Low-quality linen loses guests, reveals survey

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Low-quality linen is likely to put guests off staying at a particular hotel, according to a survey by White Knight Laundry Services.

Out of 641 respondents — all of whom had stayed at a hotel within the past 12 months — 93% said the quality of towels and bedding would affect their decision to return to the hotel.

Of that number, 58% said it would affect their decision “a lot” and 35% said “to a certain extent”.

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More than half (65%) of respondents stated they would not return to a hotel if they experienced dirty or poor-quality sheets and towels in their rooms, more than other reasons such as bad staff attitude (24%), small rooms (4%) and a poor restaurant (4%).

MD Robert Adams commented: “The look and feel of your bed linen and towels is a critical part of creating the best guest experience. It’s important to get it absolutely right and our survey shows the impact it can have on your business if you don’t”.

In terms of how guests liked their bed linen, cleanliness was unsurprisingly the top preference, followed by a fresh smell and crisp. Cleanliness was the top preference for towels too, followed by softness and being ‘big enough’. Just under half (48%) of the respondents preferred white towels with only 1% preferring coloured towels.

When asked about frequency of changing, 60% of respondents expected towels to be changed daily and 28% expected bedding to be changed daily. 50% of hotel guests are happy to have bedding changed every other day and 23% less often than that.

Business users are more likely to want their towels and bedding changed more frequently than social-only guests.

The survey findings were unveiled at the Independent Hotel Show from October 30-31, as part of White knight’s Hotel Insight Series. For a summary of the report go to www.white-knight.co.uk/blog

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