If you “accidentally” stow a hotel bathrobe in your luggage, you’re not alone—the cozy wrappers are among the most common hotel items stolen by guests. Hotels report losing 20 per cent of their linens a month, and one can only imagine that number is on the rise as more accommodations eschew the conventional amenities of the past (like bulky, terrycloth robes that fit like circus tents) for increasingly sleek and customized loungewear. Our favourite robes are all available for purchase, but should you choose the old-fashioned five finger discount, at least be discerning. One size may fit all, but that doesn’t mean all hotel robes are created equal.
Texas design group Bunkhouse, led by founder and creative director Liz Lambert, runs hotels throughout the Lone Star State, each featuring its own homespun version of the kimono. Bunkhouse’s most brilliant rendition is a serape-striped kimono robe at El Cosmico, their hippie homestead in the heart of Marfa, Texas, an art pilgrimage of sorts where accommodations range from nouveau-nostalgic trailers to hip teepees. The cosmic robe, made of chino-weight cotton with a satin twill weave, is a fabulous departure from the continental classic. $180 (U.S.) at El Cosmico’s shop, El Cosmico Provision Company.
Still in Texas, San Antonio’s riverfront Hotel Emma is a charmed boutique with a robe befitting the city’s Latin roots. The blue pinstriped robes boast a smart shawl lapel, and are hand-tailored by Dos Carolinas, a local design company known for its guayaberas (a classic shirt worn by the men of the Yucatán and Cuba that’s relatively cool in the blazing sun). $180 (U.S.) at Hotel Emma’s shop, Curio.
Portland-born Ace Hotel—which recently opened a new location in New Orleans—pulled strings to secure Vancouver’s Wings+Horns as the designers of its custom robe in collaboration with Atelier Ace, the hotel’s in-house design team. Inspired by Ace Hotel’s NYC location, tethered to the city’s basement-boxing history (Gene Tunney, a heavyweight champion, headquartered in the building in the early 20th century), the robe is a cross between a classic hoodie and a throwback boxing robe. Made of French terry, it’s cinched with an obi-like belt. $160 (U.S.) at Ace Hotel Shop.
Chicago Athletic Association
Don’t throw in the towel just yet, another riff on the boxing robe triumphs at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel. Opened inside a historic building formerly home to a private men’s club, the hotel’s vibe remains sportsmanlike throughout its interiors. The bathrobe is a heavy number, lined in terrycloth with an embroidered back. Relax: It’s made for leisure, not athleisure. $150 (U.S.) at Chicago Athletic Association’s shop, Madison Hall.
Leave it to Toronto’s ultra-hip The Drake Hotel to school fellow hotels with its new Shared Fancy Robe. Canadian-made, the design is comfy but collegiate, with striped varsity jacket cuffs to ensure its slim sleeves stay snug. If you can score one of Drake Devonshire’s coveted thirteen rooms this winter, this robe should keep you cozy while you overlook an icy Lake Ontario—of course, some Prince Edward County wine might keep you toasty, too. $178 at Drake General Store.
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