Luxury hotels can go to great lengths to be in the best location, to offer the most interesting interior design and up-to-date in-room technology, the finest restaurants and the best concierge service but, if the guest’s quality of sleep doesn’t at least equal what they have in their own home, the hotel could well have totally missed the point. Beginning with the Westin’s now famous Heavenly Bed, introduced in 1999, hotel chains have been gradually introducing new concepts in sleep comfort.
The Westin Group’s Heavenly Beds are promoted as containing ’10 layers of comfort’. Westin claims the bed came about after research was conducted on 50 bed types from 35 hotel chains – representative of all the major hotel groups and select luxury and boutique hotels worldwide. Its aim was to find the most comfortable aspect of each bed. ‘Ten layers of comfort’ is a pillow-top mattress with a fitted sheet, a flat sheet with a down blanket, followed by a middle sheet and duvet. This is then topped off with five pillows (two feather, two acrylic and one decorative).
The advantage for the luxury traveller of the Heavenly Bed concept is that it’s standardised across Westin hotels, so if you’re the kind of traveller for whom your next day is ruined if you haven’t managed sufficient quality of sleep the night before, then booking a Heavenly Bed (if there is one) at your next destination will at least give you that assurance. Travellers can also purchase the components of their Westin Heavenly Bed online… including the mattress!
Hotel pillow menus are increasingly offered at luxury hotels across the world. Guests at many InterContinental hotels worldwide, for example, may choose from options including down and feather, firm or soft, adjustable oval pillows, latex, body pillows, buckwheat pillows and contour pillows.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is one of the most luxurious hotel chains in the world and late last year, the group created the first fully customisable hotel bed in conjunction with one of the United States’ oldest bed manufacturers, Simmons. As the concept is rolled out across the globe, Four Seasons guests will be able to choose from three different mattress toppers to achieve their preferred level of firmness, along with a range of pillow options. The mattress itself has gel foam technology designed to absorb extra heat, with the aim of ensuring the sleeper’s body temperature stays at an optimum level for quality sleep.
Meanwhile, Hotel Luxury Collection, a Sydney-based manchester and homewares company, has understood that sometimes hotel beds actually exceed the level of comfort the guest has managed to achieve at home in their own beds. More than 25 years ago the company began retailing five-star hotel bedding (and other homewares) direct to the consumer, offering sheets, blankets and throws, valances and other furnishings from brands such as Palazzo Versace.
Those for whom a good night’s sleep is critical to the success of a holiday will be pleased to know that hotel chains are onto it and can expect to see more bedding options rolling out over the next few years. And for those who are finding their hotel stay more comfortable than their at-home sleep experience, there is a way to replicate the five-star feeling through Hotel Luxury Collection and the Westin online store.
Some of the bedding options available through Hotel Luxury Collection