The quality of sleep on the road has improved, according to the latest study on the topic – the second one in 10 years – commissioned by Westin Hotels and Resorts.
The global survey, conducted among 12,500 frequent travellers, marks the 10th anniversary of Westin’s Heavenly Bed, the ultra-soft, all-white bed that spurred a promotions war.
In the first study conducted around the launch of the revolutionary product in 1999, 63 percent of travellers said a good night’s sleep was the single most important service a hotel could provide.
This has remained true a decade after the Heavenly Bed was rolled out. The big difference is that sleeping conditions in hotels have vastly improved.
“More than half or about 55 percent found that a great hotel bed provides a better sleep experience than at home,” noted Vincent Ong, director of brand marketing, Asia-Pacific for both Westin and Sheraton Hotels. “Fifty percent agreed that sleeping in a hotel bed while on a business trip is a ‘luxury’ – a significant change from 10 years ago.”
This is a marked contrast to the first survey where 82 percent of travellers were dissatisfied with their hotel beds.
Interestingly, 60 percent of regional travellers, who joined the latest Westin sleep study, admitted they were willing to pay more to stay at a hotel with their favourite bed. One in five was willing to pay more than US$100 for a good shut-eye.
Meanwhile, not getting enough sleep can have detrimental effects to the outcome of one’s business trips. Some key points of the survey results are the following:
• More than 50 percent of respondents said a bad night’s sleep had hurt their business performance
• The most common side effect of a bad night’s sleep was getting into a fight with a boss or co-worker, which had been experienced by one third of the respondents. More than one in four or 26 percent muddled a presentation, while 22 percent of those surveyed forgot important events
• A third of male respondents said they were likely to get into a fight with a boss or co-workers while a third of female respondents were most likely to mess up a presentation.
The survey also contains a host of quirky findings. Among them are:
• 52 percent of Asian respondents said a good night’s sleep trumped great sex
• Two in five respondents said they would rather have a sleeping pill on their hotel pillow than the ubiquitous chocolate
• 56 percent took a relaxant, sleep or stress medication when travelling overnight
• 58 percent of respondents believed that today’s technology, which kept travellers connected and online virtually 24/7, also impaired their sleep pattern
• 60 percent said their PDAs had prevented them from getting some snooze.
To date, Westin has more than 97,000 Heavenly Beds in over 65,000 guestrooms worldwide. The Heavenly Bed was such a success that every major hotel brand followed with the development of their own signature beds, affecting more than five million hotel beds across the globe.
“We are committed to preserving wellness in travel by helping guests feel better when they leave than when they arrived,” Ong said.
The Heavenly Bed has had a huge impact on travellers that it created a thriving retail business for the hotel, which has sold over 30,000 beds, 100,000 pillows, 32,000 sheets and 13,000 shower heads.
“Heavenly” is now a lifestyle brand that has expanded to include Westin’s signature bathroom amenities, spa and superfood menu among others.
For more details, visit www.starwoodhotels.com/westin