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What curtains do hotels use?

Hotels use a variety of curtains in guest rooms and public spaces. The curtains serve both aesthetic and functional purposes, helping control light and privacy while complementing the design scheme. When selecting curtains, hotels consider factors like durability, ease of cleaning, noise dampening, blackout efficiency, and fire safety.

What curtains do hotels use?

Fabric Choice

The most common hotel curtain fabrics are:

  • Polyester – Wrinkle-resistant and retains pleats and shape. Easy to clean and durable. Often used for blackout curtains.
  • Cotton – Natural fiber breathable and soft but shows dirt and wrinkles easily. Usually only used for decorative curtains.
  • Linen – Natural fabric resistant to fading with a textured look. Wrinkles easily so often blended with polyester or cotton.
  • Velvet – Luxurious looking but expensive. Requires special cleaning so only used for formal spaces.
  • Faux silk – Synthetic wrinkle-resistant fabrics with a shiny finish. Mimics the look of silk for less cost.

Weave and Density

In addition to fabric, the weave and density of the curtain material impacts its functionality:

  • Pinch pleat – Tight pleats help insulate and darken rooms.
  • Ripplefold – Flowing accordion-style pleats complement contemporary spaces.
  • Thermal – Triple-woven fabrics maintain temperatures extremely well.
  • Blackout – Tightly woven or lined to completely block outdoor light.
  • Sheer – Loosely woven translucent fabrics soften sunlight.

Pinch pleat curtains are popular in hotels for their classic look and effective room darkening

Pattern and Color

The pattern and color of hotel curtains establish a mood and reinforce the room’s aesthetic. Considerations include:

  • Patterns should complement the overall room design and not be too bold or sparse.
  • Colors should be neutral earth tones or maintain the room’s color palette. Use accents sparingly.
  • Busy patterns can overwhelm a space so keep it simple for relaxing ambiance.
  • No patterns for maximum subtlety in formal spaces or when views are the focus.

Striped curtains bring a subtle vibrancy to this contemporary hotel room.

Top Treatments

The upper portion of hotel window curtains add decorative drama and functionality:

  • Scarf valance – Floating frame highlighted by a swag fabric scarf.
  • Balloon shade – Pleated fabric that lays in puffy folds when lowered.
  • Layered swags – Multiple valances hung at varying heights.
  • Jabot – Cascades of gathered fabric strips form festive tails.
  • Cornice – Encloses shade hardware in a smooth-faced frame.

Swag curtain tops bring a chic touch of elegance to luxury spaces.

Length and Layering

Proper curtain length ensures good coverage:

  • Floor or sill length for privacy
  • Puddled curtains gathered on floor for drama
  • Cafe-style ending midway down window best for shorter drapes

Layering allows options:

  • Sheer overlay – Filters light while maintaining views
  • Blackout underlayer – Darkens fully when drawn
  • Separates provide control over privacy, light, views

Layered cafe-length and full-length curtains allow flexible functionality in this corporate hotel space.

Special Considerations

Specific hotel spaces require unique curtain needs:

Entry and lobby: Sheer or light-filtering to maintain views while controlling glare. Light colors complement welcoming aesthetics.

Conference rooms: Full blackout shades for A/V presentations with optional liner or sheer overlay. Sound-dampening fabrics as needed.

Bedrooms: Total blackout curtains essential for guest comfort. Side panels cushions windows fully when drawn. Thermal materials help regulate temperatures.

Pools, gyms and public areas: Durability remains key over appearance. Moisture, chlorine, and chemical resistance ensures longevity. Easy cleaning and replacement also top priorities.

Closures and Hardware

Curtain closures and hardware also important:

  • Draw cords cheap but present safety issues for children. Risk of strangulation.
  • Wand pulls allow easy gliding control over opening and closing.
  • Automatic electric tracks convenient but expensive to install and maintain. Require hard-wiring.
  • Tie-backs secure drapes elegantly. Choose adjustable length for better functionality.

Look for commercial-grade hardware tested for longevity and weight loads for large curtains.

Maintenance Considerations

Proper hotel curtain maintenance preserves appealing look and extends lifespan:

  • Frequent but careful vacuuming keeps dust and dirt from embedding into fibers
  • Steam clean every 6 months eliminates odors and brightens colors
  • Immediate stain treatment prevents set-in grease, food and cosmetic spots
  • Replace faded or frayed panels promptly to uphold aesthetic

Work with business textile cleaning services as volume often exceeds in-house capabilities.

Sourcing Hotel Curtains

Many venues utilize curtain wholesalers for volume purchases at discounted rates. These companies understand large-scale hospitality needs:

  • Durability to withstand commercial use and cleaning
  • Flame retardant and other safety compliance
  • Volume ordering and bulk discounts
  • White glove delivery and setup

While such specialists streamline procurement, evaluate in-room options when sourcing lobby or other small accent spaces. Mock up spaces when possible to assess real-world aesthetics before installing.

Key Takeaways

  • Hotels select curtains balancing aesthetics, privacy, light control and durability
  • Commercial fabrics like polyester withstand frequent use and cleaning
  • Features like pinch pleats, blackout weaves and thermal materials aid functionality
  • Proper length and layering delivers flexible privacy and temperature control
  • Commercial suppliers offer hospitality-grade curtains tested for safety and longevity

Careful curtain selection and maintenance upholds guest comfort while supporting operational efficiency. Leverage textile specialists early in new builds or renovations to source appropriate solutions.


The curtains selected by hotels must serve dual purposes. Guest rooms demand solutions addressing privacy, light control and sleep comfort. Public areas require durable, easy-to-maintain solutions appropriate to the space aesthetic. By balancing decorative appeal and reliability hotel curtains deliver guest satisfaction while maintaining efficient operations. Proper regular maintenance preserves curtain lifespan while upholding a consistent brand image across guest touchpoints.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What fabrics are best for hotel curtains?
    Polyester is the best hotel curtain fabric for its durability, easy cleaning, wrinkle resistance and ability to hold pleats. Other good options include polyester blends and occasionally natural fibers like linen in specific applications.

  2. Should hotel curtains be floor length?
    For bedrooms floor length or sill length curtains provide the best privacy and light control. In public spaces shorter cafe-style curtains allow better visibility while managing glare. Install separate sheers behind for light filtering and privacy options.

  3. Do hotels use blackout curtains?
    Yes, bedrooms require blackout curtains for restful sleep by blocking outdoor light. Opt for triple weaves with tight construction or install separate blackout liners for maximum darkness. Some locales may mandate fully opaque window coverings.

  4. What are the most cost effective hotel curtains?
    Polyester pinch pleat drapes prove both attractive and affordable at scale. Nylon also resists wear-and-tear well for a lower price point. Start early sourcing from textile wholesalers specializing in hospitality and volume orders.

  5. How often should you clean hotel curtains?
    Vacuum gently every 1-2 months avoiding damage. Professionally steam clean every 6 months to sanitize and brighten. Spot clean immediately as needed. Replace panels showing obvious dirt, damage or wear for consistent appeal.

  6. What curtain hardware works best for hotels?
    Look for quiet ball-bearing carriers supporting smooth draws. Corded pulls pose safety risks so favor wand attachments able to open and close with light pressure instead. Sturdy commercial-grade metals withstand repeated handling without sagging over time.

  7. Should hotel lobby curtains be different?
    Lobbies demand attractive but durable curtain solutions. Favor moisture and fade resistant fabrics in lighter colors complementing the overall aesthetic. Control daylight and visibility with sheers behind heavier panels if needed. Prioritize easy cleaning with steam or chemical sanitization.

  8. What window treatments bring an upscale look?
    Layered swags, jabots and cascades create an elegant façade when stacked atop basic panels. Choose opulent fabrics like faux silks or velvets in rich colors. Upscale topper elements only enhance underlying blackout and temperature control functionality.

  9. Where should hotels buy lobby curtains?
    For large or complex installations leverage specialists in hospitality textiles. Small accent spaces can source more boutique in-room décor solutions if they meet durability needs. When mocking up spaces preview both options before finalizing orders. This confirms selections achieve the envisioned aesthetic before installing.

  10. What are the best hotel blackout curtains?
    Opt for polyester curtains with triple weaves or blackout linings to completely block light. Side panels further minimize light gaps. Consider automated tracks to ensure housekeeping closes them properly daily.

  11. Do hotel curtains need to be flame retardant?
    Yes, nearly all commercial curtains should meet safety standards like NFPA 701 or CAL 117 to reduce flammability. Most hospitality-focused vendors only offer fire-rated fabrics meeting local codes.

  12. What curtain rods work best in hotels?
    Look for sturdy box steel rods able to span wide window openings without sagging over time. For widths exceeding 144 inches, center supports and heavier gauges prevent long-term bending.

  13. Should you put curtains in hotel gyms?
    Yes, install moisture-resistant curtains in hotel fitness spaces to control glare on TVs without fully blocking outside views that enhance the atmosphere. Clean frequently to limit sweat and body oil buildup.

  14. What fabrics stand up to sea air?
    Acrylic resists salt air degradation better than cotton or linen. Faux silk also endures well with proper maintenance. Avoid velvet unless fully sheltered since humidity causes faster breakdown in oceanfront locations.

  15. What length curtains should you use over beds?
    For guest privacy and sleeping comfort, hotel bed curtains should puddle generously onto the floor. Extra length also allows adjustment for future mattress changes over time as needed.

  16. Should conference room blackout shades darken fully?
    Yes, ensure any conference or multipurpose space has 100% blackout abilities for presentations. Layer independent blackouts behind separate sheers if some ambient light is occasionally preferred.

  17. Is it better to layer separate curtain panels?
    Layering proves more functional for hotels than single curtains when space allows. Sheers filtered sunlight while blackouts darken entirely when needed. Cafe lengths maintain visibility while still managing glare as needed.

  18. Should you put curtains across hotel door windows?
    Yes, address privacy concerns in entry doors and interior windows connecting public corridors with appropriate coverings. Match durability and aesthetics to room curtains rather than less durable sliding panels.

  19. What automated curtains work for hotels?
    Electric track systems switch transparent privacy glass from clear to opaque on demand while withstanding continual use. Systems carrying heavier layered drapes require industrial motors durable enough for frequent operation.

  20. Do back of house hotel areas need window treatments?
    Staff areas need durability over aesthetics. Blackout and insulated panels should still install correctly with proper hardware. Focus budget on public zones instead while ensuring employee windows function properly.

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