Guests visiting Coconut Court for a special occasion often get an extra treat. Where time allows, room attendants bring their artistic talents to bear and create beautiful designs using simple towels. Swans, hearts, baskets and birthday cakes are among the varied shapes that Coconut Court staff have created over the years.
For the staff, the main reward is the reaction of the guests. “I really enjoy doing it,” said Sandra, who has worked at Coconut Court for 15 years. “Especially when you see the expression on the guests’ faces.” Matching the design to the guest... Sandra tries to match the design with what she thinks a particular guest might like. “I try to observe the guests and have a think about what they might like. Once you know who it is, you can choose the right colour flowers to go with the decoration. On one occasion, I wasn't sure if a design was for a man or a woman - I just knew there was a birthday in the room.
"So when I discovered it was for a lady, I made a heart with a small basket decorated with burgundy coloured flowers.” Based on origami? Towel art is thought to be based on origami, the 17th century Japanese paper folding techniques. Sandra’s favourite shape is the basket, which is easier to move off the bed. “The guests then keep it on a table and it will last for the time they are staying – and I can change the flowers or even the towels.” Her colleague Maria is self-taught and picked up a lot of the skills from watching YouTube videos.
Maria puts the finishing touches to a design.
Her favourite shapes are swans and birthday cakes. "I love just watching the face of the guests when they see them. They're so excited!"