Smart Design With Suzette: Hotel Style Bathrooms

Make your bathroom feel like a luxury hotel. Courtey photo
Los Alamos

My master bath is extremely small. Unless I want to tear down walls and move the laundry to another location, which I don’t want to do, I have to find ways to make my master bathroom luxurious. I work really hard and I want my lovely, small bath to be a place that will be an aesthetically pleasing, welcoming retreat…like a luxury hotel.

The bathrooms of first-class hotels are defined by their luxury, style and quiet elegance.

What makes a great bathroom is a well-considered combination of fixtures, lighting and amenities. Here is what I have learned and want to share with you.


The magic begins when you flick on the light. Complexions looks healthier, skin is smoother and younger looking.

The best type of lighting is layered. Layered lighting is very important for any room, but especially bathrooms. Because there are a wide variety of tasks done in a bathroom, (such as shaving, cleaning, grooming, applying makeup, and other general tasks), it is good to have layered lighting options designed for the specific needs of each task.

Examples of light layers in bathrooms include wall sconces alongside the mirror for face-based tasks to provide shadow-free lighting on the face, small chandeliers to provide general illumination, or even LED uplights installed in the shower for a unique take on task lighting in the shower.

Fluff it up. Courtesy photo

Think Fluffy

Resorts around the world are renowned for pampering their guests with the finest of everything and that starts with irresistibly soft textiles. To capture that decadent feeling at home, update your towels and bath rug first.

A soft, fluffy, neutral-colored towel goes a long way if you’re trying to turn your basic bathroom into a hotel-like oasis. Not sure which towels to buy? Good Housekeeping recommends Macy’s Hotel Collection. Also recommended are oversized bath sheets such as Grand Patrician Manor Towels or Tommy Hilfiger Luxury Towels, both are quite affordable.

A monogram is a staple of practically every luxe bathroom I’ve seen. Monogrammed bath towels are a no-brainer. For fun, monogram your “hotel” name like Hotel Wyman or The Roberts Resort on them.

For the ultimate in vacation comfort, warm your bath sheets on a heated towel rack. Towel warmers are easy to find online or even home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot.

Still have that decades-old dingy robe? It’s time to toss. Make sure you always have a fluffy bathrobe and slippers on hand. 

Upgrade Plumbing Fixtures

Install a Shower System. Whether it’s a steam shower, large rain showerhead, dual showerheads, hand held, or body sprays, a shower system is a must. The choice, depending on your budget and personal needs, is yours. Talk with a professional in a plumbing showroom who is well-versed in the latest technologies.

The vanity: focal point of a bathroom. Courtesy photo

Upgrade The Vanity

Whether your taste is traditional, modern or somewhere in between, your bathroom vanity should offer both style and function as the central focal point of your bathroom.

Examine different materials and style options and play around with color combinations to find the most luxurious possibilities for your new bathroom vanity.

Choose a mirror with personality to elevate your space to something far from basic. If you’re on a budget, browse flea markets and discount shops like HomeGoods for affordable mirrors.

Towel warmer. Courtesy photo


Have you noticed that almost every first-class hotel has a compact wall-mounted shelf for open towel storage? These are called hotel shelves or train racks, and they are a great option for accessible towel storage without taking up much space.

These clever shelves add the look and the convenience of an upscale hotel bath right in your own home. A good place for your shelf is over the toilet, around 5′ above the floor. It will be out of the way and you won’t have to worry about walking into it.

Clutter-free elegance. Courtesy photo

Details Matter

Hotels are relaxing partly because they are free of clutter. Take everything off your counter except hand soap, lotion and a vase with flowers. Replace mismatched containers with a refined set of porcelain canisters to store cotton balls, Q-tips and the like. A lovely silver jewelry box is a pretty and practical way to keep jewelry from piling up on your counter.

Quality toiletries are a must. So go ahead and treat yourself to luxurious bath products like Gilchrist & Soames featured at premier resorts around the world. They can be purchased on for a nominal cost. To display your toiletries, arrange them with care on an amenity tray. Now that’s luxurious.

Giving your bathroom a hotel feel is easily re-created in your own home by adding sleek accessories, fine toiletries, plush towels and rich fabrics. With a hotel-style bath, no need to travel far to achieve vacation-level relaxation. Now all you have to do is work on carving out some free time to enjoy it.

Feel free to contact Los Alamos Interior Designer Suzette Fox to suggest specific design topics or for help with your home. For more information, find her on Facebook at and on her website

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