Pillow and Blanket Choices by Hotel in Taipei

You might not give it much thought, but the pillows and the bedding, and the bed itself, can make a huge difference in a hotel. It’s all fair and well checking that the hotel you are booking into has a swimming pool, a fitness center and other amenities that can make your evening and maybe the next morning comfortable for you, but the bed can be the most important thing. This is where you will spend the majority of your time after all, and nothing ruins a holiday quicker than lack of sleep. Holidays are about waking up early, grabbing breakfast before they stop serving it and then beginning a day of sightseeing, fine dining and more, but poor quality bedding and a poor quality bed can destroy the start of your day, which will have a knock-on effect for everything that follows.

The pillow cases and the bedding may be overlooked by the guests, but it is not overlooked by the hotel. They spend a huge amount of money buying these sheets and washing them, not to mention the time it takes to pay people to change the sheets on hundreds of beds everyday. In some Caribbean countries, island paradises that know nothing but sun, sea and simplicity, locals are arguing that 5-star hotels are ruining the local environment and economy. This is not because of the many outsiders they attract, it is not because of the increased footfall or number of airplanes and cars pouring into these paradises, but rather the sheets that make up the beds. Simply put, these need to be transported out of the hotels everyday, washed in industrial washing machines and then shipped back into the hotel without alerting or alarming the guests. Of course, these hotels are relatively small and operate on the notion that land is at a premium, so they don’t do any of their washing on site, whereas hotels in cities like Taipei do.

Still, this is a complicated process even in big cities. Many hotels have hundreds of rooms, and some of those rooms have more than one bed. When you consider that each bed has several sheets, a duvet, pillow cases, etc., you’re talking about a vast quantity of material. The hotels want to make sure this is clean, fresh and soft for all guests at all times. So how do they do this?

Well, aside from the almost military precision that goes into changing these sheets everyday, it begins with the hotels sourcing and then buying vast quantities of the best linen or cotton. They put a lot more thought into this than you would imagine, as they need to think about comfort, but they also need to think about the weather, the ironing, the changing process and the washing process. Will this cotton be too warm for the spring or summer? Will this linen be too hard to iron? Will this material be too thick and cumbersome for the washing machines? Will this material be too thin, too cold and too uncomfortable? Their main goal is the comfort and the opinion of the guests, not making their own lives easier. If they wanted to make their lives easier they would begin by changing the color of the sheets. All hotels and many bed and breakfasts have white sheets. This is because they give off the impression of cleanliness and make the room feel lighter, more airy and much cleaner. At the same time, however, they also show-off the smallest of marks and the slightest of stains, which makes things even harder. Think about it, how many white sheets and/or pillow cases do you have that seem to be accumulating stains, all of which generate over time and none of which disappear, no matter how many times you wash them? The hotels suffer from the same issues. They don’t have any magic stain remover, certainly no more than the rest of us, so whenever such stains accumulate those sheets go in the bin and new ones need to be purchased.

Sheets are therefore not only time consuming for the hotel, and therefore very expensive indirectly, but they are also expensive directly. They do buy in quantity, which helps to keep costs down, but not by a great deal. The best hotels have the best sheets and the best pillow cases, and if you have always wanted to get some of these for your own home, then you can. In fact, many of the biggest hotel brands sell the sheets that they use in their hotels. They are not the actual sheets used, the ones in circulation, but they come from the same manufacturer and allow fans of the biggest hotel chains to sample some five star luxury in their own homes.

On the Marriott website, for instance, you can purchase everything you need to make up your bed just like the beds in Marriott’s many hotels. It doesn’t end with the linen either, as you can also buy the pillows that they use (with a choice between down or synthetic stuffing) and the bath and shower products that they use. Not only are these great for small bed and breakfast owners seeking some of the finest comfort in their boutique businesses, but they are also brilliant for turning your bedroom into a 5-star suite. If you have ever been tempted to steal slippers or bathrobes from a plush hotel but have never plucked up the courage (these days hotels take your credit card numbers anyway, so if you steal anything then you will probably end up paying for it) then you can also purchase these from the Marriott site. You’ll want to make sure you use a good fabric conditioner when you wash all of these, and you’ll also want to avoid mixing in any colors, otherwise you could ruin everything.

The only downside to all of this is the price. As with a luxury stay in one of the Marriott’s fine hotels, their sheets, pillows, duvet covers and bathrobes cost a pretty penny. Still, as with the aforementioned suites, you really do get what you pay for and if you want a night of pure luxury, with sheets that people pay hundreds per night to sleep with, then you can’t go wrong.

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