Five-star resort spas ban slippers to take a load off environment

Spa resorts are telling customers to bring their own footwear as it is better for the environment
Spa resorts are telling customers to bring their own footwear as it is better for the environment - PeopleImages/E+

The days of lounging around in a white robe and comfy slippers at the spa may have come to an end as resorts are increasingly telling customers to bring their own footwear because it is better for the environment.

Several high-end resorts have told guests they will not be providing footwear in efforts to reduce waste, while Champneys has replaced its slippers with branded flip-flops – which it says guests can take home.

Guildford Manor Hotel & Spa in the Surrey Hills warns guests to “bring their own sandals/slippers as due to environmental concerns single-use slippers will no longer be provided.”

Meanwhile, SimpsInns, the owner of spas including The Gailes Hotel & Spa in Ayrshire, has advised guests to arrive with flip flops, because “as part of our commitment to reducing wastage, we no longer include slippers in our spa packages”.

Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa, a four-star hotel on the Wirral, stopped the supply of disposable slippers in June.

The Lilac Rooms, a spa at Dunston Hall Hotel, a four-star hotel in Norwich, Norfolk, has also blamed environmental concerns on an end to complimentary slippers. It tells guests that they can buy disposable flip-flops instead.

Improve sustainability credentials

The phenomenon means spa slippers are becoming the exclusive domain of five-star hotels. The spa at Corinthia London, near Trafalgar Square, reassures guests that it will provide “luxurious towels, robes, slippers and any amenities required for use”.

The spa at Edinburgh’s Balmoral hotel is continuing to offer slippers to guests.

The hotel industry has been under pressure to improve its sustainability credentials, while also facing pressure from rising costs.

Last year, more than 500 travel companies from around the world signed the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, which aims to halve emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

Hotels which remove the offering risk the wrath of guests who associate slippers with a luxury stay.

Guests reviewing spas on TripAdvisor describe being “utterly appalled” not to be provided with slippers.

However, those who continue to offer them have been rewarded. One recent guest at The Londoner Hotel, a five-star spa hotel, wrote that they “loved the super fluffy slippers to take home”.