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Hotel Laundry Facilities

In the U.S. most hotels I've been to have self-serve guest laundry facilities.

Some are just 1 small washer and 1 small dryer.

Others have 2-4 small washers and 2-4 small dryers.

If I'm understanding from the RS Forums correctly, European Hotels typically don't have guest self-serve laundry facilities? Correct?

Posted by
4595 posts

To be honest, I haven't noticed Canadian or American hotels with self serve either. Must depend on the chain. Some don't offer laundry at all. But ai am used to seeing a bag and laundry list in the cupboards....pretty much any continent I have visited.
Doesn't Rick also say that a visit to a local laundromat is a local immersion experience? ...or something to that effect.

Posted by
14266 posts

Correct...most of the European hotels I've stayed in either on my own or on a RS tour do not have self service laundry facilities. There will likely be laundry facilities in the neighborhood and the Registration desk should be able to point you to them.

Posted by
2394 posts

Correct. Even big chain hotels that always have laundry in the US don’t have them in Europe. I’ve been to one hotel in Europe that had laundry. It was one machine - a combo washer/dryer that took over 4 hours and could fit about 3 pairs of pants per load. You are better off doing your laundry in the hotel sink, or finding a launderette (laundromat) nearby. Those machines are big and you can get a bunch of laundry done faster. Better yet, see if there is a place that will wash/dry/fold your laundry. Some will even pick up/drop off to your hotel. Usually with a 24 hour turnaround time.

Posted by
293 posts

Correct. Even big chain hotels that always have laundry in the US
don’t have them in Europe. I’ve been to one hotel in Europe that had
laundry. It was one machine - a combo washer/dryer that took over 4
hours and could fit about 3 pairs of pants per load.

Yes. If you are doing laundry for a family of 4 carry-on's worth, a laundromat with large machines that can handle it all in one load is worth it. But if you are a solo traveler with 1 carry-on's worth of clothes, 1 small load may be more practical.

And figuring in whether what you take can be washed/dried together or must be separated lights/darks is also a consideration.

Family of 4 where you can load several machines at once vs. Solo and the only small machine in the hotel is occupied and you have 2 loads to do for lights/darks.

I've been testing my color-grabber sheets for known bleeders with some white cotton socks. So far, the color-grabbers work.

Posted by
893 posts

In a few places I've been to at the local laundromats there were desk attendants. You could do your own laundry in their machines or drop it off to be done. We dropped ours off first thing in the morning and picked it up in the evening. In Budapest they even ironed my husbands T-shirts, I told him not to get used to it! This was a nice service because we didn't want to sit around a laundromat.

In some places we washed clothes out and hung them in the room.

Have a great trip!

Posted by
4595 posts

If you are traveling solo, then also test your hand wash/hang to dry options. I, as a solo traveler, tend to sink wash most of my trips; or get a short let apartment with a washer.....though I sort of hate the washer/dryer combo. It can take 4 hours and is so hot it sets all the wrinkles from the heavy duty spin cycle.

I would also look at a wardrobe that isn't such a high contrast in colour or laundry care that means separate loads. I can't remember the last time I owned white socks...but then I don't own white tennis shoes either. My socks match my trousers.

Posted by
16110 posts

In the U.S. most hotels I've been to have self-serve guest laundry
facilities.

Wow, that has not been our experience. We've stayed at some mid-range motels in the U.S., mostly outside of major cities, that have offered that amenity but certainly not "most" hotels. When in Europe, we've done a wash-up once every week-and-1/2 or so (of a 3-week trip) at self-serve coin laundromats. In between, we do rinse-outs in the sink.

Some folks send their laundry out to be done but we figure it's part of the experience so we do our own. :O)

Posted by
15702 posts

You can find hotels in Europe that have laundry facilities but they are not "Rick Steves" type hotels.

Most extended stay chains have laundry facilities. (Staybridge Suites, Residence Inn, Citadines, Fraser Suites, etc.) Additionally, some American chains have them at a few locations but not all.

Posted by
404 posts

though I sort of hate the washer/dryer combo. It can take 4 hours and is so hot it sets all the wrinkles from the heavy duty spin cycle.

Google the machine name and find a user manual online. There is almost always
a short cycle option that takes 30-45 minutes and a way to use cold or at worst
warm water. The manual tells you which symbol it is.

Posted by
1259 posts

And figuring in whether what you take can be washed/dried together or must be separated lights/darks is also a consideration.

Savvy travelers, who adopt a certain style, assemble a wardrobe specifically for travel laundry. you don’t need new clothes, they just need to be easy care. I do laundry in the shower when bathing. Easy, quick, efficient. Youngsters can be trained and encouraged to wash their own necessaries each day.

Posted by
1046 posts

The dilemma we have when travelling is that the clothes we take that are good for sink washing - merino tops, activewear shorts/pants - are not dryer-friendly. As a consequence we have never just dropped off a load for a wash/dry/fold. We have used laundromats but only for the washing.

We have encountered self-service guest laundries only twice in Europe - at Hotel Bethel in Copenhagen and on our Uniworld Rhine river cruise boat. We try to book an apartment with a washing machine around once a week and do the occasional sink wash in between.

Posted by
10402 posts

I have seen very few places in the U.S. and the European countries I’ve been to that have self service laundry. When staying primarily at hotels we sink wash and every so often go to a laundromat to wash. I’m picky about not drying on high heat and we hang many things to dry. We like to rent apartments at least often enough to do laundry. In our 16 weeks in Europe last year I didn’t have to sink wash anything. When faced with a washer/dryer combo I always hang the clothes to dry. I’ve never sent laundry out, though one time when I was in Varenna (Lake Como) there was a laundry service that we were able to drop our clothes off in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon.

Posted by
865 posts

European combo washer/dryers are ventless - they rely on a condensation process to remove moisture during the drying cycle - that is why they take so long to complete a single load. So best to set it and forget it - that can work if you're in an apartment, but impractical in a hotel. I have a small house and researched these years ago - quickly decided to go with a conventional stacked washer/dryer.

Posted by
293 posts

Wow, that has not been our experience. We've stayed at some mid-range
motels in the U.S., mostly outside of major cities, that have offered
that amenity but certainly not "most" hotels.

I must be lucky. The ones I stay at always have a guest laundry.

The laundry might be obvious on the ground floor or not so obvious on some other floor, but they are there.

Posted by
85 posts

Two hotel chains in Europe that have laundry facilities in-house would be Adagio and Citadines. Both are "Aparthotel" types, with kitchenettes. In Germany and Scandinavia there are Adina Aparthotels, which have a washer and dryer in the apartments. But, check carefully as not all room types at all locations have the laundry in the room.

I always pack quick-dry clothing that doesn't require a dryer. After washing clothing I hang them on hangers (which I bring) in the closet or on a shower rod overnight. I've never had a problem, because I packed fabrics that I know will be dry in the morning. I don't own any jeans, and even if I did I wouldn't take them on trips. They're impossible to wash and dry overnight.

Posted by
907 posts

The Citadines in Barcelona we stayed at did. have self service laundry in the basement. Was definitely an experience as a nice Spanish worker attempted to instruct me in how to use them. The buttons on the machine weren't in English, she spoke no English and my Spanish was only marginally better. But once she got thru to me that I was attempting to wash my clothes in a dryer it went fairly smoothly.

The hotel Bristol in Zurich did offer laundry service for a per load price though it was in 2021 when travel was down and they didn't actually charge us anything.

Posted by
40 posts

We spent the better part of a month in the UK and France last autumn and we only took carry ons, so we had to do laundry a few times. We didn't find self-serve laundry facilities in any of the hotels or B&Bs we stayed in, and we stayed in everything from a riverboat cabin to a chateau to a splurge hotel in Paris. The more upscale places had the usual paperwork and plastic bag in the closet so you could drop off laundry and/or dry cleaning, but we didn't use that anywhere. We did do some laundry in the sink (with soap we bought in the UK), but we also used a couple of self-serve laundromats in France. They were reasonably priced, easy to use, and not crowded. Hope that helps.