A website about mattresses (yes, they exist) recently surveyed U.S. travelers and found that 81 percent named bed comfort the most important feature of a hotel. It’s also one of the least advertised hotel features, and in my experience one of the features most commonly lacking, even in pricy joints.
Call me picky, but I rarely find a hotel mattress I like. And just so you know I have a huge sample to choose from. I’ve already spent over 100 nights this year on hotel mattresses. Based on a recent survey of mattress comfort, I haven’t stayed at ANY of Mattress Advisor’s top 25 ranked hotels in the United States when it comes to sleeping accommodations. Maybe the problem all along wasn’t me, but the hotels I stay at.
In fact, almost all of the hotels on the list are not chain properties. Hilton, Hyatt, Sheraton, Starwood: all absent. One Marriott, the TownePlace Suites in Mechanicsburg Pennsylvania of all places, and a Holiday Inn at Panama City Beach, Florida, were the only chain representatives.
The Top 5:
- 21c Hotel Museum Louisville, Kentucky
- West Baden Springs Hotel, Indiana
- The Spectator, Charleston, South Carolina
- L’Horizon resort & Spa, Palm Springs, California
- The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island, Georgia
This is important stuff. I coach people on wellness, and one of the top themes in troubled and stressed out minds is lack of sleep. If we don’t get our zzz’s it’s hard to keep up with the ABC’s in life.
Mattresses are not the only hotel hurdle to getting a good night’s sleep. Because hotels are unfamiliar territory to us, they often offer multiple obstacles to sleeping well. Being strategic and creative in order to get a good night’s sleep is an essential travel skill.
For those without the schedule or cash to stay in boutique hotels 100 nights per year, here are a few of the tricks I use to make the most out of my Hyatt stays.
Know Your Hotel Chain
Many of us are hotel loyalists, and with each hotel chain comes a certain bed type and mattress brand. Chances are you’re nodding your head and thinking about how you sleep better at a Westin on their bed versus at a Hyatt on their bed. It does take our bodies time to get accustomed to mattresses, so take this into account when looking at and booking your hotel options.
You can also ask the hotel what their mattresses are made of. Some people prefer foam mattresses, but I get incredibly hot on them. No matter how high I turn up the air conditioning, I still sweat and heat up. Some like foam, but for me, cotton mattresses lend a better night’s sleep.
Make Special Requests
One time at a hotel in Hawaii, I got stuck with a mattress that was entirely too soft. I kept sinking in and was even losing feeling in my limbs. I finally asked if there was anything that could be done. Moments later, hotel staff were lugging plywood into the room to help firm up the bottom of the mattress.
Some hotels have pillow menus so you can choose one that works best for you. If you’re sensitive to noise, ask for a high floor and away from the elevator. I know this seems like common sense, but we often forget things like this in the midst of planning a hotel stay. I even request certain room numbers at hotels I frequent. And I like a kettle in my room because I enjoy a cup of tea in the evenings. It’s all a part of a hotel being more than happy to accommodate our needs, if only we ask and it’s possible.
Hangout in the Bed Before You Fall Asleep In It
Winding down when you get back to your hotel room rather than going straight to bed is a good idea. Winding down without TV or checking email is an even better idea. This is part of setting a mood in your room for sleep.
Sleep requires a cool, quiet, dark environment, especially in an unfamiliar setting like a hotel room. Use ear plugs if you need them. Enjoy a relaxing ritual such as a foot massage with oil. I’m a big fan of Scottish Showers before bed. These days, some rooms have really amazing blackout blinds you can use. Also, don’t forget to check the temperature setting. I like it cold when I sleep, so depending on the time of year I’ll set the temp somewhere between 64 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit.
Don’t let a lousy room climate disturb your silent night.
Even though I’m as picky as can be with regards to mattresses I do find hotel mattresses I really like. You’ll never believe that the most comfortable hotel mattress I’ve experienced was at……..are you lying down…….an Embassy Suites in Oregon. They had just refurbished the rooms and the mattress was fantastic. So of course I looked for the label and the manufacturer on the mattress tag. I called them, but was so disappointed to learn they only supplied the mattress to hotels. Anyone know a hotel for sale??
Shelli Stein is a health and fitness entrepreneur who travels the world in search of culture, food, and fun! Besides contributing to PointMeToThePlane, you can find her at Joy in Movement.
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