What is it about a hotel bed that makes us feel relaxed and sure that we are going to get a great sleep? Is it the crisp white linens, the fluffy duvets, bouncy pillows or just knowing that someone else is making the bed? Hotels go out of their way to make our stay as comfortable as possible.
When the Dean Hotel opened during the recession on Harcourt Street, Dublin’s clubbing zone, they knew that bedrooms had to be special to tempt people to stay. They bought the best Irish made mattresses, the King Koil 7th Heaven, for the bespoke bed-frames and teamed them with soft linens and fluffy pillows.
Power showers, Marshall sound systems and a selection of vinyl, Nespresso machines, fully stocked mini Smeg fridges and lots of Irish snacks completed the treats.
“People often comment about the beds,” said Brian Davern, General Manager of the Dean. “They ask where to buy them and also the lamps, toiletries, pillows, turntables, records, people love our rooms,” he said.
Westin Hotels felt so strongly about the importance of a good bed that they designed their own, the Heavenly Bed. Months of testing hundreds of mattresses, sheets, pillows, and at one stage getting staff to sleep in a ballroom on a variety of beds, the Heavenly Bed was developed. It is so successful that Westin have sold thousands to customers since.
The most expensive makeover of a hotel happened at Ashford Castle when Red Carnation Hotels’ President Beatrice Tollman spared no expense in transforming it. With her famed attention to detail, Mrs Tollman kept many of the original bespoke four-poster beds and Victorian hand-carved mahogany frames. The mattresses were custom made for Ashford by Respa of Oldcastle. The embroidered linens are exclusively made for Ashford by Exclusive Linens in the UK and are 300-thread count.
At Castlewood House, Dingle, awarded the best hotel for romance this year by Tripadvisor, it is Irish all the way for owners Helen and Brian Heaton. The 12 rooms have King Koil beds and this year they have replaced all the mattress toppers with even thicker and more luxurious ones from Lissadell, now Lissadell Liddell Ltd. Expect to pay from €100 – €300 for mattress toppers, depending on filling,
“We always order our Egyptian cotton sheets from Murrays in Charleville, and our towels and bathrobes from Lissadell,” said Helen. Murray’s Textiles of Charleville has been supplying the Irish hospitality industry with linens from around the world for over 100 years.
In Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa, Ruth McCarthy said “we are definitely aware of the importance and value of a good night’s sleep - We buy our beds from RESPA (who are based in Meath) and we hire the linen from Kings Laundry which is also an Irish company. We use 300 thread count linen, and duvets rather than blankets. We chose feather over microfibre.
Inchydoney supply Elemis Quiet Mind Pillow Mist and an Elemis Quiet Mind Temple Balm among the toiletries in bedrooms. Guests also benefit from the fresh sea air at Inchydoney.
Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa believes in the saying that “Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together”, so they try to ensure all guests receive the best night’s sleep possible during their stay.
Beds are custom made with Sealy mattresses that are 200cm x 200cm in size, bigger than usual. Bed toppers are custom made by the German Hanse Company as well as the 300-thread count linens.
A “Good night’s sleep” turndown service is available on request and this includes a lavender pillow mist along with creamy lip balm. The pillow menu offers a wide range of pillows from foam to feather to down Feather.
When Frank and Mary Slattery proprietors of Carrig Country House in Killorglin were travelling in Kerala, India some years ago, they found the perfect bed for their presidential suite.
Their host in Kerala, Bibi Baskin took them to an extraordinary furniture warehouse in Fort Kochi where they found a beautifully carved four-poster Maharaja’s bed. Several months later the bed turned up in Kerry. “It cost as much to ship the bed as we paid for it,” said Frank, “but well worth it”.
They were able to get a King Koil six foot mattress to fit it exactly and designed the canopy drapes in an Indian style. It must be the only hotel in Ireland with a Maharaja’s bed and “everyone who sleeps in it loves it,” said Frank.
The ultimate sleep experience has not yet come to Ireland but the nine square metre all white cabins in the Yotel Air Hotels are all about luxury sleep comfort. The newest to open is airside in Terminal 2E at Paris CDG airport.
The Signature Serta gel mattresses are specially made and convert from a sofa to a bed at the touch of a button. Just as well as the rooms have no chairs as the bed is your relaxation zone.
Linens are luxury cotton with big plump microfibre pillows and duvets; mood lighting creates the atmosphere to enjoy the smart TV. The rooms are very quiet and dark for a good sleep. Rates are from €75 for four hours and €115 for overnight, yotel.com.
If you would like your bed to feel like a five-star hotel bed, then buy the beautiful Francis Brennan-designed linens from Dunnes Stores. The proprietor of The Park Hotel Kenmare is an expert in quality bedding. “I could not believe how quickly the linens sold out. Two months supply was gone in ten days,” he said. The 300-thread Egyptian set of sheets for a king size bed will cost from €200.
Francis will have two new ranges for spring, a plain white with pin tucks and a grey-bordered range. King size pillows will also be joining the range, apparently they are hard to get and will be made by Northern Feather in Westport.
Panel -Which hotels have what beds and sleep comforts
W Hotels call their mattresses “Do Not Disturb” and also supply cashmere throws and downy pillows.
Marriott have Sleep Number Beds in many of their hotels. You can adjust the firmness of the mattress by using the dial on the side.
Ritz Carlton provides upscale plush beds with specialist coil technology and feather toppers. Enhance your sleep with 800-thread count sheets.
Four Seasons Hotels has three types of mattress topper to make your stay comfortable. They are Signature, Plush which is extra soft and Firm.
The Benjamin Hotel, New York takes sleep seriously and has a Sleep Team to help guests settle down. There is a sleep menu with special bedtime snacks, ten pillows to choose from and on-demand meditation podcasts.
In London Dukes Hotel has launched the “Beditation” Butler, a mindful room service. Get help to sleep with herbal teas, specialised podcasts and playlists, breathing exercises and a Floris candle for £45.