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Beach towels, pool towels, cabana towels… whatever you call them, a nice, guest-pleasing set of “outside towels” are a must-have for your vacation rental or Airbnb this summer.

Yes, that’s right. We’ve put together an entire post about beach towels. Because they’re worth it.

Heck, even if you don’t have a vacation rental, but have a house full of kids and want to learn some tricks from us hospitality folks to save you from buying new beach towels all the time... read on.


First and foremost, beach towels protect your bath towels.

My vacation rental is in Princeville, Kauai, where beach trips are pretty much a given year-round. The last thing I want is for guests to grab my sparkling white bath towels on their way out the door.

Of course, beach towels aren’t just for the beach. If your rental or community has a pool, a lake, a river, a water park, or any other body of water within day-trip distance… then you’ll want to pick up a set of separate towels before Memorial Day.

Plus, stocking cabana beach towels (like I do) is more than just a preventative Their classic, life-of-leisure aesthetic is total eye candy! Stripes, chevrons, and fun colors differentiate beach towels from your standard white bath towels and add a resort vibe to any space.


Provide as many as your max occupancy, plus keep two extras per guest in your locked owner’s closet for easy replacement.

My Kauai rental sleeps six, so I leave six cabana-style beach towels out for guests and keep twelve in my locked closet, ready to go.

There are many reasons (which I’ll get to below) to purchase commercial beach towels instead of going for retail—and one is wholesale discounts!

If possible, I highly recommend purchasing a bulk order (I get 24 of them at a time) from your favorite supplier and simply replacing them as needed. I typically get three-four years out of each order.


Retail can be crapshoot. You fall in love with a product, then it disappears.

This happens with commercial hospitality suppliers, too, but with not nearly the same frequency. I’ve been buying my trusty blue-striped cabana beach towels from a hospitality supplier for 10 years now.

Simply put, working with a commercial hospitality supplier makes replacing (and maintaining your matching set) much easier. Hotels know this! And now you do, too.


It’s about to get pretty technical up in here. Because we’re nothing if not thorough!

Our friends at Down Etc. gave us the 411 about commercial towel absorbancy and GSM—that’s “grams per square meter.”

“The higher the GSM, the more luxurious the towel,” says Rebecca Litwin of Down Etc.

But don’t be fooled into thinking that heavier towel = more absorbent. “The type of cotton is just as important as the weight of the towel in determining absorbency,” says Litwin.  

Most towels range from 300 to 900 GSM per 10-18 pounds of towels. (If you buy your beach towels commercially, you’re likely familiar with purchasing by the pound.)  

Handy GSM Reference

300-400 GSM - Lightweight towels - excellent for fitness centers, pools, or those looking for quick laundry turns and economy pricing.

400-600 GSM -  Medium weight towels - mid-range beach and bath towels for vacation rental homes looking to provide a quality experience and good value.

600-900 GSM - Pure luxe towels - these towels require more money and time to launder, but will not disappoint your most discerning guests.

Another thing to consider? The fabric pile or “loops” in your towels that stand up from the foundation of the fabric.

Both single loop and double loop towels are absorbant. But single loop towels are quicker to dry, while double loop towels are more dense, absorbant and luxurious.

Cotton v. Blend Towels

Cotton is the most common fiber used for towels. This soft, fluffy fiber is naturally breathable and absorbent, as it allows air and water to pass through the yarns. Terry cloth is a fabric generally made from 100% cotton with loops that absorb lots of water.

Blend - A cotton and polyester blend towel will extend the life of your towel and decrease dry times, which is why many of the commercial suppliers provide them. In exchange, these towels may not feel as soft or be as absorbant as their 100% cotton counterparts.

Remember: beach towels are going to get some serious wear and tear. On top of that, plush, heavy towels take longer to dry—and on a back-to-back turnover, every minute counts. That’s why hotels—yes, even luxury hotels—most often use lighter, cotton-poly towels.


Commercial towels are designed to withstand tougher commercial laundering. At home, machine washing in warm water with like colors in a gentle cycle is recommended.

  • Avoid chlorine bleach - Only non-chlorine bleach should be used, when needed.
  • Avoid fabric softener—it can affect the towels absorbency.
  • Towels should be washed prior to use.
  • Tumble dry on a low setting.


As I said, my towels generally last three to four years. But don’t count on that being the case with yours!  

Like all of your linens, your beach/pool towels should be managed and inventoried at least twice a year and inspected every turn.  Here are the top things we look for when inspecting our towels:

  • Are they stained?
  • Are they becoming threadbare?
  • Have they lost their absorbancy?
  • Are they still soft?
  • Is there a lingering odor?


Below are my specific beach towel brand recommendations, which I’ve chosen to fit both single property owners and Airbnb hosts (who may just need a towel or two for replacement purposes) as well as property managers who include beach towels into their linen program.



TDG Recommends --->  Gobi Desert Pool Towels Use code TDG20 at check out for 20% off your entire purchase!

What We LOVE:  100% cotton, good price, hotel-quality and we are swooning over the Blue Atol!  


The Gobi Desert Pool Towel is a 100% cotton terry towel with a ¼” polyester stripe in either Blue Atol or Directoire Blue, both shades that clearly designate these towels for the beach.  The Gobi Desert Pool Towel falls somewhere in size between a bath towel and a bath sheet at 35”x68” with a weight of 15 LBS per dozen. GSM 369.

Down Etc., is a luxury provider of commercial linens and they work with boutique hotels across the US… so they know hospitality.

Are you a property manager or hotel looking to purchase pool towel wholesale? Contact Down Etc. directly at sales@downetc.com and ask for The Distinguished Guest’s special wholesale pricing.



TDG Recomments ---> Fibertone Lux Pool Towels

What We LOVE: luxury; good price; hotel-quality, and the chevron pattern is so charming—a modern take on a classic!


The Fibertone Lux Pool Towels by 1888 Mills feature the modern chevron pattern in a 86% cotton and 14% polyester blend to ensure durability and quick dry times. They’re completely bleach safe, too!  These towels measure 35” W X 70” L and weigh in at 21 lbs. per dozen. Their ring-spun cotton ensures softness, durability and absorbency. Fibertone is a patented color technology that will withstand fading or bleeding and will hold up to harsh chemicals and the sun’s rays. GSM 502.


TDG Recommends ---> Fibertone Pool Towel

What We LOVE:  Good towel for the value. Love the solid blue to identify pool/beach use, hotel-quality and a classic look. Imagine these stacked up in the bathroom ready to greet your guests! 


The Fibertone Woven-Pattern Pool Towels by 1888 Mills, in classic blue above, are also made from a 86% cotton and 14% polyester blend to ensure durability and quick dry times. Also completely bleach safe! They 30” W X 60” L and weigh in at 13 lbs. per dozen. These towels are made from ring-spun cotton to ensure softness, durability and absorbency. GSM 423.

aBundle, by American Hotel Register, is one of the largest hotel suppliers in the United States (and they’ve been around since the 19th century!). So they, too, know hospitality.

Are you a property manager looking to purchase pool towels wholesale?  Contact aBundle directly at sales@abundle.com and ask for The Distinguished Guest’s special wholesale pricing.

I hope we’ve helped you decide which beach/pool/cabana towels are right for you at your vacation rental and Airbnb. Happy summer…we’ll see you at the pool! (Or beach or lake or…)

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