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Toiletries provided by hotels/guest houses

What is the standard for toiletries provided by hotels and/or bed and breakfasts?

Posted by
8051 posts

Body wash or soap, shampoo, skin moisturizer; depends on the hotel; if you have a particular place ask them directly via email.

Posted by
3122 posts

It depends greatly on the particular establishment. In general, the cheaper places will just provide a basic little bar of soap and a mini bottle of shampoo, while the more expensive places offer facial soap, bath soap, body wash, name brand shampoo and conditioner, and skin moisturizer.

One thing I noticed in England is that the hair dryer is often hidden inside a desk drawer. Yes, desk -- not in a bathroom vanity drawer, or a bureau drawer, or a nightstand. Or maybe it was just a quirk of the particular places where I stayed. Anyway, if you can't find the hair dryer, look in the desk.

Posted by
7444 posts

If you're booking hotels yourself, many times there's a photo of the bathroom, and you can check what's on the counter. Typically, soap or bath gel is standard, along with shampoo. I bring a small hair conditioner with me to supplement the locations where it isn't provided.

Posted by
362 posts

I've found few places outside the luxury hotels that offer conditioner outside the US.

And don't forget a spare washcloth. I can't remember in England specifically, but washcloths are not always readily available in Europe.

Posted by
9851 posts

One thing that seems to be getting more and more common -- and which drives me crazy -- is places offering a combo "shampoo/shower gel". ugh. I take my own - separate of each!!

I remember in grad school being poor and for a while trying to save by not buying shampoo and using my shower gel to wash my hair. It did NOT work, was disgusting. I'm sure these formulas are better made, but I'm still not interested in a combined product!! : )

Posted by
6113 posts

There is no standard provision. Upper end places will offer individual items such as Jo Malone soaps, shampoo and body lotion, whereas cheaper places will offer one large bottle of combined shower gel and shampoo. The fancier the place, the more will be provided.

All will provide something with which to wash. Some are happy to wash their hair in the shower gel provided, others aren't.

One thing I noticed in England is that the hair dryer is often hidden
inside a desk drawer. Yes, desk -- not in a bathroom vanity drawer, or
a bureau drawer, or a nightstand. Or maybe it was just a quirk of the
particular places where I stayed. Anyway, if you can't find the hair
dryer, look in the desk.

Cultural difference. Because of strict rules about electricity in bathrooms (both domestically and in hotels), hairdryers are more of a bedroom than a bathroom thing in the UK. And therefore the most logical place for one would be in a bedroom drawer near the most electrical sockets and the biggest mirror. Which is usually the hotel room desk.

If you do find one in a hotel bathroom it will be a dreadful low-power thing with an on-switch you'll need to keep your finger on.

Have you noticed the lack of electrical sockets (except shaver) in British hotel bathrooms?

Washcloths (or face flannels as we call them) are regarded as a personal item in the UK, like toothbrushes, so they are not standard in hotels or B&Bs. You may find them but don't count on them. I think anyway they're falling out of use in the UK. I haven't used one since I was a child. I use hands to wash my face and a shower buff thing for the rest.

Posted by
6790 posts

Some hotels and/or B&B's may only provide a body wash/gel used as both soap and shampoo.

Posted by
4064 posts

A washcloth is an accessory to toiletries and many European hotels do not supply a cloth along with the towels. Ditto Argentina. Bring you own, in a Ziploc bag to pack when damp.

Posted by
205 posts

One thing I noticed in England is that the hair dryer is often hidden inside a desk drawer. Yes, desk -- not in a bathroom vanity drawer, or a bureau drawer, or a nightstand. Or maybe it was just a quirk of the particular places where I stayed. Anyway

Generally electricity and water are a poor combination. Hence you won't find appliances in bathrooms.

The standard of the toiletries reflects the price of the hotel.

I have never seen a face flannel in a British hotel. It is a truly disgusting concept.

Posted by
3521 posts

"I have never seen a face flannel in a British hotel. It is a truly disgusting concept."

Which? The concept of a face flannel? Or the concept of finding one in a hotel room?

Do you use the towels provided by a hotel? Do you sleep on the bedding provided? Since all of these are (or should be) replaced with a completely clean set between guests as well as the entire room cleaned, what is the problem with a face flannel?

Posted by
205 posts

what is the problem with a face flannel?

It's a cultural difference. Like global warming but less important.

Posted by
3621 posts

I can't help wondering what the rate of death by hair dryer is in countries where the outlet is in the bathroom.
In a different vein. . . I noticed that many of the places we stayed in Greece last month did provide wash cloths. I don't know if this has always been the custom in Greece, or whether American habits are spreading.

Posted by
27405 posts

I assume the issue with hair dryers in the bathroom is that a plugged-in (and turned on? I'm not an engineer) hair dryer might be dropped into a basin or tub full of water. Result: electrocution. I know I've seen tags on the cords of hair dryers with pictures indicating that they should not be used around water. I can vaguely imagine that someone, somewhere, may have thought it a good idea to use a hair dryer while sitting in a tub full of water.

I have no idea what the rate of death by hairdryer in bath is. Nor did I want to start a debate on whether it's dangerous to have a hairdryer in a bathroom.

All I was pointing out was: the UK has very strict safety rules. You may think they're stupid but they exist, and when you travel here you have to get used to them.

One is a ban on on power points in bathrooms except for shaver sockets. Similarly any light switch will be either just outside the bathroom, or a long cord. You won't find a wall-mounted light switch in UK bathrooms for safety reasons, too - presumably the risk of electrocution from touching a light switch with wet hands.

I should also point out that domestic electricity supplies are delivered at a significantly higher voltage than in the US, which is why we warn people not to use their American hairdryers or straighteners - you will blow them up. It's also why kettles work so speedily & quickly in the UK whereas they don't in the US.

This higher voltage may be why the rules are so stringent.

Get used to it: any hairdryer in a hotel bathroom in the UK will be rubbish & low-powered. Get used to using one in the bedroom while you're here.