Embrace your guests and create a cosy cocoon to bestow the ultimate sleep experience. Guests pay you to have quality slumber and the measure of how good they feel the morning after can make or break your accommodation.
Therefore, you must find that ‘sweet spot’ between price, luxury, on-trend design, comfort and durability. It’s not just about a quality bed but delightful linens as well.
Providing a comfortable guest bed is deemed the most important element in an accommodation guest room. According to a 2014 Gallup survey, more than half of guests who stay in high-priced properties would pay more for a better bed. Among the respondents, a comfortable bed was most often named the number one feature of a hotel room, more than any other amenity, including internet access and helpful employees.
Some luxury hotels impress guests with customised mattresses: when guests check in at the Four Seasons, they can customise a bed, choosing from three different mattress toppers and a range of pillows. What’s more, each version regulates heat as well as having a coil system that helps minimise motion transfer.
Having a comfortable bed is crucial for the ultimate sleep experience but there is more to a good night’s sleep than simply beds.
The Westin (part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts) designers found that an all-white ‘heavenly’ bed created a ‘halo effect’, giving an impression that the room had been renovated. There began a trend towards all-white hotel beds – from a visual perspective guests distinguished a white bed as special, clean and luxurious, promising a full night’s rest.
Many luxury hotel brands now offer magnificent beds with clean, white, high thread count quality cotton bed linen as the primary feature in a hotel room, adding an accent colour for impact or to reinforce their brand.
Beyond the visual
The design trend in 2016 is likely to be a movement away from the crisp ‘white halo’ effect. Founders of Hill House Interiors, Jenny Weiss and Helen Bygraves told Hotelier Online, “Design is moving beyond the visual, it’s not just about having a great looking interior, it has to feel good too.”
Summing up the current trends for guest room style from a variety of top interior designers: look out for a colour shift towards natural hues, a connection to nature and the addition of an ethnic touch or rich accents. Texture is also important as variety evokes the senses.
Top Australian interior designer Steve Cordony told The LuxPad Online: “The next season’s hottest shade of dusty pink should be paired with neutral tones such as marble and timber, or with metallic such as copper. Metals are really a key trend this season, as are raw timbers and rattan. These natural textures are all about getting back to basics and then adding accents to layer your space.”
The importance of technology will also impact on guest room design. Diego Correa, interior designer also told The LuxPad Online: “The increased awareness of our responsibility for the health of our planet and the discreet omnipresence of technology will influence our interiors – bringing warmer colours, more natural materials and the widespread use of devices that will help to control in a more efficient way our resources.”
Designing an intelligent sleep space for your guest should be coherent, technically practical, comfortable and luxurious. But, according to Lorri Gibbins from industry supplier Britannia Textiles, creating a great first impression could be as simple as presenting your beds in a way that looks “inviting, classy and comfortable.”
Ticking the boxes
She believes that the triple sheeting system used in many hotels “ticks all the boxes” and this trend will continue to grow.
“For those unfamiliar with this concept, a sheet is laid as normal on top of the mattress, followed by a second sheet and then your blanket or duvet, topped off with a decorative top sheet. Everything is then tucked in. Many accessorise with a throw and/or cushions on the bed to create some ‘pop’ and tie in with the room’s décor,” she explained.
Whether the choice is a 50/50 polycotton sheet or more luxurious 80/20 polycotton for those who prefer a higher cotton content, make sure they always look their best. To do this she recommended: “Hire from a reputable commercial laundry. Unless you have excellent systems in place it is hard to get the superior, crisp finish that a laundry can achieve.
“Or, if you would prefer to own your own, we recommend that you always have a polyester content and around 250 thread count. Don’t be misled by high thread counts – more threads often mean fine thread that doesn’t breathe or absorb moisture.”
Luke Brodie from another leading supplier, Vendella International, agreed that the trend for hotels using triple sheeting continues. The emphasis has been on a simplistic, clean look that is easy to launder and make up, with an accent colour that sets them apart from the rest.
He believes that “creating a strong and lasting first impression is essential for the satisfaction of guests and is also crucial to attracting them to return.”
Mr Brodie also divulged a tip for improving the wow-factor of triple sheeted beds. “We recommend runners and cushions as step one and add extra pillows for step two.
The third step is to change the top sheet to a sateen-stripe (or self-stripe) and step four is the plush mattress topper that gives the bed a plump, rounded appearance. These four valuable steps are typically achieved by investing between $190 up to $270.”
He told AMG: “In today’s accommodation market, guests love choice and it’s wise to listen. Pillow menus are a request that we’ve all been hearing more of and our advice is ‘do not be afraid’ as it is easy to implement and will leave a lasting impression with your valued guests.
“Most queen and king beds now have four pillows which we strongly recommend are a mix of weights with two at 900grm and two at 1000grm. This should provide most guests with a restful sleep, not left wanting the additional offerings of the pillow menu.
“Having the right pillows on the bed from the start means you can offer a pillow menu without having to stock large quantities of extra pillows as the guests will be satisfied with what you have already provided.”
Key to remember is that offering a pillow menu will make the guest feel special and it doesn’t cost much to implement. Mr Brodie suggests to perhaps trial this on one floor and monitor the feedback.
Regarding blankets, Mr Brodie explained: “Blankets are a staple requirement but often viewed as expensive items that are hidden in the cupboard – this is a fair concern that makes us ask, how we can get more from our blankets.”
The answers he suggested are two trending ‘bedscarf’ options that double as extra blankets while enhancing the bed presentation.
“Made to be easily folded from a blanket to a plump runner, these options are durable but luxurious, which makes them easy favourites for the discerning buyer who wants to maximise their budget spend.”
When it comes to the bedspread, “less is more’, according to Mr Brodie. “Working away from bedspreads toward bedcaps is an intelligent move. Fitted corners and no reverse sham (the piece that covers the pillows) provides a refreshingly simplistic look. Once again, providing more pillows and an extra blanket encourages a feeling of luxury. A full makeover of bedcovers and extras can be achieved by investing $150 up to $260,” he advised.
Less is more
As for the latest trends and colours? He reiterated that less is more: “There is a trend moving away from options with reverse-shams, leaving pillows exposed to create a welcoming look and give guests peace of mind, knowing the pillow slips have not been under the reverse-sham.
“Another angle is the new bedscarf, a blend of all three styles: bedspread, bedcap and throw, which at a similar cost to bedcaps, is an excellent option.
“Colours are always a personal choice and often depend on the style and branding of the venue. Another piece of advice is be sure to trial your preferred option before purchasing in bulk as it will save you a lot of time and money down the track.”
“Remember,” he added, “above all, it’s imperative to ensure your choice bears all the ‘must-have’ requirements, including machine wash and dry, durable top fabric, black or coloured backing fabric and a commercial design.”
Satisfy your guests by revamping their sleep space: provide a quiet, dark and relaxing milieu to create the perfect temperature, deliver an inviting comfortable bed, offer a choice of pillows, prepare and plump clean luxurious sheets, blankets and bedspreads, furnish a stylish comfort zone with relaxing amenities. Do this and go that extra mile to grant your guest a slumber that they will never forget.