Guide for Choosing the Best Hotel Window Treatments
It can be quite a large decision when you decide on the best hotel window treatments. You have many different rooms with windows and you want the window coverings to look nice, be easy to keep up and long-lasting while also matching each other in colors or types.
Hotels, motels and inns always have some sort of window coverings over the windows to block out light and provide privacy for the occupants inside. There is a huge assortment to choose from including different types of blinds, shades and draperies.
What are Window Treatments?
Window treatments are any type of window covering that lies on the inside of a window. They can be opened and closed, making them functional for the occupants to allow light and warmth into the room from the window or they can be shut to provide them with total privacy. Most hotel window treatments will block all the light when closed because many times travelers may be sleeping in the daytime and need total darkness to sleep.
Top 6 Types of Hotel Window Treatments
Any type of window treatment that is functional works well for a hospitality business, such as a hotel or inn. You can choose from window blinds, roller blinds, Venetian blinds, Roman blinds, vertical blinds and Austrian blinds. In the window shades style, you can choose from window shades, fabric shades and wooden shades. Draperies have always been popular in this type of business as well as blackout styles. Shutters and window screens are also a popular choice for hotels.
#1. Window Blinds
Window blinds are basically any window covering that has slats in it and is operable. Possibly still the most common is the mini blind with 1 or 2 inch slats. A person can open or close them fully or partially with a string cord in the oldest style. Newer versions include a continuous loop cord, a wand control or cordless options, all of which provide child and pet safety as they can’t become entangled in a dangling cord and be injured. The older style with the cord can also be unsightly when the cord hangs up and the blinds don’t open as they should but instead are higher on one end than the other is. The best bet in window blinds are the cordless models that boast easy operation. To open or close them, you simply grasp the bottom rail in the center and raise it upward to open the blinds or pull it downward to lower the blinds. Mini blinds are pretty simple to clean. After someone checks out of their room housekeeping just passes a micro fiber duster across the horizontal slats to wipe away any dust.
Roller blinds are any type of window treatment that has some sort of material that covers the window. They operate by a spring tensioned clutch mechanism at the top to hold the fabric in the location you desire. You can operate them in the same manner as a cordless mini blind by grasping the bottom rail in the center to raise and lower them. When you raise them roller blinds wind the fabric sheet up onto the roller at the top of the window and when they are completely closed, they appear as a sheet of fabric. You can choose from a multitude of types of fabric to suit your particular needs.
Venetian blinds are made basically in the same manner as mini blinds and the slats may be made of aluminum or wood. In comparison to mini blinds, Venetian blinds slats are wider and they give you tilting options in both directions, unlike the mini blind that will only tilt to the inside. The slats are suspended by a specialty designed ladder cord that keeps the spacing between the slats equal down the length of the window blinds. You can raise or lower them with a cord or by hand on the cordless styles and you can also tilt the slats to have perfect control over the lighting in a room. Venetian blinds give you great light, glare and temperature control when you tilt the slats. On a bright day, you can tilt the slats backward toward the window to deflect the bright light and heat but allow light into the room. On a dim day, you can tilt the slats in the other direction to let in as much light and warmth as possible all while still maintaining some privacy.
Roman blinds also include a sheet of fabric that covers the windows. However, they have many different styles that look different when they are raised or lowered. The flat Roman shade appears as a flat piece of fabric when it is down; however, when you lift it, it shows folds which stack at the top of the window. The knife pleat Roman shade has horizontal pleats that show when it’s open and closed for some extra style. The soft fold style has deep folds that show when the blind is up as well as down for the type of Roman blind with the most interest. Roman shades can be opened and closed with a string cord or they may also be cordless and operate by lifting or lowering them with the bottom rail by hand.
Vertical blinds are available in an assortment of colors and they work well on larger windows. Horizontal blinds can be so heavy on a wide or tall window that the lifting mechanism may wear out prematurely. However, vertical blinds were actually created so that the blinds don’t lift, but instead slide sideways to open and close which reduces the total weight on each of the slats to only it’s actual weight and not the weight of the entire horizontal blind. Vertical blinds can also tilt or open or close fully or partially to control your light and aid in privacy. You can choose to have the stack of slats on either side of the window or in the middle of the window.
Austrian blinds are actually a bit of a misnomer as they are actually made of fabric like draperies and curtains. They are very full and made twice the width of a window with the extra fabric in the length forming scallops on the bottom for a beautiful and loved appearance. To raise this type of window covering it is pulled up from the bottom to the top with cords that are attached on the back or rear of the fabric. When raised or lowered, Austrian blinds have beautiful scallops. This type of window covering is also commonly called balloon drapery.
#2. Window Shades
Window shades are any type of window covering made of materials on a continuous roll to cover the window opening. They are considered a soft window treatment instead of a hard window treatment such as blinds. You can choose any type of material you wish for your window shades. They are also a type of roller shade too.
When choosing fabric window shades for your hotel windows, you have the greatest amount of choices that you could possibly choose from. You can choose light and airy fabrics, thick and luxurious fabrics or anywhere in between. There are literally thousands of colors, patterns and trim that can be added to your fabric shades. You operate them by cords or they may have a spring device at the top just like a roller shade.
Wooden shades are actually woven wood shades that are created by combining bamboo and other grasses and reeds into a single sheet of material for a window shade. They are attractive and are a natural alternative to other types of window shades. You can choose from a large variety of colors and color combinations and you can add decorative accents such as banding to add style and texture to any room. This type of window treatment usually opens with a string cord or they may be cordless for safety purposes.
Draperies give you the same advantage as other fabric and soft types of window treatments–you have thousands of choices of fabric and a huge amount of styles as well. Most hotel windows use two drapery panels per window so they can be pushed aside and allow the maximum amount of view or closed completely in the middle for a privacy window. You can also add so much style and flair with draperies panels with the addition of valances, cornices, tiebacks, and trim.
#4. Blackout Liners
A blackout liner is sewn into the rear of draperies to block all sun and light from entering windows. This is a great idea for customers who need to sleep during the day or in an area where there are bright lights at night. Blackout fabric is a foam-backed opaque fabric that blocks out all light. You can choose any type of draperies you love, even if the fabric is thin and add a blackout liner to achieve total darkness in your hotel rooms.
Shutters are a versatile window covering as you can tilt the slats for some light, open them by swinging them outward to the edges of the window where they are secured, or close them entirely. Wood and faux wood shutters add immediate elegance to any setting and they last for many years. They are durable and look amazing in hotel rooms.
#6. Window Screens
Another great window treatment for hotel and inn rooms is to enlist help from solar screens. They have different levels of openness to block different levels of light. Openness refers to a screen fabric and it controls how much view, sun and glare you have from a window. In a hotel room, it is most common to choose a smaller openness percent of perhaps 3% to 5% to let less light in and make a room darker. It also creates a great privacy screen as well.
Keep in mind that some window treatments of choice may need more maintenance in the way of keeping them clean. Draperies need to be taken down and washed (if the fabric is washer and dryer safe) which leads to a lot more time than simply wiping down window blinds or shades. The more light you can keep out of your windows in the rooms, the longer your furnishings will last before they start to fade, such as carpeting, bedding and furniture as well as artwork on the walls. Less protection from the sun will cost you more in the way of replacing furnishings, more expensive heating and cooling bills and those things can really add up. Choose your hotel window treatments based on the comparison of all of your choices above for the best individual results for your location.