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Inspirational Hotel Bedrooms We Love!

Some times one just needs a little inspiration! Check out this link for some of the most beautiful hotel bedrooms in the world!   There are 74 photos of many different styles and types of hotel bedrooms: some elaborate, some rustic, some modern, some really over the top, and all of them full of interesting ideas and different details that make them amazing.

Hotel or not hotel, we think they are some of the most beautiful bedrooms around. Period.

http://www.cntraveller.com/recommended/hotels/the-best-hotel-rooms-in-the-world/viewgallery/1167363

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Percale or sateen sheets?

Percale and sateen both refer to the type of weaving that is commonly used in sheets and bedding.

Percale sheets are made from a tightly woven fabric that uses one-thread-over-one-under type of weaving (see photo). This gives fabric a simple, matte finish that is cool to the touch, and is akin to ones favorite crisp cotton shirt.

How tightly woven the yarns are, as measured the fabric’s thread count, determines if the sheet is classified as “percale” or “muslin”. Muslim sheets use the same type of weaving as percale; however, they are not as tightly woven and therefore are notably inferior to percale sheets, with a tendency to pill. In order to be classified as percale, sheeting fabric needs to needs to have at least a thread count of 180, and of course can go considerably higher than that. A higher thread count will result in a smoother feel to the fabric.

Traditionally hotel sheeting has favored 180 thread percale weave sheets. They are durable, reasonably priced, and were considered to have an acceptable feel to them. More recently however, higher-end hoteliers have increased their thread counts and many have begun to use sateen weave as well. Sheets that are soft to the touch are important in a higher-end hotel sleep experience.

Sateen sheets are softer and silkier to the touch than percale sheets and have a beautiful luster that gives give a very luxurious look and feel to the bed. The difference in the feel between percale and sateen is due to the way they are woven. Sateen sheets are woven in a unique four-threads-over-one-thread. The number of yarns exposed on the surface of the fabric is what gives sateen its characteristic sheen and silky feel.

Sateen is not satin. Satin is also a type of weaving as well and is most often woven from yarns that are not cotton. Satin is very slick to the touch and very shiny and is rarely used for sheeting fabric, as it is both fragile and not very breathable.

Compared to a percale sheet, the number of exposed yearns in a sateen sheet make it more prone to snagging so they are generally woven at higher thread counts to keep the yarns as close together as possible. It is slower to weave a sateen sheet than a percale sheet; sateen sheets are generally higher in price than percale sheets.

Both percale and sateen sheets are fresh against the skin in warm climates. Some consumers prefer the crisp feel of percale sheets while others prefer the silky feel of sateen. It is a matter of personal preference. For hotels, the higher thread count, higher price of sateen sheets is more justifiable for luxury and higher end hotels. And there nothing quite likes the luster of sateen to make the bed look luxurious.

Sheets made of 100% cotton, whether percale or sateen, all wrinkle, although sateen sheets are less prone to wrinkling than percale ones. It is important to wash correctly, and dry on a low temperature. If the sheets are not going to be ironed, it is important to remove them promptly from the dryer, smooth them flat, and fold immediately. During the wash cycle, the cotton fibers lose some of their smoothness. Ironing will smooth down the fibers again, and therefore always gives a beautiful finish. In the case of sateen sheets, it will help maintain its beautiful luster.

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Which is a better bottom sheet: a flat sheet or a fitted sheet ?

What to use as the bottom sheet? A flat sheet or a fitted sheet? When it comes to what type of sheet to put underneath the sleeper, conventional wisdom for hotels is that it is preferable to avoid the use of fitted sheets, and use only flat sheets on the bed.

 

The reasons to use flat sheets only and not use any fitted sheets are both practical and numerous:

  • Fitted sheets don’t last as long as flat sheets (a sleepers body makes more sustained contact with the bottom sheet and therefore, it is subject to more friction so it wears out faster)
  • The elastics may wear out making the fitted sheets useless before their time
  • Easier inventory management (also some additional shelf space will be needed for fitted sheets apart from the flat sheets)
  • Fitted sheets are more difficult and time consuming to fold and may require additional room in the laundry.

 

With all these reasons it is a wonder why any hotel would choose use fitted sheets! Nonetheless there are some important reasons:

  • It is a much nicer fit for the bed
  • Its easier and faster to change the bed sheets
  • Many, many housekeepers suffer back injuries each year lifting the newer-style heavy mattresses to replace flat sheets
  • Fitted sheets often come un-tucked as soon as the guest opens his or her bed or during the night, causing an uncomfortable sleep for guests.

Nobody likes their sheets all wrinkled up under them (and even worse when they wrinkle up with the mattress protector)! Turn down service can help the initial problem of the sheets coming un-tucked when a guest first climbs in bed, but as a general rule, most would agree that fitted sheets give a better overall sleep. On the other hand, it is obvious that the inconvenience and shorter life span of fitted sheets makes them more expensive. Balancing these two considerations (also the cost of housekeeper’s back health[1]) is key to deciding which alternative is preferable.

 


 

[1] The back problems that hotel housekeeping staff have suffered with the introduction of the deep heavy mattresses in hotels in the United States is serious enough, that at some point in time legislation was introduced to force hotels to use fitted sheets.

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HOW TO MAKE A FLUFFLY WHITE BED IN THE TROPICS

Put the puff on the bottom not on the top. The new bedding standards achieve a puffy look through the use many layers on top of the sleeper and/or thick duvets. This is too hot for the tropics! Your bed will look just a fluffy with a puffy mattress pad as with a puffy duvet, and it wont be too hot!

An extra-thick mattress pad /topper will immediately give that comfy puffy look on the mattress, and make for a more luxurious sleep. An older or cheaper mattress can be turned into a dream mattress with the addition of a pillow topper. Even if you have a pillow top mattress you may want to invest in a topper as they are generally made of more breathable fabrics than mattresses.

Invest in 100% good-quality cotton silky soft sheets. This will give a soft, luxurious, sensual feel to the bed. Avoid polyester/cotton blend sheets. They do not breath like pure cotton, and are never as soft.

Use a light, non-feather duvet and fold back twice to give a puffier look, either at the end of the bed or part way down.

Never use a thick duvet as it will be too hot, and be careful of feather fillings, as in the humidity of the tropics they can take on an odor. This is not a problem with very high end and very expensive duvets, but it is for hotel quality duvets.

Use four pillows or more on each the bed. Make sure that at least two of the pillows are the proper size for the bed – ie: use king pillows on a king bed and queen pillows on a queen bed. The pillows can be smaller in the front, or the same size. Use Euro squares if you need height on the bed.

Use colored decorative pillows and/or  bed runners if you want to add color to the bed. Plain white beds work well in hot areas, and are now very well appreciated by hotel guests worldwide.

Classic fluffy white beds have white bed skirts.  In the tropics, however, if you don’t have carpeting on the floor, white bed skirts can get dirty very fast when floors are cleaned with damp mops. Tropical fluffy white beds don’t need bed skirts unless you need to cover the box spring.

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Care and Laundry Advice for Cotton Sheets and towels

Categorize your wash according to cloth type and, if possible, severity of staining. Separate 100% cotton fabrics from other fabrics – including polyester cotton blends. Washing blends and 100% cotton will often result in the cotton pilling because of the migration of polyester fibres to the cotton.

Shake out all fabrics before placing in machine.

Load your washing machine to the correct capacity. For sheets and towels this is usually around 70-75% the capacity of machine ( follow manufacturers directions for load size) . On a front load washer one wants to be able to see the fabric lift and fall during the wash cycle ( which is different if one is washing duvets and pillows) .

To avoid stains in hotel operations train staff that bed linens and towels are NOT the correct fabrics for cleaning floors, baths, mirrors, etc. Make sure all laundry carts and linen storage facilities are clean and free from any rusting metal. In the laundry, keep all fabric clear of floors especially when wet as the resulting stain is virtually irremovable.

Use good quality detergents. The life of your linens will be longer because of it. It is also important to use the correct amount of detergent. Too much will damage the fibers and reduce the life of the textiles, and they will have a scratchy feel. Too little, and the linens won’t come clean.

Wash in warm to hot water. Cotton is very resistant to heat damage, but less so to chemical damage. It is always better to wash in hotter water and use less detergent, than vice versa. And it is important to remove all traces of detergent before drying and ironing. Rinse three times if possible.

Never use chlorine bleach. Chlorine bleach weakens the fibres leading to premature aging of the fabric. To remove stains, add powdered sodium perborate ( eg; Oxiclean, or similar) along with the detergent. Washing in very hot water up to (up to 90 ) C) can be beneficial if there is heavy staining and is essential to remove oil and grease stains.

Never use fabric softeners or detergents that have fabric softener in it. Most fabric softeners “eat” away the fibres, thus shortening the life of the textile. They also coating the yarns with a chemical that artificially makes that fabric feel soft but prevents the yarns from absorbing moisture or “breathing” they way the fabric was designed to do. Never use dryer sheets for the same reason.
Test your water for hardness and use a water softener if necessary to avoid damaging textiles and the overuse of detergents which will be what is necessary in order for the detergent to clean adequately.

To extract the moisture use a high speed spinning in a washer extractor for between 8 to 10 minutes.The moisture retention of cottons after extraction should be approximately 50% and can be reduced to 35% or more by tumble drying if required.

Make sure to use a cool or low setting on the dryer to dry your sheets and towels. High heat will not only cause the fabric to shrink but it will “cook” the yarn and cause the fabric to loose it natural softness. Half or less loads of towels will keep the towels fluffy and soft.

If ironing your sheets, extract the sheets when they are still damp between 25% and 50% moisture, and iron. If using a commercial roller iron use a hot plate temperature up to 392’F.The moisture content of the sheets ( after washing, extraction and possibly tumble dryer conditioning ) will influence ironer operating speeds.

If you are not ironing, dry sheets until slightly damp and fold them smooth right away. This action will often have the result of leaving the sheet’s appearance nice enough to not need ironing. Towels can be dried a little more, but in both cases, do not over dry. If you want to retouch the sheets, iron the cuffs of the top sheet and the pillowcase for a crisp look on the bed.

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CARE AND LAUNDRY ADVICE FOR DOWN ALTERNATIVE FILLED PRODUCTS

Fluff duvets and pillows regularly. Down and down alternative products require air flow for loft, so it is important to “fluff” products regularly. A quick shake of the duvet and the pillows each time the bed is being made will aid in restoring loft.

Always use a protector. Duvet covers and pillow protectors will dramatically extend the life of these products.

Avoid washing. Wash duvets and pillows only when strictly necessary. If there is a spot on the duvet, use spot cleaning techniques rather than washing the whole duvet.

If you have to wash. Use a front loading machine. Wash in cold water, and use a mild detergent. No bleach. (strong detergents and bleaches will breakdown the synthetic down)

Avoid the washer damage to the fills. Depending on the washer/extractor, we suggest stuffing the washer very fully to avoid the mechanical action of the machine from ‘beating up’ blown polyester fibers, which may cause clumping or roping of the fibers.

Avoid dryer damage and use the lowest heat setting possible. Fill the dryer to capacity to avoid mechanical damage and dry on lowest heat setting less than 120o F. High heat will damage the fill fibers .

Be patient. It may take several hours to dry pillows and duvets (however, a low heat setting should still be used).

Check and move the products during the dryer cycle. The laundry attendant should check and flip over the products periodically while being dried, so that all of the surface areas of the products are exposed to the heat, and moisture is not trapped inside the folded-over portion of these filled bedding products.

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Bedding terms

Bedskirt : Wraps around the frame of the bed to hide the box –spring. If your mattress sits on a metal frame, a bedskirt is essential. Bedskirts can be tailored with or without pleats or gathered for a more feminine look. Always get an exact measurement for the height of you skirt so it’s not too short or dragging on the floor.

Box spring cover: A box-spring cover is similar to a fitted sheet generally in thicker decorator fabrics, and gives a clean airy look to the bed.

Coverlet: Also known as a blanket cover, blanket, or matelassé, it typically comes in cotton and is as versatile as a duvet. It can be folded at the foot of the bed to add texture to the décor, or pulled up over the bed and used instead of a blanket in warmer temperatures.

Duvet: A soft bag filled with natural down or synthetic down alternatives, and then quilted through to prevent the fill from shifting. Sometimes also referred to a comforter, the word duvet comes from the French word meaning “down.” Goose down is considered the most desirable of fills for a duvet because of its lightness and thermal insulation properties. Prices for duvets vary widely according to a number of quality indicators. Modern high-end synthetic down alternative duvets emulate closely goose down duvets because the type of fibers used and the specialized manufacturing techniques.

Duvet cover: A decorative envelope for a duvet or comforter. It gives a cozy, luxury look to the bed in contrast to a stiff bedspread, and is essential to protect the duvet. A duvet cover is easily removable and washed without any need to launder the duvet.

“Euro” pillow: A 26”X26” square pillow that is both decorative and versatile. Esthetically, “Euro” pillows give the bed height and are especially useful if the bed does not have a headboard.   They are also wonderful for reading in bed. Use two for a Queen bed and three for a King bed.

Mattress toppers: Also know as pillow tops, mattresses toppers are a soft, thick quilted cover that sits on top of the mattress and feels like a pillow. They are the modern version of old-fashioned feather beds,  but instead of being made of feathers they are made of synthetic materials as used in pillows and are easier to maintain and for bed making. Mattress toppers substantially increase the comfort of any bed, and give a more romantic, sumptuous look to the bed. They are essential for tired mattresses or mattresses that are too hard.

Mattress protector: A protective layer that covers the mattress that is essential to keep the mattress clean. Mattress protectors vary in terms of the amount of padding and the protection they offer against liquids.

Pillow protector:   As for mattresses, protectors for pillows are essential to keep pillows clean . Available in either zippered- or envelope- styles , pillow protectors completely encase the pillow, and act as another layer of protection for the pillow, in addition to the pillowcase.

Sham: Shams are usually made from the same or coordinating fabric as the duvet cover and add an elegant finished touch to the bed. They cover those pillows added to the bed to increase comfort for reading TV watching etc., but are not usually used for sleeping.

Sheets: Sheets include pillowcases, flat and fitted sheets ( with elastic). Cotton and polyester are the two most widely used fibers for sheets. 100% cotton sheets are softer, fresher and more breathable than polyester or polyester/cotton blend sheets, which also tend to pill more easily ( “to pill” refers to the sheet forming small balls from fibers that are shed from the sheets usually due to friction).  The quality of the cotton, the number of threads per square inch ( thread count), and the type of weave are all important determinants in the softness and durability of the sheet. The better the quality of cotton, often denoted by the terms “Egyptian”, “Supima” and “Pima” , the softer and more durable the sheet. Higher thread counts usually mean sheets that are softer and silkier ( within a range, as after a certain number of thread counts, the thread count is simply “forced” by manufacturers and there is no increase in quality) . Given the same thread count and quality of cotton, a percale woven sheet is crisper to the touch and more durable than a sateen woven sheet which is softer to the touch.

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