only found in high thread-count fabrics.

This chemical treatment process for cotton was invented by a Lancashire man, John Mercer – hence 'mercer'-ization. The modern development of this process has resulted in a treatment which allows for a softer and stronger fabric. Egyptian cotton that has been treated in this way is the most durable and it will be less likely to fade or lose its high-quality feel in repetitive washes.

Effective Washing
Egyptian cotton can absorb more water in the wash. In fact, Egyptian cotton often gets better as it is washed again and again, …

Bed and Breakfast Vs. Hotel Stays: Experiencing the Difference

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While the comparisons made between bed and breakfasts and hotels are very much dependent on who is making the comparison, one thing is certain: The world is simply filled with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. The great playwright, Henry Miller, said this. And, when it comes to the notion of why you’re traveling in the first place, Miller’s words give us pause for thought regarding reasons why traveler’s should consider staying at a B&B on their next journey.

First, let’s talk a bit about hotels. Surely, everything has its place and the chief attribute for many (though a deficit for others) is their predictability. That is to say, some travelers desire the commonness of hotels – all the rooms the same from location to location, and very little difference from their home environment. For some – particularly overnight business travelers – this sort of predictability is a convenience that fits in well with the purpose of their visit. Where they stay has little importance in the scheme of things.

However, for many travelers where they stay is of considerable importance. For them, it is the world of Miller’s rich treasures they are seeking. The escape from the common is not only a desire, it’s a goal, and the cookie-cutter sterility of a hotel room is not for them. It is for those who want unique experiences in their travel that the B&B experience is the perfect fit. Folks who’ve stayed at B&B’s while on a trip know this, and it’s the reason why B&B stays are in and of themselves an important part of the trip.

Why stay at B&B instead of a hotel?

  1. Each B&B is a unique lodging experience – no two B&B’s are alike.
  2. B&B hosts are excellent concierges at no extra charge (hotel concierge service usually costs quite a bit in gratuity). They are able to steer you to well-known attractions and restaurants, as well as the local gems found off the beaten path.
  3. The decorations are charming, the environments comfortable, the linens fine, and the breakfasts homemade. Some B&B’s will have wine and cheese in the early evening, or a special tea-time included during your stay.
  4. A B&B is an experience, a part of that rich pageantry of the world. An atmosphere that keeps your spirit of travel alive throughout your stay. A hotel simply cannot be these things.

Again, there are reasons why some travelers choose hotels, and it is for these reasons that hotels do have their place. However, if the reason you are traveling is to escape the common, to discover beautiful places, beautiful souls, interesting people – then a B&B stay is the fit for you.

Remember, just like choice hotels, choice B&B’s often book many months in advance. It’s good to plan ahead by visiting the websites of B&B’s in the places you are traveling to. Unlike hotels, though, you will be able to get a good look at pictures of the very room you choose to stay …

Bed Bugs In Your Hotel Are Not Your Biggest Problem

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The hospitality industry has been repeatedly slammed hard over the past few years. Starting with 911 and on through the SARS and bird flu alerts and for the past 5 years, bed bugs. Without trying to defend hotel operators, they should be given a break. Most hotel / motel owners try to provide satisfactory services commensurate with the prices they charge. You aren’t going to find silk sheets and marble bathrooms for 75 bucks a night, but you should expect a clean, comfortable room.

For the sake of argument, let’s just concede that most hotel operators inspect their rooms and treat any infestations they find. So how come there are so many complaints and lawsuits concerning these miniature vampires?

News reports about bed bug attacks never have the victim bitten once or twice, it’s always many bites. Many bites are caused by many bed bugs. Many bed bugs don’t just magically appear in a hotel room, An infestation takes time to develop. They are hitch hikers, they hide in luggage or belongings and travel from one place to another. Remember, we’re not talking one or two bugs, we’re talking tens or hundreds. So, If a hotel room has a few bugs, those could have been carried in by the previous guest and it would be almost impossible to prevent that. But, if a hotel has an infestation, many bugs, then that is the fault of the hotel for inadequate inspection and treatment. The only explanation for an infested room would be the hotel was negligent in prevention and treatment.

Now to the gist of the article.

If a hotel has an infestation that means that:

– previous guests either did not notice the bugs or did not feel the bites, which is possible, not all people feel or react to the bites.

– housekeeping did not inspect or did not see any signs of a problem.

– the head of housekeeping, who should periodically inspect the job that their employees are doing, did not inspect or see bugs.

– the laundry facility did not notice any signs, brownish smudges of dried blood, of bugs.

– this hotel does not have a pest control company on it’s payroll, at least one that is doing it’s job properly.

– and this is the big one, if this hotel’s employees, and laundry could not find or did not bother to treat for bed bugs, what else is on the sheets or in the room that will make you sick?

Presently, there is no proof that cimex lectularius can transmit any of the 28 disease pathogens they have been found to carry. I say presently because bed bugs are a recent problem. Scientists are just starting to understand their biology. Why can’t they transmit diseases, or can they but we just haven’t discovered any proof yet? But, MSRA and E.Coli are harmful and have been found in many hotel rooms in many studies. So far, viruses and bacteria present more harm to your health …