Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange => Topic started by: Debbie506 on March 05, 2013, 05:57:23 PM

Title: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Debbie506 on March 05, 2013, 05:57:23 PM
I posted some travel tips on Take a Coffee Break- DD Trip to France.  One of the tips was that many European hotels consider facecloths "personal items" and don't provide them- you are expected to bring your own.  (This is changing quite rapidly, I think, especially if you are a higher-end traveller likely to be visiting from North America, but is certainly still the case for many budget places, where I tend to end up.)

I recently returned from Peru and Bolivia, and I can attest that nary a facecloth was seen (which I hadn't anticipated, sigh).

Facecloths in hotels, B & Bs, etc. in Canada and the USA are standard/expected.  Is this really so unusual?  What's the expectation in other places around the world?  BYO or supplied as a matter of course?

(PS- my tip for Europe - and now I guess Peru & Bolivia  - was to bring a couple of dollar store facecloths and some zip-lock bags to keep the damp ones in, and just discard them after a couple of days.)
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Awestruck Shmuck on March 05, 2013, 06:05:57 PM
Here in Australia, I've seen them in every hotel/motel/guest house and b & b I've ever stayed in.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Thipu1 on March 05, 2013, 06:14:44 PM
We have stayed at hotels in England, Scotland, Italy and Spain the only place where face cloths  (flannels) were not provided was the Novotel in Southampton.  Thank the deity there was a nice, big Boots just across the road.   
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Bluenomi on March 05, 2013, 06:50:15 PM
Here in Australia, I've seen them in every hotel/motel/guest house and b & b I've ever stayed in.

Yup, I agree with that.

I recall finding them in places I've stayed in the UK as well. Same with South East Asia and the pacific.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: lady_disdain on March 06, 2013, 07:50:47 AM
If you go to the large American chain hotels, you may find a face cloth. Otherwise, don't count on it as we just don't use them.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Thipu1 on March 06, 2013, 08:24:11 AM
If you go to the large American chain hotels, you may find a face cloth. Otherwise, don't count on it as we just don't use them.

Really?  What do you use instead? 
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 06, 2013, 08:39:02 AM
If you go to the large American chain hotels, you may find a face cloth. Otherwise, don't count on it as we just don't use them.

Are you referring to American chains in the US/Canada or American chains in other countries?
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Yvaine on March 06, 2013, 09:11:15 AM
Is a face cloth different from a small towel? I'm picturing the small towels you might use after washing your face, but someone called them flannels which made me think they might be a different item. The ones I'm picturing are terrycloth.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: lady_disdain on March 06, 2013, 09:15:59 AM
If you go to the large American chain hotels, you may find a face cloth. Otherwise, don't count on it as we just don't use them.

Are you referring to American chains in the US/Canada or American chains in other countries?

Sorry! I meant down here, in Brazil. I had that information in the first version of the post but I somehow edited it out.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Judah on March 06, 2013, 09:31:19 AM
Are you referring to what Americans call wash cloths? Or hand towels maybe? I'm unclear on what we're talking about.

Ah, I just looked it up and you mean washcloths. 

I don't remember seeing washcloths in England, Ireland, Mexico, or Central America. I know we saw them in Canada and I've always seen them in every hotel/motel in the U.S. Even the cheep ones.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: wolfie on March 06, 2013, 09:38:06 AM
If you go to the large American chain hotels, you may find a face cloth. Otherwise, don't count on it as we just don't use them.

Really?  What do you use instead?

I use a regular towel to dry my face and I use a loofah in the shower.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: lady_disdain on March 06, 2013, 09:48:14 AM
If you go to the large American chain hotels, you may find a face cloth. Otherwise, don't count on it as we just don't use them.

Really?  What do you use instead? 

The hand towel is used if you are washing your face at the sink, the bath towel after a bath.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Yvaine on March 06, 2013, 09:50:08 AM
If you go to the large American chain hotels, you may find a face cloth. Otherwise, don't count on it as we just don't use them.

Really?  What do you use instead? 

The hand towel is used if you are washing your face at the sink, the bath towel after a bath.

This is what I do too--I was thinking maybe a hand towel is called a facecloth in other locations? Don't know.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: lady_disdain on March 06, 2013, 09:59:14 AM
If you go to the large American chain hotels, you may find a face cloth. Otherwise, don't count on it as we just don't use them.

Really?  What do you use instead? 

The hand towel is used if you are washing your face at the sink, the bath towel after a bath.

This is what I do too--I was thinking maybe a hand towel is called a facecloth in other locations? Don't know.

The explanation I was told is that a face cloth or wash cloth is used to wash the face (duh!) - you wet it, squirt the face wash on it and use to spread the suds on the face. Rinse it, use it to remove most of the suds, splash water on face to remove any last bits of face wash.

I wet my face, squirt facial wash on my hands, rub them together to make suds, spread suds on face. Rinse off with cupped hands.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Yvaine on March 06, 2013, 10:00:30 AM
If you go to the large American chain hotels, you may find a face cloth. Otherwise, don't count on it as we just don't use them.

Really?  What do you use instead? 

The hand towel is used if you are washing your face at the sink, the bath towel after a bath.

This is what I do too--I was thinking maybe a hand towel is called a facecloth in other locations? Don't know.

The explanation I was told is that a face cloth or wash cloth is used to wash the dace (duh!) - you wet it, squirt the face wash on it and use to spread the suds on the face. Rinse it, use it to remove most of the suds, splash water on face to remove any last bits of face wash.

I wet my face, squirt facial wash on my hands, rub them together to make suds, spread suds on face. Rinse off with cupped hands.

Oh! Gotcha. Yeah, I do it the hand-suds way too.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: MariaE on March 06, 2013, 10:11:28 AM
I travel extensively in Europe, and I was about to say that I'd seldom seen them anywhere... then I realized that the truth is more that I've seldom noticed them anywhere. I never use facecloths myself, so it's not something I pay attention to :)
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: WillyNilly on March 06, 2013, 10:19:24 AM
Yeah I hardly ever use a face cloth/wash cloth.  To be honest I find if I am using them its more for wiping water off the counter or cleaning up a spill, etc. I might use one to do a quick wash up of my body (dampen it and wipe off my armpits and privates) if a shower isn't feasible for some reason. I wouldn't use one, especially a hotel one, to wash my face, although occasionally at home I might use one to wipe off a facial mask, before using my hands to rinse, just because a mask is thick and its easier to get that first initial thick layer off via wiping it with a wet cloth. I therefore hardly notice if hotels have them or not.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: baritone108 on March 06, 2013, 01:30:36 PM
They were not available in any of the hotels we went to in Germany, Switzerland & France whether in a US chain hotel or not.  We asked about them when we first arrived in Germany and the people at the desk didn't know what we were talking about.  We did find them in a German department store and bought some to take with us as we travelled.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Library Dragon on March 07, 2013, 01:07:41 AM
Washcloth/facecloth are squares, generally made of terry cloth.  I've rarely seen them in Europe and always take a few.  I buy an inexpensive bundle for trips and leave them behind.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: iridaceae on March 07, 2013, 04:51:10 AM
My father was kicking himself last summer for not bringing any to Italy as he apparently likes to get his face clean after shaving by using a washcloth. I never use them so I never noticed my room didn't have one til he mentioned it.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: rose red on March 07, 2013, 09:36:27 AM
Even if a hotel provide one, I don't use them because I'm a bit of a germaphobe when it comes to my face  :P.  I bring my own. 
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Library Dragon on March 09, 2013, 03:16:45 AM
I usually use my own, not because of germs, but the harsh detergent used at hotels.  I've had my legs breakout in rashes from detergents.  In order to avoid the leper look I dont use hotel washcloths on my face. 
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Yvaine on March 09, 2013, 07:04:11 AM
Washcloth/facecloth are squares, generally made of terry cloth.  I've rarely seen them in Europe and always take a few.  I buy an inexpensive bundle for trips and leave them behind.

OK, then I think they are similar to the washcloths I know. The word flannel threw me off! Flannel over here is this super-soft fabric that comfy shirts are sometimes made out of, not nubby like terrycloth.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: #borecore on March 09, 2013, 09:02:47 AM
We don't use washcloths for face washing in our house, either -- we have them for housecleaning, guest use, and miscellaneous mopping up. We might use them at a hotel in lieu of a scrubby mesh sponge that we use at home, but we're just as likely to use the soap bar or liquid straight.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Thipu1 on March 09, 2013, 10:19:04 AM
Mr. Thipu uses wash cloths in the shower and after he shaves.

  I prefer the nylon mesh puffs.  They soap up well,  rinse out quickly, dry in a flash and feel good on the skin.  They're also cheap and easy to pack. 

I'm sorry if the term 'flannel' was misleading. I thought this was a UK term for 'wash cloth'.  It may be an old-fashioned term. 
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: sunnygirl on March 15, 2013, 10:37:21 PM
Flannel is the UK name for face cloth - a very small square of either thin terrycloth or sometimes muslin, used to wash (not dry!) one's face. They are very common in the UK. I've seen them in some hotels here.

When I was in China recently I noticed all the hotels provided them too.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Yvaine on March 15, 2013, 11:10:10 PM
I suppose I should really know this from 80s music. "...a flannel for my face...pajamas, a hairbrush, new shoes and a case..."  ;D
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Surianne on March 16, 2013, 03:28:35 PM
I'm in Canada.  I use facecloths/washcloths (the terms are interchangable) to wash my face -- some people use loofahs or their hands.

I've run into a lack of facecloths once or twice at a hotel: once here in Canada, and once in Iceland (Iceland is the only country I've been to outside North America).  Both times I was very confused as I didn't realize not every hotel would supply them.  I wound up taking a hand towel in the shower with me  :) 
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Snooks on March 22, 2013, 05:44:20 PM
There was one in the UK hotel I stayed in this week.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Margo on April 01, 2013, 01:17:45 PM
I would say 'flannel' (I'm from the UK) but would know what you meant if you said wash cloth or face cloth.
I think fewer people use them now  maybe because people are more likely to have showers than have a (not very deep) bath or wash in a basin.
I've sytayed in hotels in the states where they weren't provided, and some in the UK and europe where they were and some where they weren't, so I hadn't thought of it being a USA / UK / Europe divide
(Incidentally, we also have 'flannel' as a fabric as in  'flannel shirts)
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: jaxsue on May 19, 2013, 04:59:24 PM
My family said "washcloth," and yes, I expect them to be available at hotels. Thanks for the warning, though (about them not being available everywhere).
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Snowy Owl on May 20, 2013, 02:52:01 PM
I would say 'flannel' (I'm from the UK) but would know what you meant if you said wash cloth or face cloth.
I think fewer people use them now  maybe because people are more likely to have showers than have a (not very deep) bath or wash in a basin.
I've sytayed in hotels in the states where they weren't provided, and some in the UK and europe where they were and some where they weren't, so I hadn't thought of it being a USA / UK / Europe divide
(Incidentally, we also have 'flannel' as a fabric as in  'flannel shirts)

In my experience in the UK it depends on how upmarket the place it is.  More upmarket equals more towels and flannels and better quality towels.  If you stay in a less expensive property things are less plush.  Obviously I may be wrong but that's how I've found things. 

I don't tend to use them so I don't always notice whether they're there or not but thinking about it that's been my experience. 
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: ladyknight1 on May 21, 2013, 11:54:30 AM
Thank you for the information. I will be sure to pack them when we travel outside the states or cruising.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: PitBullMom on June 11, 2013, 09:53:22 AM
I live in the US. Four years ago, none of the B&B's we stayed at in Ireland had washcloths. I wish I had known because that's exactly what I use to clean myself in the shower.

We just got back from a 7 night stay in Ireland last week and half of the B&B's had washcloths available. Incidentally, the ones that did have washcloths were either run by an American or by people who have traveled extensively to the States. I'm wondering if this is going to be a new trend in Ireland. I may see more in a few years when I go back.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: K_Bear on June 12, 2013, 08:31:26 PM
Was just in Dublin for a week. The guesthouse (like a small hotel, but cozy and friendly like a B&B) did not provide washcloths. I don't use them, so no big deal.

I think the high end hotel in London did have them, but I wasn't looking for them. I was too in love with the over-sized bath towels(sheets). These things where huge! And soooo fluffy.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Cricket on June 13, 2013, 03:21:36 AM
Just to throw another name in the mix, our family call them face washers, though I know what someone means if the say face cloth/flannel or wash cloth. Still common in hotels here in Australia.

My 9 y.o son uses them to wipe his face in the shower if he happens to get shampoo in his eyes, I use one to quickly wipe over my arms, legs, back and front to get off most of the water droplets. It only takes 15 seconds and saves the bath towel from getting too wet. In winter, towels take way too long to dry in my bathroom.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Cleargleam on June 15, 2013, 12:45:52 AM
I have only once stayed at a cheap enough hotel in the US that bath linens were not provided; I admit, I was somewhat appalled.

I lived in England for three years, and traveled quite a bit on the continent; I never noticed that any item I was expecting was missing.   

That said, I do not generally use the wash cloth at hotels (I do not think of it as a *face* cloth particularly), although I might use it to *dry* my face; especially when traveling I use pre-soaped cloths (Oil of Olay is my favorite brand) to wash my face (and, if camping, for a sponge bath).  In the shower, I generally use mesh gloves. 

I do keep pre-soaped cloths and clean wash cloths in my travel kit and in my emergency kit, though.  I hate having a dirty face and/or dirty hands, and sometimes need to be able to clean my face and hands while traveling (like when I stop from a long drive at a restaurant), and I *loathe* the feeling of paper towel on my face only a little more than the feeling of my face air-drying. 

The towel I miss when traveling is the hair towel.  That unique size that's big enough (larger than a hand towel!) but not too big (and/or too thick!) to wrap and twist around my hair.  Eventually I will have a few extra and get *those* into my travel kit.  So far, I have managed to forget to bring any. 
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Nibsey on June 15, 2013, 07:59:17 AM
I live in the US. Four years ago, none of the B&B's we stayed at in Ireland had washcloths. I wish I had known because that's exactly what I use to clean myself in the shower.

We just got back from a 7 night stay in Ireland last week and half of the B&B's had washcloths available. Incidentally, the ones that did have washcloths were either run by an American or by people who have traveled extensively to the States. I'm wondering if this is going to be a new trend in Ireland. I may see more in a few years when I go back.

I doubt it, going by my MIL reaction last weekend. We usually stay in my parents house for the weekend which has personal items that we leave there. SO forgot to bring his facecloth as he's use to having his own at my parents. His mother was aghast when she saw him using mine. She equated it with sharing a toothbrush.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Hmmmmm on June 15, 2013, 09:53:05 AM
Of the 4 hotels we just visited in Spain and Italy, none offered wash clothes. One did have a disposable one.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: VorFemme on June 15, 2013, 11:00:12 AM
I have only stayed in ONE hotel in the USA that didn't have any towels or linens in the bath at all.  The desk clerk apologized and moved me to another room, as housekeeping didn't have any "spare towels" to give me.

Based on the vibes I got from the clientele (loud music of a particular "beat" - possibly to cover other sounds? a very smoky smell in a no smoking room and small burns in the upholstery on the chair and bedspread) - I got the distinct impression that I was in a hotel that was more used to renting rooms by the hour than by the night.....even if it was right off the Interstate in a major city along the Gulf Coast.  The biker couple taking a walk at midnight were perfectly polite & we exchanged greetings - it was the other "guests" that opened & closed the door to the room when they saw anyone in the hall that had me wondering.....

I tend to take a long strip of "loofah cloth" to scrub & exfoliate my back - it was the lack of towels, not washcloths that had me not wanting to stay there, ever again.  That and the cigarette burns everywhere....
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: MariaE on June 15, 2013, 05:19:32 PM
I'm reminded of the time I had a friend from New Zealand staying over. I handed her towels and she asked for a facecloth. I had to inform her that I didn't own a single one...  They just aren't used very much here.
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: VorFemme on June 15, 2013, 07:00:06 PM
I use wash cloths - or I use a loofah, a net scrubber, or something to get some exfoliation going - especially on elbows, knees, and my back.

VorGuy doesn't use a wash cloth at all.  Just differences in how our families handled bathing, I suppose.  Either that or his family lived in higher humidity areas some of the time he was growing up and his mother didn't like the way that they smelled....

I grew up in dry West Texas and the Panhandle area - even a towel dropped on the floor would dry before it started to smell - as long as the bather did use soap & water before they used the towel (my little brothers got inspected to make sure that they'd used soap & water at certain ages - as they had a tendency to run under the shower and wipe off the damp dirt.....).

Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Thipu1 on June 16, 2013, 04:51:24 AM
I don't use wash cloths all that much either.  I do find them handy for face drying or wiping dust of sandal-shod feet before showering but that's about it. 

For a shower, I prefer a nylon puff.  These things are cheap, easy to clean, and dry quickly.  They also hold soap very well and provide a gentle exfoliation.

Mr. Thipu likes his wash cloths.  He was the one who called my attention to their lack at the Novotel. 

Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: Library Dragon on June 16, 2013, 06:35:23 PM
I don't use wash cloths all that much either.  I do find them handy for face drying or wiping dust of sandal-shod feet before showering but that's about it. 

For a shower, I prefer a nylon puff.  These things are cheap, easy to clean, and dry quickly.  They also hold soap very well and provide a gentle exfoliation.

Mr. Thipu likes his wash cloths.  He was the one who called my attention to their lack at the Novotel.

My DH and I are opposite.

I have a question that's not trans-Atlantic, but South of the US border.  DH and I are traveling to Puebla, Mexico in the next couple of months.  Does anyone know if non-resort hotels have wash cloths?
Title: Re: Facecloths in hotels, etc.
Post by: MommyPenguin on June 26, 2013, 03:55:50 PM
I don't usually use a washcloth/facecloth at home, just what I suppose is called a "loofah" (my mom and I call them "tribbles" after that Star Trek episode).  But sometimes when I'm going to a hotel I'll leave it home and plan on using a washcloth there, so it's really helpful to know that they aren't common in Europe!  I think when we went to Germany, we bought a pack of them at the commissary, but I didn't even remember that until just now.