One of the things that travelers have almost come to expect they will be offered at any hotel is access to gym facilities. Even those who are traveling for pleasure, not business, don't want to miss a week - or more - of workouts simply because they are far away from their local gym.
For those hotels and motels that do boast gym facilities, there is a lot to consider in order to provide the best possible guest experience. And while the big stuff is important - the machines, the instruction, things like that - so are the 'little things' that can make a big difference. One of the most important of those 'little considerations' is making sure that guests are provided with the best gym towel to make use of while they work out.
The Importance of a Great Gym Towel
If you stop and think about it, towels are an important part of going to the gym - any gym - in lots of different ways. Their obvious use to mop up the sweat that the average gym goer usually produces in abundance during the average workout, of for toweling off after that great post-workout shower.
But many gym goers also use gym towels for other purposes. They use them to wipe down the equipment they are using (sticky, wet and sweaty weights, for example, can spell real trouble) and some even incorporate their gym towel into their workouts. So not only does the average hotel gym need to provide the best gym towel for each guest but they need to provide quite a lot of them as well!
Gym Towels and a Healthy Workout Environment
The best gym towel can help a hotelier do something else that's very important as well; provide a healthier environment for their guests to work out in. Even the best maintained of hotel gyms is, inevitably, a hotbed of germs. Given a great gym towel to keep on hand., most people will regularly wipe down their face and body as they work up a sweat, meaning that germs are less likely to reach their hands. As the hands are always the primary way bacteria spreads this helps create a healthier workout environment for everyone.
What Makes a Towel the Best Gym Towel?
Guests love to be greeted with a plentiful supply of soft, fluffy looking towels when they hit a hotel gym. But choosing the best gym towel calls for more than simply buying the ones that look nice. There is, in fact, more to choosing the right hotel gym towel than you think. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind.
Gym towels and bath towels are not interchangeable, or they should not be anyway, and so the 'guidelines' you might follow for towel materials for use in the rest of your establishment are likely to be a little different.
When shopping for gym towels you'll quickly find that you have several main options in terms of materials. Most people usually find, however, that 100% cotton, while a fairly standard choice, is still the best one. Cotton Terry, to be specific, tends to be best for the gym, as it is soft, durable and does not 'shed'. The last thing a hot, sweaty gym goer wants is to end up covered in lint because their gym towel sheds. So 100% cotton really does tend to produce the best gym towels for sweat.
A high-quality cotton polyester blend is not quite as soft as 100% cotton, but they are more resilient and durable. In a high traffic gym, this is an important consideration, especially in terms of cost. One idea that some hoteliers find worked very well for them? Provide 100% cotton towels in the gym locker room and cotton polyester out in the gym itself.
But what of those other options? Microfiber has become a very 'trendy' choice over the last few years, and it does have its upsides as a gym towel. It's durable, absorbs moisture well and is even good at trapping germs and dirt. As a gym towel choice, it may be a good option, especially if you can find the right price, but the fact that it is not quite as soft as a good quality 100% cotton towel may be a little off-putting for some gym goers.
There is a considerable buzz around bamboo towels as well at the moment. The claim is that they are as absorbent as cotton while also boasting natural antibacterial properties. For some hotel gyms, especially smaller ones, they may be a viable option but you should definitely do your homework and perhaps just buy a sample or two before ordering in bulk!
The Sweat Factor
A gym is a sweaty, sticky place and gym-goers are sweaty, sticky people. This means that the best gym towel needs to be the best gym towel for sweat! The best gym towels for sweat are those that can absorb moisture quickly and easily. This does not, however, mean that the best gym towels have to be as absorbent as a big bath towel. Look for a towel that offers good absorption without being too thick, as no gym goer wants to lug around a heavy towel as they move from machine to machine.
As we just mentioned, a heavy towel does not make for a great gym towel and neither does one that is too big. A medium weight, medium sized - around 13" X 44" is often ideal - is often the best gym towel choice for general guest use, although you may want to consider offering a couple of different sizes so they can choose for themselves.
In the end, the best gym towel for your hotel gym will be a personal decision, one based on facility size and budget as well as towel quality, However, if you keep these tips in mind, and take your time when shopping for the best hotel gym towels, making that decision should be a lot easier.
This post originally appeared on hotels4humanity.com