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What to take that is not provided at hotels

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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What to take that is not provided at hotels

Please give me your input on this. We will be going to London and Paris for the first time in May. I've read that wash cloths are not provided in most hotels. Is that correct? Also read that we should plan on taking some soap-----all things you wouldn't think to take to a hotel in the US. We are staying at the Premier Inn Victoria in London and Hotel Bonaparte in Paris. My brother tells me that there are no drain stoppers either. I have no idea what to expect, but I know we don't want to buy a bunch of essentials when we are there. We also read that most showers with a tub have no curtain and the whole bathroom gets soaked. Anyone have any experience with this? Thanks for all your help in advance!

Paris, France
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1. Re: What to take that is not provided at hotels

Washcloths are not common anywhere I've been in Europe. I usually take a couple of old ones with me.

For the specifics you may want to check with your hotels. I can't imagine that they wouldn't supply soap. I don't mind the shower over the tub, as I prefer taking baths. Are their pictures of the bathrooms on the hotel website?

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2. Re: What to take that is not provided at hotels

Blimy, you must think that Europe is out of the ark, or something!! ;-)

True wash cloths are not commonly used here, so if you can't manage without, bring some.

Otherwise, what is provided depends on the individual hotels, so check direct with any that you book.

Budget chains tend to provide towels, but not much else.

You do not have to go out of your way in either Paris or London to find shops selling the necessaries for your ablutions, if anything you require is missing....

Eg Monoprix/Franprix are pretty much everywhere in Paris

Tesco Metro and Boots are pretty much everywhere in London...

I have not been in an Hotel that does not have a shower curtain or cubicle divider in either country, unless the room is designed as a "wet room", but yes I guess you could find that in some places.

Victoria, Canada
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3. Re: What to take that is not provided at hotels

A lot depends on the hotel.. most I have stayed at in Paris have provided soap, sometimes those small bars, and sometimes a liquid dispenser in shower/tub, but I suppose in a very budget property soap may not be provided.. I tend to always have tons of those mini bars provided by other hotels in my house so just throw a few in my suitcase just in case, but I can't remember the last time I needed to use one. Better safe then sorry I suppose.

Washcloths are not as commonly provided, I don't use them so never think about it much.

I think in your case rather then asking us you could easily ask the hotels since you already have them booked, most hotel websites have a "contact us" , so just contact them.

As for the shower curtain thing, that also varies. I have stayed in hotels with shower booths, so of course glass doors that completely enclose it, but I have also stayed in hotels where the tub has half shower walls, and yes, floors get wet. The reason is most Europeons use hand held showers sitting down, if that type I mean.. It helps if you read the hotel reviews on this website , many people will mention details like that.

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: What to take that is not provided at hotels

I have never in 50 years of travel in Europe NOT had soap provided. Usually there is also shampoo. Sometimes it is the same thing i.e. 'shower gel' used for both purposes. Soap is often a tiny tiny tablet of soap rather than the more generous bars provided in the US, but there is always soap. I usually throw a small bar of deodorant soap into my dop kit (often one I picked up at a US hotel) because those soaps are not available in France. When going to an apartment I pack a full size bar. But France of course has wonderful soaps for those who like fancy soap so this is just my quirk. You can also buy all of these things in a local shop (except the dial type soap) if you should find yourself with out. I would not worry about toiletries like these. In France and England you can buy the same shampoos and conditioners and such that you can in the US.

And yes, most hotels and apartments do not provide wash clothes; we always throw a few raggedly old washclothes into the luggage that we can just discard when we are done with the trip.

Re showers and baths. I have never had a bathtub without a stopper of some sort. If you did have one, you could acquire a stopper at a local shop if the hotel could not provide one. It was once very common especially in Italy for the shower to be the bathroom without a curtain and things did get wet. Usually now there is a curtain, or at least a partial plexiglass wall or a stall with doors. I have not had a shower in a hotel without some sort of containment device for several years. Some are better than others of course.

But most of all. There is nothing you would need that you could not get on arrival if you discovered you needed it, so don't haul tub stoppers and such -- just go pick one up if it becomes necessary. You can even buy washclothes although they are easy to take with. In France the terry cloth bath mitt is popular and my husband likes to bring those back since they are less available in the US; so if we forget to throw in the raggedy wash clothes, I just go buy a couple of nice mitts that match his bathroom and get those and then we take them home.

The one item that is actually slightly difficult to acquire is the plug adapter since the more commonly available one for European travelers helps them make the opposite transition that we do. So do take 2 or 3 plug adapters for Europe to US style plugs. They cost about $3 and take up no space.

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5. Re: What to take that is not provided at hotels

< I've read that wash cloths are not provided in most hotels. Is that correct? >

No. Some smaller hotels may not provide them as it is assumed to be a personal item (like a toothbrush), and that you may want to bring your own. Chain hotels normally do provide them. Certainly, the Premier Inns I have stayed in in the UK provide face flannels.

< Also read that we should plan on taking some soap >

I can't imagine any hotel not providing soap.

< My brother tells me that there are no drain stoppers either >

Baloney. In France and some other countries, baths and washbasins often have fixed plugs which are raised and lowered with a lever, instead of a rubber stopper on a chain.

< We also read that most showers with a tub have no curtain and the whole bathroom gets soaked. >

Nonsense. I suppose you may encounter a shower with no curtain or cubicle, but I can't remember ever seeing one except in a "wet room", as described by EssexWanderer.

San Francisco...
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6. Re: What to take that is not provided at hotels

re stoppers: Basins and tubs will have the kind of lever stopper described above. But to prevent overflow (and possibly to discourage guests rinsing out laundry in the room), the stops in many basins allow the basin to be filled but will not hold water. I.e., you can draw a basin full of water, but it will slowly drain out even though the stopper is fully in the down position. (A plastic bag with which to line the sink works well in this instance. :) )

Le Bugue, France
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7. Re: What to take that is not provided at hotels

Gosh, London and Paris are hardly part of the developing world!

I have probably spent 2,000 nights in European hotels. The only time I can ever remember not having soap was the time we failed to plan adequately and ended up in Mora, Spain, in what appeared to be a miserable rent-a-room-by-the-hour rooming house. The only time I encountered one of those bathrooms with a shower than soaks the floor was 15 years ago in a hotel on Lake Maggiore. Never once had a tub or sink without a stopper.

Washcloths are not standard because, as someone noted, they're considered a personal item. I don't use them so never notice.

If by some chance your hotels are deplorably undereqipped, both cities have stores galore where you can purchase whatever you need.

Edited: 09 April 2013, 16:11
Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: What to take that is not provided at hotels

I always take my own shampoo and conditioner because some hotels provide a product which says it is a shampoo and conditioner in one, which it isn't

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9. Re: What to take that is not provided at hotels

Our Paris hotel has a bathroom with a full tub and a hand-held 'shower' nozzle/wand... there is no partition or curtain. If standing to 'bathe', you must learn to wet yourself with the nozzle spraying toward the wall and downward. Put it down, then lather up, pick it up and rinse off. I find it easier to wash hair by sitting in the tub to lean over with the nozzle spraying down on my head. Even my husband has mastered the technique of 'showering' without getting the floor wet.

p.s. this is not the only Paris hotel that we have been in that did not use a partition or a curtain around the tub.

los angeles
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10. Re: What to take that is not provided at hotels

If you want a washcloth, bring some. They are a personal item anyway. Even when they are provided in US hotels, think about where they've been . . .

I have been in a budget hotel in Paris where only a small bar of soap was provided (Hotel Emile). But I had brought with me a sample sized shampoo, so I was fine.

You can bring a few sample sized things if you want (mousse for hair, a conditioner or lotion that you like, etc), but it's convenient to go into any store in London or Paris and buy whatever you may want. If you require a special type of shampoo or product, bring it, of course, but buy it in a sample size (most drug stores and Bbed/bath places around here have a travel-size section). Otherwise, you can fill a small container with whatever it is you regularly use (as I said, special moisturizer or whatever). I am even finding special travel sizes of make up remover and the like at Sephora now.

You are staying in two mid-range hotels. I don't think you are going to run into many problems.

Edited: 09 April 2013, 17:38