ONCE UPON a time a
hotel bed was just that - a bed. But that was in the far distant past. Now it seem every hotel guest is like the princess and the pea - looking for the slightest lump. In response hotels have gone crazy with pillow menus; sleep inducing oils nod of course -the custom hotel bed.
Now Fours Seasons has come up with the next generation of super bed. With the launch this month (March) of the industry's first 'fully customisable sleep experience': The Four Seasons Bed.
Not just a pillow menu any more but a bed menu. This doesn't mean that they'll haul in your four poster of choice on arrival but you do have a list of mattress and pillow options that go on and on...in fact counting them is probably more effective than counting sheep zzzzzzzzzzzz.
Apparently the Four Seasons 'personalise' their sleep during every stay. In partnership with leading bed manufacturer Simmons Four Seasons have developed a system which offers each guest a choice of three different levels of firmness mattress-wise, along with a variety of pillows and bedside amenities.
As one of those people who can sleep in any hotel bed, I find the preponderance of pillow puff talk and mattress obsession a little well, indulgent, but it seems I am in the minority.
A Sleep Survey conducted by Ipsos in late 2013 among hotel travellers from the US, Great Britain, Russia and China it was found that 92% of respondents expressed distinct preferences on the firmness of a bed, and 43% of Brits reported that a poor night's sleep in a hotel has had a negative impact on their vacation.
'Everyone has different sleep needs, but the desire for a good night's rest is a universal passion. That's why we're making it as easy as possible to fully customise the sleep experience when you stay with Four Seasons.' says Chris Hunsberger, Executive Vice President, Product and Innovation, Four Seasons.
According to Diane Kalczak VP of Design for Four Seasons the hotel doesn't merely produce rooms but 'sleep temples'. 'The bed is the fundamental aspect of the room so we start with that and work the rest around it'.
The Four Seasons' new bed is already in place in several locations in the US, and will replace beds at all the hotel group's locations over the next few years. Travellers can contact individual Four Seasons properties in advance of their next visit to enquire about the availability of the new bed.
As with other extravagant bed choices the new Four Seasons Bed will also be available for purchase along with a full array of pillows and bed linens.
Four Seasons have also devoted a fun part of their website to all things
including myths about a good night's sleep and bedtime behaviours around the world. For example, in Greece sugared almonds under the pillow help you dream about who you will marry and in China feng shui dictates that you should sleep with your feet away from the door.
Four Seasons have also partnered with Kelly Walden ,a dream specialist, in a twitter campaign to help you decode your dreams. (
What is my hotel sleep tip - always carry a good book to read in bed. It seems I am not alone, the survey also found that the top bedtime ritual in Great Britain, at 36%, is reading a good book
In the Ipos survey 30% of Brits also wish they could make their bed at home the same way it's made in a hotel. Now there I agree to me any
five star hotel bed offers bliss and I have never been able to reproduce the luxury of sinking into a decent hotel bed at home.
Laurence D'Anonn 1/3/14