Robes, again

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Arks's picture
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While I was at the recent Little Rock conference I was looking at robes and one really stood out to me: the Shawl_Collar_Vel-soft  Robe from Turk-ish_Towel_Company. (Price to innkeepers is agreeably less than the price posted on their website). It was the softest, most plush robe I've ever touched.

But I'm wanting thoughts from the group about it being 100% polyester. The Turkish rep, former innkeeper Twyla_Sick-miller, said the negative of that is that it's not absorbent (some people get out of the tub/shower wet and put the robe on without using a towel) and on the positive side it's very lightweight and fast drying.

The negative is from the guest's point of view, for those who don't use the towel. The positive, light and fast drying, would be a big plus for the innkeeper since it's easier on the dryer and the innkeeper's time. They only come in white, one size fits all (accommodate sizes 5' 4'' to 6' 2'' and from 140 to 240 lbs.).

Thoughts?

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I have poly robes. They feel nice and they wash and dry quickly. The cotton ones really add to my workload.

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Arks's picture
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My hotel here in Atlanta has robes that reach down to my knees. I feel ridiculous in the thing, like I'm in a mini skirt. Give me a real robe that reaches my shins, at least!

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Arkansawyer wrote:

My hotel here in Atlanta has robes that reach down to my knees. I feel ridiculous in the thing, like I'm in a mini skirt. Give me a real robe that reaches my shins, at least!

Maybe the folks in Hotlanta are SHORT!

 

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You have some great points. I might need to look into it. thank you!

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Here is something for what it is worth.

The month of Feb we offered a BOGO special. 90% of these guests had never been to a B&B before. Every room used the robes, the entire month. We can make guesses as to why, #1 reason imo is that they were truly here for a romantic getaway, vs our many "traveling through" or here for a specific purpose guests. Also many of these guests spent more time IN THE ROOMS, again, vs out and about each day.

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gillumhouse's picture
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My Friday night rez asked about robes when making the rez - but no one used them. Possibly because they arrived at 9 PM, went to dinner and it was almost 11 when they returned for the night - and then had a 6 AM breakfast. But he did ask about robes.......

Hillbilly's picture
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II personally have never offered robes. I always thought that was kind of a personal thing. Just another thing to worry about. Why do you all feel the need to offer them? Maybe it's something that is popular where you are. I have never had a guest in 14 years of business want them. People do once in awhile bring their own.

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 We have them and people use them often.  Most of our business is during the warmer months so the waffle weave Xlarge works well for most everyone.  We do have plush terrycloth lined waffle robes that we selectively place in rooms during the winter.  They are a bit more time to dry but we have had guests comment favorably on them.  Are robes an absolute necessity?  Will guests NOT come back because you don't offer robes?  No.  To me offering robes is like putting chocolates on the pillows....a nice touch but not a deal breaker if you don't .

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Bob, for me they were a relatively small investment for a big uptick in perception of luxury and amenities.  I would say 75% or more of our guests used them, but the disclaimer for me is that we had jetted tubs and steam showers, so folks could have used them more than they would at a place that didn't have them. 

I'm in the South so bought waffle weave robes, which also laundered well & dried very quickly.  My one suite that had an extra but detached bath had robes in the second bedroom that were microfibor and a bit heavier. 

Also, how many people pack a robe?  So something to offer a guest for a little bit more pampering. 

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Bob wrote:
II personally have never offered robes. I always thought that was kind of a personal thing. Just another thing to worry about. Why do you all feel the need to offer them? Maybe it's something that is popular where you are. I have never had a guest in 14 years of business want them. People do once in awhile bring their own.

You don't always know someone doesn't want something by not offering it.

We have them for our room with the detached bath. I've always considered them a luxury item and we're not a luxury property so we only have them for necessity because most guests don't travel with a robe and would have to get dressed to go to the bathroom at 2 AM. Or not.

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 If you have never offered them, how do you know that they are not missed? Guests would not automatically tell you.

Some use them, some do not. We just tie the belt in a way that we know they have been used. They do not offer us any real additional work.

Riki

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Bob wrote:
II personally have never offered robes. I always thought that was kind of a personal thing. Just another thing to worry about. Why do you all feel the need to offer them? Maybe it's something that is popular where you are. I have never had a guest in 14 years of business want them. People do once in awhile bring their own.

That is a good question.

A couple answers from me here at my inn:  

  1. I like to get girl friend getaways once in a while - sisters meeting half way
  2. also honeymooners (both of these enjoy the robes).
  3. I just delivered breakfast (first course and coffee) to a room and they were both wearing the robes.
  4. We also have one detached bath guest room so they need the robes.  
  5. I think they look good in the rooms too, just another romantic touch. Niche, what is it? Here it is everything! The more I try to define it the more I am baffled, so although the experts say "Don't be all things to all people" I have to. I need to be.

Currently in one room we have a romantic escapade, in the other we have an Episcopal Priest and the spouse is also an Episcopal Priest and they are fasting for Ash Wednesday (so no breakfast in the dining room today). They are here to visit their kids and grandkids. I hope it can be a romantic getaway for them, vs the uncomfort inn up the road.  

So to use the saying I often use "Absence of proof is not proof of absence" because no one has mentioned to robes not being there, no one has ever mentioned the robes BEING HERE. But I do know they use them, so that is the proof I have that guests enjoy them.

It's all fun.

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I offered them in the beginning because I had 3 with a shared bath and told potential guests no streakers were allowed. Now I have them because they used to be only at the high-end places and I may be in Podunk but wanted to offer high-end stuff.

Adding: People like to relax in a robe or put one on after their shower before they go to bed. Robes take up a LOT of space in the suitcase so they like knowing robes are here. I absolutely tell them in the amenities that we have robes.

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We've put robes in our rooms in the past few weeks. Bought cotton ones from the comaany in the UK that specialises in hotel supplies called Out Of Eden, and we're very impressed so far with the quality.

Would be interested in what others think about the amount of extra washing this causes. At the moment we're only putting them in the rooms for people staying more than 1 night to keep the extra washing down.

 

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gillumhouse's picture
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Highlands John wrote:

We've put robes in our rooms in the past few weeks. Bought cotton ones from the comaany in the UK that specialises in hotel supplies called Out Of Eden, and we're very impressed so far with the quality.

Would be interested in what others think about the amount of extra washing this causes. At the moment we're only putting them in the rooms for people staying more than 1 night to keep the extra washing down.

 

I have them in all rooms. they are not used that often here to worry about the extra laundry. I tie the sash in my own way to know they have been used - in case they actually hang them up. I can toss them in with the towels usually. If I have 2 or morew robes, I make them another load. They dry in one cycle.

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Hope you folks don't mind me resurecting an old thread but...

Had robes in our rooms for people staying 2 nights or more for a couple of months now and I've been amazed how infrequently they get used.

I love a robe in a room, in the evening I like to have a nice shower and then put on a robe whilst watching TV, before I go to bed.

Think I'll start putting them in the room for everyone.

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Highlands John wrote:

Hope you folks don't mind me resurecting an old thread but...

Had robes in our rooms for people staying 2 nights or more for a couple of months now and I've been amazed how infrequently they get used.

I love a robe in a room, in the evening I like to have a nice shower and then put on a robe whilst watching TV, before I go to bed.

Think I'll start putting them in the room for everyone.

We put them in all rooms. We tie the sash in a way to determine if they have been used and need to be washed. They get used about 1/3 of the time.

 I like having a robe, myself.

RIki

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gillumhouse wrote:

I tie the sash in my own way to know they have been used - in case they actually hang them up.

I was thinking about this one today. I'm the type who  might actually hang the robe back up and tie the sash just to put things back like I found them. Not good if the innkeeper needs to know it has been used and needs cleaning.

I wonder how it would work to use a stick-on label to make a paper seal that would have to be broken to use the robe. Or, more trouble than it's worth?

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Arkansawyer wrote:

gillumhouse wrote:

I tie the sash in my own way to know they have been used - in case they actually hang them up.

I was thinking about this one today. I'm the type who  might actually hang the robe back up and tie the sash just to put things back like I found them. Not good if the innkeeper needs to know it has been used and needs cleaning.

I wonder how it would work to use a stick-on label to make a paper seal that would have to be broken to use the robe. Or, more trouble than it's worth?

You are not the only one. Most of our guests hang them back up. 

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Arkansawyer wrote:
I wonder how it would work to use a stick-on label to make a paper seal that would have to be broken to use the robe. Or, more trouble than it's worth?

I have little laminated card mentioning that the robes are for sale and the price, hole-punched and tied with a ribbon through the loop on the robe and around the bar on the hanger.  If it's off, then I know it's been used.  One guy did tell me that he put the robe on with the hanger still attached, a la Carol Burnett in that very famous Went With the Wind sketch. 

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muirford wrote:

Arkansawyer wrote:
I wonder how it would work to use a stick-on label to make a paper seal that would have to be broken to use the robe. Or, more trouble than it's worth?

I have little laminated card mentioning that the robes are for sale and the price, hole-punched and tied with a ribbon through the loop on the robe and around the bar on the hanger.  If it's off, then I know it's been used.  One guy did tell me that he put the robe on with the hanger still attached, a la Carol Burnett in that very famous Went With the Wind sketch

I just lost 30 minutes of my life laughing/crying my way thru some of those clips! Thank you so much for posting that! I LOVED that show!!!

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The easiest way? To avoid panic with the housekeeping staff and constant calls to find out what to do? Wash them each time. Assume they were used. Better than not assuming that and finding out differently. Ewww.

BTW, you would put it back the way you found it? You'll find you are an anomoly. And this may just be around here, where we sometimes seem to have wild animals staying, but most guests leave everything right where it fell when they were done using it. Quilts? On the floor. Towels? Draped all over the room. Socks, undies, etc? In the bed. Don't even ask where the condoms end up.

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You might hang the robe up but are most unlikely to tie the sash the same way. Some guests do hang them up, but none tie the sash. I do not think you really would do more than hang it up - just because you know the innkeeper will need to wash it and untying the sash would be extra work.

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I'm now sipping red wine, sitting in my new Vel-soft robe that arrived today (they charged me half price, and sent me a free 100% cotton over-sized towel for evaluation).

I feel like I'm wearing a puppy. It's the softest thing I've ever worn. Real pampering. Someone please peal me a grape.

So it occurs to me, how easy can I handle it if I spill this red wine on this white 100% polyester robe. Anyone have a thought on that? Will it ruin the robe?

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Arkansawyer wrote:

... I'm wearing a puppy.... 

I'm telling PeTA! (I love elipses, they can make a boring sentence so much more interesting.)

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Rikki says wineaway works

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gillumhouse wrote:

Rikki says wineaway works

I second that. It really does work

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Penelope wrote:

gillumhouse wrote:

Rikki says wineaway works

I second that. It really does work

And somewhere I have a recipe for it... have to look for it. If you don't have wineaway and need something fast use hydogen peroxide and a dash of soap. I think that's the main ingredient. Works on blood too I think.

RIki

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Great! (and Rikki would know!) I'll have to get some of that.

Thanks!

So much more can come from actually trying things, vs. just reading and researching, leading to an observation/question:  this big thick polyester robe is warm, which is great for winter, but I'm thinking I'll need something lighter and cooler for people in the summer months, or they'll turn my air conditioning way up! Any suggestions for summer robes?

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Some folks like the waffle weave robes. they are thin.  My robes are not cheap - by Suite Repose - but you can choose the color of the poly shell and the color of the liner which is a short nap terry. This place says one robe is an order - none of the minimum of 6 or anything like that. I think they were about $75 each (yes, cheapskate actually spent that much on robes because I could order as I could afford). They are nice in all seasons, dry in a load of towels in an hour, and do not get wrinkled if I do not get upstairs with them for a few days or at end of season, for a week to hang them up (folded in basket).

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We have robes at this Inn-some are heavy terrycloth type and only one size ( I get the Arkansas size thing-but WV has even more-or at least in the parts i was in) the ones that are light are much easier to dry fast, never heard of someone getting out of shower and not drying themselves before slipping into the robe. I think that most will dry off and then slip on the robe.

I would however like you said have one XL just because you can offer it to someone that may ask.

Robes are great,I found that most guests dont use them though, but its a nice amenity.

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birdwatcher wrote:

Robes are great,I found that most guests dont use them though, but its a nice amenity.

For years I assumed there was an extra charge if you used the robes, so I never did!

Finally got up the nerve to try one and have enjoyed them ever since. It's just really nice to get in after a hard day of sightseeing or business meetings, slip into a robe and relax with a drink of...whatever's handy.

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I would think that if someone were exceptionally large that they really wouldn't expect an innkeeper to have a robe in their size. And, when would you put it in the closet? Unless you had one for each room. I mean, you can't exactly wait for them to come to the front door, size them up, and then tell them to wait a minute while you run upstairs and switch out the robes, can you? And bringing it to the room later would probably be kind of awkward, too, don't you think? I feel safer with the 'one size'.

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gillumhouse's picture
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I have 1 XXXL in each room and 2 XL robes.

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My first robes were one size fits all. My "shake-down cruise" - a WIDE load - informed me they were NOT. I then bought some 3x to put in the closets also. I have since upgraded to a nicer robe that has a terry liner with poly shell and I have XL & XXXL to cover the sizes. Since I had one couple that proved my bed in the Gillum will hold whatever crawls in (if it was a total of less than 800 lbs, I am the Queen), you may want to have a couple of 3X available. And Skinny Minnie (5 ft maybe 100 lbs dripping wet) will use the XXXL almost every time.

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gillumhouse wrote:

...I had one couple that proved my bed in the Gillum will hold whatever crawls in (if it was a total of less than 800 lbs, I am the Queen)...

I have a term for people like that. I call them "Arkansas-sized people". It's fun to go to Walmart and watch them waddle around in their sleeveless, collarless tops and elastic waistband bottoms. In fact, I may advertise a whale watching package for my European guests, who aren't so used to seeing Arkansas-sized people. (Though I'll admit that on my last visit to England, I found that they're growing 'em larger over there now.)

I may stock some XXX robes because I want everybody to have a great stay, regardless of girth. Have you ever noticed that people of that size seem to seek out the lightest, thinnest-legged chairs in the house? I had an Arkansas-sized uncle who broke every antique dining chair my mother owned.

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My robes are 'grande'. They fit a lot of people. Make sure you don't get 'floor length' robes, we short people will be tripping all over the place. Calf length would probably work for most. I got 3 colors (for the room that could host 3 guests) so they could tell them apart every morning. Got a nice beige one for the 'guy'. Pink and seafoam were the other colors.

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YEAH YEAH A LAWSUIT IS WAITING OT HAPPEN IF YOU BUY ROBES! (tee hee couldn't resist)  I wonder how many pepple use them for towels? Out of curiosity. I know on a cruise ship they do from the pool and hot tub.

I like those robes. Quicker dry for the inn is what I would bank on.

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As long as it is comfortable and easy for you to launder and dry, go for it. You don't want scratchy or something that's in the dryer for 2 hours everyday!

Guests who don't understand that towels are for drying and bathrobes are for getting from here to there while nekkid, are clueless and you don't really have to pander to them.

Anyone who steps out of the shower or tub and into a robe is going to drip all over the place no matter what kind of robe. You've got more to worry about with them sliding across the bathroom floor in wet feet than whether or not the robe dries them completely just because they've put it on.

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